McKinnon plays Dillon & Copper |

McKinnon plays Dillon & Copper

KIMBERLY NICOLETTIsummit daily news

Randall McKinnon is known as a sleigh ride and bar kind of entertainer, but tonight, and at Copper Country on Sept. 3, folks will hear a different side of his musicality.During both dates, the artists who worked with him on his first studio release, “Where Rivers Change Direction,” will join him in song. One of these players is Katie Glassman, who recently opened for Asleep at the Wheel at the Arvada Center.”It’s time folks got to know Katie Glassman – perhaps the very best fiddle player in these parts and with a voice sweeter than sunshine,” he said.The rest of the cast joining McKinnon includes mandolin wizard Yaniv Salzberg and bassist Mike Music. The group has been playing at 4 Eagle Ranch, near Wolcott, allowing them to “get comfortable with each other on stage and develop the harmonies and other elements, which contribute to a great stage show,” McKinnon said. He hopes to hit the road with them next summer to play festivals.”We have some great material from the CD to build around, and we are a fun group on stage,” he said. “We enjoy each others’ company and continue to surprise ourselves musically. That fun is contagious …”His CD is a collection of 15 of McKinnon’s favorite songs that delve into the heart of mountain living, from such writers as Guy Clark, Fred Eaglesmith, Steve Earle and Ray Wylie Hubbard. But they’re not mainstream songs; even in their heyday, they didn’t get much FM radio play. McKinnon discovered them through more than two decades of attending music festivals, concerts and hanging out with songwriters.Though he’s been making a living as a guitar player and singer in Summit County for over 20 years, he’s never felt called to pen his own songs. Instead, he prefers to breathe life into others’ writing.”They’re kind of obscure songs I can help show the light of day to, and that’s as much of a sacred trust as being able to write the songs themselves,” he said.McKinnon has always had a depth of soul, which emerges in public. He originally began touching audiences as a Southern church minister and social worker. He sees those helping professions and entertaining in a similar vein: They’re all about helping people lighten up and enjoy life.He said audiences in Dillon and Copper can expect a great mix of fun sing-alongs, country dance tunes, classic rock and some of the folk and country sounds from “Where Rivers Change Direction.” He describes his shows as intimate, like sitting in his living room -just with a bit more elbow room.

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