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Colorado music

JASON STARR

There’s a lot of love on Jim Salestrom’s 2003 release, “Music From the Mountains.” Most of all, it is love for Colorado.What is Colorado music? John Denver certainly nailed it with “Rocky Mountain High,” which Salestrom covers on the album. It’s music that attempts to mirror the natural beauty of the state. To the extent that Denver did it, so does Salestrom with his smooth, soft rock ‘n’ roll.The first song, “My Colorado Home,” gets specific, mentioning the Ten Mile Range, Boreas Pass, the Blue River and other local landmarks. For Summit County residents, this album touches a nerve, which may explain why Salestrom has made a living playing local bars and other venues.He plays the Riverwalk Center in Breckenridge on Sunday – the show is billed as a tribute to John Denver – and Tuesday at the Silverthorne Pavilion.Speaking of Denver, have you ever really listened to “Rocky Mountain High,” aside from the memorable chorus? Salestrom’s album allows another listen. The song tells the story of probably the majority of Summit County folks: You leave home behind to come to the mountains, you seek grace in the hills, then you lament growth and try to close the gate behind you, so to speak.Same old story, done seminally by Denver and covered well by Salestrom.Salestrom is cut out to sing Colorado songs – most are original works – because of his straightforward delivery. There are few frills in his voice and not much raw power – it’s the voice of a story-teller.The album features fellow Coloradans and Colorado lovers Tim O’Brien, Mollie O’Brien, Michael Johnson, Taylor Mesple, Steve Ivey and Jerome Golmer. The ensemble of strings and piano brings a twinge of bluegrass and country. But Salestrom’s guitar work is always at the fore.Other songs of note: “The Rainbow Connection,” popularized by Kermit the Frog; “Sunshine on my Shoulders,” another Denver classic; and “Daddy’s Girl,” and “The Daddy Song” – emotional tunes about parenthood in the mold of Harry Chapin’s “Cat’s in the Cradle.”


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