By Mikaela Antonelli
On Friday June 27, Bohemian Nights will hold a show at the historical Armory in Fort Collins. This show is a kickoff to the opening of the Armory as a new music venue in downtown Fort Collins. This first concert will feature Ruthie Foster and local artist Cary Morin.
To differentiate themselves from the other fantastic music venues in Fort Collins, they are describing themselves as more of a “listening room” for the artist to connect with the audience and for the audience to experience the music without any distractions. This idea came from the success of the singer/songwriter stage at NewWestFest. “There wasn’t a consistent opportunity for the community to experience what the singer/songwriter stage had to offer…where you can just sit down and listen,” said Liz Barnez, head of artist relations at the Bohemian Foundation. “The Armory provides that opportunity.” Although the venue sprouted from NewWestFest, the Armory will not be added as another stage at the festival. “The Armory building does serve a variety of year-round purposes, including being used for other internal projects and as space for events sponsored by Bohemian Foundation,” said Kristen Karabensh, director of music programs at the Bohemian Foundation. Keeping with the style of the singer/songwriter stage at NewWestFest, the venue will be more intimate and geared towards listening to the music and artist audience interaction.
The new venue is more personal for music. “The goal of the Armory concerts is to provide a great live music experience in an intimate environment, which connects nationally known artists with local audiences,” said Karabensh. The venue will seat 200 people and is equipped with a state-of-the-art sound system. The concerts will start a little earlier than most concerts, doors will be at 6pm with the shows starting at 7pm. “By having events earlier in the evening, we hope to accommodate people who wouldn’t generally come out for a later event,” said Karabensh. “For other concert goers, the earlier start time may allow time to enjoy a second show in town during the same evening.”
This new venue is just another way for the Bohemian Foundation to get involved in the local music scene. Along with this new venue, the Bohemian Foundation will also host “Bohemian Nights Presents Thursday Night Live,” a concert series showcasing local talent as well as giving community members an opportunity to see live music year-round. The concert series will be held in Old Town Square in downtown Fort Collins.
The venue will target nation action and pair them with local artists that compliment the national artists sound. The Bohemian Foundation hopes by pairing a national and local artist that compliment each other, they can create long-lasting connections while helping to promote the local music scene here in Fort Collins.
After June 27, the Bohemian Foundation has many concerts planned for the Armory. They hope that people come for the national act and discover great local music in the process.
The duo for the kickoff concert will be Ruthie Foster and Cary Morin which has been described as “ a match made in soulful, Americana heaven” by Barnez. After a long deliberation process, Barnez and her team decided that both of these artists would compliment each other well. Cary Morin is a local blues singer specializing in Native American fingerstyle blues. He has also competed in the Colorado Blues Challenge, which began in April and finished up in June.
Ruthie Foster has a wide palette of music that she draws from, but she can be best described as an Americana/blues artist. For those who are unfamiliar, Ruthie Foster is an internationally-known blues artist from Gause, Texas. Foster was named “Best Female Blues Vocalist in 2013” and was nominated for a Grammy in 2012. Foster is very excited to play in Colorado again. “There is something about the sunshine there, it’s so energizing,” said Foster.
The venue is built for a more intimate experience and Foster will be the perfect act to start off this new venue experience. “Her live performance is so engaging,” said Barnez. “As an audience member you feel like you are her best friend.” Foster is a perfect fit for the intimate nature of the venue. “It is going to be a great chance to play,” said Foster. “It gives me a lot of room to be more open with my song selections. Even take a few requests. That could be fun.” When asked what people can expect from the show, Foster said “Be prepared to have a hallelujah time…bring somebody with and I will do my best to entertain.”
The show is all ages and you can purchase tickets at www.bohemiannights.com.