WestFest 1998

5 July 1998

Silver Creek Resort, Silver Creek, CO


I was actually on my way from Colorado Springs to Idaho Falls, and I thought I'd stop in Silver Creek to experience Michael Martin Murphey's WestFest. WestFest is a tribute to all things Western, both modern and historical, including Western musicians, arts, crafts, clothing, tack, gear, traditional dancing, storytelling, trail rides, cowboy poetry, music, and even chuckwagon cooking.

I enjoyed the theme and the atmosphere. In fact, I got so caught up into it that I didn't focus on the performers as much as I would have liked. I got to see the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Suzy Bogguss, Michael Martin Murphey himself, America, and Dan Fogelberg, who all put on nice sets.

The Dirt Band covered their 1980 hit "An American Dream". Suzy Bogguss covered one of my favorites by her, "Someday Soon", as well as tracks off a recent album she was promoting.

The only song I know by Micheal Martin Murphey is his smash, "Wildfire". He made sure he played a very long version (with instrumentals) to stretch out this brief sound of commercial success. He chose today's WestFest to shoot footage for an upcoming country video he hoped to release later in the year. Uninspiring was when he chose to shoot two takes, and thus, two performances of the same song. But, he got what he wanted. Can't wait to see how it comes out, if it ever does.

America put on the predictably likeable hit-packed set, much like their 4th of July show at Fiddler's Green Ampitheatre in 1988. This time, Dewey Bunnell took lead vocals on "Lonely People" for the first time I'd ever seen. "Sister Golden Hair" is their best on-stage selection. "Horse With No Name" is still their encore.

Dan Fogelberg's set was slightly more folky than usual, but anyone who's seen a Dan Fogelberg solo acoustic set has pretty much seen most every one he's ever given--my personal favorite was the Inaugural Concert at Fiddler's Green Ampitheatre. "Holy Road", and other tracks from his 1993 River Of Souls CD, were nice additions to this evening's festivities.

After a comfortable night's stay at a condo, I headed West, refreshed.

[****] - Steven T.


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