The 10th annual Pickin' in the Park concert series at Paonia Town Park promises to be one of the best. In addition to bluegrass, Pickin' Productions' Rob Miller is bringing reggae, soul/funk, classic rock, and other acts to five venues, this summer, including in Paonia, Crawford, Ridgway and Moab, Utah.
Since 2000 Miller and friends have brought high-quality live music to western Colorado. Beginning in 2008 they have put local, regional, national and international acts on the Paonia Town Park stage, now the Howard Berkman Stage. On Aug. 3 legendary guitarist, vocalist, songwriter and six-time Grammy nominee Peter Rowan will headline the first concert.
Since the early 1960s Rowan has been a star of the bluegrass stage after becoming guitarist and lead vocalist for the Bill Monroe's Bluegrass Boys band. Rowan has performed with the band Earth Opera, which opened for The Doors; with Seatrain, Muleskinner, and in the 1970s was a member of Old and in the Way with Jerry Garcia.
Kentucky rhythm and bluegrass band The Wooks will open for Rowan.
On Aug. 10 Pato Banton will bring positive vibrations to the Howard Berkman Stage. Pato "brings a message that is food for the mind and soul" and touches on "a range of topics including current-day events and spiritual freedom while keeping the vibes upbeat and fun." Opening act is Freddy & Francine.
Tiffany Christopher opens Aug. 17 for Ages and Ages, and on Aug. 24, local treasure Russ Chapman opens for Session Americana.
New this summer, Pickin' Productions has teamed up with the Old Mad Dog Cafe in Crawford to present "Free Music, Summer Nights." The series kicks off this Friday, June 2, with "Dead Floyd." Since 2009 the band has provided their audience an homage to two of rock 'n' roll's greatest bands, the Grateful Dead and Pink Floyd.
On June 30, Halden Wofford & the Hi Beams will offer a "stylish take on the honky tonk genre." Scruffy Pearls will bring good things to the stage on July 12, and the folk duo Handmade Moments will bring high-energy sounds to the Old Mad Dog. Josh Hoyer performs July 25, and on Aug. 11 multi-instrumentalist, singer and songwriter Tony Furtado will take the stage. Furtado, whom Miller brought to Paonia back in 2001, has performed at numerous festivals and has toured with legends including the late Gregg Allman, Derek Trucks, and blues musician Sonny Ladreth.
Most Sundays Pickin' Productions will bring live music to Delicious Orchards. This Saturday, square dance with Grady and Friends. On June 17, Gunnison County Ramblers, a four-piece Colorado-style bluegrass ensemble, brings traditional bluegrass music to Delicious.
Pickin's 10th annual Ridgway Concert Series opens Thursday, July 6, with Battle of Santiago and opening act The Stray Birds. New this year, Fridays in July Pickin' Productions will offer a free concert series in Moab, Utah. Acts include Battle of Santiago on July 7, Kuinka on July 14, The July 31 headliner, Eilen Jewell's songs have been played on the HBO series True Blood, "Sons of Anarchy" and other national programs. "Ages and Ages" headline the Aug. 17 concert.