iAM MUSIC hosts Durango’s first music walk

by Anya Jaremko-Greenwold

You may have heard of Durango’s Art Walk on the first Thursday of every month – but have you ever heard of a music walk? Well, you’re about to. The first local event of its kind, the iAM (Downtown) MUSIC Walk will be a cross between a mini music fest and an art walk (minus the art, emphasis on the tunes). At eight pop-up venues around town, a variety of musicians are playing sets between 30 and 60 minutes long. So if you’re not feelin’ the vibe at one place, just head over to the next locale!

“We wanted a blending of local businesses and musicians you might not otherwise hear or see,” said Ashley Edwards, co-founder of iAM MUSIC and guitarist and vocalist for local bands Hello, Dollface and Ace Revel.

Lots of people go out drinking with their friends to venues where live music is incidental; they’re mostly there to chat, drink or catch the football game on TV. The person playing their heart out in the corner of the bar becomes background noise, unable to compete with distractions. In response to this, iAM MUSIC is bringing the focus back on the music. “We’ll have alcohol in certain venues, and The Ore House is catering at some of them, but it’s not the forefront,” said Edwards.

Three of the participating musicians are touring from other parts of the country; but the majority are regional or local, somehow involved in the Durango scene already. A couple of artists plan to play at multiple venues, and every venue will have a marked pancake board out front, telling attendants exactly who is featured and sponsoring there. Cute chalk footprints can also lead you around the map of melodies. iAM MUSIC students are featured throughout the event; Edwards hopes allowing young or burgeoning musicians to participate might prove to them they can stay in Durango, play music here and make it work. “You make your own possibilities wherever you are,” said Edwards. “You don’t have to move to LA or Austin or New York – Colorado is very much on the cutting-edge as far as supporting and funding artists.”

Naturally, there are differences between the music scene here and in larger cities. There are improvements to be made. “In Durango, you don’t have the element of, say, downtown Austin, where you’ll see multiple talented artists in one night,” said Edwards. “Here we have the same circuit in the same venues, which can get stale. So this is putting a new spin on it. You’ll have direct access to these musicians’ best sets – because if you go play The Office, normally you’re playing four or five hour sets, which forces people to play covers. That’s the standard in town. It burns the artist and the listener out – but this will keep everything fresh and moving.”

The event is a precursor/preview of the second annual iAM MUSIC Fest, scheduled for this August. The big festival will have a similar vibe to the music walk; although it takes place in warm summer weather, so there will be several outside venues plus hopefully a headlining band. The festival plans to include comedians, dancers, poets, performing artists and visual artists – not just music. The participating musicians at this Friday’s music walk include Holly Pyle, Sean Farley, Delaney Davis, Cyle Talley, Ace Revel, Better Knot Duo, Wolf Crossing, Alex Paul, Brother Clyde, Giovanina Bucci, Daniel Sagetree, Rebecca Favero, Jhan Doe, Sea to Shining Sea, Easton Stuard Trio, Afrobeatniks and the Six Dollar String Band.

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