John Denver tribute band to perform July 27 benefit concert in Palisade
WHAT: John Denver Tribute by The John Adams Band
WHEN: Sat., July 27; gates 6:30 p.m., show 7:30 p.m.
WHERE: Grande River Vineyards, 787 Elberta Ave. in Palisade (just off I-70 at Exit 42)
COST: $20 advance; $25 door; tickets available at Grande River Vineyards, Fisher’s Liquor Barn and Roper Music
INFO: granderiverwines.com, 970-464-5867
When John Adams first heard John Denver sing “Take Me Home, Country Roads” at a 1972 concert in England, he became hooked on the music.
Adams, a guitar player, bought Denver’s albums and taught himself to play and sing all of his songs. And then, well, “one thing led to another,” said the Netherlands native.
In January, 1988, Adams performed Denver’s “Leaving on a Jet Plane” on “Sound-Mix,” a national television show featuring talent contests. He won first place which led to gigs all over Europe singing and playing John Denver tunes.
In May of that year, Adams was invited to perform on a television special called the “Surprise Show.” Adams ended up being the one surprised when he learned Denver was on the show and he was asked to perform there with his idol.
“We met 14 more times and he invited me to come to certain TV specials,” Adams said.
Eventually, Denver asked Adams to record with him. Tragically, Denver died in a plane crash in 1997 before the two musicians were able to make the recording.
“I had just got off the ship in England when I got the message that he had passed,” Adams said. “It was all over the BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation).
“At that moment I promised to keep his music alive.”
For more than 40 years that’s what Adams has been doing, performing John Denver tribute concerts throughout the world.
On Saturday, July 27, The John Adams Band will perform as part of the “Hear it through the Grapevine” concert series at Grande River Vineyards in Palisade.
“I really admired (Denver). He was so down-to-earth; very sociable, like talking with a best friend,” Adams said. His death “was a big loss for the planet.”
His Front Range-based tribute band includes fiddle, piano, upright bass, drums and percussion, flute, soprano saxophone, penny whistle, and, of course, vocals.
“His music is timeless, and for all ages,” Adams said.
Proceeds from the John Denver tribute concert will benefit the Western Colorado Horticulture Society, a 75-year-old nonprofit farmers organization dedicated to the future development of agriculture. For the past four years the organization has sponsored concerts at Grande River to raise funds for tree fruit research.
Food and wine will be for sale at the event, and free water is available. No outside beverages are allowed.
“We’ve prepared a locavore menu for the concert,” wine grape grower and WCHS board member Kaibab Sauvage said. “We’re sourcing everything as locally as we can. The menu includes chicken and vegetable, beef and vegetable or vegetarian kabobs, beans with a poblano chili sauce, a vegetable Spanish paella dish and garlic herb rolls. Cost for the meal is $12.
For dessert there will be peach cobbler with caramel gelato for $3.
Concert-goers are encouraged to bring lawn chairs for the outdoor venue.
Each year, the Lions Club uses race proceeds from the FireKracker 4K race to provide eye examinations and eye glasses for those in the Roaring Fork Valley who are in need.
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