A little bit country, a little bit rock ’n’ roll
Arts and entertainment contributor
Calling all cowboys and cowgirls
Who: ACCESS Roaring Fork
What: Cowboy Up
When: 6-11 p.m. Friday, Sept. 5
BBQ dinner 6-8 p.m.
Live auction 7:30 p.m.
Silent auction until 9 p.m.
Where: Fourth Street Plaza, downtown Carbondale
How much: $5 general admission, VIP tables $500 (seats 10 and includes dinner)
CARBONDALE — When Already Gone front woman Lisa Popish auditioned for the classic rock and country band, there was no time to be shy.
“The guys were in a band called In the Pocket, and their lead vocalist had to move due to a career shift,” said Popish, of Glenwood Springs. “I had played with Eddie, the drummer, in the past, and he thought I might be a good fit. So he called me up and asked if I would be willing to audition for their band. I jumped on that opportunity because it was something I had always wanted to do. They made me audition on stage at one of their gigs, and the rest is history.”
Popish started singing at 5 years old and hasn’t stopped since. The Basalt native and 2003 Colorado State University alumna credits learning songs by female vocalists such as Grace Potter, Gwen Stefani, Michelle Branch, Carrie Underwood and Christina Aguilera in influencing her range. She said Already Gone members immediately embraced her vocal stylings into their classic sound, much like a family band with a sister leading a close-knit troupe might.
“Already Gone is more than just a group of people who get together and play music; we are family, figuratively speaking,” Popish said. “We genuinely enjoy each other’s company. We basically have fun and laugh and goof around wherever we are and whatever we are doing.”
ALL THE RAGE
Five years since Popish’s successful on-stage audition, Already Gone has played hundreds of gigs around the Western Slope, in Colorado and out of state. The self-described party band features Popish on lead vocals, drummer Eddie Muniz, Cristian Basso on bass guitar, lead guitarist Mark Chenoweth and Randy DeHerrera on alto sax and keyboards. The five valley musicians combine to play rock, R&B, funk, blues and country hits.
“We play weddings, festivals, corporate events, etc., in and out of the state of Colorado,” Popish said. “We also love playing in the Roaring Fork Valley because it is home. Sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name.”
In June, fans acknowledged Already Gone’s widespread hometown popularity by voting the Glenwood Springs rock ensemble as Strawberry Days Battle of the Bands winner. The $1,000 first prize helped the band pay for marketing, website costs and traveling expenses to shows. Popish said Already Gone has had many memorable experiences in the last five years playing together in the valley and on the road.
“It’s hard to pick a handful of moments that I would call our best memories,” she said. “We’ve had the pleasure of opening up for Collin Raye at Lungren Amphitheater in Gypsum. On Sept. 20, we’re opening for Ryan Shupe and the RubberBand at the Stoney Ridge Pavilion in Silt. ”
Today the band headlines the Cowboy Up fundraiser, taking place from 6-11 p.m. at Fourth Street Plaza in downtown Carbondale. The annual event, featuring food by Smoke Modern BBQ, a street dance and live and silent auctions, supports ACCESS Roaring Fork. The valley nonprofit works with RE-1 and Re-2 School Districts to provide after-school and summer programs for more than 1,600 students annually. Tickets are $5 for general admission, and VIP tables, which seat 10 and include dinner, are $500.
Popish said the Cowboy Up crowd can expect a fun, high-energy show tonight.
“Ours is a show for everybody,” she said. “We’ll be performing a mixture of classic country, country crossover, classic rock, Southern rock and Top 40s. We might even throw in a little funk and R&B if we’re feeling saucy. Though this particular event will be geared toward the country crowd, there will be a little something for everyone who wishes to attend. So, come if you love country; come if you don’t love country. You won’t be disappointed. Also joining us is BJ The DJ with her endless variety of music. It’s an event you don’t want to miss.”
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