The Dylan Miles Experience steals the show at the Highlands Street Fair

When The Dylan Miles Experience took the stage on Saturday at the Highlands Street Fair, around twenty people stopped, curious to see what this thirteen-year-old was like on the guitar. By the time he played Pink Floyd‘s “Have A Cigar,” that number had grown to well over a hundred. Kicking off the set with Phish‘s “Free,” Dylan showed a maturity in song selection and musical knowledge that you don’t usually see in a young teen. A guitar prodigy from the Denver School of the Arts, Dylan is no stranger to the stage- by the time he was three his musical talents were already shining through, and he has sat in with national touring acts like North Mississippi Allstars. On Saturday, Dylan played in his trio with Niek Velvis on bass and Alana Dym on drums.

Dylan Miles Experience

The Dylan Miles Experience draws a big crowd at the Highlands Street Fair

Saturday’s set saw a primed Dylan Miles playing both classic songs like Talking Heads “Psycho Killer,” as well as a rocking original titled “Reality” that segued into the Grateful Dead‘s “Deep Elem Blues” then back into “Reality.” With a heavy rock sound, he showed that his writing prowess was just as strong as any cover that he performed. Sporting a hat representing local Mile High kosher bagel experts Rosenberg’s Bagels, Dylan showed his love for the local scene, and the scene responded back in kind.

Guitar prodigy Dylan Miles rocks the Highlands Street Fair

Guitar prodigy Dylan Miles rocks the Highlands Street Fair

Local celebrity and famed artist Scramble Campbell was on deck, painting the band while they played. With his signature bopping dance and swirling, psychedelic style- Scramble’s presence is a true sign and official stamp that “you’ve made it.”

Scramble Campbell paints The Dylan Miles Experience

Scramble Campbell paints The Dylan Miles Experience

The highlight of the show was at the end when the band closed out with a rousing “Ohio” by Crosby, Stills and Nash that then segued into Rage Against the Machine‘s protest song “Killing In The Name.” As a major Phish fan, Dylan knows the ins and outs of a good segue, and took the audience completely by surprise when he turned on a dime and segued back into “Ohio.” The cheers from the crowd could be heard throughout the annual neighborhood street festival and the people got DOWN.

The Dylan Miles Experience rocks the Highlands Street Fair in Denver

The Dylan Miles Experience rocks the Highlands Street Fair

It felt like the entire festival was at the music stage, and the crowd screamed “ONE MORE! ONE MORE!” at the end of the set, completely charmed by The Dylan Miles Experience. Come see the band on August 24th at the Arvada Center Arts & Ales Festival as they play a two-hour set!

Dylan Miles of The Dylan Miles Experience

Dylan Miles of The Dylan Miles Experience

Dylan Miles and his guitar pedals at the Highlands Street Fair

Dylan Miles and his guitar pedals at the Highlands Street Fair

Children can't take their eyes off The Dylan Miles Experience at the Highlands Street Fair

Children can’t take their eyes off The Dylan Miles Experience at the Highlands Street Fair

The Dylan Miles Experience steals the show at the Highlands Street Fair

The Dylan Miles Experience steals the show at the Highlands Street Fair

Dylan Miles plays lead guitar for The Dylan Miles Experience in Denver

Dylan Miles plays lead guitar for The Dylan Miles Experience

The Dylan Miles Experience dominates the stage at the Highlands Street Fair

The Dylan Miles Experience dominates the stage at the Highlands Street Fair

Scramble Campbell painting of The Dylan Miles Experience

Scramble Campbell painting of The Dylan Miles Experience

Setlist:

Phish – Free

Dire Straights – Sultans Of Swing

Dylan Miles – Reality > Grateful Dead – Deep Elem Blues > Reality

Talking Heads – Psycho Killer

The Dixie Cups – Iko Iko

Niek Velvis – Zhen Kill-ya Blues

Bob Marley – Soul Shakedown Party

Pink Floyd – Have a Cigar

Phish – Sand

Crosby, Stills & Nash – Ohio > Rage Against The Machine Killing In The Name > Ohio

 

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Mother Cabrini Statues- Photos

photo by Leslie Simon

photo by Leslie Simon

Mother Cabrini Statue just outside of Denver, Colorado is one of my favorite places to think, although the Sunday I went up there was smack dab in the middle of the Spanish Mass and a charity BBQ. Not quite the serene afternoon I thought, but just as comforting and hey! Hot dogs! Growing up Catholic, I never knew you could drink the Holy Water, assumed it was a sin. Here though, you can buy a jug and fill ‘er up from the spouts that come out of the famous spot where Mother Cabrini said there would be water. It’s the most delicious water you could imagine, especially after climbing all those steps. In the chapel, I lit two candles for my grandmother and her sister, Sister Geraldine, the most devout Catholics I’ve ever known. Later when I got into my car, what looked like a bright cotton ball lazily floated toward me from the floor of the passenger side, then went over my shoulder as a second ball followed. I pulled over and looked in my backseat, but there was nothing back there, and the windows had been up. As much as I love ghost stories, I don’t actually believe in ghosts, but I called out their names and felt deeply comforted. Mother Cabrini’s is a special place.

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My interview with Mike Gordon

Overstep

If someone had told me last summer when I was chasing Phish around the country that in six months I’d be interviewing Mike Gordon himself, I never would have believed them. Yet, there I was this past Monday morning singing a guitar part of “Yarmouth Road” to Cactus himself, and in return he sang me some Los Lonely Boys “Heaven”. Read my interview here, it was the fastest twenty minutes of my life:

http://blogs.westword.com/backbeat/2014/02/interview_phish_mike_gordon.php

His new album Overstep came out today, check it out, it’s a ton of fun and has really great production values. Listen to the new “Yarmouth Road” below:

Nicki Bluhm and the Gramblers at the Fillmore – PHOTOS

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Last night at the Fillmore I got a chance to shoot a big show with lots of lights; such a treat when you aren’t fighting for every little bit of light in the hopes of one clear shot. Nicki Bluhm and the Gramblers opened, bringing that Grateful Dead country funk sound together with her clear as a bell powerhouse vocals; it was my first time seeing them and I thought they were incredible, authentic and fun. More in-depth review Monday at Westword.

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Wake Up and Live with The Quick and Easy Boys- Photos and Review

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Last night local Bob Marley tribute band Wake Up and Live celebrated Marley’s birthday with a packed house at Cervantes’ Other Side. Thank goodness they took that elevated platform out by the bar, for once no one tripped there! With the new layout and coffee being served, the Other Side is fast becoming a favorite of mine. Portland’s The Quick and Easy Boys from my Jam Bands to Watch list opened, and completely blew me away. I highly suggest checking them out live. Rastasaurus were also on the bill, acting ever more like the polished touring band they are shaping up to be. Read my review at the Westword here:

http://blogs.westword.com/backbeat/2014/02/review_wake_up_and_live_cervantes_otherside_denver_february-6-2014.php

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I also got a chance to take my first promo shots, musicians are slightly harder than babies:

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Bisco Inferno a.k.a one of the cooler photos I’ve taken

Disco Biscuits at the Ogden

Disco Biscuits at the Ogden

I mistakenly brought my 50mm instead of my wide angle lens, was kicking myself and realized that I really was only getting one shot out of the night, so it better be a good one. Luckily, I was in the best seat in the house in the balcony’s front row, so I got the pleasure of lasers both above and below me. The white spotlights came down just at the right moment, and the print will be available for purchase soon on my website (I’ll update this post). Great weekend, great music, great friends, thanks, Disco Biscuits.

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My Westword review of the Ogden show:
http://blogs.westword.com/backbeat/2014/01/review_the-disco-biscuits_ogden-theatre_denver_january-24-2014.php

My Westword review for the 1st Bank show:
http://blogs.westword.com/backbeat/2014/01/review_disco-biscuits_1stbank-center_january-25-2014.php

Westword article I wrote about the stigma of jam bands

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After writing a band an apology for calling them a jam band in a recent article, (they said they didn’t care what I called them as long as people were listening phew!), I started to get annoyed that the term “jam band” had become such an offensive insult. I wrote an opinion piece for the Westword which quickly accumulated comments from jam band haters saying we stink, and because jam bands suck. There were also some fantastic, valid arguments, some prefer the song craftsmanship of singer/songwriters over extended jams, others don’t like the fusion of genres. But the majority had the knee jerk reaction I spoke of in the intro. Here’s a link to the Westword article, the comments are pretty funny:

http://blogs.westword.com/backbeat/2014/01/jam-band_stigma.php

If you go to the Westword’s main page, they put it front and center next to an article about where to buy weed in Denver: http://www.westword.com/

The Minneapolis City Pages music blog Gimme Noise liked it so much they published it as well. There too, jam bands are hated on:

http://blogs.citypages.com/gimmenoise/2014/01/why_do_jam_bands_have_such_a_stigma.php

The vitriol, it’s so amusing.