So let's kick off this week with some news that will come as a welcome surprise to a lot of local music fans.
Back when I was interviewing Joe Johnson a couple months ago about his decision to step away from booking the Ancient Mariner, I happened to ask about the possibility of his old band Creating a Newsense getting back together.
"I love those guys so much," he said at the time. "We had a blast, and it was great run, but it's a lot of work. The only way I would do it would be for some really good benefit or for some astronomical amount of money."
Anyway, one out of two's not bad, as Creating a Newsense will be reuniting later this month for a one-time benefit performance, with donations going directly to the Green Mountain Falls-Chipita Park Fire Department. The band will be playing two full sets at the Silver Tongue Devil Saloon on Aug. 18, with the Broken Spoke and Grant Sabin doing opening honors. Definitely one of the summer's must-see shows.
In the meantime, file this one under unexpected discoveries: While meeting up with a friend at Rico's this past Saturday night, I happened upon New Vintage Jazz, a talented group that's definitely new — to me, at least — and decidedly vintage in its incorporation of classic jazz, swing and blues influences. While the spotlight was most often on bandleader Ben Hofmann's guitar and occasional vocals, as well as transplanted New Orleans trumpeter Jeff Sutton's soloing, the quartet functioned brilliantly as an ensemble that tastefully draws upon influences ranging from Charlie Parker to Squirrel Nut Zippers.
As a music fan, I look forward to hearing more from them — and you should too. According to Hofmann, they'll be playing at Rico's the last Saturday of each month until they get "kicked out," which I don't see happening anytime soon.
As for the weekend ahead, the Acacia Park summer concert series returns this coming Saturday with a special Haunted Windchimes performance. While all the other summer shows featured two or three acts on the bills, this one's all Chimes. (Hey, next time you perform for 4 million Prairie Home Companion listeners, you'll get the same treatment.) The band will play a two-hour set beginning at 6 p.m.
Also, if you've been looking for a reason to go down to Florence lately — and really, who hasn't? — check out the indie-centric Americana Music and Arts Festival, which runs this Friday through Sunday and features the aforementioned Windchimes as its opening night headliner. The full lineup is way too long to list, so you'll have to visit americanamusicandart.com for details.
While you're there, you just might run into Damian Burford getting an early start on his birthday celebration, and you can definitely catch up with him at a Saturday night party he's throwing at the Triple Nickel, the club he booked for years before going rogue for his gig over at the Black Sheep. Headlining are Damian's talented Fort Collins buds Arliss Nancy, who record for the near-legendary Suburban Home Records.
You might also find Damian at this weekend's Craft Lager and Small Batch Festival (see p. 27), although he's concerned that might be a little too much for his liver. Then again, there's only one way to find out.