Come to The Lariat ready to hit the dance floor with The Blind Pigs Saturday, Oct. 19.
A new band on the scene, The Blind Pigs is made up of Rapidgrass members Coleman Smith (violin) and Alex Johnstone (mandolin, vocals), LaPompe’s David Lawrence (vocals, guitar), Gary Sloan (bass) of The Royal Street Ramblers and newcomer Bonnie Culpepper (vocals, ukulele) of the Coletrain Music Academy.
The band came together at the Coletrain Music Academy in Buena Vista’s South Main neighborhood as a collaboration of both local and Denver-based musicians as well as some songwriting teamwork from both Culpepper and Lawrence.
“It’s a really collaborative, cohesive unit. It’s really cool,” Smith says.
After a house concert at the academy, this will be their second performance in BV. And already, the whole crew has been having “an awesomely fun, good time,” says Johnstone.
The Lariat has built reputation by bringing in regional and national touring acts, so why would they hire a band that’s played just one time in a guy’s living room?
Lariat owner Court Johnson’s answer was clear.
“Alex and Coleman are local heroes in the music scene here in the Arkansas Valley, they’ve been friends of The Lariat forever, played numerous times here with Rapidgrass and other projects,” Johnson said.
“They’re great musicians and when they said they had a gypsy bluegrass side project, we knew they would be great. We knew we’d like to support it, it’s that simple,” he said. “It’s kind of a no-brainer, to have top musicians play.”
Johnson has certainly enjoyed getting to jam to some original songs with his bandmates.
“We just had so much fun playing that we have kind of kept going. We’re all in other bands so we don’t get to play very much as The Blind Pigs. It’s kind of like a little guilty pleasure for us,” he says.
“I love this band. This project is so exciting for me in particular,” Culpepper says. “It’s a great outlet, just a great chance for me to play a bunch of original material with a really talented group of people who make the songs come to life in such a great way.”
TBP brought together an ongoining collaborative effort.
“David and I have been songwriting together as well and bringing new light to our original pieces,” Culpepper says. “It’s a really fun, new project where we get to create and have fun writing and playing original material.”
Culpepper has played a solo act before and has performed with psychedelic rock band Universal Transit on the East Coast, mostly “filling in the gaps here and there.”
In Buena Vista, she has joined Smith and Johnstone at the Coletrain Music Academy, teaching singing, ukulele and beginning piano lessons.
Though it’s not their primary group, the band members look forward to playing more gigs with one another as The Blind Pigs.
Audiences can look forward to “a rocking good time with original music and some of Colorado’s finest musicians,” Smith says.
Johnstone adds, “I hope some folks in Salida will make their way up to BV to enjoy a Blind Pigs concert.”
Audiences can enjoy the soulful gypsy sounds of The Blind Pigs at 9 p.m. Tickets are $10.