Dakota Blonde to headline last show in the Chief Theater’s Singer Songwriter Series | SteamboatToday.com

Dakota Blonde to headline last show in the Chief Theater’s Singer Songwriter Series

Dakota Blonde is a band often drawn to the unspoken, sometimes unexplainable, power of music.

For them, music has the ability to heal.

About 18 years ago, the three original members met working in the 24-hour-care child and adolescent unit at the Colorado State Mental Health Institute in Fort Logan. There, they had the opportunity to combine their passions for music, science and helping others.

“Music really is such a special force,” said Mary Huckins, singer-songwriter for the band. “It stirs emotions that we don’t even know are in us sometimes. It can tap into past memories, make it easier to express something one is unable to express in other ways. It can draw people together or aid in a positive social connection. Music can tap into parts of the brain that nothing else can reach, and some of that is still yet to be explained.”

The group is known for their “Dakota Blonde style,” which is a combination of new folk, acoustic rock and bluegrass. At 7 p.m. this evening, members Don Pinnella, Tony Raddell, and Huckins will perform with bluegrass musician Ernie Martinez for the last show in the Chief Theater’s Singer Songwriter Series.

Building a rapport with audiences quickly, Huckins said in order to have a great show, there has to be a genuine experience for all.

“To have a good show you have to have something the audience can identify with that makes you feel something extra,” she said. “And with some good humor mixed in with that.”

Songs in their repertoire range from piano ballads to more folk and bluegrass interpretations of life experience, as well as a touch of personal sentiment.

With their first album released in 1997, the group has come a long way from where they began and has developed an unending friendship that allows them to click as members in the band.

“Their positive vibes and the way they relate to the audience makes them a really special act to see,” said Arty Smith, who booked the talent for the Singer Songwriter Series. “I’m really looking forward to the audience reaction and enthusiasm they have for these guys because when I’ve booked them in the past, the whole audience was on their feet.”

Since the first show in October, Smith said the Singer Songwriter Series has been a great experience overall, both in terms of the number of acts and the audience reactions to the performances. The musicians in the lineup included Acoustic Eidolon, Chuck Pyle with Gordon Burt, Rebecca Folsom and the Strangebyrds, Spencer Bohren, and Cosy Sheridan.

As the last act for the Singer Songwriter Series, Smith said Dakota Blonde is a great way to round out the lineup due to their many connections with other musicians who came to Steamboat for the series.

“Now we just need to review where we’ve been and where we want to go from here,” Smith said. “I’m not really sure when the next Singer Songwriter Series will happen, but we want to continue to work on helping the community understand what we are doing and to embrace what we are doing as well.”

Tickets for the show at the Chief Theater are $10 for adults and $5 for students. They can be purchased online, at the Chief Theater or the Shoe Chalet and Boutique.

To reach Audrey Dwyer, call 970-871-4229, email adwyer@SteamboatToday.com or follow her on Twitter @Audrey_Dwyer1

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