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Celebrating Americana

AUSTIN DIAZ

COPPER – Copper’s summer concert series has adopted the theme “A Tribute to Americana and Roots Music.” Which raises the question: What exactly qualifies as Americana music?Copper has a few definitions. The series features John Davis, a celebrated folk singer, Chuck Pyle, a country-western singer with Zen-esque lyrics, and Bob Pellegrino, who makes his acoustic guitar cry with the blues.Confused? “Americana as a radio format developed during the 1990s as a reaction to the highly polished sound that defined the mainstream music of that decade,” according to the Americana Music Association Web site. “Americana is more loosely defined for sure,” Pyle said. “It enables us as artists to have a few more choices. The modern music world really tries to categorize.”Known as the Zen Cowboy, Pyle draws his influence and inspiration from many different sources for his writing, playing and performing. Ranging from Leonard Cohen and Bob Dylan for lyrics, to John Denver for performing and Eric Clapton for guitar style. “My music is the way it’s always been,” Pyle said, “finding stuff that I like and incorporating it.”Pyle received his enlightened title after writing a couple of funny, Zen-laden lyrics to accompany his country twang-style songs.”Zen embraces opposite, it doesn’t like to hold a position,” Pyle said. “Plus I’d just recently shaved my head so the title stuck.”Despite his name, Pyle avoids being didactic in his songs – he doesn’t have a Zen agenda.”You don’t want to get bogged down in a tangent,” Pyle said. “If I say something that’s got a secondary meaning, it’s there for people to pick out only if they want to.”Davis’ lyrics also possess strong content. “Last night I tried to sleep with the moonlight in my eyes” laments a line from Davis’ song “When the moon comes out to play.”He skillfully paints landscapes in his songs with lyrics and music, and his debut album “Dreams of the Lost Title” has been met with rave reviews including Westword Magazine in Denver which calls the album “a debut of masterful, almost scary proportions.” Pelligrino has also garnered much admiration and respect in the Denver area.”Bob’s versatility and style recalls an earlier era of American roots musicians whose talent and innovation knew no bounds,” Pelligrino’s Web site said. He fills his shows with traditional blues songs and innovative structuring that earns him the classification of Americana. The Beat Goes On summer concert series continues until Aug. 14, with such acts as J.J. Cale, whose songs have been covered by Cash and Clapton, and Tony Furtado, a slick slide guitar wiz. Austin Diaz can be reached by phone at (970) 668-3998 ext. 251, or through email at adiaz@summitdaily.com


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