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MeadowGrass vibes coming Aug. 22

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Still bummed about Memorial Day? Recapture some of the magic at MeadowGrass Vibes with Grass It Up and more.
  • Still bummed about Memorial Day? Recapture some of the magic at MeadowGrass Vibes with Grass It Up and more.

Although it now feels as though the news broke about 20 years ago, many local music fans were understandably disappointed when this year’s edition of the MeadowGrass Music Festival was postponed. Yes, it was one of countless such music festivals that were put on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but, you know, it’s “our” summer festival. While everyone will likely have to wait until next summer for the full lineup under the big yellow tent, Rocky Mountain Highway has come up with something of a pleasant compromise to get a bit of a MeadowGrass fix, and tickets are now available for an Aug. 22 evening of music at UCHealth Park, MeadowGrass Vibes.

The show will be the finale of UCHealth Park’s mini summer concert series, and attendees can look forward to sets from four local favorites — Roma Ransom kicks off the proceedings at 1 p.m., followed by J.J. Murphy & Deirdre McCarthy at 3 p.m. Crystal and the Curious take the stage at 5 p.m., and Grass It Up concludes the festivities at 7. Stadium parking will be available at 11 a.m. and gates open at noon. As with previous concerts at the park, ticket options include assigned seating in the on-field “pod” sections in left and right field and general admission in designated bleacher areas, all arranged with appropriate social distancing precautions. Masks, obviously, will be required.

The live music opportunities don’t end there, either — which is something I’ve been waiting to say for weeks now. The Pikes Peak Blues Community is hosting a monthlong Paint the Town Blue concert series at Thorndale Park (located at West Uintah and 23rd streets), which will feature a variety of regional blues talent. The Boulder-based Erik Boa & The Constrictors kick things off on Thursday, Aug. 6, with BJ Estares and Route 61, The Cleveland Experiment and The Springstown Shakers performing each subsequent week of the month, on Aug. 13, 20 and 27, respectively.
Elsewhere, the much-welcomed summer releases from local artists continue to accumulate week by week. Acclaimed singer/songwriter Xanthe Alexis released two new singles in anticipation of her upcoming sophomore LP The Offering, which is set for release on Aug. 21. Alexis’ voice has always been a powerful and evocative instrument, and she finds a fine foil here in the instrumental and production expertise of Conor and Ian Bourgal. The arresting “Compass” floats in a lush, electronic-folk landscape of sound, while the soulful “Moon” situates Alexis’ vocals around a hypnotic, keyboard-led groove (and features a genuine grimoire incantation as a closer). “Moon” also sports a rather gorgeous video created by Inaiah Lujan, which shouldn’t be missed.

Ozonic wash their synth-rock sound all over new single “Electric Blood.”
  • Ozonic wash their synth-rock sound all over new single “Electric Blood.”

The eclectic synth-rock of local quintet Ozonic, meanwhile, always finds a way to be irresistible, and their latest single, “Electric Blood,” is certainly no exception. Frontman Colin Bovberg comes through with some of his most virtuosic and expressive vocals, while the dextrous guitar and keyboard interplay of Sean Kurchinski and Timothy Cravens is immediate, charismatic and hook-filled. Ozonic’s sound has often deftly balanced on the line between pop and prog, and the tight, streamlined songwriting approach on “Electric Blood” is a delight to hear.

Finally, local emcee Earsiq just dropped a most fitting single for our times, “COVID-Circles.” The track acts as the first taste from his forthcoming mixtape Makeshift Kingdom, which will feature an array of production hands, including Southern California’s Visionaries and the Seattle-based Blue Scholars. The possibility of a post-COVID, post-quarantine bash might seem impossible at the moment, but this colorful track should do the job for now, pitting the rhymes of Earsiq, Joe Kruel, G-Stylez and Minnesota-based emcee Capaciti against a deeply funky, charmingly old-school beat.

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