Grand Lake: Arnie nights legendary in Grand County
August 22, 2008
When his crafted melodies and raw, soulful vocals waft out the Lariat Saloons swinging doors and onto the boardwalk, residents know its going to be a good night. Arnie J. Green is in town.Evenings of down-home tunes and thoughtful originals have been a staple of Arnie Nights for 16 years at places around Grand County, with legendary, regular performances at spots like the Grand Lake Lodge, Daven Haven, Pancho & Leftys, Crooked Creek Saloon and Winter Park Pub.The bluesy guitarist is glad to be just a hop, skip and a jump west of Grand County because its one of his favorite places to play. Grand County has been one of my biggest supporters anywhere in the country, he said, thanking everyone. When not on stage strumming out tunes like Johnny Cash Folsom Prison Blues and Led Zeppelins Whole Lotta Love, he beams over his 18-year-old daughter Amy (who is becoming quite a musician herself) and runs a business designing, building and repairing guitars and amplifiers in Summit County.Enriched by secular and religious music of the Vallejo (Bay Area) of California and by a mom who sang to him regularly (and still does), Green cant remember a day without music growing up. A grateful man with a pure soul people can see through his songs, Green could fill up a page of those that inspire him. Theres his mom, of course, his band, and musicians like Bobby Vega and Steve Kimock. His family has been very supportive and Green is especially grateful for brother Gary James the first musician to ever take him seriously and introduced him to the Bay Area music scene.Greens first real gigs perked up after he was caught cutting class to play music with friends and a teacher convinced him to begin performing at her coffee house. Since then hes played throughout the region and said he thrives on live performances. I feel my purpose in this world is to be a part of, support, inspire and be inspired by any music that is played from the heart, he said.He collects quite a few guitars and admits he loves restoring neglected instruments mostly orphans in need of a good home. His musical offerings pour out of acoustic electric, lap steel and bass guitar; many are named in honor of how they came into his life like Ann Marie, a fretless bass named for a friend who designed her. Then theres Josh, his main acoustic, and Curly, a gorgeous mahogany electric.As his own worst critic, he said he is still trying to learn to like his own writing and plays a lot of covers. His music speaks for itself and with so many truly great writers out there, he said, like Oly and Brad Huff, Green likes to incorporate some of their stuff into his sets.Greens dream is to get back in the studio to record with his daughter, adding that it is All in good time. In the meantime, hes reviewing some live recordings solo with his band with hopes of getting a live CD out soon. Each days a little different, he said. Its all about treasuring the good ones.