Once a die-hard rocker, Don Conoscenti is one of the most respected musicians and critically acclaimed songwriters in acoustic music. Conoscenti will perform with his band at 6pm Sat., June 16, as part of the San Luis Valley Roots Festival on the baseball field at Alamosa, Colo.’s Cole Park. Although Conoscenti’s primary love is the landscape of story telling and songwriting, his band’s live performances are a soulful fusion of styles blended from their experiences playing rock, jazz, blues, folk, funk and country.
The band’s performances are never canned. There are no set lists. Expect to go on an improvisational musical journey of unexpected segues, humorous reflections, stories and songs; and hear songs about lovers, outcasts, healing, loss, mystery, spirit, murder and redemption.
Roots Festival tickets are available on-line and at the Narrow Gauge Newsstand in Alamosa.
At 17, Conoscenti set out across America, hitchhiking and traveling by truck, motorcycle, bus and the occasional freight train. He trekked to every one of the forty-eight contiguous states plus Hawaii, Jamaica, South America and Japan. While living in Vermont, scooping ice cream at a homemade shop in Burlington run by two guys named Ben and Jerry, he formed the first of dozens of bands comprised of virtuoso players from the rock and jazz worlds. After bouncing from north to south and coast to coast for several years he settled in Atlanta, rising up through the thriving acoustic music scene based out of Eddie’s Attic in Decatur, Ga., a scene which produced hit makers like John Mayer, Sugarland , the Indigo Girls and Shawn Mullins. It was at Eddie’s Attic that he also befriended a young Ellis Paul and they’ve been close friends, collaborators and partners in crime ever since. After leaving Atlanta, Conoscenti spent several years each in Texas, Oklahoma and the San Luis Valley.
Conoscenti commands an array of instruments: acoustic and electric 6 & 12 string guitar, steel guitar, bass, keyboard, drums, percussion, flute, recorder, mandolin, banjo and didgeridoo. The artists that he has collaborated with are renowned in a spectrum of musical genres including folk, rock, jazz, and Native American. Conoscenti has met the direct descendents of native tribal leaders Crazy Horse and Geronimo and has been added to the Library of Congress archives as a Folk Revivalist.
Roots Festival tickets for Fri. night only are $8 for ALMA members, $10 general public. For Sat. only, tickets are $18 for Alamosa Live Music Association (ALMA) members, $20 general public, and for Fri. and Sat., tickets are $24 for ALMA Members, $28 for non members. The concerts are scheduled to coordinate with the Rollin’ Deep Car Show, on Fathers’ Day, Sun., June 17, to give visitors a full weekend of events.