Recommended: Get the Blues, Dig Flashy Guitars

Greeley Blues- Carolyn Wonderland (Photo by Tim Van Schmidt)


Tim Van Schmidt | New SCENE


The Greeley Blues Jam — one of the great NOCO live music events of the summer — is just around the corner, coming to Greeley’s Island Grove Regional Park on June 3.

The lineup in 2023 includes Tab Benoit, Southern Avenue, Carolyn Wonderland, and ThreeShots. Erica Brown will be offering a special set — “Willie Mae Sings Willie Mae, A Tribute to Big Mama Thornton” — and the second stage will feature a youth band, harmonica lessons, and a closing set by Matt Anderson.

That’s all on Saturday.

Greeley Blues- Erica Brown (Photo by Tim Van Schmidt)

On Friday, June 2, the Greeley Blues Jam takes over Historic Downtown Greeley, presenting Hazel Miller on the 9th Street Plaza, but also oodles of blues in 18 downtown venues. Bands on the schedule include David Michael Boyd, Ben Pu, Al Chesis & the Delta Sonics, Robert Wilson, My Blue Sky, Johnny Johnston, and many more.

I’ve attended the Greeley Blues Jam several times and have never been disappointed. It’s near to my heart, especially because it’s the event that introduced me to Samantha Fish, who has become one of my personal favorite players. Other great, memorable sets there included Shemekia Copeland.

Another discovery I made at the GBJ was Carolyn Wonderland, who returns this year, bringing her six-string and lap steel Texas blues to the stage.

Greeley Blues- Tab Benoit (Photo by Tim Van Schmidt)

Wonderland’s newest release is her Alligator Records debut — titled “Tempting Fate” — which was produced by Blasters legend Dave Alvin. Wonderland also recently picked up both the Best Blues Artist and Best Guitarist categories in the 2021-2022 Austin Music Awards.

Don’t hesitate. Get the blues — and full info — at

Guitars in Loveland: The Loveland Museum is getting in tune with the history and the design of guitars with a couple of new exhibits — and some live events.

Semisonic joins Barenaked Ladies, Del Amitri at Red Rocks on June 13 (Photo by Tim Van Schmidt)

Starting on June 24, the Loveland Museum will host “Medieval to Metal, The Art and Evolution of the Guitar” in the Main Gallery. It’s a touring exhibition that tackles four hundred years of history — from the guitar’s use as a popular instrument to innovation and design — and includes photos, artifacts, and forty instruments from the National Guitar Museum.

Along with the main exhibit, the Loveland Museum has announced a special series called “Guitars in the Gallery”, including free admission and music from Denny Driscoll on July 14, Steve Denny on August 11, and Veronica May on September 8.

“Medieval to Metal” opens at the Loveland Museum on June 24 and runs through September 17.

Widespread Panic plays Red Rocks June 23-25 (Photo by Tim Van Schmidt)

In addition, the current exhibit in the Loveland Museum’s Green Room is “Colorado Custom,” a tribute to the one-of-a-kind work of creative luthiers. It features work by Lee Knutson, Chris Monck, Darrell Plampin, and Jeff Woolsey. “Colorado Custom” is already on view and runs through August 27.

Pick up more info at

BTW, since we’re talking about guitars, the 2023 US Air Guitar National Finals will be at the Bluebird Theater in Denver on July 15.

Lyle Lovett plays Red Rocks on June 28 with Colorado Symphony (Photo by Tim Van Schmidt)

Lagoon Tunes: The Lagoon Summer Concert Series at CSU — another one of NOCO’s best live music traditions — has announced its 2023 season, starting with Funky Business on June 14.

Also on the schedule: Christine Alice & The Canyon Echoes on June 21, Ryan Chrys & The Rough Cuts on June 28, Salsa Forte on July 12, Reminiscing on July 19, and The Wendy Woo Band on July 26.

These are all outdoor shows, and best of all, they are “everybody’s favorite price” — free. Go to for info.


View “Time Capsules by Tim Van Schmidt” on YouTube.


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