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FIBArk Business After Hours with Blue Recluse
June 13 @ 5:00 pm - 9:00 pm$10
It’s FIBArk time and Business After Hours is at the SteamPlant with food, drinks, and music by the local favorite Blue Recluse. Tickets are $10.
Check back for more information soon!
About the Band: Blue Recluse
Shawntel Royale left Greeley in 1991 to pursue her music career in Austin, Texas, “because of Stevie Ray Vaughan.” For the next nine years Blue Recluse Featuring Shawntel Royale worked the Austin music scene, playing at venues like Antone’s, the famous blues club where Stevie Ray Vaughan established his reputation. At Antone’s the band performed with blues greats Jimmie Vaughan, Lou Ann Barton and Angela Strehli. Blue Recluse was also the regular opener at the Continental Club for the legendary Miss Lavelle White.
Royale returned to Greeley in 2000 and re-formed Blue Recluse with Christopher Hudson on bass, Mark Raynes on drums and Chris Rowinski and Mike Twarogowski playing guitar. Royale had met Hudson while still a journalism student at the University of Northern Colorado, where they played in their first blues band, Bleu Chunx.
By the time Royale and Hudson moved to Salida a few years ago (they married in 2007), Ernie Mose had replaced Raynes on drums, and Rowinski had left the band after a freakish near-death experience. “Chris died, was revived and came back speaking (only) Spanish. It was the weirdest thing,” Hudson said.
Difficulties created by the unexpected language barrier contributed to Rowinski leaving the group. Salida music legend Ernie Hatfield eventually joined Blue Recluse on keys, rounding out the current membership of the full band. Royale, Hudson and Twarogowski also perform as Blue Recluse Trio.
The band has played a variety of Colorado clubs and festivals, including the infamous El Chapultepec in Denver, the Greeley Blues Jam, The Boulder Outlook in Boulder, The Lake City Wine and Music Festival and the Western State Music Series in Gunnison as well as Boathouse Cantina, the Thursdays at 6 concerts and the FIBArk whitewater festival in Salida.
Royale’s powerful, passionate vocals reflect her main musical influences: Koko Taylor, Etta James and Susan Tedeschi. The combination of her sultry vocal style with a solid rhythm section, classic electric blues guitar and soulful keyboard riffs makes Blue Recluse one of the best blues-rock bands in Colorado.
Twarogowski has played blues and rock guitar around Colorado for the last 30 years and, like Royale, was “musically educated at the School of Life,” giving his guitar work a raw, edgy, authentic-blues quality that is as soulful as Royale’s singing. Twarogowski’s chops reveal influences from Albert Collins, Eric Clapton and Stevie Ray Vaughan, and the live results are as satisfying as you’d expect from a combination like that.
Hudson’s skills on both acoustic and electric bass allow the band to span a range of blues styles from roots music to blues rock. With over 30 years of performances to his credit, Hudson believes, “It’s helpful to expand into other genres,” which explains his diverse repertoire ‒ Latin jazz, swing, blues, rock, funk, country and bluegrass. Hudson’s influences include Pino Palidino and Gary Granger, and he has shared the stage with Drew Emmitt, Romano Paoletti, Buckskin Stallion and Free Beer.
Ernie Mose is a “rock solid drummer who can sing like an angel.” He has played in a number of Front Range bands in all genres for the last three decades, including well-known western outfit Bob Purcell and the Outriders.
Ernie Hatfield’s musical pedigree is truly legendary. His father (also Ernie) was a backup singer for Ella Fitzgerald in the ’40s and went on to perform as a jazz pianist. Hatfield Jr. met Fitzgerald on a number of occasions and says she offered to oversee his musical education, but his mother put her foot down at the idea. Nevertheless, his own talents were not slow to develop even without music school. He inherited a Hammond C-3 organ from a local church at the age of 14 and played rock music in his first band, Pancho Villa and the Bandits, at the age of 16. He has since played with many other Salida bands including Mo’ Champipple and the Meso Horns.
Whether performing as a trio or the full five-piece band, Blue Recluse plays a wide range of blues, rhythm and blues, and country blues numbers spanning the decades from the ’40s to the present, including jaw-dropping renditions of Janis Joplin tunes. Blue Recluse also covers songs by the likes of Koko Taylor, Etta James, Big Maybelle, Susan Tedeschi and Bonnie Raitt; and Royale does them all justice with plenty of passion, soul and, when called for, a really good growl that reminds you you’re listening to real-life blues music.
And while the Blue Recluse repertoire boasts plenty of original music, Royale won’t discount playing covers. “All the covers we do, we take them seriously. People want you to do those songs justice. … When you do a cover, you have to have the same passion as you do for your own songs,” which probably helps explain Blue Recluse’s popularity in the Upper Ark Valley and beyond.
The band definitely rocks plenty of its own original music, though, generally in the vein of the Chicago blues tradition ‒ songs like “Run Me Ragged” and “South Austin Blues.” In fact, the band has just begun work on an album of original music and recently produced a video recording of “Close My Windows” for the National Public Radio Tiny Desk Contest.