Fraser / Live Music: Teen musicians make stage debut
February 22, 2008
The new Blues in the School Band called The Runaways is making its public debut Friday night during Rocky Mountain Roastery’s open Java Mic Night in Fraser. They will be the first of several up-and-coming musical ensembles and musicians to perform and if deemed the best overall performance, they’ll be invited back the following Friday to play as the feature show.The band is an ensemble of four local teens just breaking into the musical world in Grand County, under the current direction of local musician Andy Irvine, as part of the Grand County Blues Society’s Blues in the Schools program. For me, honestly, it’s a balance between performing and giving something back by teaching, Irvine said. I am blessed to have a life full of music and enjoy sharing my gifts and giving back to the young musicians of my community through teaching. Reaching people’s hearts through music gives me purpose in this life.Sean Kerber, the band’s bassist, sees the new band as a way to express himself. He’s been playing guitar for almost three years but just started playing bass last November and said he practices every day after school. So far, playing the guitar has been an awesome experience.Noah Ralph is the drummer for the band and is very appreciative for the opportunity. He said the Grand County Blues Society helped him realize how much he loves to play the drums. It’s also great to have the support of my fellow musicians, he said. And (Irvine) is a great leader.Kennan Drummond, tenor saxophone player, said he’s not only in the band to go further with his sax playing, but to build up more experience in the music scene. What I think I will get out of this is a few more friends and plenty of good music, he said. I am also doing this to bring good music to Grand County. Many thanks to all and especially Andy.Lead guitarist Zack Thorpe said there are many reasons he is a member of The Runaways. First and foremost, he said he’s in it for the entertainment of Grand County. It’s amazing what a little blues can do for a little town. Another reason is that he loves music. Music is basically the passion of my life, he said. I think that by playing blues I will obtain new musical ideas.At the end of the evening, after all the bands and musicians perform, the audience will vote on who they want to come back and play Feb. 29. Other musicians who will share a few songs during the friendly competition on Java Mic Night include Jason Burton, Miles Lamborn, The C Lazy U Dude Ranch Band, Corry Way, and Gary and Suzi Morrow. Each Friday night during the ski season, the Fraser Roastery hosts a wide selection of musical talent from across the country for all ages. Upcoming features include Mike Haas March 7, One Mile Down March 21, Goodness & the Friction March 28, J.J. Heller April 4 and Grayson and friends April 11. As a way to thank the many people who come out to support live music, the Grand County Blues Society often gives the Roastery tickets to their blues shows to raffle off on Friday nights.Other upcoming performances for The Runaways include a St. Patrick’s Day show at the Untamed Steakhouse at Wild Creek Brewery in Winter Park. The event includes a Blues in the School raffle for a trip to Las Vegas (tickets are available at Rudi’s, Radio Shack and the Untamed).Funds are currently being sought to help continue professional instruction in the Blues in the School program. To sponsor The Runaways and supports its continuing education, contact Maria Chavez by email – email@example.com – or visit http://www.grandblues.org.