Rocky Mountain Highway has already had a busy opening to 2017, including the unveiling of their first wave of MeadowGrass performers, a spring concert series, and a limited-edition IPA courtesy of Gold Camp Brewing. Not content to stop there, RMH has added another proverbial feather to their cap with the announcement of a show featuring an unparalleled pedigree of singer-songwriters: Dave Alvin and Jimmie Dale Gilmore will perform at the Gold Room on March 23.
California native Dave Alvin first rose to prominence with the roots-rock band The Blasters, which he started with his brother Phil in the late '70s. After serving as the band's lead guitarist and primary songwriter until 1986, Alvin brought his rockabilly and country-influenced guitar stylings to the first wave of Los Angeles punk rock, filling in as the lead guitarist for X (who covered his song "4th of July" on their 1987 album See How We Are) as well as performing with The Gun Club, The Flesh Eaters, Mojo Nixon and The Beat Farmers' Country Dick Montana. He then went on to an acclaimed solo career, which saw him refine his Americana sound and eventually win a Grammy in 2000 for his LP Public Domain: Songs From the Wild Land.
Jimmie Dale Gilmore took perhaps a more oblique career path as a musician. If you've seen the Coen brothers' film The Big Lebowski, you've seen Gilmore — he appears as Smokey, the pacifist bowler threatened at gunpoint by John Goodman's Walter Sobchak. Long before that, though, the Lubbock, Texas-born Gilmore formed the country band The Flatlanders with Joe Ely and Butch Hancock in 1972. While all three would go on to become acclaimed singer-songwriters, the Flatlanders found little initial success, with their planned debut album relegated to a limited release on 8-track tape. (This criminally underrated album was reissued in 1990 with the apropos re-christening More a Legend Than a Band.) In the interim, however, Gilmore spent time studying with guru Prem Rawat at a Denver-based ashram, later moving to Austin and launching a critically lauded solo career that mixes his metaphysical lyrics with a progressive outlaw country sound. He's also collaborated with the likes of Lucinda Williams and Willie Nelson. For any fans of Americana — or good music, in general — the March 23 meeting of these performers is not to be missed.
Turning our attention briefly to national music news, it was recently announced that the organizers of Austin's SXSW festival, in the wake of proposed artist boycotts, would be completely excising a controversial clause in its artists' contracts that stated the festival could refer international artists to immigration authorities for infractions such as playing unauthorized shows. As such, beyond alleviating the immediate and deeply troubling possibility of music festival organizers acting as ICE informants, this will hopefully mean Colorado Springs' own nerdcore rapper YTCracker doesn't face any serious threat of being deported back to Colorado.
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