Join us for the second weekend of Spring Grüv as we host a free concert by Brett Dennen in the Resort Village, beginning at 3:00pm. Ryan Montbleau will begin the show as our opening act. Celebrate. Compete. Watch. Ski. Ride. Grüv. Thanks to Mountain Town Music for the concert production.
About Brett Dennen:
Brett Dennen, a folk/pop singer and songwriter from Northern California, seems to be growing into his voice. High-pitched, fragile, and delicate, at times sounding eerily like Tracy Chapman or Billie Holiday, that voice, at first anyway, can be distracting, drawing attention away from his airy, melodic, and carefully written songs, although that voice hasn't kept his first four albums from drawing a lot of critical acclaim and attention. On Smoke and Mirrors, his fifth full-length release, which follows the African rhythms and pop veneer of 2011's Loverboy, Dennen's vocals seem stronger and more certain, and the new songs, although well in line with what he's been writing all along, also seem to have accepted a simpler, easier template, and the sometimes ornate lyrics and phrasing that have kept a song or two from breathing in the past are largely absent here. Working with producer Charlie Peacock in Nashville, and featuring bassist Mark Hill, guitarist Jerry McPherson, drummer Aaron Sterling, and background vocalist Ruby Amanfu, Smoke and Mirrors has fewer pop touches and more of an acoustic backdrop than his previous album, all of which allows this new set of songs to breathe, and Dennen sings them well, sounding at times more like Jason Mraz and less like Jimmy Scott. The production is warm and wide, and sparse in all the right ways, giving songs like the opener, the bouncy "Sweet Persuasion," and the first single, the singalong "Wild Child," a sturdy feel, more joyous and feisty than fragile and delicate. Another highlight, the infectious "When We Were Young," sounds like a classic Tom Petty song, albeit with a higher-pitched lead vocal. In all, this outing is perhaps Dennen's strongest so far, with a warm and easy acoustic feel to it.
Dennen's wunderkind rise has been impressive. In 2004 Dennen released his self-titled debut, followed quickly by his sophomore LP So Much More (2006) which spent months on the Billboard Heatseeker chart. The release drew the attention of John Mayer, for whom Dennen opened in 2006 and 2007. In 2008 the artist released his follow-up, Hope for the Hopeless, which debuted at #41 on the Billboard Top 200 and firmly established Dennen as a definitive new voice in modern songwriting. He's worked with Femi Kuti, Natalie Merchant, and Jason Mraz; he's toured with Dave Matthews, Rodrigo y Gabriela, and The John Butler Trio; and he's played Bonarroo, Austin City Limits, Coachella, Outside Lands, and Newport Folk Festival. He's also become the go-to guy for some of the best and most artfully soundtracked contemporary TV shows. His songs have appeared on Scrubs, Grey's Anatomy, Parenthood, Brothers & Sisters, and House among others.
About Ryan Montbleau:
Songs for Ryan Montbleau typically need to simmer. In his 10-year career this gifted singer and his limber band have built their catalog the old-fashioned way, by introducing new songs to their live set, then bending and shaping them over dozens of performances before committing a definitive version to the hard drive.
For that and many other reasons, Montbleau's next album, For Higher, is quite literally a departure. Well-established out of his home base in the Northeast, the singer threw himself into New Orleans, where everything is slow-cooked, for a few fast-moving days — and whipped up an instant delicacy.
At 34, he's a late-bloomer who's right on time. Montbleau didn't start singing and playing guitar in earnest until he was in college, at Villanova. Later, working at the House of Blues in Boston, he began playing solo sets there as a warmup act. His band — there's now six of them — came together naturally, over time, planting strong roots in coffeeshops, folk venues and rock clubs before converting audiences on an outdoor festival circuit that now stretches across the country. Through word of mouth and repeat visits, the band has built a devoted following from the Northeast to Chicago, Seattle and Austin. “It's like watching the grass grow,” says the easygoing Montbleau.
All concerts are free and begin at 3:00pm.
NOTE: No outside alcohol is allowed in for our spring concerts. We will have food and beverage options available in the Resort Village, so don't worry! And, please carpool.
Spring Concert Schedule:
- Saturday, February 15: The Patwa Reggae Band
- Saturday, February 22: Tony Holiday and The Velvetones
- Saturday, March 1: Son of Ian
- Saturday, March 8: This Must Be the Band
- Saturday, March 15: Folk Hogan
- Spring Grüv: Saturday, March 22: Steel Pulse (w/ opening act Cody ChesnuTT)
- Spring Grüv: Sunday, March 23: The Magic Beans
- Spring Grüv: Saturday, March 29: Brett Dennen (w/ opening act Ryan Montbleau)
- Spring Grüv: Sunday, March 30: The Mother Hips (w/ opening act Holy Water Buffalo)
- Saturday, April 5: Mark Sexton Band
- Sunday, April 13: Nigel & the Metal Dogs