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By Laura Moore
Special to The PREVIEW
The Pagosa Springs Center for the Arts kicks off its first free Summer Concert Series on June 25 at 7 p.m. with Denver’s “Colorado Country” band, Bonnie and her Clydes.
This is the first of four concerts that fall on every other Tuesday until Aug. 6. They are offered to the public at no charge this summer and are sure to get people up on their feet and dancing.
For decades, it seems country music has had an identity crisis with all the subgenres and qualifiers that have been attached to it — alt-country, outlaw country, truck driving country, country rock, rockabilly, pop country, the Bakersfield sound, and, of course, Wal-Mart country.
But when Bonnie Sims says she and her band play “Colorado country,” in one fell swoop she combines nearly every one of those subgenres into a mix that conveys everything from second generation country musicians of the 1930s and ’40s to the blend of Western swing, country boogie, and honky tonk of the 1960s and 1970s country — and Sims throws in a little yodeling as well.
Started in 2010, it’s no wonder that Bonnie and The Clydes so seamlessly float between the best elements of each subclass of country music, because their leader is well versed in country music, to say the least. If it was any other genre she’d be called “classically trained,” but it being country music they’ve opted to keep it less pretentious.
Originally from Texas, the spunky frontwoman attended South Plains College in Levelland, Texas, 25 miles due west of Lubbock. The college — the sister school of Texas Tech — was the first school anywhere to offer a country and western degree, and Sims, by golly, attained that degree.
While doing so, she was awarded Best Female Vocalist at the school and met Taylor Sims, who had just captured Best Male Vocalist. Taylor, who had spent summers in Colorado as a fly-fishing guide and musician at a dude ranch in Gunnison, had already moved to Colorado. When Bonnie finished school she moved up to Colorado as well, and the couple got married.
Bonnie and The Clydes started off as a country cover band, but now, with the addition of Taylor, the group is starting to focus much less on the covers and more on original material, and this summer, with the help of a successful Kickstarter campaign, the group released its second album, “Wrong Side Up.”
Don’t miss Bonnie and her Clydes at the Center for the Arts this summer. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the concert starts at 7. No outside food or drink is allowed into the Center and the concert will be held in the Art Gallery.
No reservations are available.