Old Shoe’s Colorado Tour

Hey there SCampers! So…I bet you Old Souls are wondering how the Colorado tour that Old Shoe undertook in the third week of April went, right? Well, you’re in luck. Here’s the full report. From the freak blizzard we experienced driving to Fort Collins to the hi-jinx that ensued at Nederland later in the tour and everything in between.

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We caught up with the tour van in Pomeroy, IA which is home to a really unique bar called Byron’s. It’s fitting that the only bar in town has those famous deadhead bears adorning its sign. Upon entering the establishment you are also immediately hit with the Grateful Dead paraphernalia adorning the walls, tables, ceilings. Basically this bar is a Jerry museum with the owner being the inspiration for Family Groove Company’s song “Byron’s Got The Time”. Old Shoe played 4 hours straight to a packed room of some lovers with some of the grooviest ears in Iowa. After the show and some awesome pizza courtesy of Byron himself the band was off to their roadside motel a short drive from the venue. This was a classic motel with 10 rooms all having outside access directly into the room. The quaintness and comfort was quickly lost on our group as we properly partied until the wee hours finding a mini liberty bell (which multi-instrumentalist Joe Day rang gong style at 5am much to the chagrin of the townfolk I’m sure) and a fort-like structure which led to shenanigans until the birds started to chirp at dawn. This was the start of the Colorado leg of the tour and spirits were high as the group prepared for the epic journey to that crunchy land of mountains and music. Waking up early we caught Joe Day’s “ultra hard” radio spot talking to a local Fort Collins DJ about the upcoming show at Hodi’s Half Note which was the first stop on tour out west. Or so we thought…

After driving through the rest of Iowa and the eternity that is Nebraska we ran into some wicked bad freak April winter storms as we headed into Colorado’s foothills. Lucky for the crew the driver was born and raised in Alaska and could handle the van with loaded trailer like a seasoned ice road trucker. High in the mountains above Boulder there is a land called Nederland.┬áDriving through the night we finally arrived and were treated to a 3am relaxation session by local band Smooth Money Gesture. This yellow beaut is their home and apparently a former brothel back in the day when the town was settled by the Dutch! Nowadays it is still the swing-ingest place in town but primarily due to the tunes not the talent.

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After leaving Nederland temporarily the band headed to Summer Camp Music Festival’s first Camp Counselor Nick Stock’s hometown of Ft. Collins. Winter weather almost screwed the band and made the first gig at Hodi’s not happen! Luckily Guitarist Paul Priest and bassist Dan Huber made an epic 16 hour journey at the drop of a dime when they found out their flight wouldn’t allow them to join the rest of their compatriots until show number two in Steamboat Springs.

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So there Old Shoe was without a bass player or lead guitarist and with the snow coming down things were tense and looked bleak. Hodi’s had to cancel the show at the venue, but fans traveled from far and wide and were ready for music. And by gosh Old Shoe was gonna give it to them come hell or high frozen water! Therefore the Cambria Suites Hotel lobby is the correct answer if anyone ever asks you where the first CO Shoe show was held. Joe Day on mandolin, Greg Fundis on snare, and Matt Robinson on acoustic guitar played to a lobby full of folks that came out the brave the Spring blizzard. That was until a few of the hotel patrons apparently didn’t like good music and complained to the concierge of the noise. No matter this one was in the books and the good feelings were still abundant as we headed to Steamboat Springs which would become the first full band electric show on tour at the Ghost Ranch Saloon.

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Ghost Ranch saloon was nestled on the corner of a sleepy road in town. The place was set to close their doors in a few weeks, but not before Old Shoe could show them how to get down. Paul and Dan arrived 20 minutes late (or fashionably cool by band standards) right in time for the band to officially throw down. It’s pretty unfathomable how two musicians could make that lengthy a drive and immediately get up and represent to the fullest. That is the stuff that makes legendary rock and roll tour stories and memories for years to come! The next day the band did some hiking and sight seeing around town while some of the more rowdy of the crew dozed the day away.

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Denver was abuzz with the tingly sensation that often accompanies festivals like the Cannabis Cup. But Old Shoe was there for business…and that was jamming at Quixote’s True Blue. Local Colorado band Max Creek was in the room next door and many a patron that came for their set ended up staying for Old Shoe’s. It’s a testament to both the quality of the music and spectacle that is Old Shoe’s unassuming charisma. They simply make you want to let yourself in and experience what their music is all about.

The final stop on the tour was celebrating a holiday of sorts on 4/20/13 with Smooth Money Gesture back up on the mountains of Nederland. After prepping the pinata for the festivities the band played Whistler’s Cafe, a small, but happening venue at the heart of town known for hosting great music. It seemed like the entire town was out that evening and in rare form. On a hazy evening both bands busted out memorable covers along with a host of originals meant to properly wake up Bob Marley’s ghost. For those in attendance lucky enough to partake in the pinata’s prizes i’m not exactly sure if they recall the setlist. Let’s just say we all were groovin on it to borrow Otto from the Simpson’s line it “smelled like the art teachers jacket”.

There are two times to check out Old Shoe at Summer Camp. So make sure you catch them either at 11am on the Campfire Stage Friday to open the festival after Thursday’s Pre-Party, or Saturday at 2:30pm at the Soulshine Tent! Better yet catch both :)

A full Soulshine Tent schedule can be viewed here!