The Drunken Hearts & The Jezzebelles 2.14.16


Stage Stop
Rollinsville, CO

Words & Photos By J. Picard


Up and down switchbacks, through small mountain towns we headed from our friend's (Matt and Teri's) newly acquired mountain home towards Nederland, CO! The sun was still high in the sky as we arrived at Silver Stem Fine Cannabis. We headed in to purchase a couple different varieties of cannabis including Purple Kush and another strain that tasted like cherry pie. Additionally, we purchased a few kinds of cannabis candy and mentioned the evening's Drunken Hearts' show to receive our free Drunken Hearts O.Pen Vape batteries for our hash oil cartridges. As we returned to the van to head to the venue, I glanced over at Kathmandu Restaurant where I had wished we would be dinning on incredible Nepalese food. We loaded up and headed out of Ned towards Rollinsville, CO, just a few miles up the road. A short time later we pulled into the Stage Stop as the sun was starting to set and my excitement for both seeing a new venue and one of my favorites bands, was through the roof.

We headed in where we were greeted by a very nice young lady who directed us to a table where we ordered a couple of beers and glanced over the menu. We had only been at the Stage Stop for a few minutes and I was already impressed. The place was clean, and though the location was old (1868), it felt well kept and preserved with care. Their menu surprised me with what felt like gourmet items, all very reasonably priced and as we would soon find out, delicious as well! While our food was being prepared, I went upstairs to take a peak at the venue which was both beautiful and more spacious than I had expected. I found the band soundchecking and while taking in the scene, I became really excited to spend my evening in this place enjoying some Colorado music.

Members of The Drunken Hearts stopped by our table as the evening's burlesque act showed up and headed upstairs to prepare for the opening show. We dug into our food, leaving minimal leftovers and no room for dessert, before heading up and claiming a table in front of the dance floor and stage. Outside the winds picked up and the snow fell sideways, making it nearly impossible to enjoy a smoke out on the venue's large outdoor balcony. The room began to fill in and the vibe took shape. There were scantily clad women in old time clothes, folks playing pool and a massage chair that was set up. The lights came down and a gentleman with a guitar wearing a suit and a fedora took the stage, along with a few attractive women. The music was swanky, setting the stage for the women to slowly strip down to nothing but thongs and tassels. At one point I turned to a couple of the guys in the band who seemed delightfully uncomfortable and said "this is the best opener you guys have ever had..." to which they agreed.

An hour after The Jezzebelles began, the rowdy burlesque show came to its inevitable conclusion and the women re-dressed themselves and took a seat at a table to enjoy The Drunken Hearts, who were gearing up for two sets of music. The girls from Silver Stem arrived and set up a table with free lighters, t-shirts and other merch for the occasion. The crowd was solid and very active considering the intense weather that didn't seem to let up. The show began and folks took to the dance floor for hippie moves of epic proportions. The sound in the room was great and the band wasted no time in tearing into some solid instrumentation. After a couple of songs into the set, I approached the stage and pointed out that the burlesque banner was still hanging up at the back of the stage and inquired as to when they would be taking off their clothes, to a raucous response from the crowd. The five-piece comprised of Andrew McConathy (Guitar, Vocals), Rob Eaton Jr. (Guitar), Cody Russell (Pedal Steel, Lap Steel), John McCartan (Bass) and Alex Johnson (Drums), sounded tight, well rehearsed and as if they were firing on all cylinders. The band played a handful of Drunken Heart classics from their first album, Live For Today, as well as some newer songs from their upcoming album, all of which sounded great! McConathy's voice was strong and consistent, as was the back and forth between Jr., who is always ripping and Cody, who impressed the hell out of me with his stepped up steel playing.

The set concluded just over an hour after it started and folks spread out through the establishment to the lower-level bar, the balcony and beyond. Matt and I headed out to the parking lot where we met Andrew and Matt loaded up some Bell's Two-Hearted from Michigan into The Drunken Hearts' van. We made our way back inside as the band took the stage for the final set of the evening. Folks returned to the dance floor and let it all out as they dance uncontrollably with one another. There is something about mountain shows and the folks that attend them that make the experience more fun and more vibrant than a lot of the shows in the flat-lands. As the night played on, I tuned into John's bass playing and the tightness between he and Alex on the drums. They were subtle and mellow when the music called for it, and heavy, almost jamtronica at times, creating a diverse output for a band that many categorize as folk/rock/jam.

Around 11:30 PM the evening came to a close. I remembered that it was indeed a Sunday, but I felt as if it were a Friday or a Saturday. We collected our Silver Stem shwag, settled our tab and said our goodbyes. By that time the snow had ceased and the roads were passable. We headed out of the small town of Rollinsville, back up and down the switchbacks to the top of Coal Creek. It was a great night that encompassed so much of the Colorado experience from start to finish!

www.thedrunkenhearts.com

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