By Dan Janowsky
Special to The PREVIEW
The Pagosa Wrestling Club has again booked the area’s premier band, The High Rollers, to perform at its annual summer concert in Town Park this Saturday night, July 11.
If you are new to the area or just passing through, this is a concert locals all know is one of the best live entertainment events of the summer.
The High Rollers are a country rock band based out of Durango. The checkered musical styles of each band member create a unique and powerful sound that has captured the attention of audiences literally around the world.
The High Rollers’ performance schedule takes them regularly on big stages throughout the southwest and Western Slope Rocky Mountain region and includes two performances per year in Europe, where the group has a large and enthusiastic fan base.
The band’s live show and CDs are marketed at the national level and their shows feature covers from Johnny Cash to the Bee Gees’ “Stayin’ Alive,” complimented by thoughtful and humorous original songs by Andy Janowsky.
These songs and the band’s arrangements are first rate and have received significant Colorado and Four Corners radio air time on KISZ, Farmington, N.M., KRSJ in Durango and KEKB in Grand Junction.
These songs include “Colorado Girl,” “I’m Colorado” and “Play Some Hip Hop” from their “Altitude” CD, as well as “65 Again” and “Farmer’s Tan” off their second CD, “Kick It, Boy.”
This year’s show will feature some new originals that will be on another CD to be released later this year.
The High Rollers include outstanding vocalist Jeff Johnson, who wows the crowd with his fiddle and banjo playing; Darren Stroud’s guitar (which has reviews in “Guitar Player” magazine and a host of other publications); Ryan McCurry’s keyboard virtuosity and harmonies; and Steve Dejka’s energy and flair on the drums. Too, they count their outdoor sound system and sound man, Scott “Scooter” Smith.
While the individual musicians themselves come from across the country, they now all reside in Durango, making it possible for them to perform in Pagosa Springs two or three times per year. The annual summer concert is connected to the Pagosa Wrestling Club, as song writer/vocalist/bass player Andy Janowsky is brother of high school wrestling coach Dan Janowsky.
Andy Janowsky is a passionate fan of Pagosa wrestling and he schedules, promotes and performs this show as a benefit to raise money for the local wrestlers.
If you are in town on Saturday night, you’ll find the best entertainment value to be in Town Park. This outdoor concert and dance would truly be a bargain at a much higher price, but to make an event for the entire family, the High Rollers and the Pagosa Wrestling Club try to keep it affordable.
This year, admission is a donation at the gate (a $2 minimum is requested; under 12 get in free). The event is supported by concession sales (a pulled pork sandwich, baked beans and a soft drink are sold for just $7 a plate), donations at the gate and participation in the baked goods auctions. Pagosa Mountain Morning Rotary Club will provide a beer garden, as well.
Check out the band’s website, highrollersband.com, and its facebook page for profiles, videos and music. Then pack a blanket or a lawn chair, bring a donation and enjoy a great evening of entertainment in the beautiful Pagosa mountain evening air.