Golden of course is known as the home of Coors beer. It’s also quite the quaint little town with its downtown area done up and beautified the past recent years. I don’t know what the town looked like before but judging by its appearance now it bears all the hallmarks of recent urban beautification. When you’ve been in as many cities as I have and you see this happen again and again with new sidewalks being put in, the parking scheme and layout changed, trees planted and at times the street signs switched out to a more retro look, it’s all pretty much out of the same ‘Urban Renewal Changes’ playbook. One thing it definitely has going for it that is not in the playbook options is the mountains. A gorgeous attribute that plays well here in Golden.
Our gig is at the Buffalo Rose. I just tried a search of the title to the venue seeing if it has meanings or origins and nothing comes up to lead me in that direction. Like I’ve written before, I’m terrible with search terms and I don’t have a whole lot of patience when doing research for my blogs. I want this info quick and accessible cuz’ when I’m writing I need to stay focused and assiduous so I can get these blogs out to reflect them as me in a extemporaneous elocution cadence style. I have worked on some but the majority of them are done when I first get up in the morning. I lay fingertips to keyboard and work till they are done without a break. It seems I do this best in the morning. My morning coffee so to speak, even though I don’t drink coffee in the morning and I never have. We load in and what I like about the ‘Rose’ is its size. Nice big stage and monitor guy right by me on my side of the stage and a good PA too. My friend Mike Tomoskovic is coming in to run sound for us. I’ve known Mike since my popular days back in Chicago when I used to have good size crowds come out to see me. Mike would run sound for me on occasion as he was just starting out doing the engineer thing. Over the years he’s moved up the ladder and has had some impressive resume tenures; AC/DC, Metallica, Guns n’ Roses, Dark Star Orchestra, and now he’s got the Buddy Guy gig. We saw him in Laughlin when Buddy played on a Saturday night out there and he got us in to the show. Buddy and I had the same start times so I ran over to check Buddy out after our show and he was in his ‘medley’ part of the show, which is usually the last 20 – 30 minutes. I was hoping to say ‘hey’ to him when he came off stage, but I didn’t know the road manager and Buddy was promptly escorted out of the venue upon completion of his show, his road manager at his side running interference with anyone who dared to step in their sphere. That’s just how it is people. Nothing personal; just business. I knew this was a possibility and prepared for that outcome. At least I got to see him play a little and he sounded great as usual. I’m sure if I had been able to be there before Buddy went on he would’ve greeted me warmly. Buddy has always been nice to me. Anyway back to the ‘Rose’, we set up and then we’ve got a couple of bands on before us. Both people I’ve met in my preceding years of my career. Scotty Bratcher is out of Ohio and he told me he started listening to me since he was 4. Wow, 4! Then there was Mike Hornbuckle, a local Denver artist that’s been on the scene for a while and he just won some regional critics accolades and awards for his recent self-produced album. I did listen to a bit and he does have some good songs. He also met me when he was young. It freaks me out at times when I meet young up and coming artists at my shows who sight me as a small influence to their playing. It’s what I’ve always dreamed of, besides World Domination and a fat bank account, to leave a mark on music and players and here I am seeing and meeting this accomplishment. I wasn’t able to get back in time to see Scotty’s show but I did get to listen to half of Mike’s set and he’s a really good player. Nice full band with keyboards and good songs too. I enjoyed all that he played.
We get up there now and although the crowd isn’t as big as it was back in December, it’s still respectable. It wasn’t very long ago that we were here so I’m thankful for the people who showed up. My friend has got the front house sounding good and the monitors are doing fine by me. We rip through our set and then Scotty sits in with us at the end of the night. Scotty does an admirable job on both rhythm and lead with mature phrasing and complimentary comping behind me. You don’t often see players of his age with rounded stage skills. It’s usually a sign of better things to come for his future.
The night being over we pack up and return to our hotel. The night has a bit of coolness to it and the stars are out dotting the black cloudless heavens. We’ve just got one more gig on this west run. Colorado Springs here we come.
– chris duarte