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Playing Around



Ted Villarreal

Time Out Sports Lounge, 3721 Drennan Road Friday, July 14, 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. no cover. McCabes Tavern, 520 S. Tejon St. Saturday, July 15, 9 p.m. to midnight no cover.

On a given night in Colorado Springs, you can hear the songs of James Taylor, Jimmy Buffett, The Beatles, Gretchen Wilson, Garth Brooks and Santana. Live. By a single musician.

Ted Villarreal, known as The One-Man Band, creates these familiar sounds with a guitar, his voice and the occasional harmonica strapped around his neck. Any backing instrumentation or vocals he uses to fill out his sound come via his own recordings of himself.

His repertoire seems endless. "I haven't heard him turn down any song yet," says Rebekah Ortiz, bartender at Our Bar, one of Villarreal's regular venues.

Villarreal started performing in 1976. Whenever he received a song request that he didn't know, he would find a way to learn it, even if it meant learning a new instrument. "I bought a piano before I even knew how to play it, and I just taught myself," he says. "I play strictly by ear."

He began composing original music while in the Air Force nearly 30 years ago, and he hopes to put out an original CD this fall.

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