Music on the Green, Mountain Village: Shake A Shoe to Brent Cowles, 6/29

Music on the Green, Mountain Village: Shake A Shoe to Brent Cowles, 6/29

All summer long, the Town of Mountain Village, Telluride, is filled with the sound of music – and more. For details, go here.

In addition to the ever popular Sunset Concert Series, other not-to-be-missed live music shows are the early evening Music on the Green concerts, produced by Denise Mongan of Beyond the Groove and Club Red fame.

Music on the Green takes place in Reflection Plaza just outside the Madeline Hotel, 5 – 7 p.m. (Excluding July 13 & 27.)

Next up: Brent Cowles, 6/29.

“Brent Cowles rocks his shows,” says Denise. “My crystal ball says the man has a big future in the music business. Come see what I am talking about so you too can claim some bragging rights and say you knew Brent when…”

Scroll down for a preview of Cowles’ show.


That’s what Brent Cowles scribbled in a notebook one afternoon as he grappled with the complexities of his newfound independence. It was meant to be the start of a list, a survival guide for navigating the solitude and loneliness of our increasingly isolated world, but instead, it turned out to be a dead-end recipe for writer’s block.

“I realized then that I actually didn’t know how to be okay alone,” reflects the Denver native. “But I also realized that it was okay not to know.”

A deeply honest, intensely personal portrait, How To Be Alone, Cowles’ latest release, channels loss and anxiety into acceptance and triumph as the singer-songwriter learns to make peace with his demons and redirect his search for satisfaction inwards.

Blurring the lines between boisterous indie rock, groovy R&B, and contemplative folk, the music showcases both Cowles’ infectious sense of melody and his stunning vocals, which seem to swing effortlessly from quavering intimacy to a soulful roar as they soar atop his exuberant, explosive arrangements.

“…It didn’t take long for Cowles to bust out his fancy footwork and quirkily exaggerated expressions. One of the things we love about Cowles is his dancing, and he always encourages everyone to use their dancing shoes, too. Even without the encouragement, movement comes easy at a Brent Cowles set — his genre-blend of soul, country, southern rock and modern rock will have you shimmying and tapping your toes with every strum of his guitar or whip of his hair…,” wrote Denver’s 303 Magazine.

Growing up, Brent Cowles first discovered the power of his voice singing hymns at his father’s church in Colorado Springs. Having a pastor for a parent meant heavy involvement in religious life, but Cowles never quite seemed to fit in.

At 16, Cowles fell in love with secular music; at 17 he recorded his first proper demos in a friend’s basement. At 18 he was married; at 19 he was divorced.

Meanwhile, what began as a solo musical project blossomed into the critically acclaimed band You Me & Apollo, which quickly took over his life. The Denver Post raved that the group created “some of the most exciting original music in Colorado.”

Westword proclaimed that their live show was a “clinic in roots rock mixed with old-school swing and blues.”

Seattle NPR station KEXP hailed “Cowles’ Otis Redding and Sam Cook-inspired vocals.”

The band released two albums and toured nationally before they called it quits and amicably went separate ways.

The parting was a necessary, but difficult for Cowles. In the ensuing months and years, he would find himself alone more than ever before, at one point living out of his Chevy Tahoe just to make ends meet. But rather than break him, the experience only strengthened his resolve.

How To Be Okay Alone finds Cowles thriving in the driver’s seat as a solo artist, making the most of solitude, while still appreciating the fact it is only human to need love and friendship.

“Hell if I know how to be okay alone,” Cowles reflects on it all with a laugh. “All I know is that I’m grateful for the people that I have, because I don’t think that anyone can get through this life by themselves.”

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