There’s something about a live show in a small mountain town, especially in the winter. Unlike city folk who luckily enjoy night after night of enticing live music, locals in mountain villages don’t get consistent opportunities to groove during the winter months. So when an act like Denver’s upstart Bonnie and the Beard hits town, locals light up. Donning beards and their best party shirts, Salidans packed the Fritz last Saturday for a steamy dancefest, spilling their raised-high PBR tallboys as golden-throated Bonnie and the headbanging guitarist Beard (Tony) blew the joint up.
Rolling through rock-the-house covers and gypsy-folk originals, Bonnie and the Beard kept a fluid pace that certainly tickled the increasingly diverse collection of river-loving, bike-pedaling, mountain hip locals. (Seriously, how many tiny Colorado towns can fill a bar with locals who know every word to “Business Time” by Flight of the Conchords?)
The Beard can wind up heavy licks on both the banjo and six-string, easily dancing between a Johnny Cash strum and a Duane Allman jam. Bonnie channels her namesake Raitt with aplomb in “Money Honey.” Joining the Beard, the duo delivered a caressing version of Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros’ alluring “Home.”
Drummer Alex elevated everything, especially during the dynamic, punk-tinged “Beer, Beer, Beer.”
The locals showed their appreciation in spades, filling the band’s glass tip jar which, by the end of the night, overflowed with beerily-stuffed bills. As the locals spilled into the chilly night, they formed an impromptu cruiser parade, singing Bonnie and the Beard tunes under a crescent moon as they slowly swerved home.
Jason Blevins is a strange dancer, but that has never stopped him.