Frisco BBQ kicks off tonight |

Frisco BBQ kicks off tonight

Janice Kurbjun
Summit Daily News
Special to the Daily

As the sun shines through the aspens and the breeze shifts the shadows on the sidewalks of Frisco Main Street, the area awaits the arrival of smells of barbecue and the chatter of thousands of visitors for the 18th Annual Colorado BBQ Challenge this weekend.

The event opens tonight with a free, open-air concert by Hot Buttered Rum on Madison and Main streets on the music stage. They’ll be doing a tribute concert of Grateful Dead and Talking Heads music from 8-9:30 p.m.

The band’s homage to the Dead has personal dimensions, as their musical colleagues influenced Hot Buttered Rum’s development, founding member Aaron Redner said.

Formed originally as an acoustic string bluegrass band, the Bay Area artists eventually evolved into a unique mix of sounds and styles.

“Many in our band attended Grateful Dead shows in the late ’80s, early ’90s, and I actually have a Dead tattoo on my back,” Redner said. “Their music was a wonderful gateway to so many other artists who have also influenced our music such as Peter Rowan, David Grisman, Vassar Clemens and more.”

Pairing the Dead with Talking Heads wasn’t out of the ordinary for the group, as the meaningful lyrics of both bands’ songs are “part of the North American conscience,” Redner said.

The musicians put a spin of their own on the covers, just due to the nature of their instrumentation – “Burning Down the House” sounds very different when played with a banjo and fiddle.

Hot Buttered Rum also performs in Frisco on Saturday, when they’ll present mostly original tunes.

After enjoying the open-air tunes, look forward to full days of finger-lickin’ goodness as the BBQ Challenge runs 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday. The festivities include chef demonstrations, pig races, games for kids, the Salida Circus Show. Other live entertainment includes March Fourth, Back in the Day, Jukebox Hero, Mountain Standard Time and New Monsoon.

Look for more information in Friday’s SCENE section.

– Kimberly Nicoletti contributed to this story.

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