By Steve Graham
In between staging the 13th and 14th YarmonyGrass festivals, organizer Andrew McConathy is bringing his band and some other musician friends to Vail and Fort Collins for some Yarmony-style jams during the holidays.
The Yarmony Holiday Heater takes over the Aggie Theatre on Saturday, Dec. 29. McConathy leads the Drunken Hearts, an “Electrifying Americana” quintet that will headline the show with songs that bridge rock and alt-country. McConathy also expects to jam with openers Grant Farm and the Jon Stickley Trio.
Boulder’s Grant Farm is a roots band led by national flatpicking guitar champion Tyler Grant. The group has generated national buzz for its live shows and the Meeting on the Mountain webcast series. The Jon Stickley Trio is a progressive instrumental group from Asheville, N.C., that blends high-energy genres on fiddle, flat-picked guitar and drums.
McConathy formed The Drunken Hearts in Vail in 2011, five years after creating the first YarmonyGrass festival north of Vail. It takes place every summer at Rancho Del Rio on the Colorado River in the shadow of the namesake Yarmony Mountain.
As YarmonyGrass has grown, the Drunken Hearts have turned into the host band, and McConathy has formed musical and personal connections with other local acts.
“It’s always fun to build a great bill with bands that have a connection to the festival, and Grant Farm has played a number of times so it made sense to present it as Yarmony event,” he said. “We’ve played many shows with Grant Farm and they are great friends of ours.”
The show is also something of a warmup for the Dec. 30 and 31 Infamous Stringdusters shows in Denver. Both the Drunken Hearts and the Jon Stickley Trio are opening acts.
“We decided to add a few more shows and make a weekend out of it,” McConathy said.
Tickets cost $15, and McConathy hints that other musicians may join the bill.
“You never know who might show up to play at a Yarmony event,” he said.
Visit http://aggietheatre.com for tickets and more information.