Vail, Colo., May 12, 2022 — There’s nothing quite like our hot summer nights – especially in the grandeur of the Rocky Mountains of Colorado after a long winter season. Pair the inviting seasonal weather with FREE weekly concerts at the The Amp in Vail, and you have the annual Moe’s Original BBQ Hot Summer Nights concerts, kicking off June 21.
The Moe’s Original BBQ Hot Summer Nights, a project of the Vail Valley Foundation, is a free annual concert series hosted primarily on Tuesdays at 6:30 p.m. throughout the summer, creating a cultural gathering place in the heart of Vail for locals and visitors alike to enjoy an evening out. The iconic Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater (The Amp) presents an exceptional and diverse array of performing arts, music and cultural experiences for the community and guests who visit from around the world.
This year’s Hot Summer Nights lineup features The High Hawks (June 21); brother-sister duo Jocelyn & Chris (June 28); Tusk, the ultimate Fleetwood Mac Tribute (July 5); country musician Hayes Carll (July 19); nine-piece Latin funk orchestra Grupo Fantasma (Aug. 18); reggae band The Elovaters (Aug. 23); and the North Mississippi Allstars led by the Dickinson brothers (Aug. 30).
Some pro tips for first timers and returning concertgoers for Hot Summer Nights:
- Bring lawn chairs: While there is open pavilion seating, there’s nothing quite like taking in a show from the spacious lawn at The Amp. Lawn chairs are checked at the gates and must be short enough to not allow a softball to roll underneath it – to be mindful of others in the venue.
- Bring a blanket and enjoy a picnic on the lawn: The Amp has top-notch concessions with everything from burgers and tacos to a full bar with premium beverages.
- Dress in layers: The Rocky Mountains of Colorado are known for drastic changes in temperatures, especially as the sun sets. Be prepared to stay outside after the sun goes down.
The High Hawks – Tuesday, June 21
Last year’s opener for Hot Summer Nights, The High Hawks put on one of the best shows of the summer at The Amp in 2021 and will again take the stage to kick off Hot Summer Nights in 2022. With nearly 150 years of collective touring and playing between the members, The High Hawks first convened in 2019 by pulling together musicians from different bands.
Vince Herman (Leftover Salmon), Tim Carbone (Railroad Earth, Blue Sparks From Hell), Chat Staehly (Hard Working Americans), Adam Greuel (Horseshoe & Hand Grenades), Brian Adams (DeadPhish Orchestra), and Will Trask (Great American Taxi) make up The High Hawks, who perform high-energy shows with so many talented musicians on stage, and usually some more that jump in from time to time.
More than musicians, The High Hawks genuinely enjoy their time together – especially creating music on a stage. And the fun they have on stage emanates out to the crowd.
“Sometimes you meet somebody and you hit it off, and you feel like, ‘Man, I don’t want to just look at the cover, I want to read that book,” says guitarist Adam Greuel. “It’s a tight-knit music community in our Americana-bluegrass-jam band world. Over the years, we all kept bumping into one another and realizing there was a deep sense of fellowship and kindred spirit. The main impetus to form The High Hawks was really a curiosity about one another, both musically and personally. This band came out of a yearning to hang out.”
In 2019, they first convened at guitarist-singer Vince Herman’s house in the Rockies, with no clear road map for where they might go. They meshed so well that they released a 13-song album, led by the fiddle-infused opener “Singing a Mountain Song” acting as a kind of mission statement for the whole collection, with its self-referential line: “Soaring like a high hawk across this mountain top.”
“We all came together at a time when we needed one another. I don’t know that we all knew that initially, but it slowly became apparent that the closeness that occurs from being in a band really ended up being good medicine for us all,” Greuel said. “We have a never-ending text message thread that keeps us all laughing and communicating and sharing songs and discussing trials and tribulations.”
- Listen to: “Singing A Mountain Song”
Jocelyn & Chris – Tuesday, June 28
Volume: Loud. Hair: Long. Apologies: None.
As seen on NBC’s “Today Show,” Jocelyn & Chris are a sister-brother duo who have been jamming together since they were kids. The Harvard graduates are hell-bent on inciting a new rock revival and perform from coast to coast, charting four consecutive commercial radio singles in the Billboard AAA Top 40 with their band.
Jocelyn & Chris have recorded seven records featuring special guests including Cory Wong (Vulfpeck); G. Love; Byron Isaacs (Lumineers); and Gov’t Mule’s Danny Louis. They’ve been featured on NBC’s “Today Show,” Parade, Relix, NowThis, Huffington Post, Jam in the Van and beyond.
Jocelyn and Chris’ new single, “Sugar and Spice” released in July 2021, was lauded by American Songwriter as “pure American rock goodness” and was a Most Added US Radio Single for three consecutive weeks. The video for the track was also added to rotation on MTV.
- Listen to: “Outta My Head”
Tusk – Tuesday, July 5
Regarded as the No. 1 tribute to Fleetwood Mac, Tusk is made up of five musicians recreating the legendary music to perfection with note-for-note renditions that no other Fleetwood Mac tribute on the touring scene today can come close to duplicating.
Covering all the great hits of Fleetwood Mac, which has featured the talents of Mick Fleetwood, Christine and John McVie, Lindsey Buckingham, Stevie Nicks and other over the years, Tusk has been performing Fleetwood Mac covers in original outfits for over 25 years.
Tusk pays homage to a group that dominated the charts during the band members’ formative years. Authentic-sounding and always respectful, Tusk leaves no stone unturned in replicating the sounds of one of the world’s best-loved, top-selling bands.
- Listen to: “The Chain”
Hayes Carll – Tuesday, July 19
He’ll make us laugh, but then he’ll make us cry – Grammy-nominated Hayes Carll boasts a voice rich but worn and is shamefully honest, but never mean-spirited.
“I like to tug at heartstrings, find commonality with others, reflect on my own life, and sometimes I do it in a lighthearted way,” said Carll, a country singer-songwriter.
Carll’s influences include Randy Travis, Kenny Rogers and Hank Williams Jr., in addition to John Prine, Tom Waits and Bob Dylan – who The New York Times likens Carll’s ability to undergird humor with a weightier narrative.
With eight studio albums, two Americana Music Awards, a Grammy nomination for Best Country Song, multiple Austin Music Awards and a most-played record on Americana radio twice, Carll’s songs appear on TV screens regularly and recorded by the likes of Kenny Chesney, Lee Ann Womack and Brothers Osborne, to name a few.
His eighth album, “You Get It All,” was released in 2021.
“I hope this record helps people feel good, laugh a bit and maybe give them something to lean on when they need it,” Carll said. “I hope they dance to it, too.”
- Listen to: “Another Like You”
Grupo Fantasma – Thursday, Aug. 18
For two decades, nine-piece Latin funk & cumbia orchestra Grupo Fantasma out of Austin, Texas, have developed a loyal fan base with their masterfully adapted takes on funk music. Along the way, Grupo Fantasma has earned a Grammy Award, an induction into the Austin Music Hall of Fame and other accolades.
Their latest album, “American Music: Vol. VII,” is an exciting listen and a fresh take on their unique sound. With six previous albums in their back catalog, plus collaborations and backing gigs with the likes of Prince, Spoon and Los Lobos, the band is turning people’s heads again with “American Music: Vol. VII.”
“American music can mean many things depending on the part of America you’re experiencing,” writes NPR. “For much of the Southwest, the American sound includes accordions and cumbias – and that’s just what we hear on ‘American Music: Vol. VII’ by Grupo Fantasma, a prolific nine-piece Latin funk outfit from Austin, Texas.”
Cumbia is a kind of dance music of Colombian origin. It can be heard everywhere from electronic dance tracks to Shakira’s hip-shaking anthems. It even has its own category in the Latin Grammy Awards. A blend of several musical traditions, cumbia keeps evolving while continuing to be a staple of Latin American music.
On “American Music: Vol. VII,” the band worked with the multi-talented Carlos “El Loco” Bedoya, a highly-regarded Miami-based Colombian producer, audio engineer, musician and songwriter. Bedoya’s credits are extensive, having worked with artists as diverse and successful as Beyonce, Weezer and ChocQuibTown.
Their official music video for 2020’s “Palabra De Hombre” has over 250 million views on YouTube.
- Listen to: “Palabra De Hombre”
The Elovaters – Tuesday, Aug. 23
Exploding into the American progressive roots scene in 2018 with their No. 1 Billboard Reggae album “Defy Gravity,” The Elovaters have quickly become a household name for lovers of Sublime, Jack Johnson, Slightly Stoopid, G. Love, Stick Figure, The Movement and more.
Their music has been featured on CBS’ “Hawaii Five-O” and their song “Boston” was played during the World Series Parade when the Red Sox won in 2018.
North Mississippi Allstars – Tuesday, Aug. 30
The North Mississippi Allstars, led by brothers Luther and Cody Dickinson, have been performing for 25 years, producing 13 albums, four Grammy Award nominations and sold-out shows across the country. The blues and Southern rock band from Hernando, Mississippi, will close out the Moe’s Original BBQ Hot Summer Nights concert series.
The Dickinson brothers have recorded and toured with Mavis Staples, Charlie Musslewhite, Robert Plant and Patty Griffith, G. Love, the Tedeschi Trucks Band, Los Lobos and the Black Crowes, to name a few. They forge ahead always as a family, first and foremost.
“North Mississippi Allstars means family,” Cody said. “I get the joy of working with my brother. Our families keep growing, too. There’s a sense of history. The older I get, the more I realize how important it is to record this music, so younger kids can hear it. I just want to make sure we pass it on. It’s a huge honor to be a part of this tradition.”
As sons of legendary producer and musician Jim Dickinson, Luther and Cody have been producing records themselves since they were teenagers.
“We learned an enormous amount from our father,” Luther said. “Cody and I made mistakes, but we’ve always believed in ourselves, and we had to learn for ourselves. Rock ‘n’ roll is self-taught. Each generation has to reinvent itself and shed the skin of the elders.”
Over the years, the Dickinson brothers have led the group with a rotating cast of supporting musicians – welcoming others into the family (by blood and by the road).
- Listen to: “See the Moon”
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About the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater
Each summer, the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater in Vail plays host to an array of cultural and entertainment offerings, ranging from headliner music and comedy, to internationally renowned dance and classical music presentations, courtesy of the Vail Dance Festival and the Bravo! Vail Music Festival, to the free weekly concerts of the Hot Summer Nights series. In addition, local chorale and theater presentations annually grace the Amphitheater stage. The venue, named after President Gerald R. Ford and family, opened in 1987, and is operated by the nonprofit Vail Valley Foundation. Learn more at grfavail.com.
About the Vail Valley Foundation
The Vail Valley Foundation is a 501c3 Colorado nonprofit corporation with a mission to enhance the quality of life in the Vail Valley and showcase our community to a global audience through arts, athletics and education.
The organization’s work in education is through YouthPower365, a 501c3 Colorado nonprofit corporation with a mission to provide year-round extended learning opportunities that empower and educate the youth and families of Eagle County from cradle-to-career readiness. The Vail Valley Foundation also provides the Vail Valley with several of its most treasured annual events, such as the GoPro Mountain Games, , the Xfinity Birds of Prey Audi FIS Ski World Cup races, the Vail Dance Festival, and the Hot Summer Nights and ShowDown Town free concert series. The Vail Valley Foundation also manages and operates two performing arts centers, the Vilar Performing Arts Center in Beaver Creek Village and the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater in Vail, providing more than 100 Broadway, dance, comedy, classical, rock, pop, jazz, community and family events per year.
Vail Valley Foundation activities and events are in part made possible by cornerstone partners: the Town of Vail, Vail Resorts, Beaver Creek Resort Company, GMC, Nature Valley and CELSIUS Energy.
To learn more about the Vail Valley Foundation visit www.vvf.org.