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About halfway through David Allan Coe's song "You Never Even Called Me By My Name," he talks about how his friend Steve Goodman wrote the first part of the song and told Coe that it was the perfect country-and-Western song. Coe then goes on to say that he wrote his friend a letter saying that it wasn't the perfect country song because he didn't say anything at all about mamas, trains, trucks, prison or getting drunk. Goodman wrote another verse, and Coe realized that his friend had in fact written the perfect country-and-Western song. That verse begins with "I was drunk the day my mom got out of prison/And I went to pick her up in the rain/But before I could get to the station in my pickup truck/She got runned over by a damned old train."
I couldn't help thinking about the song during a recent visit to the Grizzly Rose (5450 North Valley Highway). And I wondered if Coe had ever sung the tune in what may well be the perfect country bar. I was halfway through my first bottle of Bud and checking out all the initials and names carved into the wooden bar top when I heard a guy sing on the stereo, "I had a one-night stand with my best friend's baby sister/To this day he still won't speak to me." So I'm thinking, "Okay, dude, it's obvious why he's not your friend anymore, but just how much of a 'baby' the sister was is what I'm concerned about." "Kid sister" might've been a bit more appropriate, but obviously not quite as memorable. When I got home, I actually googled the line and found out that it was Jake Owen's song "Startin' With Me."
Still trying to get that line out of my head, I scanned the sprawling 40,000-square-foot joint, and as I looked down the bar, I saw a guy who looked a hell of lot like Bob from Bob's Country Bunker in The Blues Brothers. Seriously, the only difference was that this guy had a bit of a limp. Then there was an older dude dressed head to toe in black, including his leather vest and cowboy hat. The only thing that wasn't black was the small gold cross hanging around his neck. He was talking to this hot twenty-something blonde, occasionally taking her for a few spins on the massive dance floor. Throughout the next few songs, I could've sworn people were trading dance partners, and I'm guessing they were probably there for the free country-and-Western dance lessons the spot offers every Wednesday from 7 to 8 p.m. — one of six nights a week the club brings in live music.
5450 N. Valley Highway
Denver, CO 80216
Category: Bars and Clubs
Region: North Denver
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While the Rose has pulled in country legends like Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings and Merle Haggard, plus newer stars such as John Michael Montgomery and Garth Brooks, .38 Special, Quiet Riot and other rockers have also played there. Since it's under new ownership, the bartender said the club might be bringing more rock acts in the near future in addition to the steady stream of top country acts.
Club scout: Soul in the City, which used to hold its weekly neo-soul parties at Dazzle, just moved to the brand-new Euphoria Lounge & Coffee House (2048 Larimer Street). Things start at 8 p.m. every Monday, with KDJ Above and DJ SD at the decks. Every first Monday, soul singer charleyBRAND will join the fun.
Brian Howe and Tribal Touch just kicked off weekly Thursday-night sets of high-energy dance, electro and radio mixes at Slim 7 (1443 Larimer Street), where it's also all you can drink for $15 from 8 to 10 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays. Around the corner at Tryst, DJ Funkygreenie recently started his True Hip-Hop Tuesdays, where he's dropping nothing but the real deal. The dude's staying busy, as he also spins at Tryst on Mondays, Slim 7 on Fridays and Below (1442 Larimer Street) on Saturdays. DJ Check One (Dameion Hines of the Future Jazz Project) recently began laying down cuts Wednesdays at Brix (3000 East Third Avenue), where he'll be bringing in special guests.
Friday, March 7, the Santa Fe Tequila Company (901 West Tenth Avenue) will host a benefit for Orange Peel Moses (aka George Swartz), the singer of Friends in Stereo, who recently had a benign tumor removed from his vagus nerve, one of the two nerves that controls the larynx. Friends in Stereo DJs Satori-C and PJ Stoller, as well as MLE, will spin sets for this "naughty nurse"-themed night. The Friends in Stereo crew will be in the house every first Saturday of the month, too, when they'll bring in guests like the Tribe, Humble Souls and milehighhouse.