Granby / Live music: Nightlife puts soul into SolVista
March 21, 2008
When the sun goes down, the fun doesn’t stop at SolVista Basin.
The ski resort, which encompasses five lifts, 406 acres and 1,000 vertical feet, hosts several free night skiing events on its East Mountain throughout the winter. The last one for the ski season is scheduled March 22.
Afterward, or in between ski or snowboard runs, patrons are invited to warm up at the base lodge’s outdoor fire ring, and a live band will be heating things up inside.
Entertainment is being provided by an acoustic performance of Todd Adelman and the Love Handles.
The band consists of Bret Billings on pedal steel guitar and dobro, Greg Schochet on Telecaster and mandolin, Paul Smiddy on drums, Ray Smith on bass, and Adelman.
“These are some of the best musicians I have had the pleasure of playing with and there is a lot of potential with this band,” Adelman said.
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Billings, who came of age musically in the ’70s, said Adelman’s “songwriting mirrors the country-rock sensibilities that continue to influence my pedal steel playing to this day. It’s a good fit and I’m enjoying the opportunity to work with Todd.”
Billings, Schochet and Adelman are coming up from the Front Range to put on an acoustic sampling of the band’s signature sound, which encompasses what has been described as “from-the-gut roots country/Americana music.” Adelman said the “band lives somewhere between The Flying Burrito Brothers and Neil Young’s Stray Gators.”
He said Billings and Schochet are excellent listeners, “which is not as common of a trait as it should be,” and that beyond that, their playing speaks for itself.
“Most importantly they are both great people and a pleasure to play with/be around,” he added. “In a band setting that is real important.”
Adelman, who also plays a little bit of piano and for the last decade has been primarily a solo/duo performer, is the lead guitarist and vocalist for the band. He collects vintage Martin and Gibson guitars and admits he loves old guitars “more than I probably should.”
Recently, he’s been “gigging” with “a fairly recent D18 golden era.”
He knew creating music was what he wanted to do with his life long before he was an accomplished musician or the frontman for the Love Handles. He remembers being “blown away” listening to radio station WNEW play an entire side of The Band’s “Music From Big Pink” album as he and his mom drove across the George Washington Bridge. He had never heard anything like it and said he “knew from that point on that I needed to play music.”
As he grew up, he also took notice of his father’s interest in folk music and talent for playing guitar. Despite the fact that their son was at times “pretty lazy and not particularly good” growing up, Adelman said his parents were pretty supportive of his career choice.
He also said he’s been “fortunate to have come across some wonderful musicians and songwriters that have certainly rubbed off on me over the years.” He played with band Completely Lost in New York City and said he is influenced by many artists, “too many to name really.”
He said that there are two primary bands that influenced the formation of the Love Handles: Gram Parsons and The Flying Burrito Brothers and The Band. He also noted that Levon Helm’s “Dirt Farmer” is the best record he’s heard in a long time.
Adelman has written hundreds of songs and said the majority of the music he and The Love Handles plays is original material. “I am inspired by everyday life,” he continued. “There is a lot going on if you choose to pay attention. I am constantly jotting down observations, ideas and lyrics that come out of my daily experiences.”
His upcoming acoustic performance with Billings and Schochet of The Love Handles will include a handful of brand-new tunes that have only made the stage spotlight once before.
Audiences are expected to take away a “sense of satisfaction” from the show and Adelman said he hopes the music makes people feel something. “The Love Handles are meant to be fun, but the core is definitely the song,” he said. “I am a songwriter first and take that responsibility seriously. If people want to come out just to have a good time – great. But is also important that the critical listener is rewarded and not underwhelmed.”
When he’s not on the road or on stage, Adelman runs a recording studio in Nederland. With the most recent album (“Henry’s Diner”) out for some time, he’s hoping to get working on a new CD this summer.