- Country music artist Wade Bowen will bring his diverse “Red Dirt”/Texas country sound to the Whiskey Baron on Jan. 10.
Though Bowen isn’t necessarily a household name, the singer-songwriter’s discography is an intriguing one. A native of Waco, Texas, and brother-in-law of former Cross Canadian Ragweed frontman Cody Canada, Bowen began his musical career as the lead vocalist for the band West 84 before embarking on a solo career in 2001. His sixth LP, 2012’s The Given, was Bowen’s first on a major label, but the performer found equal commercial success with subsequent independent releases, including his self-titled 2014 LP and the 2015 collaborative album with Randy Rogers, Hold My Beer, Vol. 1.
Bowen’s “Red Dirt”/Texas country sound sits at an appealing crossroads of genres, exemplified by his latest LP, 2018’s Solid Ground, hitting #27 on the U.S. Country charts, #10 on the U.S. Folk charts, and #7 on the U.S. Indie charts. The diverse appeal makes sense — there’s plenty for listeners of all inclinations to latch on to in the album. The midtempo ballad “So Long 6th Street” has the kind of sonorous, sing-along chorus that should immediately appeal to contemporary country fans, while cuts such as “Couldn’t Make You Love Me” and “Acuna” have a gritty, bluesy flavor with equal echoes of Tom Petty and Townes Van Zandt. “Day of the Dead” adds mariachi horns to evocative effect.
The opening of the year also looks to offer some noteworthy experiences in the realm of classical music. If you couldn’t get enough of the Colorado Springs Philharmonic’s performances of The Nutcracker in November, the Philharmonic is jumping right back into the works of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky on the weekend of Jan. 25-27, with a program featuring Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 7 and excerpts from the ballet Swan Lake in collaboration with Eugene Ballet.
Much like The Nutcracker, Swan Lake was not well received at its debut performance, but its 1895 revival (alas, two years after the composer’s death) was a triumphant success, and its fiercely dramatic score and often-lavish stagings have made it not only one of Tchaikovsky’s most enduring and beloved works, but one of the world’s most popular ballets.
Meanwhile, Tchaikovsky’s seventh symphony, the “Symphony of Life,” has a bit of an odd and tangled history. The composer began sketching ideas for the work in 1891 but was unsatisfied with the results and had abandoned it by the following year, repurposing its first movement into what eventually became his Piano Concerto No. 3. Following the composer’s death, Tchaikovsky’s former student Sergey Taneyev edited and published fragments of these sketches as separate pieces and, many decades later, composer and musicologist Semyon Bogatyrev reassembled the sketches into the four-movement symphony.
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