Citizen Cope performs Saturday at Telluride Wine Festival

Citizen Cope performs Saturday at Telluride Wine Festival

[click “Play” to hear Citizen Cope]

123032810001 Telluride Mountainfilm and Telluride Bluegrass are known far and wide as festivals for folks with a come-to-the-neighborhood feel. On the other hand, the Telluride Wine Festival, this weekend, June 25 – June 28, is perceived to be highbrow, for a sleek, well-heeled fraternity, who are all about Reidel, not KOTO plastic beer cups. It’s for “them,” not “us.” Right?

Wrong. What better proof of the event’s parochial bent than beer – yep, brews as well as wine and spirits this year – and another Telluride Wine Fest first: a concert Saturday evening, 7 p.m. – 9 p.m., featuring brooding urban poet and musical mixologist Clarence Greenwood, aka, Citizen Cope, a uncommon performer with a common touch.

Citizen Cope’s sound is a crazy quilt of styles from kicked-back piano tunes to hip hop, blues, go-go, rock and pop, whatever works to support the message – but the message, Cope’s lyrics, that’s something else.

Citizen Cope is a plain-spoken sonic auteur, Truffaut with a guitar. His musical canvas is spray-painted with an unusually elastic cast of memorable characters, outcasts and down-and-outers, dreamers and schemers, caught up in existential melodramas underscored by universal themes. In an odd twist on “Pygmalion,” one song, “Pablo Picasso,” features a deranged dude who falls in love with a babe painted in a wall mural. Shifty middle-aged hustlers, corrupt police, drug dealers, girls in tight jeans, and wild teens populate Cope’s insane universe.  Even John Lennon and D’Artagnan have cameos in his evocative narratives.

Citizen Cope is also a multi-instrumentalist: He plays guitar, keyboards and drum machines. He sings in a mellow voice that belies his Memphis roots.

The self-taught musician is also largely self-made: Citizen Cope’s on-again, off-again relationship with The Industry is part of this young superstar’s urban legend.

To learn more, click the “play” button and listen to Citizen Cope’s podcast.

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