Hoot at the Ute features diverse lineup

Musicians onstage at the Ute Theater during the finale of a recent Hoot at the Ute.

Rifle’s Ute Theater will be going to the dogs this Saturday as the Rifle Animal Shelter occupies the venue for its sixth annual Hoot at the Ute.

The Hoot, which again will feature a diverse lineup of local musicians assembled by Tom Evans, serves as a fundraiser for the shelter.

This year’s musicians include:

• The Rust/Statler Duo, which consists of Rifle natives Jake Statler and Tyler Rust, plays original music in a bluegrass and folk style featuring Statler’s fingerstyle guitar.

• Wild Flight duo is Eric Gross and Emily Jay, a keyboard player and singer who live in Carbondale. They’ve been together for years with different bands, but they broke off as a duo that performs folk, jazz and light rock, including both covers and originals.

• Jill Cohn is a singer-songwriter who got her start in the Seattle coffeehouse circuit in the late ’90s. She was a Top Five finalist during the first national Lilith Fair Competition Talent Search, and continues to tour nationally, playing nearly 200 nights a year.

• Feeding Giants is a band based out of Glenwood Springs that is led by husband and wife Kevin and Andrea Ware. They perform covers as well as many originals ranging in style from classic country to classic rock to indie folk rock and Americana.

• Stone Kitchen is Porsche and Lester Rogers who play acoustic flavored Americana roots music blending traditional styles of bluegrass, blues and outlaw country with their individual styles of songwriting. Their sound utilizes the fiddle, mandolin, slide guitar, guitar and three part harmonies.

• Oran Mor is led by husband and wife Tom and Karen Cochran who founded the band more than 12 years ago. Their repertoire includes traditional music, some dating back to the late 1700s, as well as current Celtic music and Americana tunes, with a few originals sprinkled into their set.

• Tom Evans, who has produced the show every year since its inception in 2015 plays finger picking blues or “East Coast blues.” Evans will be joined by Jim Hipp, who was originally slated to perform with Elliot Leonard who died earlier this year. Evans said that he and Hipp will perform one of Leonard’s songs as a tribute to their late friend.

“The performers are people I’ve known, and a few people I didn’t know but reached out to,” Evans said. “Every year we’re overwhelmed with people who want to do the show. This year I probably turned down five acts that wanted to do it, but I kind of want to change up the show from year to year.”

Kalli Wilson, who is the shelter’s director of development, said the community has really embraced the event.

“It’s amazing,” she said. “Every year there’s a line out the door to come into the event. It’s usually a pretty packed house, and we have a lot of returning artists, so it’s a big draw for the community.”

Wilson said all the proceeds from the event go directly into the shelter’s daily operations.

“It helps us to take in and care for more animals each year,” she said. “Last year we had a record breaking year. This is a big contributor and the reason why we can continue to help more.”

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