Three guitars, three voices, one stage and a load of songs. The first in-person performance the Community Concert Hall at Fort Lewis College will host in over a year is a three-performer affair where all three musicians are headlining.
Billed “A Songwriters Circle,” the event Thursday will feature Boulder’s Daniel Rodriguez (who may be known in folk and bluegrass circles as a founding member of Elephant Revival), Durango’s own Thom Chacon and Anthony D’Amato, a New Jersey native who pre-pandemic kicked around New York before settling into Durango for what he thought would be a few weeks of house-sitting. Those weeks turned into 10 months that found him falling in love with the town.
Thursday’s show will be a loose, musical affair with the three taking turns playing songs and telling stories. Community Concert Hall Director Charles Leslie admitted that he’s “hungry to bring back live music back and artists are hungry to perform” and fans are hungry to attend, so much in fact that this limited ticket event sold out quick enough that the Concert Hall turned this into a two-show night; the sold-out performance at 7 p.m. will be followed with another at 9 p.m.
WHAT: A Songwriters Circle with Thom Chacon, Anthony D’Amato, Daniel Rodriguez.
WHEN: Two shows, 7 and 9 p.m. Thursday.
WHERE: Community Concert Hall at Fort Lewis College, 1000 Rim Drive.
TICKETS: $25 per ticket, tickets sold in groups of two or four. Available online at https://bit.ly/3ic0Cm2.
MORE INFORMATION: Visit durangoconcerts.com or call 247-7657.
D’Amato hasn’t been on a stage since early 2020, and he’s anticipating his return to be nothing short of a good time.
“I’ve been looking forward to it so much. A show like this is more loose and fun. I might have more nerves if I had to go up and play for two hours by myself, and I have to remember 120-minutes’ worth of lyrics that I haven’t sang in a long time,” he said. “But a show like this, I just think it’s going to be fun. Daniel is an old friend, Thom I met recently and we really hit it off, and I’m just looking forward to hearing their songs as much as I am playing mine.”
D’Amato’s a singer-songwriter with an indie-rock vibe who took the well-traveled path into music – piano lessons at a young age along with hip parents who took him to shows instilled a love of music; a New Jersey rearing included a healthy dose of Springsteen along with dudes from the canon. Bob Dylan, Neil Young and Leonard Cohen were all part of the songwriters’ road that D’Amato claims “leads to Woody Guthrie.”
He rubbed elbows with some heavy hitters when he was signed to the hip independent label New West, had the music of the Big Easy influence his sound when he wrote and recorded his EP “Five Songs” from New Orleans while kicking around the Crescent City, and has since been releasing singles. His latest full-length is in the can, which will likely be released later this year.
Thursday’s show will find D’Amato as both fan and performer, looking for stimulation and motivation while Chacon and Rodriguez are playing their own songs.
“It’s a really fun way to get inspired. You are sitting on stage, you’re up close and you’re watching other people’s fingers move on the fretboard, and you’re thinking, ‘that’s not a chord I use very often, I should try that when I get home.’ Then sometimes you wind up playing on each other’s songs, then somebody takes a solo and you say ‘I’ve never thought about playing it that way,’” D’Amato said. “It’s a chance for me to strip stuff down and try different things, and the other thing about it that I really love as someone who is as focused on lyrics as I am, to get to hear people talk about what went into the song, the story behind it, that kind of thing. I’m always fascinated to hear the stories behind the songs.”
Bryant Liggett is a freelance writer and KDUR station manager. Reach him at email@example.com.