Otis Taylor: Telluride Blues & Brews In Denver

296The Telluride Blues & Brews Festival celebrates two decades of putting on one of the most well-respected festivals in the country – and Listen Up Denver! is throwing a party.

The evening celebrating Telluride Blues & Brews takes place at Park House in Denver, 1515 Madison Street, Saturday, August 3 – simply because the festival in September can’t come fast enough for fans. Thanks to help from Oskar Blues Brewery and Grammy- winning recording engineer John Macy, internationally recognized Blues legend Otis Taylor headlines at this intimate “Road To Telluride Blues & Brews” event with a few of his friends. Taylor plans to offer up his signature “Trance Blues” roadhouse style, just inches from fans lucky enough to get tickets to this exclusive party.

Taylor is known for his raw approach to addressing heavy, but everyday topics. Life ain’t easy the blues tell us, but it doesn’t mean we gotta be all glum about it. Taylor sings songs and tells the truth, acknowledging the social issue weighing us down while simultaneously lifting us up. Now if that ain’t the true purpose of the Blues, what is?

Taylor lived in Denver as a teenager, not far from where Park House stands today, and frequently rode a unicycle to Manual High School, playing his banjo through the Five Points neighborhood. From the 1920s to the 1950s Five Points was the Harlem of the West, but by the time Taylor was playing and cycling his way to school, things were on a steady decline. Drugs, crime, racial tensions, and glaring injustices were daily specials on life’s menu as Taylor as he rode past, plucking out a song, while acknowledging the harsh truths in front of his eyes.

While Taylor stepped away from performing and recording Blues music in 1977 to pursue other interests, he made a grand return in 1995 that led him to critical acclaim. Thirteen albums and a few laps around the globe later, Taylor is scheduled to perform at the 20th Annual Telluride Blues & Brews Festival. It is an honor to be celebrating the anniversary of Blues & Brews with him in a place so close to his roots, and there is not a musician more representative of the Blues born in Colorado. Please join us in welcoming the legendary Otis Taylor to Park House, and toasting Blues & Brews for giving us two decades of incredible music in one of the most beautiful places on the planet.

Opening for Otis Taylor is Delta-bred Robby Peoples, one of the most distinct, powerful, and bluesy voices on the Denver music scene today. He too speaks of harsh truths in his lyrics with an authenticity that is staggering for a man his age. Charismatic and charming, Peoples energetically growls tunes about late nights, whiskey bottles and bad decisions…a perfect primer for the Park House party.

Show time is 7:30 p.m.

Tickets, $10, are available here.

Watch Otis Taylor in action in this video.

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