People did not have to be present at the Route 91 Harvest country music festival in Las Vegas last October — when 58 attendees were murdered while enjoying a concert — to be affected by the appalling loss of life.
Denver musician Sarah Snead was one of those people who keenly felt the loss of life, despite the fact that she’d become accustomed to tragedy.
“I’ve been to more funerals for murder, suicide and overdose than I have been to weddings,” she said. “It’s devastating and a lot of guilt is wrapped up in losing loved ones. After stumbling through life for 33 years, I asked the question, ‘Why did I make it and not them?’”
The result of grappling with this question is “Wake Tomorrow,” the last — and titular — song from her first fully produced album. She posted a video of the song on Facebook, and it started racking up the views.
“I want to inspire people to reach out. Make those phone calls, send those text messages,” she said. “Check in on people and ask for help. If you don’t have anything to give, just give of yourself to someone in need. It will save a life, maybe even yours.”
Snead has been a believer in the healing power of music since she wrote her first song at 7 years old. Raised in a musical family, she was helped along the way by a choir teacher in high school and joined her first cover band in 2008.
Following a chance meeting with The Brian Hornbuckle Band at the Platte River Bar in 2014, she joined the Rick Lewis Project, and has been the lead singer ever since. She also sings with her husband’s group, the Michael Hornbuckle Band.
A mother of three in her 20s, she wasn’t sure music would ever be a viable option.
“A couple years ago, I read stories on Aretha Franklin and Diana Ross and how they were able to handle motherhood and a music career,” she said. “As my kids started to grow and become their own little humans, I realized that I could actually make this happen and be a good mom at the same time.”
As one who has experienced it firsthand, she hopes more people come to respect and appreciate the talent in Denver’s local music scene.
“I wish more people knew how hard musicians work to provide entertainment. We deliver our heart and souls with the hope that you, the listener, will get lost in the stories we tell,” she said. “There are so many venues and festivals to get into and I’m excited for what happens next.”
To learn more about Snead, visit www.sarahsnead.com.
Jesters caper at Voodoo Comedy Playhouse
A lot of people (myself included) fancy themselves adept at thinking on their feet at the drop of a hat. But standing in front of a crowded room with no idea what you’re going to say is a whole other thing.
And yet, that’s just what The Jester’s Court improv group — which features Connor “The Jester” Hall, Paul Twarowski, Jillian Kudrycki, Joseph Galvin, Jessie Hiester, Donald Kiley and Soleil Kohl — makes look effortless during their performances.
The Jester’s Court will be spending most Fridays in August and September at the Voodoo Comedy Playhouse, 1260 22nd St. in Denver, performing its highly popular short-form improv comedy show.
This adults-only event encourages audience participation, with performers creating a new show each week depending on who is in the crowd.
For more information and tickets, visit www.jesterscourtcomedy.com.
Clarke’s Concert of the Week — Velorama Festival at the RiNo District
Denver isn’t a town particularly well-known for its music festivals. There have been some attempts over the years, and the brand new Grandoozy festival in September aims to change this track record, but for now it’s the smaller festivals that make the city home.
The Underground Music Showcase (UMS) took over downtown just a few weeks ago, and now the Velorama Festival will be in the booming RiNo District, 27th and Blake streets in Denver, from Friday, Aug. 17 through Sunday, Aug. 19.
This year’s festival mostly skews toward indie and alt-rock, with well-established acts like Modest Mouse and Cold War Kids headlining while genre stalwarts like Hop Along and Rainbow Kitten Surprise open.
In addition to the music, Velorama also features games, art installations, exhibitors, and of course, food trucks and beer.
Single-day tickets are available now, so head to www.veloramafestival.com to get yours now
Appreciate cars for a cause
Supporting first responders is a cause that practically everyone can get behind, and when classic cars get added to the mix, it’s difficult to say no.
Lodo’s Bar and Grill, 8545 S. Quebec St. in Highlands Ranch, will be hosting a Car Show for First Responders from 2 to 6 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 18.
Attendees can vote for their favorite cars, try special drinks and dance to live music. Best of all, proceeds for every ticket purchase and car registration go directly to Lodo’s First Responder Charity Partners: the Colorado Professional Fire Fighters Foundation and the Colorado Police Officers Foundation.
For tickets, visit www.nightout.com/events/lodos-car-show-for-first-responders/tickets.
Clarke Reader’s column on culture appears on a weekly basis. A community editor with Colorado Community Media, he can be reached firstname.lastname@example.org.
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