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Coming Attractions

Irish band delivers unique blend of music

Recommended activities for the week

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St. Patrick’s Day weekend was a busy one for Adam Goldstein, CL Morden and Kenny Martinez. But that’s not much of a surprise when you’re in an Irish band.

Which makes the trio — better known as Avourneen — even more excited about its upcoming performance at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 5, at Swallow Hill’s Quinlan Café, 71 E. Yale Ave. in Denver.

“We were playing pubs, and when that’s the case, you’re working extra hard to be heard and get people dancing,” Goldstein said with a laugh. “But at a place like this, which has been so significant to artists in the community, it gives us a chance to play some of the calmer, slower stuff.”

Avourneen started in 2014, when guitarist and vocalist Goldstein and violinist and pianist Morden met as part of another Irish band. They loved the music of the Emerald Isle, but came at it from different angles — that’s how Avourneen came to life.

“We wanted to blend trad (traditional), energetic music with some of the more ballady stuff and inject some pop into it,” Goldstein said. “When I fell in love with Irish music, it was that blend of musical chops and sentiments. You can have all this energy and then the most heartrending content.”

Goldstein and Morden were recently joined by Martinez on stand-up bass and vocals, which has given the group new creative avenues to explore. They’re looking at new ways to explore the Irish music that audiences might be familiar with — songs like “Sparrow,” “Banks of the Liffey,” “Whiskey in the Jar,” “Come Out Ye Black and Tans” and “Drowsy Maggie.”

The band has discovered a passionate fanbase for this kind of music all over Colorado and have some exciting concerts this spring and summer, not only in this state, but also in Omaha, Nebraska and New Mexico.

“Irish music has made such an impact on the popular music people listen to today, from folk in the ‘60s and beyond,” Goldstein said. “I think some audiences are surprised at how engaging this material is and how complex and earnest it’s always been.”

To learn more about Avourneen, visit www.avourneen.com. And for tickets to the Swallow Hill performance, go to the organization's website.

Chris Hardwick, talking, in Denver

You might recognize Chris Hardwick as that guy you’ve seen talking about some of your favorite shows like “The Walking Dead” or “Better Call Saul.” Or, you might recognize his voice from the popular Nerdist podcast, one of the most downloaded podcasts online.

He also serves as host and executive producer of various shows including NBC’s “The Wall” and the upcoming “The Awesome Show.” Previously, Hardwick served as host and executive producer of Comedy Central’s two-time Emmy Award-winning nightly comedy game show @midnight, which aired its 600th and final episode in August 2017.

Hardwick has maintained a connection to his standup roots throughout his ever-changing career, and will be performing at Comedy Works in Denver’s Larimer Square, 1226 15th St. He has shows at 8 p.m. on Thursday, April 5, at 7:30 and 9:45 p.m. on Friday, April 6 and Saturday, April 7.

For tickets, visit www.comedyworks.com/comedians/chris-hardwick.

And here's my favorite Chirs Hardwick thing:

Clarke’s Concert of the Week — Dan Auerbach at Paramount Theatre

Most people are familiar with guitarist, singer and songwriter Dan Auerbach as half of the blues rock duo, The Black Keys. But Auerbach and drummer Patrick Carney have been on hiatus for the past few years, taking time to do their own thing.

For Auerbach, he’s had the chance to embrace the rock and country sounds of Nashville, where his Easy Eye Sound Studio is located. Last year, he released his second solo album, “Waiting on a Song,” and he’s stopping by the Paramount Theatre, 1621 Glenarm Place in Denver, at 8 p.m. on Thursday, April 5.

Attendees will get more than a performance by Auerbach — the tour is named The Easy Eye Sound Revue and features Robert Finley, Shannon Shaw and Shannon and the Clams Date and Time, all who have played in the studio.

Auerbach has been making music with sessions legends like drummer Gene Chrisman and keyboardist Bobby Wood, musicians who have played with titans like Elvis. He’s taken that passion for honest music and brought it on his tour. Finley, 64, worked as a carpenter in Louisiana until three years ago, when he started going blind. He was performing on the street when he was discovered by the Music Maker Relief Foundation, according to an article in “Rolling Stone.”

For tickets, visit www.altitudetickets.com/events/detail/dan-auerbach.

Colorado Book Award finalist reading

Every year, the Colorado Humanities organization hosts the Colorado Book Awards to celebrate the accomplishments of Colorado’s outstanding authors, editors, illustrators and photographers.

Awards are presented in at least 10 categories including anthology/collection, biography, children’s, creative nonfiction, fiction, history, nonfiction, pictorial, poetry and young adult. This year, the winners will be announced on June 2.

Colorado Book Awards finalists in the Mystery, Science Fiction/Fantasy and Thriller categories will participate in a reading at 7 p.m. on Friday, April 6, at BookBar, 4280 Tennyson St. in Denver. The emcee for the evening is two-time Colorado Book Award winner in the Thriller category, Carter Wilson.

Some of the authors reading will be Barbara Nickless, who will read from her mystery novel “Dead Stop;” Charlotte Hinger, who will read from her mystery novel “Fractured Families;” and Michael F. Haspil, who will read from his science fiction/fantasy novel “Graveyard Shift.”

To learn more, call 303-894-7951 or visit coloradohumanities.org.

Join the Mile High Soul Club at the opera

Soul and R&B music is one of the best and most overlooked genres in contemporary society. There was a time, in the ‘50s and ‘60s, when soul was the style of music for artists looking to explore the height of their creativity and simultaneously make music you could really dance to.

The Mile High Soul Club is one of the best ways for Mile High residents to tap into that energy, with their monthly soul nights. DJs Tyler Jacobson, DogBoy, Steve Cervantes and Jason Heller play classic soul, R&B and funk vinyl 45s that are guaranteed to get you on the dance floor.

This month’s Mile High Soul Club part is at 9 p.m. on Saturday, April 7 at the Syntax Physic Opera, 554 S. Broadway in Denver.

For more information, visit www.milehighsoulclub.com.

Clarke Reader’s column on culture appears on a weekly basis. A community editor with Colorado Community Media, he can be reached creader@coloradocommunitymedia.com.

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