Putting it all together: Paines to play in C’dale

Stina Sieg
Glenwood Springs CO Colorado

CARBONDALE ” Contrary to local legend, there has never been a “Paine Family Band” in the valley. But hearing Don Paine and his wife, April, talk, it’s easy to understand the confusion. Since their move to Glenwood Springs 15 years ago, the Paines have made an indelible mark on the down-home, community music scene.

The couple has performed over for years as a “folk duo,” with their children making frequent appearances. The family has also been a driving force behind the Last Minute String Band, an Americana group, which hosts a monthly contra dance in Glenwood Springs. Tonight, Don and April will join their children ” Ali, 19; Trevor, 21; Josh, 25; and Nathan, 28 ” on-stage at Steve’s Guitars.

During a recent interview, Don, April and Ali joked around about their family, and explained that, for all of them, music is just a way of life.

What first drew you to music? April: “Well, for me, it was certainly in my family’s roots. They (her parents) used to harmonize a lot. They just both had really beautiful voices.”

Don: “I guess I have the same sort of influences in my family.”

He described how his father and uncle both played in a “backwoods band” in New Hampshire. Though Paine is now known primarily as a folksy fiddler, he used to dabble in a quite different genre.

“I played slide trombone when I was a kid. We were all playing along to ‘Hey, Jude’ and ‘Eleanor Rigby.'”

Describe your family’s sound.

April: “I think everyone brings their own sound to the table. We do find some common ground, but we all bring something different.”

Don: “Everyone has a real, hard-driving sense of rhythm that really lends itself well to the old-time fiddle music.”

Why introduce your children to music?

Don: “Because it was such a part of April’s and my life, when they were really young, we influenced them, I guess. They always had music in their lives.”

April: (Laughing) “If you have a drum on your belly (while pregnant), maybe that makes an influence.”

What is it like making music with your family?

Ali: “It’s always been really special to be individual enough to make your own sound, but be able to have them back you.”

What do you love about music?

Ali: “Well, I think for us, music has really been the core of our family. It’s always, always, been ” hands down ” what brings us together as a family.”

Creatively, what have you tried to impart to your children? Don: “I think we were both really conscious with our kids about not putting music on them.”

April: “What I think is important is helping them grow into who they are and what they came here to give.”

Don: “Everyone has something to give.”

April: “Sometimes you have to get out of their way, and set down your own agenda.”

Do you think you’ve succeeded with that?

Don: “Yeah, you know. We’re really proud of our kids. That’s for sure.”

Ali: (After being nudged by her mother) “I’m really proud of my parents.”

April: “You raised us so well, Ali, you did. We all kind of raised each other. I say that jokingly, but really, our children have been such great teachers to us ” and, hopefully, we’ve been great teachers to them, too.”

What is the most important thing in your life?

Don: “I think it’s doing what you love to do and creating some kind of space in your life so you can do it. That’s the hard part.

April: “It starts with recognizing your own wholeness and spreading it out to your family and your community and, hopefully, the world after that.”

Ali: “I think the same thing. Being your own person, creating for yourself what you love to do and doing that. And still having the connection and love of your family. Being supported and loved the whole way through.”

Contact Stina Sieg: 384-9111

Post Independent Glenwood Springs CO Colorado

WHAT: The Paine Family Reunion, with music by all six members of the clan

WHEN: 8:30 tonight

WHERE: Steve’s Guitars

COST: $10

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