Craig’s summer events, concerts to be full of fun |

Craig’s summer events, concerts to be full of fun

Grand Olde West Days, Whittle the Wood have variety of musical acts

The Subdudes, pictured, will be the healdining act of the 17th annual Whittle the Wood Rendezvous this June. The band is one of many acts visiting Craig this summer both for Whittle the Wood and Grand Olde West Days, which takes place throughout Memorial Day weekend.
Courtesy Photo

Summer is on the way for Craig and Moffat County, and with the warmer weather comes favorite seasonal events like Grand Olde West Days and Whittle the Wood Rendezvous.

Riding high again

After some uncertainty last year about the future of Grand Olde West Days, the Memorial Day weekend tradition is assuredly coming back to entertain once again, full of the kind of happenings that the cowboy crowd are sure to love.

On May 27 and 28, the Moffat County Fairgrounds will be the site of Iron Man Ranch Bronc Riding, sanctioned by Western States Ranch Rodeo Association, a two-day, five-round gathering with a $7,500 purse — 25 riders start and only five will remain.

The fairgrounds will be bustling twice as much the next day as multiple events, starting with the fifth annual Moffat County Horse Power Draft Horse & Mule Show, followed by the second annual Yampa River Ranch Rodeo, sanctioned by both WSRRA and Women’s Ranch Rodeo Association.

In addition to the roping and riding portion of the weekend, the schedule of events also includes the parade in downtown Craig as well as the performance of an original play by David Morris.

Summer sounds

A variety of musical acts are also planned for Grand Olde West Days, the first of which is Colorado’s own Nick Cocozzella, better known as The Cold Fire, an acoustic act well known in Denver and beyond the Front Range.

The following night will bring in the country band Chancey Williams and the Younger Brothers Band. Williams, a Wyoming native, is well-known not only for his music but also being one of only two people to both compete in the rodeo and perform onstage as part of Cheyenne Frontier Days.

The regional tunes will keep on coming for GOWD with Tris Munsick & the Innocents and The Two Tracks — both groups hailing from Sheridan, Wyoming, each focusing on country — and JShogren Shanghai’d, of Centennial, Wyoming, boasting “Catawampus American music.”

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Tune in the music, tune out the chainsaws

No sooner will GOWD be over than the next big summer event be upon us — Whittle the Wood.

The organizers of the 17th annual carving event caused a stir when they announced the final day would come with a $5 admission fee, but the multi-day carving exhibition and craft fair is expecting a good crowd.

“This year’s line-up offers a little bit of everything from classic rock to country and from a local band appearance to a national act,” organizer Dave Pike said. “Hopefully the lineup will appeal to a wider variety of music lovers and we will see some new faces.”

The music starts June 17 with Northwest Colorado’s own River City Band, reuniting after a hiatus, having played more than one Whittle the Wood concert in their time such as those headlined by Poco and Asleep at the Wheel.

The classic rock group includes Craig’s Danny Griffith and Anthony Tremaine and Meeker’s Dave Stewart.

“We’re just tickled about it,” Griffith said. “We’re a bunch of old rockers, just enjoying what we’re doing. It’s fun to entertain everyone.”

Following them will be Denver’s Wendy Woo Band, which prides itself on a “poly-ethnic, power pop” sound.

“We try to make it a fun dance-fest for an hour-and-a-half,” Woo said. “A lot of people can relate to the lyrics and relate to the groove.”

In addition to acknowledging the top tree trunks-turned-masterpieces, June 18 will see Loudy-Simpson Park again fill with tunes as Trail, a country act out of Parker, takes the stage. With influence from the 1980s and ‘90s, as well as all-around country, lead singer Dale Rinehart said the crowd will recognize many of their covers.

“We work very hard to sound like the originals, so people notice it right away and love to sing and dance along,” he said.

Last but not least comes the headliner for this year’s Whittle the Wood, roots rock group The Subdudes, whose music has encompassed genres such as American folk, swamp pop, zydeco, funk, soul, gospel and rhythm and blues.

Though the band traces their origins to New Orleans — featured in the Big Easy-centric HBO series “Treme” — they’ve had a great deal of success operating out of Colorado, also having appeared at venues in Steamboat Springs over the years.

Subdudes Bassist Tim Cook said he anticipates a free-wheeling show, different than some of their other recent gigs.

“We play a lot of listening, sit-down concert venues these days, so to play outside for a little festival, we like doing that, it’s a lot of fun,” he said. “It brings out a lot of energy.”

Though they’ll be joining the ranks of Blue Öyster Cult and Jefferson Starship, Cook said it will likely be a different kind of show for Whittle the Wood regulars.

“We’ve got a little bit more soulful sound, and I don’t know if we rock as much, but we still get down,” he said.

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Contact Andy Bockelman at 970-875-1793 or Contact Andy Bockelman at 970-875-1793 or Andy Bockelman at 970-875-1793 or

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