Joe Walsh and Barnstorm to Reunite For One Night

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The Colorado Music Hall of Fame will host its next induction concert honoring Dan Fogelberg, Joe Walsh & Barnstorm and James William Guercio’s Caribou Ranch on August 13 at Fiddler’s Green Amphitheatre. The original Barnstorm lineup of Walsh, Kenny Passarelli and Joe Vitale will reunite for the event. Music producer Bill Szymczyk will receive the hall’s Award of Excellence.

The event, “The Rocky Mountain Way,” will also feature performances from Garth Brooks, Amy Grant & Vince Gill, the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Richie Furay, Randy Owen of Alabama, Todd Park Mohr, Michael Martin Murphey and surprise guests paying tribute to the late Fogelberg and Caribou Ranch, the legendary recording studio.

Tickets are available at AXS.com and at TicketNetwork. In addition, Walsh has announced new solo dates at the House of Blues in Las Vegas on September 27, 29 and 30. Tickets here and here.

Many of the artists performing in tribute to singer-songwriter Fogelberg have participated in an upcoming tribute CD produced by Jean Fogelberg, Irving Azoff and Chuck Morris. Some of them recorded at Caribou Ranch and will perform those songs as well. Additional artists are being added to the show.

A closer look at the inductees, who will be the seventh group for enshrinement in the Hall since its inception in 2011:

After leaving his studies at the University of Illinois, Fogelberg set out for the West Coast, finding inspiration during a week in Colorado. The singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist subsequently bought a Nederland spread from original Byrds member Chris Hillman, and his time there resulted in the songs for his 1977 album, Nether Lands. Fogelberg earned six Platinum albums in his career; among his hits are “Part of the Plan,” the #2 single “Longer,” “Leader of the Band” and “Same Old Lang Syne.” He later preferred to remain secluded on the ranch he purchased near Pagosa Springs, CO, and succumbed to prostate cancer in December 2007 at age 56.

In November 1971, Walsh left the James Gang and relocated to Colorado, forming a new group called Barnstorm with bassist Passarelli and drummer Vitale and released a 1972 album of the same name. Passarelli and Vitale would also be the core backing band members for the follow-up The Smoker You Drink, the Player You Get (1973). The album reached #6 on the strength of the hit “Rocky Mountain Way,” which was inspired by Walsh’s move to Colorado. After 1974’s So What, Barnstorm disbanded and Walsh continued as a solo artist and a member of the Eagles.

Watch Richard Pryor introduce Barnstorm for a sizzling live version of “Rocky Mountain Way” in 1973

Caribou Ranch

Caribou Ranch, the first “destination studio,” was built by producer Guercio on ranch property in the Rocky Mountains near Nederland. Caribou gained prominence when Elton John recorded three albums there, including the 1974’s Caribou. Throughout the 1970s and early 1980s, the studio hosted many of the biggest names in music, including such classic rock legends as Chicago, the Beach Boys, Stephen Stills, Billy Joel, Frank Zappa, John Lennon, Michael Jackson and Earth, Wind & Fire. Caribou Ranch was in operation until the control room suffered extensive fire damage in 1985.

Related: Our feature on Caribou Ranch

A CMHOF Award of Excellence will be awarded to producer Bill Szymczyk, who came to Colorado in 1971 and worked as a disc jockey for free-form radio station KFML and was a co-founder of Denver’s Tumbleweed Records. He earned great success working with Walsh, the Eagles, the James Gang and many other rock acts.

The performances and vídeo tributes of “The Rocky Mountain Way” will be captured by the PBS series Soundstage for airing at a later date.

Half of CMHOF’s portion of the proceeds will be donated in Fogelberg’s memory to the Prostate Cancer Foundation.

The Colorado Music Hall of Fame is a non-profit organization. Among the many previous inductees are John Denver, the Red Rocks Amphitheatre, Sugarloaf, Judy Collins, Stephen Stills/Manassas, Firefall, Poco and the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band.

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