COLORADO'S 'FINEST QUALITY' LIVE ENTERTAINMENT
P.O. BOX 830; NEDERLAND, COLORADO 80466
The biggest music scene of any small town in America!
It is important to remember the many people and stories who should be recognized for contributing to “the scene” in Nederland. There is more history of music in Nederland then just what is happening in the town today.
There has been a long history of musical energy in the area, and long time residents of Nederland know this to be true more then anybody. What you are about to read is some of the data researched and collected about the history of music in this area. (Please contact us if you have any additional data, or if you find something to be incorrect.)
In the late 60's and early 70's, Jim Guercio hosted many legendary acts at his famous 'Caribou Recording Studios'. The studios burnt down in the mid-80s. Following is a small list of some of the people who spent time in Nederland:
Members of the following great bands currently reside in the Nederland area and call the Peak to Peak region their home:
In recent years, Nederland has seen a lot of new talent come through the area:
In the late 1960’s & early 70’s, long before the area became as populated as it now is, legends such as Stephen Stills, Dan Fogelberg, Joe Walsh, Joni Mitchell and Neil Young frequented Nederland’s 'Pioneer Inn' and 'Marvin’s Gardens' and Rollinsville's 'Stage Stop Inn'.
These artists (and many more) recorded internationally acclaimed hit records at 'Caribou Recording Studios'. This scene reined for over a decade as these performers moved in-and-out of the area and on to great fame and success.
Also at this time, bluegrass music was making a real buzz in the area. 'Hot Rize' was fresh on the local scene in the mid-70’s, and bluegrass jams (aka ‘picks’) at 'The Millsite Inn' in Ward were being roused by local legends such as Buck Buckner and the late, great Danny Elmore.
Over time, this close knit group lead to the formation of 'Leftover Salmon' and 'The Zukes of Zydeco' in the late 80's/early 90's. Leftover Salmon called new attention to the mountains outside of Boulder and began creating an attraction to a younger crowd.
1n 1993, Nederland’s 'Acoustic Coffee House' was opened by local ‘picker’ Tom Plant and his wife Dawn Dennison. Together, they created a serious impact in what was to come. As a venue they made a step towards a higher quality of music and brought back new standards to this evolving scene. Plant is currently a Colorado State Representative for Nederland's district, managing the coffee house when he has time.
Michigan Mike moved from Boulder (where he had been for just over two years) in March of 1995. When he landed in Nederland, he felt the energy hit hard. He had been coming to the mountains to see Leftover Salmon play at 'The Chalet Suisse' and 'The Stage Stop' for a few years prior, but when he became a resident was when he really got involved.
It was here that he began throwing back yard festivals. Also, a small bar called 'Top Of The Square' was hosting an open mic which attracted the younger clientele then what Nederland was used to at the time.
Eventually, when winter called for the outside parties to cease, he convinced the owners of 'Top Of The Square' to let him bring bands to their restaurant. He brought in bands who were either newly formed or new to the area, bands such as 'Skin' (w/ Dave Watts) and 'Blackdog'.
Live music worked great for ‘The Top’ and they immediately began knocking down walls to accommodate for the bands that he booked. This is when the new, younger scene really started to happen. A list of Artists who performed at The Top can be found by clicking here.
The success of Top Of The Square brought welcomed competition from other bars in town. 'The Tungsten Grill' had just opened and started hosting live music. Also, 'The Pioneer Inn' and 'The Assay Office' began bringing in more music, seeing it once again help draw crowds.
Early in the summer of 1996, Michigan Mike organized the first 'Nederland Music and Arts Festival' downtown in Nederland’s Chipeta Park. It was a two-day event focusing on our community, it’s musicians and artists.
The last Monday of July ‘96 featured the debut of 'Nederland Acid Jazz', which raised the town’s standards for quality yet again. The gig still happens on Monday nights and contains a cast of many of the Front Range’s young first-class musicians in a constantly changing rotation.
Only a few weeks after the first NAJ, MIMike also started 'Bluegrass Wednesday' at The Top. The first Wednesday gig featured the legendary 'Charles Sawtelle & the Whippetts'.
These recent happenings brought great attention from people who wanted ‘in’ on the action. It was these people who helped evolve the scene faster then ever before... perhaps a little too fast. 'The Moontime Bar & Grill' had just recently opened, inviting Boulder influences to Nederland. Moontime hosted some good bands such as Merle Saunders & the Rainforest Band, Jorma Kauckonan and Culture.
'The New Potato Cafe' re-opened the doors of The Chalet Suisse building, which had closed about 18 months prior, in February of 1997. This created another larger venue in Nederland and for The New Potato’s grand opening, Michigan Mike featured jazz guitar legend 'Stanley Jordan'. This event brought even further recognition to Nederland.
Stanley returned in June for some solo shows, and Mike convinced him to play with many of the Nederland Acid Jazz players. The performance was one of the finest to ever happen in Nederland and is widely known as the “Stanley Jam”.
Perhaps because this new scene was so young and furtile, all of these new venues could not sustain. Audiences were being spread far too thin. The New Potato shut it's doors the very September after they opened due to extreme rent and high costs. The Top closed in January of 1998, and The Moontime in September of 1998.
June of 1997 saw the opening of the 'Wolf Tongue Brewery' at the old 'Assay Office Saloon'. This introduced Nederland to it’s first and only brew pub. Michigan Mike shifted from The Top of The Square to The Wolf Tongue about a month after it had opened. They currently host great live music on a regular basis. A list of Artists who performed at The Tongue can be found by clicking here.
“It’s a changing of the guard.” says Dave, an ‘old timer’ who ran a music video program based out of Chicago almost two decades ago before moving to Nederland. He calls it “a new generation of music.”
I think in some ways he’s right. Nederland’s music scene is an interesting phenoema... one which I am constantly studying because it is constantly changing. I feel proud to have had an influence on this incredible lifestyle that we lead in Nederland.
As this area grows and expands, I hope that I will be able to continue spreading the good of music in my town, and I hope to expand that joy onto people in other communities as well.
I cannot give you a gig unless I know what you sound like. Therefore,
GET ON MICHIGAN MIKE'S MASS E-MAIL LIST!
GET ON MICHIGAN MIKE'S MASS E-MAIL LIST!