We have had an amazing run this summer playing some incredible parties in Colorado from Vail, Beaver Creek, Denver, Telluride and Aspen to parties in New York, Chicago, St. Louis and Northern Michigan. It’s September 4th, 2019 and I am thinking of all the fun, good times and great music that happened this summer.
Thinking back into May when we started our run with some high school and college graduation parties in Fort Collins, Vail and Boulder. I was happy to see that younger people still love good live music and when we get into a good groove, playing what we love to play, rocking some cool arrangements and good solos, there is still that hysteria where people go crazy dancing and singing along and just losing themselves in the moment. Music does that for people. Not just us as the artist playing the music but for everyone involved. When that wall between artist and listener dissolves and we all get together and feel all right, that is why we all came together, that is the celebration, that is the moment we all strive for. In the Jonny Mogambo Band, we call that the circle of love. It’s that time during the show when people form a circle, they all can see each other and they take turns dancing in the middle or they all just move together as one. It’s really fun to be a part of this and make it happen through our music. We know at this point, that we have reached people, they have reached us, we are all together in this and all is good in the universe. Music can do that to people. These where great parties and it is always great to play for such a diverse group.
June saw us playing some great weddings in Colorado Springs, Vail, Telluride, Beaver Creek and Denver. We played on this amazing ranch southeast of Colorado Springs and set up in the middle of this field. As we pulled up to the place where we where going to play, there was a massive weather cell moving across the plains. I haven’t seen a storm like this in a while. The groom assured me that we where in a spot where it rarely rains. He said, “everything usually moves around this spot, it’s how we are situated in comparison to the mountains and because of that, we don’t get the big storms here.” Within 20 minutes, mother nature proved him wrong. Wow! Not only did it rain about three inches in an hour, hail started coming down and the wind was blowing so hard it almost blew the tent over. But, as they say in Colorado, if you don’t like the weather, just wait fifteen minutes. It did clear up and as we moved into the first dance for the bride and groom, the sun was setting over the rocky mountains and the stars came out to play. It ended up being an amazing night. The storm coming through definitely amped up the energy and the band played amazingly that evening with our seven piece band laying down some solid funk rock rhythm and groove tunes.
In July we hit St. Louis, Northern Michigan, Vail, Telluride, Denver and Aspen. We always have a great time rolling down to Telluride and this trip was no different. There was still a huge amount of snow capping the San Juans this July, everything was green, the rivers where huge and the mountains provided an amazing backdrop for some good jams and an incredible celebration in Telluride. We played at Gorrono Ranch up on Telluride mountain. The views, the front deck, the food, the drink, the music, did I say the views? It was a good time had by all. I remember a time in the evening when we where playing and looking out at all the people dancing, singing and circling up for the circle of love. There where actually multiple circles of love as the night took a turn into that place where we all like to go musically. I have to say, when you are on a mountaintop with some great people, celebrating love and family, there are just things that happen that you will remember for the rest of your life. Cheers to our friends in Telluride and the mountains for singing along!
August was filled with rocky mountain rainbows in Evergreen at the Lakehouse, 50th birthday party celebrations at the Ritz in Bachelor Gulch, a Northern Michigan Yacht Club sailing regatta shot ski drink fest and an Arapahoe Basin 11,550 foot wedding celebration. It is amazing playing at that high of an altitude. And, to watch the effects on people can also provide some interesting moments during the evening. We played the ceremony, cocktail hour and the dance party for this wedding. It was a crazy Colorado weather day and being at 11, 550 feet added to the intensity. It was very cold and rainy (yes this was August 17th) and my hands where freezing as I tried to make it through the pre ceremony songs out on the deck at the Black Mountain Lodge at A Basin. Just as I was playing the brides song for her walk down the aisle, a nice rendition of “Here Comes the Sun” by the Beatles, yes, as only can be perfectly timed in fairy tail weddings, the sun came out and the views up on the east wall of A Basin, the bride walking in, all of it was an incredible moment. As I moved into a song during the ceremony, the altitude caught up with one of the bridesmaids and she took a dive right into the front row. There was Doctor in the house and all was good within a few minutes. You definitely have to remember to hydrate at 11,550 feet. As we got into the dance party, we where respectable of this fact. We would get the jam going, people dancing like crazy, singing along, the circle of love, all things good but after a few songs of that, you have to play a good slow song or a nice down tempo song to keep from having more people passing out at that altitude. Such are the intricacies of entertaining in the Colorado mountains.
So, here we are in September, a September to remember so far. We started the month with a couple of great parties in Vail. We played at Donaven Pavilion for a beautiful young couple that loved live music along with all of their friends and family. The dance floor was packed the whole night and we moved into some crazy fun jams in the middle of some music as a couple of guys tied their ties together and everyone did the tie limbo. I don’t think I’ve seen that before and in the moment we improvised a new song, “The double tie limbo!” Ok, so you had to be there. But, it was another one of those perfect moments where everyone comes together through music, love and celebration and it takes the night into a great direction.
Ramble on! I could tell endless stories of all the good times we have with all the people that bring us into their lives for their celebrations, love and good times. I look forward to many more. I hope enjoy hearing about some of our good times and I hope to share some of them with all of you in the future. Peace, Love and all good things with the Jonny Mogambo Band.