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Bands in the backyard and blues in the night 

click to enlarge Tommy Castro and his band will be in town for a Friday night show at Stargazers, followed by a Saturday seminar on touring at Hotel Eleganté. - VICTORIA SMITH
  • Victoria Smith
  • Tommy Castro and his band will be in town for a Friday night show at Stargazers, followed by a Saturday seminar on touring at Hotel Eleganté.

Blues music might not be the first genre that comes to mind for the sui generis musical identity of Colorado Springs, but it's always enjoyed a robust local following here. It would be highly unlikely for music fans to enter the year 2017 without having caught a show from genre mainstays Grant Sabin, Justus League or Austin Young, just to name a few, while the annual Blues Under the Bridge festival has brought headliners such as Booker T. Jones, Koko Taylor and Bettye LaVette, all of whom can be counted as truly legendary musical figures without a hint of hyperbole.

Local blues lovers now have a new addition to the musical landscape to look forward to, as Stargazers Theatre and the Pikes Peak Blues Community have joined forces to present a Blues Showcase concert series for 2017. The series kicks off at Stargazers on Thursday, Feb. 9, with The Movers & Shakers and special guest Erica Brown. The Denver-based blueswoman has shared the stage with the likes of B.B. King, Al Green, Delbert McClinton, and many more.

Lauded Californian blues-rockers Tommy Castro & The Painkillers and the Springs' own Austin Young Band will perform at Stargazers the following night, Feb. 10. Also, in what will likely be of interest to local musicians seeking to develop their acumen, Castro and his bandmates will also host a seminar and Q&A session covering what makes a successful touring blues band work, at 11 a.m. Feb. 11 at Hotel Eleganté.

Meanwhile, the initial lineup announcements for the annual Bands in the Backyard music festival, which this year takes place June 16-17 in Vineland, Colorado, are sure to please our legion of pop-country radio devotees. Friday, June 16, will feature Billy Currington and Nashville-based quintet Old Dominion, while Saturday, June 17, finds Kane Brown, Tim Montana & The Shrednecks and Thomas Rhett.

For those who like their roots music a little punkier, good news: The Reverend Horton Heat, often regarded as the "godfather of psychobilly," will have a five-night residency at Denver's Larimer Lounge Feb. 21-25, where the guitar-slinger and his band will be joined by punk legend Jello Biafra and long-running cowpunk act Supersuckers.

Elsewhere, the Broadmoor World Arena and Pikes Peak Center are continuing to fill out their own 2017 schedules. On the heels of landing one of Elton John's "Wonderful Crazy Night Tour" dates on March 16, the World Arena has also announced the hair metal trifecta of Def Leppard, Poison and Tesla on May 29. The Pikes Peak Center, meanwhile, will host an ostensibly more serene affair with folk singer Judy Collins on March 23.

With that, here's a look at some further shows of interest for the coming week:

On Feb. 8, a pop-punk and metal-core show originally booked for the Flux Capacitor will relocate to Zodiac, featuring Wyoming's Sorry No Sympathy, Ohio's Wolf Creek, Denver's If I Fail and locals Why They Fight.

Then, on Feb. 10, flamboyant Houston-born rapper Riff Raff comes to Rawkus, joined by Dolla Bill Gates, Owey, Peter Jackson and DJ Afterthought.

Hip-hop duo Run the Jewels, who gave away their third LP for free as a rather kind Christmas gift for the world, comes to Denver's Fillmore Auditorium on Feb. 11.

Of course, if you're up in Denver and would rather catch a costumed Finnish metal band who won Eurovision in 2006, you could instead opt for Lordi, who take the stage at the Bluebird Theater on Feb. 11.

Back at home on Feb. 11, Colorado Springs City Auditorium gets a generous helping of new jack swing with a show from Tony! Toni! Toné! (see interview, p. 40), who'll be joined by Shai, Adina Howard and Tony Terry.

Finally, local blues- and funk-inspired rockers Hipbone are celebrating the release of their self-titled album with a show at the Black Sheep on Feb. 11, with support from fellow genre-benders Monsters on Maple Street and the Charlie Milo Trio.

Send news, photos, and music to reverb@csindy.com.

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