McKinnon helps people lighten up
BRECKENRIDGE – Randall McKinnon went from Southern church preachin’ to mountain bar playin’.
The minister-turned-entertainer has covered classic rock, folk and country favorites in Summit County for 12 years. He performs more than 300 shows a year.
“I don’t feel like I’ve changed. I’ve just changed what I do for a living,” McKinnon said. “It’s just (about) helping people lighten up and not take the world so seriously.”
His experience as a minister, a social worker and director of the Breckenridge Outdoor Education Center helps him establish a powerful rapport with a wide variety of audiences, he said.
“I consider myself an entertainer, not a musician,” he said. “The best instrument I play is the crowd.”
He began performing at dinner sleigh rides, where he had to please a variety of guests, ranging from a family crowd expecting an Old West, John Denver type of show, to rowdy happy hour crowds.
“I don’t do a prescribed show. I look at the audience and constantly assess my role,” he said.
“He’s good with the crowd,” said Mike Fauth, who often performs duos with McKinnon. “He knows how to talk to people. He gets everyone involved. He’s played in different venues, from rowdy, rock, biker bars to family venues.”
“People sense the fun we have, and it’s contagious.” McKinnon said. “If I can do that more times than not, folks will have fun.”
McKinnon honed his crowd-pleasing skills playing apres ski shows, where people expect to participate in the show.
“If they gave an award out for most improved, it’s have to go to Randall,” Fauth said. “He’s really come a long way. He’s always had a really good voice, but now it’s much more controlled.”
McKinnon’s varied playlist includes artists such as Jimmy Buffet, Creedence Clearwater, The Eagles, Bob Dylan, The Grateful Dead, Merle Haggard, Lyle Lovett, Van Morrison, John Prine and the Rolling Stones.
“I try to sing songs that people have their own memories of,” he said.
“It’s pretty rockin’ stuff,” Fauth said. “It’s raw, but very powerful. Sometimes it has a bluegrass feel, sometimes a country feel, sometimes it just has a rock feel to it.”
Kimberly Nicoletti can be reached at (970) 668-3998 ext. 245 or by e-mail at
– When: 4-7 p.m. Monday, May 27
– Where: Tiffany’s, Beaver Run Resort, Breckenridge
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