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We Love A Parade 5.17.17

One way to spend an ideal night is to hop around to four music venues seeing one great band at each place, but really how often does that work out? Better to get one Music City Roots ticket and have four great bands parade by you, ending up with the grand marshal himself, a showman who leaves it all in the street. Wednesday 5.17 certainly kept the attention of one and all, as the route wended from Colorado newgrass to romantic folk to country rock and whatever it is David Mayfield does.

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One element of The Railsplitters signature sound is a pulse and thrum in the strings overlaid with Lauren Stovall’s arrestingly clear and strong voice. Her darting melodies on “Jump In” set the hook right away for an extraordinary set that featured classical-level instrumental interplay and vocal harmonies. “Planted On The Ground” had intense boogie groove and space for Dusty Rider to really show his trilling, thrilling stuff on banjo. The finale “Tilt A Whirl” glowed with voices stacked in ways that evoked the Beach Boys. Absolutely remarkable music from an already abundant Boulder music scene.

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Sally & George, aka Shelby and Joel, wore their romantic hearts on their stylish sleeves, as they spoke and sang of their budding musical romance. The songs had lovely close harmonies and took cues from the Everly Brothers and Buddy Holly. Joel Timmons played some splendid rhythm and lead guitar, often while thumping a bass drum. Shelby Means revealed herself to be a marvelous singer, a trait that’s been obscured in her abundant side musician work.

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Yarn brought its electrified front porch easy country music to Liberty Hall with the authoritative voice of Blake Christiana and some canny Telecaster slinging by long time partner Rod Hohl. “Sweet Dolly” documented young, television-induced country love. “Long Way To Texas” felt like classic Bill Kirchen material. The ballad “I Let You Down” showed a contrasting, melancholy side of Yarn’s estimable gifts.

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David Mayfield is the funniest guy in roots music. It’s more than just the camp and the exhibitionism. He’s got one liners all night long. It might all be a shtick but for the fact that David writes incredible songs with bright and wild melodies. Backed by only fiddle and acoustic bass, he put on a show worthy of thrice that many musicians. And he suggested a first-ever Nashville Jam take on Johnny Horton’s “The Battle of New Orleans.”

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