My Favorite Bands Festival
“My Favorite Bands” is a good name for a festival. Everybody’s got their own
That’s what Greeley musician, entrepreneur, and promoter Damon Smith was thinking when he first pieced this shindig together several years back, putting the word out for a wide variety of tribute band acts in the Northern Colorado area.
And because “he” is so excepted and/or enamored by so many people of different age groups and back grounds, I thought it would be a kick to offer to throw Frank into the melting pot (maybe stew would be a better word here) as part of this celebration of American pop music.
Well, great minds think alike. Damon agreed it would be a nice addition, and as it turned out, I was later elected to be the opening act for the festivities, which fell on the first day of fall, which falls on September 22nd, which happens to be my birthday.
.. Ring-a-ding-ding, baby!
I got busy and hired John Mills, (a fine arranger) to grab a stack of my big band charts from the Sinatra song book, and pear them down to octet size. Then I took a few guys out on loan from the JMO horn section, along with some fine young talent from the highly reputable U.N.C. Jazz Lab bands, and began rehearsals.
Lincoln Park lies in the center of downtown, and the city fathers had left plenty of real estate for an event like the one that was about to happen. We went on at 1:00 PM, and I invited the crowd to enjoy this unique “swingin'”part of American musical history. .. And they did! What I wasn’t prepared for, was the quality of talent that followed us on stage.
I caught ten of the fourteen tribute bands that ranged from acts like Johnny Cash and Merle Haggard, to Bruce Springsteen and Edgar Winter. And they were all truly impressive. .. Scouts honor.
Epilogue: Met a lot of nice people, sampled some great food, drank some cold Coors,
and enjoyed myself right into the late hours of the evening. It was one nice birthday.