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Sundays at Six presents The Black Lillies — July 24

The Alamosa Live Music Association proudly presents The Black Lillies on July 24th, as Sundays at Six continues in Cole Park, Alamosa.

The genre-mashing Americana band hits the road with their critically praised CD Hard to Please.

The Black Lillies’ new album Hard to Please (Attack Monkey/Thirty Tigers) has been racking up the accolades since its October 2015 release. Rolling Stone Country hailed it as “country music with a soul-rock infusion, supported by smart songwriting and tight musicianship” while American Songwriter praised the “soulful mix of upbeat Americana and tender ballads that makes the album a rejuvenating fourth release.” Pop Matters declared that the Knoxville group created “an authentic sound that’s guided by their best instincts,” and called the CD their “most confident set yet.”
Hard to Please stands as the Black Lillies’ most varied set of music. The ten-song set opens with the title track’s unexpected twangy funk and rolls on with the fierce country rocker “That’s the Way It Goes Down,” the Southern-style soul Contreras/Brady duet “Mercy” and the horn-fueled “The First Time,” on which Brady handles lead vocals. The disc deftly balances introspective numbers like “Desire” and “Bound to Roam” with the boot-scootin’ country tune “Dancin’” and the rockin’ on-the-road rave-up “40 Days.” The Black Lillies’ musical breadth is best captured in “Broken Shore.” This entrancing song ebbs and flows as a wild fiddle and psychedelic-like guitar lines lead listeners on a harrowing journey inspired by Contreras’ grandfather fighting in the Battle of Iwo Jima.
The band has built their grassroots popularity by taking their music to the people. They have been averaging 200 gigs a year since forming in 2009, playing small clubs as well as big festivals like Bonnaroo, Stagecoach and the Americana Music Festival. NPR’s Ann Powers made the group one of her top picks at 2014′s SXSW and no other independent band has played the prestigious Grand Ole Opry as many times as the Black Lillies have.
The album’s musical evolution will be reflected in the group’s concerts as the Black Lillies have grown into a six-piece with lead guitarist Mike Seal (Jeff Sipe Trio, Larkin Poe), bassist Sam Quinn (the everybodyfields) and pedal steel man Jonathan Keeney (Robinella) joining the core trio of Cruz Contreras, Trisha Gene Brady and Bowman Townsend.

ALMA “Builds Community through Quality Live Music.” For more information like ALMA on Facebook or go to www.almaonline.org.

Sundays at Six is sponsored by Comfort Inn & Suites, Valley Motel, Movie Manor, Arby’s, Super 8, IHOP, KRZA, City of Alamosa, Alamosa Local Marketing District Board, The Crestone Eagle, Myers Brothers Truck & Tractor, Alamosa Home, Body Tune Up, KW Farms, SLV Health, Colorado Health, Treasure Alley, Rio Grande Savings & Loan, 1st Southwest Bank, Valley Wide Health Systems, Alamosa State Bank, Jay Meyer State Farm Insurance, SLV Federal Bank, SLVREC & Ciello, and 2016 ALMA Members.

Sundays at Six is a free outdoor concert series in Cole Park, Alamosa. Concerts start at 6 p.m. Check out this year’s lineup. In case of bad weather, go to ALMA’s website and Facebook page to find out about cancellations or change of venue.

 

Sundays at Six presents Antonio Lopez & Emily Robinson — July 17

The Alamosa Live Music Association presents Antonio Lopez with Emily Robinson on July 17th, as Sundays at Six continues in Cole Park, Alamosa.

With influences as vast and wide as the San Luis Valley from where he originates, fifth generation Coloradan Antonio Lopez is a noteworthy artist in the state’s flourishing music community. Nashville-based recording artist Tyler James describes Antonio’s music as “raw and beautiful…two traits any young songwriter should strive for.” Garnering comparison to artists such as Amos Lee and Ryan Adams with his earthy-modern-folk, Antonio’s latest project consists of three EPs, each being recorded in a different locale with a different producer and set of musicians; Alamosa, CO where he grew up, Minneapolis, MN where he recorded his debut album, and on the front range where he now resides. The second installment in the series, Cloud 9000 Vol. 2: The Alamosa EP, was released in February of this year. Antonio Lopez’s tune Simple Life is the theme song for the Morning show on KRZA radio and he has collaborated with artists such as Don Conoscenti and Daniel Valdez.

Emily Robinson, who will be opening for Antonio, also released her debut album, “Mongolia Queen,” in February of this year. With a clear, sweet voice, Emily Scott Robinson will leave you breathless with songs that are both heart-wrenching and dark, playful and surprising. She writes with raw lyrical power and authenticity, enchanting audiences with an intimate performance every time. In May 2016, Emily won the Grassy Hill New Fold Competition at Kerrville Folk Festival. She also received an Honorable Mention in this year’s Troubadour Contest for the Telluride Bluegrass Festival. In 2015, she won first place in the “American Songwriter” May/June Lyric Contest, as well as Honorable Mention in the Rocky Mountain Folks Festival Songwriter Showcase. She is currently touring full time, living on the road with her husband in their RV, writing and performing across the Country.

ALMA “Builds Community through Quality Live Music.” For more information like ALMA on Facebook or go to www.almaonline.org.

Sundays at Six is sponsored by Comfort Inn & Suites, Valley Motel, Movie Manor, Arby’s, Super 8, IHOP, KRZA, City of Alamosa, Alamosa Local Marketing District Board, The Crestone Eagle, Myers Brothers Truck & Tractor, Alamosa Home, Body Tune Up, KW Farms, SLV Health, Colorado Health, Treasure Alley, Rio Grande Savings & Loan, 1st Southwest Bank, Valley Wide Health Systems, Alamosa State Bank, Jay Meyer State Farm Insurance, SLV Federal Bank, SLVREC & Ciello, and 2016 ALMA Members.

Sundays at Six is a free outdoor concert series in Cole Park, Alamosa. Concerts start at 6 p.m. Check out this year’s lineup. In case of bad weather, go to ALMA’s website and Facebook page to find out about cancellations or change of venue.

Sundays at Six presents Western Centuries — July 10

The Alamosa Live Music Association presents Western Centuries on July 10th, as Sundays at Six continues in Cole Park, Alamosa. Round up a country band and an early R&B group with three lead vocalists, weave in a hefty amount of vocal harmony and witty turns-of-phrase, and let ‘em rock out like The Band. The sound of roots music mavericks Western Centuries sits at these crossroads, and their debut album Weight of the World introduces a band as skillful in their musicianship as they are innovative in their writing. With upbeat, barroom dance numbers, lilting, introspective tunes of heartbreak, and everything in between, the album strikes an oft-strived-for but rarely achieved balance between genre-busting experimentation and thoughtful continuity.

Comprised of Seattle-based country musician Cahalen Morrison, jam band veteran Jim Miller (co-founder of Donna the Buffalo), R&B and bluegrass-by-way-of-punk rock songwriter Ethan Lawton, pedal steel player Rusty Blake, and bassist Dan Lowinger, Western Centuries are clearly a diverse bunch. The band is collaborative in nature, but they are – albeit subtly – helmed by Morrison. After years of performing in prominent roots duo Cahalen Morrison & Eli West (whose music made fans of Tim O’Brien, Jim Lauderdale, Dirk Powell, and BBC Radio’s Bob Harris along the way), Morrison formed and led the band Country Hammer, made up of members who have mostly crossed over into Western Centuries.

Produced by Bill Reynolds (Band of Horses) and recorded in his Nashville studio, Weight of the World features three different songwriters and lead vocalists (Morrison, Miller, and Lawton); the result is a sound that deftly defies neat categorization. Yet the album doesn’t come off as scattered. Instead, it feels like the natural confluence of the band’s wide-ranging influences, laced together by the interconnected histories of the musical styles at its foundation, and by its writers’ commitments to imaginative songwriting.

The progressive, almost psychedelic nature of the album’s lyrics infuses the 12-track record with a distinctly modern sensibility. Sure, there’s ample pedal steel and plenty of country telecaster twang, but Western Centuries elevate these neo-traditional two-stepping tunes into transcendental, rootsy rock ‘n roll doused think-pieces.

Upon first listen, Weight of the World provides all the familiar satisfaction of traditional country lyricism – rife with simultaneously hilarious and heart-breaking one-liners, tales of hitting the bottle and scraping bottom, and so on – but these songs yield new and deeper meaning with every listen. Each songwriter brings his own flair to Weight of the World, but there is a deeply literary approach to the songwriting woven throughout. The metaphors cleverly extend on, sometimes for an entire song as with Lawton’s “Off the Shelf” — a love song written for a bottle of booze.

While its lyrics are impressively layered with meaning, Weight of the World will appeal to just about any fan of roots music; the album certainly showcases the band’s great range and ability to blend influences ranging from early rhythm and blues, all the way to straight up country. But it’s also marked with a profound ingenuity – the type that feels instinctual rather than intentionally labored for, the kind that continues to flourish and snake into new realms as time wears on. This is just the beginning for Western Centuries, and it’s not likely their creative well is going to dry up any time soon.

Western Centuries will release Weight of the World via Free Dirt Records on June 3, 2016, and will tour the USA this summer and fall in support of their new release. For more information on Western Centuries, visit their website, http://www.westerncenturies.com/.


Sundays at Six is a free outdoor concert series in Cole Park, Alamosa. Concerts start at 6 p.m. Check out this year’s lineup. In case of bad weather, go to ALMA’s website and Facebook page to find out about cancellations or change of venue.

 

The Vogts Sisters kick off Sundays at Six on June 26

Sundays at Six returns June 26 to Alamosa! Enjoy free music throughout the summer presented to you by The Alamosa Live Music Association. Kicking off the season is Kansas Bluegrass duo, The Vogts Sisters: Singing Sweet Sister Harmony from the Midwest. See you at 6 p.m. at Cole Park!

Often compared to songbirds or musical angels, the Vogts Sisters touch the hearts of audiences everywhere they go. Touring throughout the year in the Midwest and this summer for the first time in Colorado, the young musicians offer graceful performances, blending timeless music with sweet sister harmony.

The sister duo released My Own Dixie, (March 2015) their first all-original album of ten songs, including award-winning songs Ballad of a Love Miscast, Guitar Man, and The Loving Kind. Old Time Noise, their debut album released in Fall of 2012. A few of their musical influences include Alison Krauss, Emmylou Harris, and Gillian Welch. They are currently working on their third album to release in June 2016.

Maggie graduated college in December 2013, and Abigail is in her first year of college. They make their home in rural Erie, Kansas. Despite their young age, the girls have a highly developed sense of who they are and what they represent.

 

Sundays at Six is a free outdoor concert series in Cole Park, Alamosa. Concerts start at 6 p.m. Check out this year’s lineup. In case of bad weather, go to ALMA’s website and Facebook page to find out about cancellations or change of venue.