by Catherine Mahrholz photos by Paul Lindberg:
Dubbed by many who attended as “Woodstock III,” the MotherLode Music Festival was thoroughly enjoyed by all who spent the weekend of Aug. 8,9 and 10 at the Idlewild Ridge ranch.
The sentiment was prompted not only by the eclectic selection of live music, but by the setting and the mood of the people in attendance.
The Idlewild Ridge ranch, located in Park County, Colorado, just off Hwy. 24 near Lake George was the picture perfect Rocky Mountain venue for a weekend of music and fun. The ranch featured areas set aside for live music and vendors of food, clothing and crafts.
Idlewild Ridge ranch is a working ranch, replete with horses, dogs and other animals. Pony rides were available for the children in attendance with their parents. All in all, a well organized event on a beautiful Colorado ranch in our splendid Rocky Mountains.
On Saturday and Sunday afternoon, eight bands provided live music in an area near the barn that can best be described as a natural amphitheater in a gently rolling pasture that borders the Pike National Forest.
The weekend line-up of music included The Doo Wah Riders, Judge Roughneck, Tony Trahan & the Blue Krewe, Wonderlik, The Woodies Band, Dancing on the Sun, Blue Healers, zone One Eleven and the star of Saturday’s lineup, Austin Young.
Based in Colorado Springs, the band is made up of Young and his father Tim Young, and another young man by the name of Noah Mast. Check out the Austin Young Band at www.austinyoungband.com and they are on Facebook as well.
Austin Young just celebrated his 19th birthday on Friday August 8. His band plays not only cover songs for the likes of Jimi Hendrix, they also feature superb original blues tunes, written by Austin Young and fellow band members.
Despite his youth, Young is an extremely talented and creative guitarist and has a stage presence comparable to renowned Blues legend Stevie Ray Vaughn. Accompanying his exquisite mastery of the electric guitar with mature and resonant vocals, Young wowed the audience with a superb three hour set on a beautiful sunny afternoon amidst the trees and rock outcroppings of Pike National Forest that border Idlewild Ridge ranch.
The gentleman who pulled together this weekend festival, Doug Schroer, can easily be compared to the renowned concert promoter Chet Helms, who traveled with Janis Joplin from the Mississippi and Texas area to San Francisco, California in the mid-1960s.
Helms was famous in the San Francisco Bay Area of the 1960s and 1970s for staging phenomenal, lengthy weekend concerts with nationally acclaimed bands as well as local Bay Area bands. His love of music took priority over making a buck, so unlike the infamous Bill Graham, concerts put together by Helms, reflected his priority of music over money.
The MotherLode Music Festival reflected a vibe not seen by this writer since the late 1960s in concerts at Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, California or the Greek Amphitheater at UC Berkeley, California.
While the concert attendance numbers did not meet the expectations of those who worked so hard to make it happen, plans are already underway for the Second Annual MotherLode Music Festival. The vendors, I spoke to, myself included, are eager to see this wonderful weekend in the Colorado Rocky Mountains continue as an annual event