Blues--With Strings Attached

Lionel Young uses a violin to deliver the blues.

Of course, Young does just that as the co-host of the entertaining Monday-night blues jam at the Catacombs, located inside the Hotel Boulderado. The series, which just celebrated its second anniversary, has thrived thanks to the efforts of several talented regulars (Young, bassist/co-host Mark Diamond, drummer Tony Black and keyboardist James Torres) and a few ironclad guidelines.

"The first thing is, if you want to play, you sign up on the list," Young explains. "Everybody gets three songs or twenty minutes, whichever comes first. We go down the list in the order that they sign up. Other rules include no practicing on stage. And if you play too loud, we'll tell you to turn down. If you don't turn down, we'll take you outside and kick your ass. Period. Then you'll be kicked out. And the final and most important rule is, if you suck, do not come here and expect to play. Because if three people in the audience think you suck, you will be thrown out on your ass and perhaps banned for life. We've never had to get violent, but we just want to make sure there is quality control."

This focus upon excellence extends to Young's CD. The album is currently being shopped to national blues labels, but even if it remains a Colorado-only item, Young says he'll be satisfied.

"Either way, it's fine with me," he says. "I'm not opposed to fortune and fame, but I really don't need it. I feel fine. For me, there's nothing more rewarding than doing what I think I'm supposed to do. That's what I would expect from just about anybody else--to find your calling and do it."

Lionel Young. 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday, March 27-28, and 2 p.m. Sunday, March 29, Little Bear, 28075 Highway 74, Evergreen, $5, 674-9991.

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