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None of this is true

These musicians say they'll party -- but they've been known to lie

Autumn Phillips
What: Incognito When: 8:30 tonight Where: Hahn's Peak Cafe on Routt County Road 129 in Hahn's Peak Tickets: $12 in advance or $15 at the door. $7 after 9 p.m. Call: 871-1495

It’s inevitable that you will play straight man to Incognito’s comedian. At first, you’ll stand in the crowd looking at the stage as the group warms up. As its antics mix with the music, you’ll crack a smile, and before you know it, you’ll be dancing.

According to a news release, Incognito (which appeared once before on stage as Incognito and the Nashville Rejects, formerly known as Midlife Crisis, minus and featuring Fastlane Charlie Reynolds and Too Tall Dailey among others) was formed in 1973 as a Partridge Family tribute band.

“When asked if any Partridge Family songs will be covered, keyboardist Jeff Clark replied, ‘Not realistically. It’s dangerous material to cover,'” according to the news release. “He elaborated that last summer during the band’s ‘Intensity in One City: Double Live Gonzo Tour’ in Baggs, Wyo., lead guitar player Dave Hunt suffered a scratched cornea when a piece of lingerie was throw onto the stage. … As a result, all Partridge Family tunes have been removed from the band’s repertoire. However, they have not ruled out a summer Monkees tribute, and for the band’s protection, they will be performing from inside a 1967 Air Stream suspended 80 feet in the air by Clark’s state-of-the-art industrial crane.”

Of course, none of this is true.

“Truth is a relative thing,” Clark said.

To appreciate Incognito, you first must have a healthy sense of irony, a flexible sense of reality and, to understand the evolution of the band, you need to have a good grasp of simple math.

Incognito was born years ago as a band of innumerable ski patrol members who took the stage as The Earplugs. Add or subtract a few members, and the band played a few gigs as Midlife Crisis. Add or subtract a few more members, and the band became Incognito and the Nashville Rejects. One last name refinement to Incognito and the band promises that this five-member incarnation will be around for a while.

“We’re ready to hit the big time,” Hunt said.

These days, though Charlie Reynolds is the only ski patroller in the band, the group still lives in its own shadow, known informally to many audience members as “the ski patrol band.”

Incognito, officially, is made up of Jim and Melanie Dailey, Hunt, Clark and Reynolds. Clark has been on stages in Routt County on and off since 1979, in bands such as Dr. Wu, More Spores, Danny and the Drifters and Bruce, Lenny and Tom. (Which you may or may not remember, because they may or may not have existed, given Clark’s track record.)

Incognito (and this is the true part) plays a mix of blues, rock ‘n’ roll and country music — anything that gets people on the dance floor. They play Grateful Dead, Phish, Santana and Jimi Hendrix covers mixed with originals such as Hunt’s “The Planet Ain’t Dying,” which is basically “a bitter love song,” Hunt said. “It seems I have to be heartbroken to write music.”

The band also plays an original song written by Jim Dailey called “Save the Bale,” the origins of which are somewhat dubious and won’t be discussed in this newspaper.

For a while, the band practiced in an airplane hangar on Steve Brown’s property, but since has moved its operation to North Routt, where much of its fan base resides. And Incognito will be rocking North Routt tonight with a cameo appearance by recent Steamboat Springs High School graduate Cody Badarracca.

“When we play, it’s a party,” Melanie Dailey said. “We played Hahn’s Peak before and rocked that place all night. Our audience is made up of people who like to have a good time.”


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