After a slow week following the New Year's Eve festivities, this weekend brings a solid slate of shows to Denver. The Colorado Music Hall of Fame induction ceremony is tonight, and you've got two chances to see the legendary Rosanne Cash. The rest of our picks follow!
In 2011, the Colorado Music Hall of Fame's first inductees were John Denver and Red Rocks Amphitheatre. Since then, local legends like Judy Collins, Barry Fey, Sugarloaf, Flash Cadillac, Serendipity Singers and others have been welcomed into the Hall. This year's class includes the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Poco, Firefall and Manassas, which featured Stephen Stills. On Friday, January 9, original members of the all the acts, save for Manassas (there will be a tribute to the band and Stills), will perform at Colorado Music Hall of Fame's Induction Concert at the Paramount Theatre.Casey Donahew Band Grizzly Rose : January 9; January 10
Over the past 12 years, the Casey Donahew Band has become a staple of the Texas bar circuit. And despite garnering plenty of attention, the group has stuck to its roots and kept it about the music. Burleson-based Donahew and crew manage to write true country music, influenced by the likes of Garth Brooks and even the Rolling Stones, with enough satirical lyricism to keep listener's attention and force a few smiles from even the most cynical concertgoers.MarchFourth Marching Band Bluebird Theater : 8:00 p.m. January 9
With a roster of 20 performers that includes eight horns players and five drummers, MarchFourth Marching Band travels the country in military, circus-inspired costumes and whacky sunglasses playing a combination of polka, gypsy and rock. Think of it as Sgt. Pepper's meets Cirque du Soleil and Gogol Bordello playing at a New Orleans Mardi Gras party.Rosanne Cash PACE Center : 7:30 p.m. January 9
Rosanne Cash has the writing chops of her dad, American treasure Johnny Cash, but her voice and storytelling are wholly her own. She's got a knack for blending her poetic stories with creative melodies and plenty of guitar, as evidenced on 2014's highly acclaimed The River & the Thread, which was recently nominated for a trio of Grammys. Cash, who has collaborated over the years with artists ranging from Bruce Springsteen to Lyle Lovett, also received the Smithsonian's American Ingenuity Award last fall. She makes country and folk music at its purest, and her songs will make you long for the South, even if you've never been. You owe it to your music-loving self to get to Parker for this show.Mac Miller Ogden Theatre : 9:00 p.m. January 9
Following in the footsteps of fellow Pittsburgh native and Taylor Allderdice graduate Wiz Khalifa, Mac Miller is well known for making feel-good music. His breakout mixtape K.I.D.S. (Kickin' Incredibly Dope Shit), an homage to the notably dark Larry Clark film, and followup Best Day Ever were beloved by casual and hard-core hip-hop fans alike for their fleeting yet satisfying jams about being young; Miller's greatest strength and the chief reason for his success has always been that he raps about what he knows. His first studio album, Blue Slide Park, debuted at number one but received mixed reviews. On Macadelic, Miller delves into darker material; he's been praised for being more daring than on previous efforts. Whether he continues on this new path or sticks to what has proven successful for him remains to be seen. What is certain: The future is bright for this twenty-two-year-old phenom.The A-OKs Gothic Theatre : 8:00 p.m. January 9
The A-OKs met on the Internet. As frontman Mark Swan notes, "We're pretty much the billboard band for the success of finding people on Craigslist." But while the players linked up essentially sight unseen, you'd hardly know it, watching the natural chemistry and sense of camaraderie among them. The initial ad, placed by original member, bassist and vocalist Christian Jaramillo, is what initially drew in Swan and trumpet player Nicole Orts.MF Ruckus Oriental Theater : January 10
The first incarnation of MF Ruckus came about in 1997, when frontman Aaron Howell was a teenager. The bandmembers earned a reputation as a bunch of party animals, and the music itself evolved to fit the tastes and talents of the various people who rotated in and out of the group. Starting off as a punk project, the Ruckus has come to incorporate speed metal, blues and other genres. With the release of 2014's Thieves for Thunder, the band proved it could bring those frayed influences together in a coherent and compelling way. MF Ruckus will play this Saturday, January 10, at the Oriental Theater, with White Fudge, which will provide a funk-and-hip-hop yin for Ruckus's punk-and metal yang. Howell and drummer Ty Blosser will be doing double duty that night, playing in both bands, and the show will double as a celebration of Blosser's recent marriage. Adulthood can happen to anyone.Rosanne Cash Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts : 7:30 p.m. January 10
Rosanne Cash has the writing chops of her dad, American treasure Johnny Cash, but her voice and storytelling are wholly her own. She's got a knack for blending her poetic stories with creative melodies and plenty of guitar, as evidenced on 2014's highly acclaimed The River & the Thread, which was recently nominated for a trio of Grammys. Cash, who has collaborated over the years with artists ranging from Bruce Springsteen to Lyle Lovett, also received the Smithsonian's American Ingenuity Award last fall. She makes country and folk music at its purest, and her songs will make you long for the South, even if you've never been. You owe it to your music-loving self to get to Parker for this show.Cattle Decapitation Bluebird Theater : 8:00 p.m. January 11
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There is some irony in the fact that three of the four current members of a band named Cattle Decapitation are staunch vegetarians -- but there is also awesomeness here. The same goes for the longtime death-metal act's songs, a rowdy and riveting back catalogue that decries animal abuse, genocide and the slow but violent destruction of the environment. Mixed in with unsightly imagery, epic guitar ramblings and slightly unsubtle apocalyptica is the efficiency of fifteen years spent traveling in support of five albums, countless causes and a sound as intoxicating as it is damning. If the guys' edges are hard, so are their lyrics, establishing them as one of a handful of modern bands whose message and music have yet to soften or slacken.Jews Do Simon - a Tribute to Paul Simon by Jewish Musicians Swallow Hill Music Hall : 8:00 p.m. January 10; 7:00 p.m. January 11
Over the past two years, Swallow Hill has organized tributes to both Leonard Cohen and Bob Dylan, with local Jewish musicians performing each artist's songs. Those events were called Jews Do Cohen and Jews Do Dylan. This year, a number of Colorado musicians will delve into the impressive catalogue of Paul Simon over two nights for Jews Do Simon. The lineup includes many of the acts that performed at the last two events, along with some newcomers: Hal Aqua and the Lost Tribe, Rabbi Jamie Arnold, Rabbi Joe Black, Steve Brodsky, Allan Cutler, Adam Dietz, Julie Geller, Saul Rosenthal, David Ross, Francesca Rubin, Sheldon Sands, Greg Schochet, Carla Sciaky, Harry Tuft and more.