The surprise April snowstorm evidently gave Denver concertgoers a reason to dance and drink even more at a rowdy Friday night show at the Bluebird Theater. Colorado native bluegrass band Rapidgrass delivered a jam-filled set to really get the crowd rocking. Then Austin headliner Wood & Wire brought a more traditional bluegrass sound to the stage than most Colorado bluegrass-jamband fans are used to hearing, but brought just as much energy and even more dancing.The band entered the stage full of smiles as they looked out at the already raucous crowd. As they started to pick, the crowd stomped in unison to the rhythm of the bass and mandolin. The stomping spread to the upper balcony that made it sound like the band had a bass drum anchoring their song. Even before the first instrumental breakdown, a full-fledged bluegrass party had broken out.Banjoist Trevor Smith gave instrumental fans what they were looking for. Sporting a hat that read “Segovia Truck Stop” to go along with his handlebar moustache, Smith’s banjo licks rolled up and down the instrument, almost making it difficult to hear over the screams and claps from the audience.What struck me about this band was their ability to seamlessly trade and build off of each other’s solos. As soon as Smith had punctuated his, Billy Bright had already fired off into an ear-tickling mandolin solo. Frontman Tony Kamel would then join in, rolling his fingers in classic bluegrass guitar fashion, before giving way to perfectly fitting bass breakdowns from Dom Fisher, and then repeating this cycle for a few measures.Tony Kamel’s skill and aura as a frontman really set the band apart from other bluegrass bands in the scene. His powerful Texas drawl echoed off the red curtains of the Bluebird, as he hung on notes so long that it seemed like the venue had surround sound. The audience hollered as he built his lyrics the same way they cheered during the climax of the band’s solos, and the harmonizing by Smith and Fisher were perfect compliments to Kamel’s voice, truly cementing the group with a traditional bluegrass sound.The setlist consisted of relatively short pieces that demonstrated the width and strength of this young band’s growing repertoire. After a number of originals, the band satisfied classic folk fans with a bouncing cover of John Hartford’s “Down on the Levee.” They transitioned then into one of their strongest pieces of the night, the beautifully written “Overblown,” which had the crowd screaming at the mentions of the Rocky Mountains and Colorado.The band also demonstrated their ability to rock on slower bluegrass ballads. Fisher’s bass line carried the tune and Kamel’s voice shined on “Awake in the Wake,” which trembled like the Animals’ “House of the Rising Sun.”The deepest jam of the set came during “Freeborn Man.” Kamel showed off some of his best guitar chops and the band traded solos until the crowd was brought into a frenzy. The fan favorites “Anne Marie” and “Mexico” had most of the crowd singing along and were some of the definite highlights of the evening. Kamel laughed and mentioned how great it was to have so many fans know the words to their songs.The band finished up with a fitting encore of bluegrass classic, recognized by many from Jerry Garcia and David Grisman’s catalogue, “Drink Up and go Home”, as the crowd finished their drinks and sang along one last time.The success of the night can be measured by the smiles and laughter from the crowd, as audience members spent most of their night drinking, stomping, and trying to teach themselves how to square dance. The band couldn’t stop giggling at each other’s solos and the energy from the crowd. The songwriting skills of this band really stands out from your typical bluegrass show, and the precision of their harmonizing and breakdowns makes it a spectacle that you won’t want to miss.The tour continues tonight at Town Hall in Boulder before rolling on back to Texas. Catch them if you can tonight, but they’ll be back soon as they are definitely at home in Colorado.Enjoy the photo gallery below, courtesy of Dylan Langille of ontheDL Photography. Load remaining images
GEORGETOWN, Guyana, – The Guyana government says it is “monitoring on going related developments in Venezuela after two TU-160 supersonic bombers, known as “White Swans” landed at Maiquetia airport near the capital, Caracas, on Monday.The deployment of the bombers came days after Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, held talks with President Vladimir Putin in Moscow.The United States has been critical of the Maduro-led government in the South American oil rich country and has openly called for its removal from office.Guyana has an ongoing border dispute with Venezuela that is likely to go before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) and in a statement, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said it “has been approached with regards to reports of the deployment the two TU-160 supersonic bombers” in the neighboring country.Ministry monitoring developments“The Ministry is monitoring ongoing related developments. It is important to note that military exercises are a regular feature of state relations and do not in themselves constitute a threat,” the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.“Farther, Guyana is fully committed to the rule of international law, including the peaceful resolutions of dispute. Notwithstanding the ongoing border controversy, Guyana remains open to pursing meaningful functional cooperation with Venezuela whenever that opportunity arises,” it said.Guyana also noted that it has had “cordial diplomatic relations with Russia since December 17, 1970”.Criticized by WashingtonWashington has criticized the decision by Moscow to send the bombers to Caracas with US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, noting that Russia had sent the planes “halfway around the world.“The Russian and Venezuelan people should see this for what it is: two corrupt governments squandering public funds, and squelching liberty and freedom while their people suffer.”But the Kremlin rejected Pompeo’s criticism, saying it was “highly undiplomatic” and “completely inappropriate.”Russia’s Defence Ministry, which said the bombers had been accompanied by two other Russian military planes, did not say if the planes were carrying missiles, how long they would stay for, or what their mission was.
FLASHBACK: Tuberville compares Lubbock to IraqTuesday’s runoff was needed because no candidate received 50 percent of the vote during the initial primary election on Super Tuesday last March. This vote will be a blowout victory for Tuberville; he was leading Sessions by 24 points (62 percent to 38 percent) with just over a third of the state’s districts reporting, AL.com reported.Sessions conceded late Tuesday and also appeared to announce his retirement from public service, AL.com reported. Former Auburn football coach Tommy Tuberville on Tuesday advanced to the general election in Alabama’s 2020 U.S. Senate race, defeating former Sen. and U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions in a Republican Party primary runoff.Tuberville moves on to face Democratic incumbent Doug Jones on Nov. 3. Tuberville has leaned into supporting President Donald Trump during his campaign for the nomination, and the affection appears to be mutual. Trump endorsed Tuberville in the primary race, and the president tweeted his congratulations after Tuesday’s runoff was called for the former coach. Wow, just called! @TTuberville – Tommy Tuberville WON big against Jeff Sessions. Will be a GREAT Senator for the incredible people of Alabama. @DougJones is a terrible Senator who is just a Super Liberal puppet for Schumer & Pelosi. Represents Alabama poorly. On to November 3rd.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 15, 2020Tuberville, 65, is a first-time politician, but his name recognition (and, just maybe, his support of Trump) makes up for that lack of experience. He coached the Tigers to 85 wins, seven of them against Alabama, in 10 seasons (1999-2008). He left the Plains after a 36-0 loss to Nick (don’t call him Lou) Saban’s Crimson Tide closed out a 5-7 season in 2008.Tuberville was also a head coach at Ole Miss, Texas Tech and Cincinnati. Prior to that, he worked as an assistant at Miami (Fla.) during the Hurricanes’ dynasty years of the mid- to late 1980s and early 1990s.