It isnt Farm Aid, but the Denver Rescue Mission Benefit, Thursday, July 27, at the Soiled Dove, aims to raise a lot of dough to buy backpacks and school supplies for kids from low-income families -- a cause that even Willie Nelson would probably get behind. The Ryan Tracy Band is among those hitting the stage that night; the Denver five-piece, which just released its debut full-length, Rain Wont Stop, on Soiled Dove Records, will be joined by Swivel Hips Smith, Tinkers Punishment and Opie Gone Bad. Ryan Tracy might be just another local act that melds pop, rock, funk, reggae and R&B were it not for the mesmerizing and powerfully earnest vocals of Anitra Carr. Capable of channeling Natalie Merchant (without the sanctimonious attitude), Carr turns the bands tunes on their side with her sometimes ethereal, sometimes rootsy vocals. The group moves from a Santana-esque sound, complete with moaning guitars and bongos, to somewhat standard folky rock that moves from upbeat to mellow. Whatever the tempo, the songs invite crowd participation, a fact that has made the band a popular live act. With such a talented roster, Thursdays show promises a fine evening of schoolhouse rock -- minus the irritating cartoon characters.
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