Although I'm not a huge fan of Garrison Keillor's homespun soliloquies on powdermilk biscuits and small-town Lutherans, I'm finally willing to concede that 4 million A Prairie Home Companion fans can't be wrong — at least not when it came to tuning in to this past weekend's episode, featuring the down-home talents of Pueblo's Haunted Windchimes.
If you didn't manage to catch Saturday's live recording at the World Arena or the two KRCC airings this weekend, you can still go to prairiehome.publicradio.org and stream the entire two-hour podcast.
As you may recall, the Windchimes were just a trio when we put them on our cover in 2008. In the years since, they've added two members and a legion of loyal fans. They also hooked up with local manager emeritus Scott O'Malley, who's also gotten his client Norman Blake (of O Brother, Where Art Thou? fame) on the show a number of times in the past.
But even three years ago, the writing was on the wall. As we noted at the time:
"Already, the Haunted Windchimes have the charisma, talent and originality to hold their own against the likes of Vampire Weekend, DeVotchKa and other headliners at this past weekend's Monolith Festival up at Red Rocks outside Denver. Of course, making such a leap would depend on a whole different set of factors, from shifting popular tastes to professional connections to sheer luck. In many ways, they are aiming much higher, placing music and community first, creating a compelling, original repertoire and paying homage to the artists in whose footsteps they follow."
What's so gratifying is that the Windchimes have never stopped doing those things. So no matter where this high-profile gig takes them, they can have the satisfaction of knowing that they're still on the right path.
And speaking of past cover story subjects (crafty transition, huh?), let us not forget Eric Shiveley, the musician/filmmaker who appeared on our cover the same year as the Windchimes. The focus back then was on his film, Everyone But You, but now he's back with a much better haircut and a campaign to raise funds for his next album, Crybaby. To get a taste of it, check out his video for the title tune, which is genuinely excellent in a Michael Penn/Roy Orbison kinda way, at ericshiveleymusic.net. If at least a hundred folks pre-pay by Jan. 1, he'll send out the album. If not, he'll send out refunds.
All of which brings us to this week's shows. You can let your eyes veer right and also peruse the rest of this section for a full-spectrum overview. But I can definitely recommend Gringo Star, whose "All Y'all" was stuck in my head for the better part of a year, when they play the Triple Nickel this Friday. And it's hard to go wrong with the Black Sheep's sixth anniversary celebration on Saturday, featuring the righteous Inelements, Cat Color, Bridges Will Break and the Great Hotel Fire — unless, that is, it prevents you from returning on Sunday for hip-hop heavyweight Murs, who's interviewed this week here.
Elsewhere around town, there's a tribute memorial concert for Terry Span, the Colorado Springs guitarist who'd done several tours overseas performing for troops with his band Aleister Wild. A number of bands will be performing at Sunshine Studios this Saturday in his honor. As the poster e-mailed to us by his friend Rob Robertson puts it, "Terry is shredding with Randy Rhoads now at that great gig in the sky." So if you're among the many who knew him, or knew his music, you won't want to miss it.