They bring the rock … and jazz … and blues …
CARBONDALE With jet-black hair tucked behind her ears, Amy Kimberly walks through the crowd. An ever-present smile, she speaks with people she passes, seeming to know everyone on Main Street. Amy Kimberly for mayor.On this warm August evening she dons a pastel sundress, cut just above her knees, with spaghetti straps showing off her tan shoulders.A girl’s best bet for boogieing in Carbondale.Having room to breathe is key.No girdles allowed.Hillstomp, a two-man rockabilly blues band from Portland, Ore., plays the heck out of their instruments on a stage constructed smack dab in the middle of Main Street. Amy maneuvers around music lovers as they tap their feet, bob their heads and move their hips to the rhythm.The music’s free, and I have Amy and her KDNK cronies to thank for it.Amy’s the type of person every mountain town needs. She brings the music. Literally.
If James Brown was the “Hardest Working Man in Show Business,” she’s the “Hardest Working Woman in Rocky Mountains Show Business.””What do you think?” she asks, after one of her signature friendly hugs.”These guys are great,” I say, digging the fact that one of the Hillstomp guys is playing a washboard.I should pick that up for music, not laundry.God bless our great-great-grandmothers.As KDNK Community Radio’s development director, Amy knows her music. She’s the woman behind the music for Carbondale Mountain Fair, the town’s free Summer Music Series and Planet Bluegrass (presenters of Telluride Blues and Brews Festival and Nightgrass).There’s no mistaking her commitment to mixing up a live music cocktail as intoxicating as the martinis at Russets.Also, she was a staple at the Fly Me to the Moon Saloon in Telluride as a co-owner, which had to be one cool gig. Green-room access never gets old, right, Amy?OK, maybe after awhile.There’s a spark in Amy not everyone has. I’d like to imagine I’m a little like her I love music, love the mountains, love younger men. But she takes her love for the mountain towns where she lives to a whole other level.
Spiritual. Selfless. Soulful. Sublime.Exactly how I envision myself someday.I’m going to need a little time to work that out.Many communities have an Amy Kimberly.In Glenwood Springs, we have the man-and-wife version in Bob and Mary Noone. They have been dedicated to bringing live jazz to Glenwood Springs for more than 20 years.I love that.The last time I spoke with them, they indicated how much work it is. And how it’s all worth it. They even hinted or was it joked? I might someday take over for them.I do love challenges.I’m definitely no Amy Kimberly or Bob and Mary Noone, although we have some things in common. The passion’s there, but I honestly don’t know if I have what these music aficionados embody.They’re driven by the crowds. The smiles music brings. Joy as people do the jig. Budding romance in sexy slow dances.
Instead of organizing it all, though, I want to be a part of it. Not that Amy, Bob and Mary can’t. They sure can dance.But my priorities tend to shift when I’m at a show. A concert’s logistics are the furthest thing from my mind. All play and no work when it comes to enjoying music.That could change if I’m ever assigned tarp duty at the Telluride Bluegrass Festival.Living in the mountains has afforded me the luxury of dancing barefoot in the park to live local music. Not all areas of the United States are so laid-back. Take many towns in the Midwest, for example.I feel so lucky to have seen so many great jam bands and jazz artists while living here. It’s a blessing I’ll never take for granted, and I hope others who live around here don’t, either.After seeing Amy Kimberly hard at work at last weekend’s Blues and BBQ Fest, I just wanted her and Bob and Mary Noone to know one thing.They rock.And don’t ever forget it.April E. Clark has met some amazing people in her job as an arts and entertainment reporter. She can be reached at aclark@postindependent. com and 945-8515, ext. 16601.
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After opposing Proposition 114, the 2020 wolf reintroduction initiative that passed by a whopping 1%, I had reservations about dressing down another budding ballot measure.