With the reopening of eateries for dine-in service has come the reemergence of live entertainment. Since restaurants have started to welcome back guests, musicians have played on rooftops, in alleyways and on patios to diners throughout the Front Range. The Roost — Longmont’s spot for American pub fare and rustic charm — continues to provide patrons with a soundtrack each Friday and Saturday throughout the summer.
“We feel like live music and Colorado summers belong together,” said Alishia Moore, director of operations for The Roost. “Bringing local artists into our outdoor dining experience was a focus for our team, especially in this time when we’re needing to find ways to come together safely and celebrate all of the things we love most about the downtown Longmont community.”
Musicians will strum away and belt out song under one of the six double facade steel breezeways — “Los Arcos De Longmont” — that connect Main Street to downtown parking lots. The colorful passages, with Byzantine glass tile inlaid throughout, were created by artist Armando Alvarez in 2001.
“We’re really excited that The Roost has such amazing outdoor spaces available in order to feature these incredible musicians,” Moore said.
Rooftop diners can feast on fried cauliflower or blistered shishito peppers and enjoy the musical offerings.
“Saturday’s show is our first open-to-the-public show we will be putting on since the start of the pandemic,” said Lydia Sprouts, mandolinist and vocalist for string-band Pioneer Mother, whose set starts at 6 p.m. “While we have had several private performances throughout the spring, we look forward to plugging back in to the local community.”
The band that is normally a quartet will perform as a trio Saturday while upright bassist Colin Huff takes some time off during the pandemic.
For the Nederland-based musicians — who’ve shared stages alongside Railroad Earth, Yonder Mountain String Band, The Infamous Stringdusters, Leftover Salmon, Trampled by Turtles and Rising Appalachia — the stay-at-home orders have actually proved conducive to crafting.
“We have birthed two new songs in quarantine and have refined many more,” Sprouts said. “The new tunes might not be prepared for performance by Saturday, but maybe we’ll play one anyway. Oftentimes when a song is born, it is delivered before it’s truly ready — similar to a baby giraffe, we can imagine.”
With chill-inducing three-part harmonies, slick picking and songwriting inspired by nomadic living and mountainous backdrops, Pioneer Mother — although just 2 years old — is quickly building a significant fanbase.
Described in the online band bio as “a quirky combination of western outlaw and psychedelic astronaut,” Pioneer Mother melds time-honored musicianship with a definite brand of infectious quirk.
While the bluegrass group’s name calls to a powerful matriarchal figure of yesteryear, the band’s songs touch on subject matter that is very now.
“Other than the witty banter, matching outfits and Grateful Dead-style tuning breaks, you can expect to hear a mix of originals as well as old favorites,” Sprouts said. “While we perform with typical bluegrass instrumentation, we are a far cry from your grandfather’s old-time/bluegrass band.”
The band’s first full-length 11-track album, “The Call,” is scheduled to be released in the coming months and will be available on all major streaming platforms.
“We were lucky to have finished recording our debut album at the beginning of March, so we’ve been using the pandemic as extra time for mixing, mastering and marketing the release,” Sprouts said. “We’ve released two singles since the start of the pandemic.”
“Cocaine & Kisses” and “Get Along” are currently out.
“We love Gospel music, but you might not want to book us for your next church picnic,” Sprouts joked. “If you like any type of music in the Americana genre and don’t take yourself too seriously, you’ll probably have fun with Pioneer Mother.”
Band members — who, prior to the pandemic performed in the summer of 2019 at Loveland’s Arise Festival and Oregon’s Northwest String Summit — are looking forward to finding more venues where spatial distancing allows them to play on.
“We’re currently talking to Brian Finn about performing in person at the Gold Hill Inn,” Sprouts said. “We have so many fond memories from seeing shows there as well. Like most venues nowadays, everything is a little touch-and-go, booking wise, but we’ll be excited to perform there when the time comes.”
The musicians playing The Roost are about as varied as its dishes.
“Along with Pioneer Mother, we’ve got upcoming performances from The Red Iron Push — hot Southern rock and blues — and Venture Still — electric Americana pop — as well as acts from solo artists Denny Driscoll, Emily Barnes, Eric Wiggs and Dylan McCarthy,” Moore said.
Since opening, the dining establishment at 526 Main St. — with its rooftop bar that overlooks Longmont’s downtown — has always been synonymous with intriguing summer cuisine. Now, diners can sip on local beer or savor a whiskey flight and enjoy a small-scale version of the live music and vibe that Longmont’s now-postponed Downtown Summer Concert Series used to deliver.
“People are definitely invited to bring their favorite chairs and hang out in either our breezeway or the alleyway behind the building, where they can watch the music and grab one of our house-crafted cocktails and something delicious to eat,” said Moore.
While the Roost is appealing to a wide variety of music fans with its rotating summer lineup, culinary offerings are being crafted in the kitchen and refreshing beverages mixed behind the bar.
“Our new summer menu features some incredible new dishes, including burrata caprese and a Hawaiian burger,” Moore said. “The stand-out addition, though, is our new Haitian chicken — a house-smoked chicken leg served over Caribbean black beans with a refreshing tomato-cucumber salad, white rice and cilantro. And, for summer cocktails, we’ve added a Negroni that features house-infused strawberry campari, as well as a mai tai that tastes like a summer getaway in a glass.”