Clay Kirkland and Al Chesis & The Delta Sonics

Shady Grove Picnic Series

Wednesday, June 13, 2018
6:30 PM
Doors Open at 6:00 PM

Four Mile Historic Park

715 South Forest St, Denver, CO 80246  

Event Ended

Featured Artist #1


Clay Kirkland and Al Chesis & The Delta Sonics

Though the blues harmonica styles of Clay Kirkland and Al Chesis are quite different, from the very beginning their collaborations have just worked. In fact, they have worked great!

Kirkland, born in Macon, Georgia, has a strong background in classical music, having played cello and baritone horn through grade school and high school. He began playing blues harmonica in Kansas City, moved to Denver in 1975 where he played country for many years. He has performed in concert with Willie Nelson, Garth Brooks, Amy Grant, Vince Gill, Chuck Berry, Vassar Clements, Lou Rawls, Junior Brown, and Robben Ford, to name only a few. Five time world champion rodeo cowboy, Larry Mahan, said when he hired Kirkland to play in his Great American Cowboy Band, "When Clay plays it ain't harmonica. It's St. Peter at the Pearly Gates."

Kirkland has announced that he is resigning his full time position at Swallow Hill Music and moving his home base to Missouri. He will spend time in Kansas City while he builds a home in the wooded acreage he and his brothers have owned for 25 years in Southern Missouri. He will return to Denver three or four times a year to perform and teach.

Kirkland says, "This Shady Grove concert is the last time I will perform a Swallow Hill concert before I move. You may understand how difficult this decision was for me. I have so many dear friends here. I hope you will all come be together with me on Wednesday, June 13, 6:00 pm, at Four Mile Park. We'll blues ya as only Al and I and the Delta Sonics can do. And I'll be looking for some hugs."


Featured Artist #2


Al Chesis

Al has played in Colorado since the mid-1980's after moving to Denver from Washington, D.C. There he played in the Mojo-Matics for five years, opening shows for Albert Collins, Elvin Bishop, and others. Al has shared the stage with Canned Heat, Tommy Castro, and Homesick James.

He has also done studio work for two PBS movie soundtracks and Denver area radio stations, including KBCO, KUVO and the FOX. Al has toured locally and nationally with Muddy Waters' son Big Bill Morganfield, appearing at venues in Colorado, Utah, and Wisconsin, as well as at the prestigious Chicago Blues Festival in 2002.

Recently, Al has toured regionally with Pinetop Perkins, Steadyrollin' Bob Margolin, and Willie "Big Eyes" Smith. Al has been endorsed by Hohner Harmonicas since 1992.

Featured Artist #3


The Delta Sonics

The Delta Sonics have been playing in Colorado since 1992, and have established themselves as one of the finest blues acts in the area with their solid musicianship and exciting live performances. Their musical stylings include Chicago Blues, West Coast Swing, New Orleans R&B, and some early Rock n' Roll.

The band has won Westword's Best Blues Band Honors for six years in a row (2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015,2016) and represented the Colorado Blues Society at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis in 2012, making the semi-finals.

Besides averaging 250 gigs a year, the band was featured at notable regional festivals like the Mile High Blues Festival (2009), Blues From the Top (2006 & 2007) Greeley Blues Jam ( 2006 , 2009, 2012, 2014,2016 ) Belvedere Blues Fest ( 2008, 2011) , Pearl St. Brews and Blues Fest (2007, 2009, 2012, 2014,2015,2016) and the Cherry Creek Arts Festival Main Stage ( 2009, 2012) to name a few.

Al Chesis was one of the only local harmonica players to be featured at the SPAH Convention held in Denver in 2006 and also appeared on Mark Hummel's Harmonica Blowout with harp heavyweights Magic Dick, Kim Wilson, Jason Ricci, and Mark Hummel himself in Denver and Colorado Springs in October 2008.

The band was featured at the 1997, 1998, and 2001 Denver Blues & Bones Festival, the Boulder/Lyons Blues Festival five times, the Yellowstone Jazz Festival, and the Westword Music Showcase in 1996 and 1997. They have opened for many nationally known blues artists, including BB King,Robert Cray Koko Taylor, Junior Wells, Taj Mahal, Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown, The Radiators, the Fabulous Thunderbirds, Tommy Castro, and Charlie Musselwhite.. In 1999 and 2004, the band brought blues piano legend Pinetop Perkins to Colorado for two successful tours. Most recently, The Delta Sonics have also backed Steadyrollin Bob Margolin , Big Bill Morganfield, Lurrie Bell ,John Primer ,the late Bo Diddley (2004), and the late Pinetop Perkins on their many club and festival performances in Colorado. They are a sought after back-up band for national blues artists.

Featured Artist #4


Shady Grove Picnic Series

*Online sales end at 12 noon on the day of the event but are available at the door. Cash or credit accepted.*

Join us this summer as we enjoy great live music in the fresh Colorado air at the Shady Grove Picnic Series at Four Mile Historic Park. Bring a picnic and your family and take part in this summer tradition that's been happening for almost two decades. Doors open at 6:00 pm. Shows begin at 6:30.

Em's Ice Cream Truck will also be at each of the concerts. Em's Ice Cream is Colorado's only all certified organic ice cream company is based in Denver.

What time do the concerts start?
Doors open at 6:00 pm. Music starts at 6:30.

Can I buy tickets in advance?
YES! Tickets are now available in advance.

Can I bring own alcohol?
Yes.

Can I bring my own food?
Yes.

Can I bring my dog?
No.

Can I bring a chair?
Yes. Bring a chair or blanket!

Is Four Mile Historic Park handicap accessible?
Yes.

Are there restrooms available?
Yes, the restrooms are located in a building behind the stage area.

Is there a discount for members?
Yes, both Swallow Hill Music and Four Mile Historic Park members receive a $4 discount.

What if it rains?
It is a rain or shine venue, and the show goes on until we determine there is a threat to anyone's safety. Feel free to bring an umbrella just in case!

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