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Todd Park Mohr plays Breckenridge tonight with solo acoustic show

Erica Marciniec
Special to the Daily
Special to the Daily Todd Park Mohr plays Breckenridge Friday night.
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Colorado phenom Todd Park Mohr presents a solo acoustic show at the Riverwalk Center tonight, kicking off both the Breckenridge Music Festival’s Blue River Series, which features a range of musical styles to compliment the festival’s classical side, and the Breck Music Festival as a whole.

Todd Park Mohr is best known as front man for Big Head Todd and the Monsters – the popular Colorado band that plays Red Rocks each summer. Mohr is lead singer, songwriter, guitarist and also the band’s namesake. Tonight, however, Mohr will do an acoustic show including his own songs and blues pieces from “100 Years of Robert Johnson,” a tribute album to the 1930s era blues legend by the collective known as the Big Head Blues Club.

The Big Head Blues Club is a relatively new project, consisting of Big Head Todd and the Monsters and special guests B.B. King, Hubert Sumlin, Honeyboy Edwards, Ruthie Foster, Charlie Musselwhite, Cedric Burnside and Lightnin’ Malcolm. Together they created “100 Years of Robert Johnson,” produced by Grammy award winner Chris Goldsmith (Blind Boys of Alabama) and released March 1 just months prior to what would have been the late blues great’s 100th birthday May 8. The Boston Globe hailed “100 Years” as a “a superb musical collective … moving and wildly entertaining” and The New York Post gave it four stars, calling it “a down ‘n’ dirty album … rich with music-history lessons, yet it never feels like it’s trying to teach.”

A history lesson might be order, however, as the itinerant blues singer and guitarist Robert Johnson lived a short life in relative obscurity compared the fame he garnered after his death, later influencing the likes of the Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin. The “100 Years” tribute album is described as “a stirring collection featuring 10 potent interpretations of what has been called some of the most vital and durable music of the past century.”

“He’s obviously an iconic figure,” Mohr said of Johnson. “I think he’s probably the best known representative of the Delta Blues period. I guess it’s called pre-war blues – before electricity, acoustic. His turning 100 was a great opportunity to celebrate his career.”

Mohr has been making a lot of “blues-centered acoustic” music lately, including a blog project named The Daily Blues (tpmvault.blogspot.com), where he writes and posts an original blues song about the day’s news each day.

“It’s kind of a fun project … I’m shooting for 300 blues songs by the end of the year,” Mohr said, adding that his politics are “on the left side of the dial.”

Always timely, Wednesday he was doing the Casey Anthony story.

“I’ll be playing a lot of Charley Patton, Son House, Mississippi Fred McDowell, Book of Light, a lot of my own blues catalog and some of my hits thrown in for flavor,” Mohr said of this evening’s show.

The artist’s photo lends a somber countenance to the posters around town advertising the event, though Todd Park Mohr is a long-time Colorado favorite for his obvious dedication to both his craft and his audiences. “I don’t know why I got a somber picture up there,” he commented. “I’m usually a very funny guy.”


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