Rhythm & Celtgrass is what Bruce Hayes calls his music – a fusion of musical styles that combines acoustic and electric instrumentation with elements of Rock, Bluegrass, Celtic, and R&B music. The Alamosa Live Music Association (ALMA) presents Hayes in their annual member appreciation concert, Wed., May 19, 7:30pm, at the Bistro Rialto on Main St. between San Juan Ave. and Edison Ave. in Alamosa.
The concert is free for members of ALMA and memberships will be available at the door. Otherwise, tickets are $8, $5 for students and seniors. Recent transplant to Alamosa Emily Robinson will open the show, evoking vocalists like Nancy Griffith, Emmylou Harris and Iris Dement while singing acoustic roots music.
On stage Hayes’ presence is electrifying. He taps his feet on an amplified floorboard, slaps accents on his guitar and cheeks, wails on the harmonica and sings charismatically. His fingers dance around the strings with incredible fluidity creating rich harmonic textures and rapid-fire riffs. Collaborating with The String Cheese Incident and Acoustic Junction, Hayes helped define the acoustic jam band sound. He continues this tradition performing original songs and arrangements on mandolin, guitar, Dobro and more.
Hayes’ music is fresh and original but steeped in tradition; borrowing from blues, bluegrass, Celtic, world beat, folk, rock and jazz, it “could be loosely termed ‘Mountain Music,” …but Bruce’s mountains reach from the Andes to the Smokies and back to his home range in Colorado,” according to Aspen Daily News reviewer Larry Good.
“The Jimi Hendrix of the mandolin,” is how the Crested Butte Chronicle & Pilot described Hayes. “Definitely not some New Age dork. Man, he really cuts loose!” is what Tom Robbins, author of “Even Cowgirls Get The Blues,” among other novels, said about him. You can visit his website or check out his music on MySpace.