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Bryan Baldasaro

Ticket to Ride

FRI, 8/15

I remember the first (well, the only time) I saw Riders in the Sky, back in the '80s. It was at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco, where I actually had gone to see the other half of the double bill: Cheap Suit Serenaders, cartoonist Robert Crumb's 1920s jug-style band, with Crumb director Terry Zwigoff on cello and slide wizard Bob Brozman on National Guitar. Crumb wasn't there, just the Suits, but it didn't really matter. The mood that night was distinctly old-timey, and the Riders -- Ranger Doug, Woody Paul and Too Slim, decked out in their Gene Autry duds, ten-gallon hats and Hollywood oater-ready smiling faces -- fit right in. In fact, the crowd loved them, right down to their shiny silver spurs. Yep, the Riders lassoed us in like green little dogies and stamped their brand onto every hide in the place. On the scene now for over 25 years, Riders in the Sky have upped their image with numerous honors and awards and added a ringer (multi- talented accordionist Joey "The Cowpolka King" Miskulin), but they're still masters of the camera-ready, family-friendly, 'round-the-campfire genre of Western music. Tonight they'll make the Arvada Center's outdoor amphitheater their home on the range; join them (and the opening act, Western swingers Hot Club of Cowtown) at 7:30 p.m. at 6901 Wadsworth Boulevard, Arvada. For tickets, $10 to $32, call 720-898-7200. -- Susan Froyd

Song Slingers
THURS, 8/14

Get ready to rumble: Every Thursday from today through September 25, the Rattlebrain Theater and the Tower Arts Project will be sponsoring the Singer/Songwriter Rumble. The showdown is set for 8 p.m., when a different pair of local artists will battle each week for the ultimate prize: studio time and a headlining gig at the Rattlebrain, located inside the D&F Tower at 1601 Arapahoe Street. Tickets are $5; call 720-932-7384 for reservations. -- Julie Dunn

Peak Performances
SAT, 8/16

Rock out to local favorites Wendy Woo, the Receders, Chris Daniels & the Kings, and the Sharla Jackson Band at today's Mountain Music Festival. The fifteenth annual gathering, which runs from noon to 9 p.m. at Evergreen Lake Park in Evergreen, also features a Kiddie Corner and food vendors so you won't go hungry during the music marathon. Tickets range from $10 to $15; proceeds benefit the Seniors' Resource Center. For more information, call 303-235-6967. -- Julie Dunn


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