Summer in Colorado comes with perfect mid-afternoon thunderstorms, area farmers markets offering fresh peaches and street performers lining Boulder’s Pearl Street Mall, ready to dazzle pedestrians with unicycle juggling antics and tarot card readings.
This season also delivers quite the variation of live music all across the Front Range. From free weekly outdoor concerts to multi-day festivals, fans can choose to steadily embrace the beat and the heat.Local singer-songwriter Taylor Shae is no stranger to Colorado stages. Raised in Longmont, she’s brought her distinct bluesy sound to area venues both big and small. With a voice sometimes reminiscent of Sara Bareilles and at others Bonnie Raitt, Shae manages to captivate crowds in a way that is understated, genuine and pure.
Shay’s latest album, “High Stakes,” was released on April 19 and is already receiving much-warranted buzz. Thoughtful, authentic and lyrically poignant, the eight-track offering was very much inspired by her set lists performed on balmy days to sun-kissed crowds throughout the Centennial State. Taylor crafts songs that possess a carefree edge, which are further complemented by her powerhouse vocals that manage to be both crisp and cutting.
We caught up with the 18-year-old velvety-toned artist to talk about her latest record, the importance of music in her life and what she loves about summertime in her home state.
Daily Camera: Congrats on the release of your 3rd album. It’s a great collection. What was your time like spent crafting this album and are there any favorite standouts on the record?
Taylor Shae: Thanks so much. The songs on the new album were ones that we performed at many outdoor Colorado concerts last summer before we got into the studio to record them. This was a unique process because the songs evolved and were shaped by the vibrancy and liveliness of the audience at festivals. Some of the fan favorites on the album are “Nunavit,” “Mighty Mountains” and “High Stakes Livin.”
DC: Do you remember the first time you knew music was going to be a constant in your life? When did you realize this would be your path?
TS: I’ve always known that music would be an influential part of my life, and songwriting made me realize that music is my path. I was 13 when my brother and I had our first real gig where we shared the stage with two other established, strong female singer-songwriters who played guitar. Being so young and seeing what I could accomplish in my future from these ladies, I was struck with the inspiration to start writing music and eventually learn the guitar. The guitar has really revolutionized the way that I write songs, and has been a gateway for new sounds in my music that I’m able to take hold of.
DC: As someone who was born and raised in Colorado, what do you love most about the summer music scene in the Rockies? Any favorite festivals that you always play or attend?
TS: Colorado has some of the most beautiful outdoor places to play, and I feel really fortunate to have been born and raised with such an energetic and supportive music scene surrounding me. Something I love about the summer music scene in Colorado is the opportunity for local musicians to perform and the appreciation that people have for original music. When I’m performing, it feels right to be singing something that I wrote from the roots that raised me. I’ve been attending Rhythm On The River from a very young age, and I’m super excited to perform there this year among an awesome lineup. I’m also playing at Bands On The Bricks again this summer on Pearl Street, which is always a great time.
DC: Have you checked out this summer’s lineup? Any shows you plan on absolutely making it to?
TS: Bohemian Nights is an awesome festival in Fort Collins that I try to get out to every summer, because of the diverse range of bands. I’m also looking forward to going to the Greeley Blues Jam to see Larkin Poe and many other talented blues artists. Longmont’s Downtown Summer Concerts are always a great community event as well, and I wouldn’t be surprised if you found us hanging there in the front row.
DC: Lastly, what would you say is the most rewarding aspect of creating and playing music?
TS: The most rewarding aspect is having the ability to tell a story, connect with people and having the opportunity to make an impact in someone else’s life on an emotional level. People and experiences are often what drives my stories and songwriting. No matter what you are going through, music has that ability to lift you up and inspire.
Bands on the Bricks — Live music and dancing on the Pearl Street Mall with an outdoor beer, wine and margarita garden that opens at 5:30 p.m., Music starts at 6 p.m. with opening acts, headliner goes on at 7 p.m.; Lineup: The Champions on June 5, The Long Run and Taylor Shae on June 12, The Pink Hawks on June 19, Hazel Miller Band on June 26, Bonnie and the Clydes on July 3, The Sweet Lillies on July 10, Policulture on July 17, Jamiroqueen on July 24, Groove-a-Licious on July 31 and That Eighties Band on Aug. 7 Wednesdays, June 5 -Aug. 7, Pearl Street Mall, 1300 Pearl St., Boulder; free; boulderdowntown.com.Concerts in the Pioneer Courtyard — Take in a unique live-music experience with these intimate performances set in the rustically charming Pioneer Courtyard. Bring a chair, food will be available for purchase. Lineup: Reckless Abandon on June 12, Roz Brown on June 26, Caitlyn Taussig on July 10, Jim Deeming on July 24; 5:30 p.m. select Wednesdays June 12-July 24., Little Thompson Valley Pioneer Museum, 224 Mountain Ave., Berthoud; free; berthoudhistoricalsociety.org.Greeley Friday Fest—Enjoy live music and other community festivities Friday nights this summer. The “Go Cup” temporary open-container district will add to the fun; Fridays June 7-Aug. 30, 9th Street Plaza in downtown Greeley; free; greeleydowntown.comLafayette Art Night Out — Monthly events feature an art market, live music and performers with local beer and food trucks. Lineup: Conjunto Colores on May 10, Cass Clayton Band on June 14, Moors & McCumber on July 12, WhiteWater Ramble on Aug. 9, Hazel Miller Band on Sept. 13; 6:30 p.m. second Fridays, May 10-Sept. 13, Festival Plaza, 311 S. Public Road, Lafayette; free; cityoflafayette.com.Lafayette Summer Concert Series — Denver-based band 5th Gear Funk will perform on the shores of the Waneka Lake where food will be available for purchase; 5-8:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 17, Waneka Lake Park, 1600 Caria Drive, Lafayette; free; cityoflafayette.com.Lagoon Summer Concert Series — Head to the CSU campus for an eight-week concert series featuring food truck eats and music from all genres. Lineup: The Jakarta Band June 19, Shaky Hand String Band June 26, Last Call Romance July 10, The Country Music Project July 17, South to Cedars July 24, The Wendy Woo Band July 31, Silver & Gold Aug. 7; 6-8:30 p.m. Wednesdays June 19-Aug. 7, west lawn of the Lory Student Center at Colorado State University, 1101 Center Ave., Fort Collins, free, lagoonseries.com.Longmont Museum Summer Concert Series — Bring lawn chairs and picnics to the concerts in the outdoor grassy courtyard, where alcohol and concessions will be available for purchase. Lineup: Bonnie & the Clydes June 20, Marc Berger June 27, Megan Burtt July 11, Wild Road Band July 18, Blake Brown & The American Dust Choir July 25; 6:30-8 p.m. select Thursdays, June 20-July 25, Longmont Museum, 400 Quail Road, Longmont; free; longmontcolorado.gov.Longmont’s Downtown Summer Concert Series — Features live music and dancing in the street. Lineup: Face May 31, Liz Barnez & Mojomama June 7, Mono Verde Collective & Roka Hueka June 21,Grant Farm & Banshee Tree Friday June 28, High Country Harley-Davidson Bike Night July 26 ; 6-9:30 p.m. Fridays, May 31-July 26, Fourth Avenue and Kimbark Street, Longmont; free; downtownlongmont.com.
Louisville Street Faire — Rain or shine, the Faire has food, drinks, children’s activities and arts and crafts markets. Check out two amazing bands each night. Lineup: Los Mocochetes and Boss Eagle June 14, Wild Child and Jaden Carlson Band June 21, The Burroughs and Mama Magnolia June 28, Charlie Musselwhite and AJ Fullerton July 12, MarchFourth and Guerilla Fanfare July 19, Woodbelly and Chain Station July 26, The Texas Gentlemen and Bad Licks Aug. 2, Samantha Fish and The Still Tide Aug. 9; 5-9:30 p.m., Music starts at 7 p.m. Fridays, June 14-Aug. 9, Steinbaugh Pavilion, 824 Front St., Louisville; free; downtownlouisvilleco.com/street-faire.Louisville Summer Concerts in the Park — Family friendly fun features summer music and food trucks, presented by the Louisville Cultural Council. Lineup: Hazel Miller Band and Estella Dawn June 20, Bonfire Dub with Bridget Law and Ultralofi June 27, ZiMBiRA and Brian Juan July 11, Face Vocal Band and Julia Knearl July 18, Knot Rock and Felonius Smith Trio July 25; 6-8:15 p.m. select Thursdays, June 20-July 11, Louisville Community Park, 955 Bella Vista Drive, Louisville; free; louisvilleco.gov.Loveland Concert Band Summer Concert Series — Community band will play six summer concerts with varied themes in North Lake Park; Tuesdays June 4-July 9 at 7:15 p.m. (except for the week of July 4 when there is instead a special July 4 concert at 8 p.m.) Lynn and Norma Hammond Amphitheater at North Lake Park, 29th Street and Taft Avenue, Loveland; free; lovelandconcertband.org.Loveland Summer Concerts — Enjoy live music, food trucks and family-friendly activities on Thursday nights at Loveland’s Foote Lagoon. Lineup: Chris Daniels and the Kings June 27, Sam Payne July 11, Joe Smith and the Spicy Pickles July 18, Bettman and Halpin July 25, Wood Belly Aug. 1, Face Vocal Band Aug. 8; concerts start at 6:30 p.m. Thursdays, Foote Lagoon, Third Street and Washington Avenue in Loveland; visitlovelandco.orgNiwot’s Rock & Rails — Drinks, including a 5-6 p.m. happy hour, music and a variety of food trucks. Lineup: One on One and Legitimate By Friday June 6, Funkiphino and Dean Himes June 13, Last Men On Earth and Niwot Community Semi-Marching Free Grange Band June 20, Soul School and Dustin Spencer June 27, Chris Daniels & The Kings with Freddie and Strangebyrds July 11, Rebecca Folsom Band and 300 Days July 18, The Long Run and Acoustic Soul July 25, Mojomama/Bridgette Purdue & Bobby Messano Aug. 1, Something Underground and Jackson Cloud Odyssey Aug. 8, Face and Nalani Aug. 15, ZiMBiRA and Jenn Cleary Aug. 22, Hazel Miller and Tim Ostdiek Aug 29 ; 5-9 p.m. Thursdays, June-August, Whistle Stop Park, at Murray Street and First Avenue, Niwot; free; niwot.com/events/rock-rails.“One Sweet Summer” Friday Blues Concerts — New series of blues concerts at The Foundry plaza in downtown Loveland will serve up blues with local brews and barbecue; 6:30-9:30 p.m. May 31, June 28 and July 26, The Foundry, First and Cleveland streets in downtown Loveland; free; lovelandpartnership.org“One Sweet Summer” Summer Concert Series — Enjoy live acts of varying genres along with local food, beer and art vendors and art activities for kids; Wednesdays July 10-Aug. 28; The Foundry, First and Cleveland streets in downtown Loveland; free; lovelandpartnership.orgSummer Concert Series at Chautauqua — The National Historic Landmark brings stellar acts to its summer series roster. Lineup: Little Feat June 8, Tommy Emmanuel and David Grisman June 24, Chris Botti June 29, Jake Shimabukuro and Trace Bundy July 6, Melissa Etheridge July 9, Robert Cray July 13, Michael McDonald July 15, Indigo Girls Aug. 9, Taj Mahal and Marc Cohen Aug. 12, The California Honeydrops Aug. 22 Bruce Hornsby & the Noisemakers Aug. 17, Brian Setzer’s Rockabilly Riot Aug 25, Jose Gonzalez Aug. 26, Steel Pulse August 28, The Milk Carton Kids with Vera Sola Aug. 30, Boz Scaggs Sept. 16; all shows at 7:30 p.m., June 8-Sept. 16, Chautauqua Auditorium, 900 Baseline Road, Boulder; $23-$80.50; chautauqua.com.
Arise Music Festival — Sunrise Ranch west of Loveland provides a majestic setting for this three day camping festival, which combines major music acts with a holistic focus and “leave no trace” ethos. Catch a variety of artists on six live music stages with yoga, camping workshops, art installations, activism events and so much more. Highlights: Rising Appalachia, Railroad Earth, Clozee, Leftover Salmon, Sunsquabi, Tipper, Beats Antique; Aug. 2-4, Sunrise Ranch, 100 Sunrise Ranch Road, Loveland; $85-$199; arisefestival.com.Big Gigantic’s Rowdytown 7 — Boulder-based duo and pioneers in live electronic music sell out this two-day gig every year at Red Rocks, so snag tickets early; 5 p.m. Sept. 27-28, Red Rocks Amphitheatre, 18300 W. Alameda Parkway, Morrison; $48.-$225; Biggigantic.net.Bohemian Nights at NewWestFest — Free three-day music festival featuring big-name headliners and a large Colorado lineup. Headliners will be announced in early June; Aug. 9-11; Old Town Fort Collins; bohemiannights.org
Boulder Creek Festival — Memorial Day weekend festival features three days of events, activities, food and entertainment, including three stages with dozens of live performers. The festival also features a Teen Battle of the Bands. Highlights: Dead Phish Orchestra, Tierro with Bridget Law, Bonnie and the Clydes, Green Buddha, Lionel Young Band, Trevor Jones Band; festival runs 10 a.m. Saturday, May 25 to 7 p.m. Monday, May 27; free; bceproductions.com.Cheyenne Frontier Days — The world’s largest outdoor rodeo also books big-time country acts. Lineup: Lady Antebellum with Kelsea Ballerini and Midland July 19, Rascal Flatts with Clint Black July 20, Josh Turner with Tanya Tucker July 21, Miranda Lambert with Randy Houser July 24, Post Malone July 25, Keith Urban with Walker Hayes July 26, Tim McGraw with Devin Dawson July 27; July 19-27, 1210 W. 8th Avenue, Cheyenne, Wyoming; cfdrodeo.comEstes Park Jazz Festival — Considered one of Colorado’s premier jazz festivals, this two-day festival will feature accomplished lineups of performers representing jazz music from its New Orleans roots to its thriving and diverse present. June 1-2; Performance Park Amphitheater, 417 W. Elkhorn Drive, Estes Park; $10-$15 weekend pass; visitestespark.com.Global Dance Festival — One of Colorado’s biggest festivals with carnival rides, art installations, silent disco, food truck marketplace, performers and live music. Highlights: Diplo, Black Tiger Sex Machine, Krewella; July 19-20, Broncos Stadium at Mile High, 1701 Bryant St., Denver; $99-$239; globaldancefestival.com.Global Dub Festival — Electronic music rules this day in Morrison with Adventure Club, Bear Grillz, Said The Sky, Riot Ten, Dirty Monkey and more; 4 p.m. May 18, Red Rocks, 18300 W. Alameda Pkwy., Morrison; $39.95-$99; redrocksonline.com.Greeley Blues Jam — This family-oriented blues festival ain’t nothin’ but a party. Highlights: Shemekia Copeland, Larkin Poe, Mr. Sipp, Cha Wa and Roy Rodgers. June 7-8, Island Grove Arena, 501 N. 14th Avenue, Greeley; greeleybluesjam.orgGreeley Stampede Superstars Concert Series — Iconic western celebration will include performances by big-time acts both country (Brett Eldredge) and not (REO Speedwagon). Lineup: REO Speedwagon June 28, Brett Eldredge June 29, Kip Moore July 4, Cody Johnson July 5, Brothers Osborne July 6; 600 N. 14th St., Greeley; greeleystampede.org/events
Leftapalooza — Longmont’s Mile High Tribute Band Competition brings eight top Colorado-based bands together to compete for the top spot with proceeds benefiting the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and the Left Hand Brewing Foundation; noon-10 p.m. May 18, Roosevelt Park, 700 Longs Peak Ave., Longmont; $12; lhbfoundation.org/leftapalooza.Longmont Jazz Festival — New Orleans comes to Longmont, complete with a traditional second-line brass band parade. The festival turns 21 this year and will celebrate with jazz music and culture. One the bill: Countercurrent, Gypsy Jazz and more; July 20, on Fifth Avenue in downtown Longmont; free; longmontjazz.com.Loveland Loves BBQ, Bands and Brews — Hear classic rock, blues, oldies, motown and more from six bands during this two-day music festival in downtown Loveland. 3-10 p.m. July 26 and 11 a.m.-10 p.m. July 27, Fairgrounds Park, 700 S. Railroad Ave., Loveland; lovelandlovesbbq.comMay Play Music Festival — Free downtown Greeley music festival with several stages focusing on independent Colorado bands. Highlights: The Great Salmon Famine, One Flew West, Pie Lombardi and Overslept. 5 p.m. May 31, 9th St. Plaza in Downtown Greeley; moxitheater.comRocky Mountain Folks Festival — Family-friendly festival in Lyons features its famed Songwriter Showcase, food, beer and vendors and camping. Outside food and drink welcome, but no outside alcohol or glass. Highlights: Ani Difranco, Josh Ritter The Oh Hellos and Mandolin Orange; Aug. 16-18, Planet Bluegrass, 500 W. Main St., Lyons; $75-$165 bluegrass.com.
RockyGrass — Boulder County’s internationally renowned traditional bluegrass festival features food, beer and vendors, camping and a rich lineup of bluegrass acts. Highlights: Soggy Bottom Boys, The Earls of Leicester Featuring Jerry Douglas, Sam Bush Bluegrass Band, I’m With Her: Sara Watkins, Sarah Jarosz & Aoife O’Donovan, The Tim O’Brien Band, Che Apalache, Punch Brothers, The Del McCoury Band, Nick Forster’s Hippy Bluegrass Church; 9 a.m.-11 p.m. July 26-July 28, Planet Bluegrass, 500 W. Main St., Lyons; Saturday and Sunday sold out, check festivarian.com for available tickets; bluegrass.com.Rocky Mountain Old Time Music Festival — The 10th annual Berthoud celebration of tradition fiddle and old-time banjo music; July 10-14,15722 Parish Road, Berthoud; thecroma.orgSonic Bloom — A mecca for electronic and jam band fans, featuring yoga, camping and live art demonstrations. Highlights: Gramatik, Opiuo, Emancipator Ensemble and The New Observatory; June 20-23, Hummingbird Ranch, 732 County Road 653, Rye; $40-$525; sonicbloomfestival.com.Snowy Grass Music Festival — Bluegrass festival by the Big Thompson River in Estes Park. Highlights: The Jamesons, Wood and Wire, The Blue Canyon Boys and Bottle Rocket Hurricane; 4:30-9:30 p.m. July 19 and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. July 20; $15-$35; snowygrass.comTaste of Fort Collins — Lovelytheband, Rick Springfield, Dreamers and Uncle Kracker are the headliners for this three-day festival in central Fort Collins. Local acts will join them; Civic Center Park, 201 Laporte Ave., Fort Collins; $5-$20; tasteoffortcollins.com.Tour De Fat — Quirky bike and beer event featuring musical talent from around the country; 2-8 p.m. Sept. 1; New Belgium Brewing, 500 Linden St., Fort Collins; newbelgium.com/events/tourdefat
• 5030 Local — 1480 Cascade Ave., Loveland; 5030local.comNicholas Jamerson, 7 p.m. May 10AJ Fullerton, 7 p.m. May 17Andy Sydow Band, 7 p.m. May 18Whippoorwill, 7 p.m. June 15• Aggie Theater — 204 S. College Ave., Fort Collins; aggietheatre.comThe Unlikely Candidates and Ironton with Holdfast, 8 p.m. May 11The Contortionist with We Are William and Black July, 8 p.m. May 13Rhett Miller (of the Old 97s), 8:30 p.m. May 23Talib Kwelli with Bad Neighbors and DJ Channel, 8:30 p.m. June 7American Aquarium with Brandy Zdan, 8:30 p.m. June 21Tab Benoit, 8:30 p.m. July 9Leo Kottke, 7 p.m. Aug. 2• The Armory — 314 E. Mountain Ave., Fort Collins; armoryfoco.comArlo Guthrie, 7 p.m. May 10Iris Dement, 7 p.m. May 18Brett Dennen, 7 p.m. June 13-14Aaron Lee Tasjan, 7 p.m. July 7Porky Lafarge, 7 p.m. Sept. 14• Budweiser Events Center — 5290 Arena Circle, Loveland; budweisereventscenter.comGhost, Sept. 30• Downtown Artery — 252 Linden St., Fort Collins; downtownartery.comThe Wild Reeds, 8 p.m. May 18Liz Cooper and The Stampede, 8 p.m. May 30
• Folsom Field — 2400 Colorado Ave., Boulder; cubuffs.comDead & Company, 6:30 p.m. July 5-6• Hodi’s Half Note — 167 N. College Ave, Fort Collins; hodishalfnote.comCaskey, 7 p.m. May 16Mountainus with Lola Rising, Native Station, Zee Irelynn and DJ Wadada, 8 p.m. May 31M.D.C. with Verbal Abuse and Round Eye, 8 p.m. July 24The Mother Hips, 8 p.m. Aug. 9Fishbone with 12 Cents for Marvin, 8 p.m. Aug. 14• Mishawaka Amphitheater — 13714 Poudre Canyon Highway, Bellvue; themishawaka.comWookiefoot with Indubious and Wooley, 8 p.m. May 18Jeff Austin Band, 8 p.m. June 7Trout Steak Revival with The Lonsome Days and The Sweet Lillies, 8 p.m. July 6Band of Horses with Nikki Lane, 7 p.m. July 21Murder by Death with Wovenhand, 8 p.m. Aug. 3The California Honeydrops, 8 p.m. Aug. 23• Moxi Theater — 802 Ninth St., Greeley; moxitheater.comTyler Walker Band with JD Nash Band, 8 p.m. SaturdayMichael Marrow and the Culprits, 8 p.m. May 18Read Southall, 8 p.m. June 20Shakedown Street (Grateful Dead tribute band), 8 p.m. June 21Bobaflex with Artifas, 8 p.m. Aug. 4
• Red Rocks — 18300 W. Alameda Parkway, Morrison; redrocksonline.com.Schpongle, 7 p.m. May 34U: The Music of Prince with the Colorado Symphony, 7:30 p.m. May 7Papadosio & The Polish Ambassador, 7 p.m. May 11Lord Huron with Lucius, 7 p.m. May 14Florence and the Machine, 7:30 p.m. May 20-21The Devil Makes Three, 7 p.m. May 24The Disco Biscuits, 6:30 p.m. May 25Phil Lesh and the Terrapin Family Band with Infamous String Dusters, 5:30 p.m. May 29Bela Fleck: Friends & Family featuring The Colorado Symphony, Bela Fleck & the Flecktones, Sam Bush, Jerry Douglas and Abigail Washburn, 7:30 p.m. May 30Chromeo and Thievery Corporation with Big Freedia, Adeline and Peanut Butter Wolf, 6 p.m. May 31Moe. with Mike Gordon and White Denim, 6 p.m. June 1Billie Eilish, 7:30 June 5Big Head Todd and the Monsters with Toad the Wet Sprocket and Colin Hay, 6:30 p.m. June 8Dispatch, 7 p.m. June 9Lettuce, Tauk and The Soul Rebels 6 p.m., June 15Nahko and Medicine for the People and Trevor Hall, 6:15 p.m. June 16Umphrey’s McGee and Spafford, 7 p.m. June 21-23Kacey Musgraves 8 p.m. June 26Widespread Panic 7 p.m. June 28-30Blues Traveler, Leftover Salmon and Jackie Greene, 5:30 p.m. July 4The Avett Brothers, 7:30 p.m. July 5-7
The Motet and Galactic, 7 p.m. July 12Norah Jones, 7:30 p.m. July 16The String Cheese Incident, 7 p.m. July 19-20Diana Ross, 7:30 p.m. July 22Tedeschi Trucks Band, 7 p.m. July 26My Morning Jacket, 7:30 p.m. Aug. 3Gregory Allen Isakov, 7 p.m. Aug 4
• The Stanley Hotel — 333 E. Wonderview Ave., Estes Park; stanleylive.comLord Huron, 8:30 p.m. May 15-16American Music Tour featuring The Blasters, Supersuckers and Wayne “The Train” Hancock, 7:30 p.m. July 11• Thunder Mountain Amphitheatre — 4250 Byrd Dr., Loveland; tmaconcerts.comMetalachi, 4 p.m. Saturday• Washington’s — 132 Laporte Ave., Fort Collins; washingtonsfoco.comReckless Kelly and Matt Skinner Band, 7 p.m. May 23Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears, 7 p.m. May 30Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue, 7 p.m. June 2Big Head Todd and the Monsters, 7 p.m. June 6Phil Vassar, 7 p.m. Aug. 1John Hiatt, 7 p.m. Aug. 14Son Volt, 7 p.m. Aug. 24