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Summer fun forever! The summer concert season at Red Rocks Amphitheatre came to a close earlier this month. As autumn takes hold, I’m feeling nostalgic for the heat and the fun of summer. Listening to the live music at outdoor concerts and festivals is one of life’s greatest joys, especially if the show is at Red Rocks! This song mix is filled with familiar favorites and new artists I heard live during my legalized summer of my Cannabis Maven life. Enjoy! (Read below for song descriptions and their inspiration).
“Wild Women Don’t Get the Blues” by Lyle Lovett featuring Francine Reed on vocals. Lyle Lovett and his large band are amazing seasoned musicians who perform a wide range of musical styles. Francine Reed wails on this track. Listen up, ladies!
“Brick House” by Lionel Richie. Are you kidding me? I heard this song live at Red Rocks?! Bucket list! Sexy, sassy from the 1970s. Uh Uh Uh! This show was a standout early in the season thanks to Richie’s mastered performance skills and extensive catalog of hits.
“Black as Night” by Nahko and Medicine for the People. I saw this show at Arise Fesitval, an amazing conscious community festival. The energy and polyrhythms of Nahko remind me of early Michael Franti and Spearhead. I love the song’s promising lyrics and happy declaration of unguarded love. “I believe in the good things coming, coming coming…”
“Tall Boy” by Widespread Panic. I love jam bands, don’t you? What’s not to love in straight up rock n roll twisted with mind melding improv? This song always gets the boisterous WSP crowd in a feel good groove.
“Used to Get High” by John Butler Trio. Last time I saw JBT, the 2010 live album was being recorded at Red Rocks while I was selling Hemp I Scream! on the top plaza of the amphitheatre. JBT rocks a solid and smooth live groove, and it was good to see them again.
“Democrazy” by Congo Sanchez. Congo Sanchez and Flex Matthews are my new discovery this year from South Park Music Festival. I had a fun video assignment for The Cannabist on the Fourth of July holiday, asking people, “what are you smoking?” Of all the posted videos, the most viewed interview was Flex Matthews saying he wasn’t high on marijuana at all, he was high on music, good love vibrations, and adrenaline. Aww, yeah!
“Live Like A Warrior” by Matisyahu. At South Park Music Festival, Matisyahu played in a drizzling rain and had me mesmerized. I was so enchanted, I don’t remember if he played this exact song. Regardless, I love the expression of emotional bareness. The significance to me, is sometimes the struggles of living every day on the legal and social cannabis frontier is exciting, intense, exhausting and at times, frustrating. The message to me is live like a warrior, pick up the shattered pieces, and keep going…
“Puff the Magic Dragon” by Peter Yarrow. Pinch me! This nostalgic tune of youthful imagination is the most soothing of all lullabies. At Arise Festival, Peter Yarrow and his talented family played this song to an adorable cluster of costumed children onstage. There was not a dry eye in the room. Plus, this song has long been rumored to refer to marijuana.
“Fat Spliffs” by Slightly Stoopid. Though they are constant favorites in the cannabis scene, I forget how much I enjoy Slightly Stoopid. They are a great live band, energetic with a fun, ska, Caribbean flecked sound and lyrics about ganja appreciation.
“The Man in Me” by Bob Dylan. This Dylan song is part of the soundtrack of The Big Lebowski. Watching the Dude with a rowdier than usual movie crowd is an annual opportunity at Film on the Rocks. As a fun and inexpensive way to spend time at Red Rocks during the summer, there’s a dozen or so movies in the series.
“Get Up Stand Up” by Thievery Corporation. Thievery is a great group to see live. They are smooth and are so easy to dance to. The band backs a rotation of singers who change the band’s style with their voices. This homage to Bob Marley is easy and beautiful. At this summer’s Red Rocks show, I enjoyed seeing Hare Krishnas drumming and chanting before the show in the upper north lot.
“Such A Lovely Thing” by Devotchka. Denver based Devotchka is my favorite gypsy cabaret band. For the past two summers I’ve seen Devotchka play in an innovative form. The Colorado Symphony Orchestra pairs with popular touring musicians to create exciting new musical collaborations. When Devotchka plays with CSO, the orchestral sounds sweep the songs’ emotions to extraordinary dramatic heights. Love it!
“Just One Drink” by Jack White. Jack White is one of my favorite musicians in all his myriad of forms. I love to hear him at Red Rocks. This song perfectly captures a frustrating side of dating and looking for love. The lyrics express the blues of the classic conundrum, “I love you, honey why don’t you love me?”
“If I had My Way” by Bethany Yarrow and Rufus. Discovering the energy and passion of Bethany Yarrow at Arise Music Festival was a musical highlight of my summer. I admire her voice, as a performer and activist cultivated by growing up at environmental, peace and human justice rallies alongside her famous father. Also known as “Samson and Delilah” to Deadheads, this song is a fresh and soulful version of a familiar favorite.
“Suzy Lee” by The White Stripes. Jack White sang this during his rainy Red Rocks gig and I can’t help thinking that he sang this song for me. Ahhh!
“I’m Alright” (Theme from CaddyShack) by Kenny Loggins. Kicking off the Film on the Rocks series this summer was Caddyshack. The charms of the dancing gopher and the high jinx of the golf caddies at the country club pool is nostalgic comedic gold.
“Magic Dance” by David Bowie. Labyrinth, another Film on the Rocks movie was unexpected fun because during the movie, every time David Bowie’s goblin kingly “package” was on screen, the crowd would roar with enthusiasm. Family jewels, Woo!
“Genius Of Love” by Tom Tom Club. Start Making Sense was a summertime fundraiser for Students for Sensible Drug Policy hosted by National Cannabis Industry Association. The late summer event screened the Talking Head concert film, “Stop Making Sense”. This fantastic pop song, with opening lyrics asking “what are you going to do when you get out of jail?” subtly underscored the importance of drug policy reform. (Really, it’s about the dance groove!)
“Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go” by Wham! Dave Chappelle got this 80’s pop song stuck in my head at his birthday comedy show at Red Rocks. Thanks, Dave! With several Wham songs played during the DJ sets, I am led to believe Dave Chappelle is a big Wham! fan. True or not, this song was stuck in my head days afterward. I laughed so much at the show. I admit, it was easier to chat about Wham! songs afterward than retell any of the pussy juice jokes that had me tittering in my seat!
“You Are” by Lionel Ritchie. I forgot how much I loved this uplifting love song! Lionel Ritchie is a master at his craft; his Red Rocks show was amazing.
“Who am I (What’s My Name)?” by Snoop Dogg. Checking out the cannabis scene for The Cannabist, I saw Snoop at Red Rocks for 4/20 for the Snoop Dogg Wellness Retreat. The crowd was stoned and completely into the jams. This was a rejuvenating way to spend Easter this year!
“Seven Nation Army” by The White Stripes. Jack White’s alluring blend of musical styles and spare light show has converted me to a soldier in his Seven Nation Army. This song was a unifying moment with me and everyone around waving our hands in the air in ritualistic rock n roll devotion.
“Not A Crime” by Gogol Bordello. To me, this song reminds me of an anti-prohibition attitude. “Drop the charges! In the old time, it was not a crime.” Gogol Bordello played this song at Riot Fest in Denver and to be honest, I went totally apeshit in the mosh pit when they played this song.
“You Don’t Know How It Feels” by Tom Petty. Tom Petty played this song at my last show of the Red Rocks summer season. “Let’s get to the point. Let’s roll another joint. You don’t know how it feels to be me.” The lyrics, to me, express the differences I feel working in the frontier of a freshly legalized business compared to normal society.
“Climb To Safety” by Widespread Panic. The good advice in this live jam is a good way to end this summer’s music mix.
Hope you like the mix!
For previous Ladybud playlists, click here.
Photo Credit: Claude Monet (“Wheatstacks, End of Summer”) under public domain via Wikimedia commons