Keystone’s Rocky Mountain Country Fest to debut at Warren Station | SummitDaily.com

Keystone’s Rocky Mountain Country Fest to debut at Warren Station

Summit Daily staff report
news@summitdaily.com

Warren Station Center for the Arts at Keystone presents the first annual Rocky Mountain Country Fest. Organizers of the event said country music is a bit of a rarity in Summit County and thought the genre would be a great addition to the Warren Station 2018 winter lineup that has included events such as the national touring performance of Pinkalicious to concerts like G.Love and Special Sauce. Keystone Country Fest debuts on Friday, March 23, with country dance lessons for all levels from Summit's own Mike "Tex" DeGarie. Mike specializes in county western dancing, and will be able to help teach beginning dancers the basics and experienced dancers advanced steps. After dance lessons from Tex, put those new moves to the test while listening to the Twenty Hands High Band for the rest of the evening.

Rocky Mountain Country Fest continues on Saturday night, March 24, where it is all about the music with three bands taking the stage. The Slingers will open the evening with their honky-tonk style, followed by Halden Wofford & the Hi*Beams straight out of Denver. Both bands are local to Colorado. Saturday concludes with headliner Wylie and the Wild West.

A Friday night only admission is $12, Saturday night only is $17, and the Country Fest Weekend Pass is $24. Tickets are available now at WarrenStation.com.

Country Fest weekend schedule:

Friday, March 23

6:30 p.m.: Doors open

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7 p.m.: Country dance lessons with Mike DeGarie

8:00pm: Twenty Hands High Band

Saturday, March 24

6 p.m.: Doors open

6:30 p.m.: The Slingers

7:45 p.m.: Halden Wofford and the Hi*Beams

9:30 p.m.: Wylie and the Wild West

About the Keystone Country Fest bands:

Twenty Hands High (Friday, March 23)

CW – Lead vocals / rhythm guitar

CW, a small town guy who grew up along the Ohio River, has been a fan of music for as long as he can remember, but country music has always fed his soul. While he has sang his entire life in various capacities (school, church, in the shower), he is sharing his talent with everyone. This project includes a dynamic cast of musicians that enjoy keeping the dance floor full, and everyone singing along to your favorites, both old and new.

Steve Hartman – Bass guitar

Frank Morgan – Drums/percussion

John Bickham – Keys

The Slingers (Saturday, March 24)

A tight ensemble of notable honky-tonk, country and cowboy musicians dubbed The Slingers is the brainchild of seventh-generation Coloradan Jon Chandler, a nationally lauded Americana singer/songwriter whose songs are a reflection of his Colorado heritage. Chandler has traveled throughout the country performing at honky-tonks, nightclubs, cowboy poetry gatherings, and music festivals, and has appeared everywhere from the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville to the Congressional Earth Day Reception in Washington, D.C. He was named Best Living Western Musician by True West Magazine and is the recipient of three Spur Awards from the Western Writers of America.

Dana Vernon is one of the country's finest guitarists, period. A Nebraska native, he cut his teeth performing with a traveling family band, and performed with fellow Nebraskan Randy Meisner. After a stint in Nashville backing several country stars, he was an anchor in Colorado's legendary Timothy P. & Rural Route Three. He is a member of the Nebraska Music Hall of Fame and the Colorado Country Music Hall of Fame.

Ernie Martinez is Denver's first call picker. Known as "Ernie's Army" he has lent his skill to countless recordings and live appearances, playing mandolin, dobro, electric and acoustic guitars, pedal steel guitar, bass, and anything else with strings. A mainstay of Denver's honky-tonk, bluegrass and cowboy scenes, he joins The Slingers on electric guitar and pedal steel guitar.

Known as Denver's "fiddler of choice," Johnny Neill has played throughout the country as a fiddler for hire, as well as a member of several iconic country bands, including Timothy P. & Rural Route Three and Breakaway with Gary Morris. His knowledge of traditional music is unsurpassed, and his playing appears on hundreds of recordings.

Chris Stongle is a rhythmic marvel; one of the finest drummers in the land. His list of recording and stage credits is endless, and he's backed everyone from Hazel Miller to Chris Daniels and the Kings, from Jon Chandler & the Wichitones to Runaway Express.

Kentucky native Lindsey Brown has the bass guitar in his blood. A veteran of studios and stages in Kentucky, Colorado and all points in between, he works with noted recording engineer and producer John Macy on a variety of projects.

Halden Wofford & the Hi*Beams (Saturday, March 24)

Halden Wofford & the Hi*Beams ride out from the cutting edge cow town of Denver, Colorado. Rootsy and real, neither revivalist nor retro, the Hi-Beams brand of country music is as boundless and electrifying as America itself.

Equal parts Hank Williams and Johnny Depp, front man Halden Wofford pours forth a potent mix of rocked-up honky-tonk, western swing, Dylanesque originals and spaghetti western epics. There is no creative limit to the songwriter, illustrator, author, storyteller and singer. But Halden has met his match in the Hi-Beams. Each outrageous tale he spins is met by the whine and wail of the steel guitar, the furious double-neck electric guitar and mandolin, and the relentless thump of the upright bass and drums.

From Red Rocks to rodeos, the Fillmore Auditorium to the back of a flatbed truck, Prairie Home Companion to performing arts centers, Halden Wofford & the Hi-Beams deliver an unforgettable and original night of American music.

Wylie and the Wild West (Saturday, March 24)

Wylie Gustafson is a native Montanan singer/songwriter with 20 albums and 4 decades of performing, writing, and recording under his belt. Wylie has matured into a dynamic talent, and has become one of the few authentic voices of the American West. One critic called him, "…the coolest cowpoke around. Forget everything you hate about modern country, this guy is old-school cool without being a tired period piece".

Wylie is an American Original. For over the last 30 years, he and his band, The Wild West, have performed their refreshing blend of cowboy, western swing, old school country, and yodeling music worldwide. They are hugely popular on the festival and theatre circuit. Stateside, they have performed at such prestigious venues as the National Folk Festival, MerleFest, the Bumbershoot Festival, The Stagecoach Festival, A Prairie Home Companion, The Conan O'Brien Show and the Grand Ole Opry (with over 50 guest appearances). Worldwide, their universal appeal has taken them to China, Russia, Australia, Europe, South America, and Japan.

Despite his successful career in music and yodeling, when not touring he still gets up every day and tends to the livestock on his Cross Three Quarter Horse ranch near the town of Conrad, Montana. It grounds him and is the backbone of his art. The secret of Wylie's honest, uplifting and soulful music isn't in any musical formula or flashy gimmick. Its purity lies in Wylie's character: earnest and hard-working, beaming with friendly vigor, topped off with a smile as welcoming as the Big Sky sunshine.

When asked to define his music, Wylie says, "We are a good-time cowboy band that hates to be boring!" The band members, guitarist Clayton Parsons, drummer Tim Lashley, and bassist Johnny Pope, are all virtuoso players with winning personalities. The fans appreciates the band's approachability and friendliness.

Mike "Tex" DeGarie (Dance Instruction – Friday, March 23)

Mike and his wife Sandra have been teaching Country-Western dancing for over 30 years. As you can imagine they have quite a bit experience under their belt. Lately, they have been teaching at the Dillon Amphitheater, and the Silverthorne Pavilion. They have taught many different dances including Two Step, Triple Step, Dallas Shuffle, Waltz, Cowboy ChaCha, Swing, Night Club Two Step, a huge repertoire of line dances, and more.