Aspen Bound . . This Week’s Show Details
By Helen ~ March 27, 2013
This week finds the eTown cast and crew heading to the lovely little Colorado mountain town of Aspen for a re-airing of a show from our ‘on the road’ series. Our listeners tell us they love this one, and we loved making it.
Nick and I really enjoy getting away when we can, but formal vacation time is rare for us (between his touring as a musician and all the work that goes into creating, writing, rehearsing, performing and post-production of the show – plus all the stuff that goes into keeping eTown the nonprofit organization going – days off for us are few and far between). So we like to take advantage of occasional ‘stay-cations’ when we can, to grab some time to unwind at close at hand locations like Vail, Aspen, even Denver. We also love taking car trips together in our recycled (read: used) hybrid; in this case, the drive to Aspen a few hours away was just breathtaking. Nick and I got there a day early and stayed a day late, fitting in some much needed ‘R n’ R’ before and after the show, visiting friends and enjoying this beautiful little community in the Rockies.
A little background: This is the one and only show taping we’ve done so far at the beautiful, historic Wheeler Opera House (see photo). The Wheeler is one of those small, intimate, ornate ‘opera houses’ established out here in the West, primarily during the gold rush boom period in the latter half of the 1800’s, when mining towns sprung up overnight (as you can imagine, places of culture were sorely lacking). Unfortunately, many of these historic architectural treasures were abandoned or demolished in the 1900’s. But the Wheeler in Aspen and the Sheridan Opera House in Telluride are among those that have been renovated and preserved, once again functioning as performing arts venues.
I did a lot of professional theatrical and musical performances at the Sheridan (with a slew of talented people like Paul Fagan, Lynn Rae Lowe, Buck Lowe, Andrea Benda, Peter Langstaff etc. etc.) when I lived in Telluride, but I’d never performed at the Wheeler, so this show was a special thrill for me, especially being on that stage with two of our favorite returning eTown visitors: John Hiatt and Brandi Carlile.
John Hiatt is an artistic treasure in his own right. He’s one of THE best American songwriters of the 20th and 21st centuries. He’s also an amazing singer (his voice is so distinctive, when you hear it you instantly know its John). Anyways, I’m gushing, but let me just say that we are always honored to have him with us.
And Brandi Carlile . . wow, what can I say? She’s blessed with a powerhouse of a voice; she’s relatively petite, and I remember the first time I saw her open her mouth to sing – this huge sound came out that was so strong and so beautiful it must about crushed my soul. She writes incredibly insightful and poignant songs for one so young; and her passionate devotion to giving back to those in need makes her a kindred spirit of eTowns’ to be sure.
As always, Brandi is accompanied by her dear friends and colleagues, Phil and Tim Hanseroth, brilliantly talented twin brothers who, together with Brandi, make up the core of their power trio sound. For this particular trip to eTown, they also bring killer drummer Allie Miller, plus talented Josh Neumann on cello.
If that’s not enough, all of these folks are THE nicest people you’d ever want to meet. We love these guys. Always SO great to have them with us.
Appropriately, this week’s eTown program is rounded out with a special ‘in person’, Aspen-oriented E-Chievement Award story, featuring a local individual who’s responsible for spearheading a major effort to shift the ski industry toward energy-saving, sustainable practices.
This one is full of good stuff, it’s a classic eTown combo. So come join us. . on the road . . for eTown this week!