Tommy Bolin, Zephyr, Otis Taylor, and Freddi & Henchi, with Special Guests
Tuesday, December 3, 2019, at The New Mission Ballroom
On December 3, 2019, the Colorado Music Hall of Fame presented by Comfort Dental will host the inductions of ‘70s rock/fusion guitarist Tommy Bolin; award-winning blues pioneer Otis Taylor; Zephyr and its dynamic lead singer, Candy Givens; Colorado legends Freddi & Henchi, “The Crown Princes of Funk;” legendary concert promoter Tony Spicola; and Colorado music journalist Wendy “Rock & Roll” Kale.
The evening will include performances by David and Anna Givens, the Otis Taylor Band, Freddi Gowdy and members of the Freddi & Henchi Band (backed by Chris Daniels & The Kings), and the Tommy Bolin Tribute Band, which will be comprised of former members of Tommy Bolin’s band including Stanley Sheldon (longtime member of the Peter Frampton Band), Johnnie Bolin (Tommy’s brother and a member of Black Oak Arkansas), Max Carl (current lead singer of Grand Funk Railroad and former singer for 38 Special), Bobby Berge (formerly of Zephyr and Buddy Miles Band), Lucas Parker and Jeff Cook, (co-writer with Tommy Bolin) with special guests Joe Bonamassa and Warren Haynes.
Doors open at 6:30 p.m. at the Mission Ballroom, 4242 Wynkoop Street in Denver, with the show starting at 7:30 p.m. Bring your dancing shoes! (A pre-concert dinner and meet-and-greet with the performers will be part of the VIP festivities).
Tommy Bolin’s meteoric ascent to fame began with his role as guitarist for Zephyr; in addition to working as a solo artist, he later replaced Joe Walsh in the James Gang, and worked with Deep Purple and such jazz-fusion icons as Billy Cobham (at the age of 22, Bolin played on Cobham’s award-winning album Spectrum). He passed away in 1976, but his music lives on.
Zephyr, with Candy and David Givens, John Farris, Robbie Chamberlin, and Tommy Bolin, produced the first psychedelic-rock superstars to come out of Colorado in the 1970s. (Candy Givens has often been compared favorably to Janis Joplin, and Zephyr’s appearances with Jimi Hendrix were highlights.) The band’s song “Going Back to Colorado” inspired the title for the Colorado Music Hall of Fame Class of 2019 induction.
Boulder-based Otis Taylor is one of the world’s most prolific blues artists and the founder of the Trance Blues Festival. He’s the winner of multiple W.C. Handy awards and has inspired young blues artists and fans alike to explore the role of race and oppression in the music.
Freddi Gowdy and Henchi Graves were part of a wave of late ‘60s soul/rock era act like Sly and the Family Stone. They came to Colorado in 1970 as Freddi Henchi and the Soulsetters, and for thirty years, the Freddi & Henchi “party” was the best soul review in the area.
Concert promoter Tony Spicola owned KDZA-AM, Pueblo’s powerhouse radio station. He brought The Who to Colorado for their first-ever appearance in the state. He subsequently booked concerts by Ike & Tina Turner, Buffalo Springfield, the Yardbirds, the Everly Brothers, and so many more. In the ‘80s, he sparked a music renaissance in southern Colorado, and his infamous “Val Halen Brown M&M Concert” at USC Pueblo made MTV’s Top 12 Roughest Nights in Music History.
The late Wendy “Rock & Roll” Kale started her music career as a publicist for the CU Program Council; her music writing helping ignite the careers of Big Head Todd & The Monsters, The Samples, Chris Daniels and many more.
The Colorado Music Hall of Fame:
The Colorado Music Hall of Fame presented by Comfort Dental is a non-profit created to honor individuals and organizations that have made outstanding contributions to the music scene, to preserve and protect the history of the scene, and to educate the public regarding everything great about Colorado music
Previous inductees include John Denver, Red Rocks Amphitheatre, five-time Grammy-winning jazz vocalist Dianne Reeves, Philip Bailey from Earth Wind & Fire, swing-era giant Glenn Miller, KBCO radio, Harry Tuft, promoter Barry Fey of Family Dog fame, Firefall, the Astronauts, Flash Cadillac, KIMN radio, folk legend Judy Collins, the Serendipity Singers, Bob Lind, Chris Daniels, Stephen Stills/Manassas, Poco, the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band and many . All are commemorated at the Hall’s home in the world-renowned Red Rocks Amphitheatre Trading Post; those displays will soon be joined by exhibits devoted to the Class of 2019 inductees