Various Artists

Red Rocks, Vol. 1: Carved in Stone

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Few concert experiences can compare to spending an evening at the majestic Red Rocks Amphitheater in Morrison, CO. Boulder radio station KBCO and the city and county of Denver's Division of Theaters and Arenas teamed up to release Carved in Stone, a compilation CD that benefits the Preserve the Rocks Fund. The strength of this release is defined by the earnestness of the various performances. Something magical happens when a band takes the stage at Red Rocks; the magnanimousness of the venue elevates the sincerity of the moment, creating an inexplicable sense of harmony between the audience and the performer. The bands on this album were chosen for their strong connections to the venue, and, in turn, the artists were given the opportunity to select the songs they wanted on the record. Jam based roots rockers Big Head Todd & the Monsters provide the opening track, "Bittersweet," while fellow Colorado natives the String Cheese Incident deliver a rousing version of "Close Your Eyes," with a guest appearance by Robert Randolph. Perennial summer visitors Widespread Panic, Blues Traveler, and the Allman Brothers Band also lend there talents to the effort. There are seven previously unreleased tracks on the album, however,and some listeners may recognize the Dave Matthews Band's "Best of What's Around" from Live at Red Rocks 8.15.95. Rickie Lee Jones fittingly closes the record with an angelic version of "Company" that brings the house down. This compilation does an excellent job of representing the Red Rocks spirit that is rife with musical history and tradition.

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