Video ~ Brad Fitch Tribute To John Denver Concert
If you loved John Denver, you’ll love this tribute to one of Colorado’s musical icons.
The 2008 John Denver Tribute Concert featuring Brad Fitch and the TropiCowboy Band will be held at the Stanley Park Rodeo Arena on the evening of Saturday, August 23. Gates open at 4:30 p.m.; performance at 7:30 p.m.
Cowboy Brad has performed John Denver tribute concerts for the Rocky Mountain Nature Association, the City of Fort Collins, Colorado, The Cancer Center of Arizona’s annual fund-raiser, and the Cultural Arts Council of Estes Park. The concerts, which feature John Denver’s songs, have set attendance records at their venues.
The John Denver Tribute has become an annual event in Estes Park, and this will be its fifth year. Says Cowboy Brad, “This is one of the most gratifying concerts that we perform, as we are proud to keep Denver’s music, memory and message alive through these events. I am absolutely thrilled to be performing this concert in Estes Park for the fifth year in a row. The first time we did it, I never dreamed that it would become an annual event.”
This concert will be sponsored by and performed to benefit the Lions Club of Estes Park, as a fund raiser for its many service programs. Brad continued, “It is important to us that funds raised from this event go to a cause that John Denver himself would have believed in.”
John Denver has always been a favorite of Cowboy Brad, who even resembles Denver. He stated, “I first learned some John Denver songs when I heard his early hit records on the radio. Throughout the years, I have learned more of his songs and come to appreciate the diversity and thoughtfulness in his song catalog. Not only are his melodies unforgettable, his lyrics evoke such beautiful images of the natural world. I share many of John Denver’s convictions, which are fully present in his songs.
He truly was a voice of reason, compassion and appreciation, and I am proud to be among the many singers throughout the world who is keeping his music, message and memory alive today. The things he had to say and the wonderful songs he wrote are too important to be forgotten. I greatly admire that he was one who used his celebrity for a higher purpose. John Denver worked to protect wild lands and habitats for endangered species. He promoted world peace, the planting of trees, and the feeding of the world’s hungry populations. He was one of, if not the first, western entertainers to perform in the USSR and China during the 1980s. Several of his songs are of a spiritual nature, and his recordings can bring tears to my eyes. His legacy is most impressive.”
In this concert Brad and the TropiCowboy Band will be performing John Denver’s most loved songs, and there are plenty to choose from. Each year, however, they include a few of his lesser-known pieces, especially for the fans who appreciate the breadth of his work.
Throughout the last five years Brad has slightly varied his instrumentation, in order to keep things fresh each time. This year, he is playing with an incredible line-up in the TropiCowboy Band. He will again welcome Johnny Neill, of Denver, on violin. Roger Meyers, from Fort Collins, will be joining him on bass for the second year. He is also honored to have “Jammin’” Jimmy Sferes playing lead and slide guitars with him this summer. Also new to the band is Jon Darling, an excellent percussionist from Denver whom he’s had the pleasure of performing with in Aspen and at Red Rocks last year. And finally, Brad was very happy to report that Scott Anderson will be singing with him again this year.
Said Brad, “I have performed John Denver tributes in several out-of-town venues now, and am always amazed by how many people turn out to hear his music. It is most rewarding to be performing this concert in Estes Park, as nothing compares to the hometown audience. I am always careful to explain that it is not our intention to replicate the way John Denver sounded on his records, but to pay tribute to him through my own interpretations of his songs.”
Proceeds from the concert will go to the Lions Club. They conduct vision and health screenings, build parks, support eye hospitals, award scholarships, assist youth, provide help in time of disaster, foster international relations and much more. And Lions Clubs’ cultural and environmental programs help us to understand, celebrate and protect our planet and its inhabitants, much like John Denver did himself.
Locally, the Estes Park Lions Club supports many community activities including Vision and Hearing screenings as well as the provision for eyeglasses and hearing aids for individuals in need. They also make regular contributions to many local organizations such as the Rocky Mountain Nature Association, Habitat for Humanity, Estes Valley Victim’s Advocates, and Colorado Lions Camp for handicapped children.
Gates open at 4:30 at the fairgrounds and opening bands for the evening will be:
At 5 p.m.-Estes Park Jazz Big Band
At 6 p.m.-Weekend Otis Trio
Also at the event will be environmental displays and some great food and beverages.
Ticket price is $20 in advance; $25 at the gate, $30 for a Premium Box; kids under 10 are admitted free.
Get your tickets at Macdonald Book Shop, 152 E. Elkhorn Ave., the Estes Park Visitor Center 500 Big Thompson Ave., the Fairgrounds Office at Stanley Park, 1209 Manford Ave. and at Optical Perspectives in Upper Stanley Village.
For more information, call 970-577-9900.