Cowboy Brad Fitch brings the music of John Denver to Steamboat
If you go
What: John Denver tribute concert with Cowboy Brad Fitch
When: Oct. 15; doors/bar 6:30 p.m., show 7 p.m.
Where: Chief Theater, 813 Lincoln Ave.
Steamboat Springs — Cowboy Brad Fitch returns to the Chief Theater in downtown Steamboat Springs Oct. 15 to perform the timeless music of John Denver. He will be accompanied by the vocal harmonies of his sister, Melinda Morris, and his nephew, Eamonn Morris, on cello and bass.
Fitch, who is not a full-time John Denver tribute artist — it’s only about 10 percent of his career — will come straight to Steamboat from Aspen, where he was performing at the 19th Annual John Denver Memorial. Denver, who had a special place in his heart for Aspen, died in a private plane off the coast of California Oct. 12, 1997.
Audience members can feel free to sing along and call out requests when Cowboy Brad comes to town, but they are apt to sense his emotional state if he performs any of three songs, in particular.
“There are three John Denver songs that can still break me up, so I have to be very controlled when I perform them live,” Fitch said. “They are ‘On the Wings of a Dream,’ ‘Rhymes and Reasons’ and ‘Yellowstone.’”
Denver was renowned for performing with symphony orchestras all over the world, and Saturday’s audience may experience a taste of that sound when Eamonn Morris performs on his cello.
“Acoustic cello and guitar compliment each other so well,” Fitch observed. “John Denver was actually an excellent guitarist. His version of Peter Seeger’s ‘Bells of Rhymney’ (also recorded by the Byrds in 1965) blew me away.’
Fitch has learned through performing across the country that the music of John Denver helps audiences of a certain age tap into what they were doing in the ’70s and ’80s.
“Routinely, people say, ‘The music just makes me happy.’ But they also admire his messages of peace and conservation,” Fitch said. “I’m really looking forward to Saturday night, and I hope to see a lot of familiar, and new, faces at the concert.”
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