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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.

Sundays at Six returns June 26

Join us in Cole Park starting June 26th for Sundays at Six with The Vogts Sisters! Check out the full Sundays at Six line up here.

ALMA & Friends Concert! — Feb 27

Come out and hear great local music while supporting ALMA’s work in bringing quality live music to Alamosa! The annual ALMA and Friends benefit concert is on Saturday, February 27 @ 7 p.m. at Society Hall, at 400 Ross Avenue, in Alamosa, CO. Doors open at 6:15 p.m. for light refreshments and a cash bar.

Every year, local musicians contribute their talents for an ALMA membership drive concert. ALMA memberships help to make the Sundays at Six concert series in Cole Park a free service to all and help to fund ALMA’s regular programming and other live music events throughout the Valley. In 2015, with membership contributions ALMA helped fund a number of great live music events including three major concerts, seven Sundays at Six performances and many other co-sponsored events. Concert highlights included the John Denver tribute by Chris Collins, award-winning country singer, Crystal Yates, and the bluegrass trio, Blue Canyon Boys, during Sundays at Six.

Performers for this year’s ALMA and Friends concert include the dynamic duo of Kate Mann and Mark Dudrow, singer-songwriter Ry Taylor, and the American roots band, The Mitguards.

Admission is free for ALMA 2016 members and $15 for general admission. No advance tickets are for sale, so come early to grab a seat!

ALMA “Builds Community through Quality Live Music.” For more information like ALMA on Facebook.