Rocks on the Hill at Long Shots Bar and Grill in Wheat Ridge, CO on 01/21/23

Rocks on the Hill

As the snow flurries died down on a cold January evening, Rocks on the Hill (named after a view in Boulder, Colorado) prepared to entertain the packed crowd at Long Shots Bar and Grill. They were about to launch into a genre jumping show that covered country, soul, and classic rock. The band was brought together through mutual friends, family members, wives, and an inquiry about a jeep.

The show was interrupted throughout the night to announce a vehicle about to be towed, a double cheeseburger ready for pick-up, and a call out to a missing bar patron.

Bart Nicholas sporting dark sunglasses and a black Cowboy hat led the band with a smile. Full disclosure, I have known Nicholas for over thirty-years when we were much younger Guys at the Show. He passionately belted out Tyler Childers, Dave Matthew, Bill Withers, and many other tunes while strumming his guitar.

Scott Beckman took over lead vocals for a few songs including Big Head Todd and the Monsters’ Bittersweet. His plaid shirt and singing matched Nicholas’ vocals and clothes perfectly. Todd Gilmore, using a Do Not Cross Police Line tape for a guitar strap, brought the rock. He turned Kenny Wayne Shepherd’s Blue on Black into a sing-along to the delight of the crowd (I was belting it out probably not to the delight of the crowd). Gilmore teased the audience with riffs from 38 Special and The Scorpions.

When Ken Lee’s impressive fiddle playing gave the band a richer sound. It also helped recreate Dave Matthews Band’s signature Grey Street. Matt Brodie’s exceptional saxophone and wind synthesizer gave power to Rocks on the Hill. They were able to handle Bob Seger’s Turn the Page with Brodie taking on the iconic sax riff.

Joey Davidson, Ken Lee, Matt Brodie, Bart Nicholas, Scott Beckman, Don Roberts, and Todd Gilmore

The rhythm section consisting of Don Roberts hammering the drums and Joey Davidson thumping the bass drove Long Shots’ patrons to the dance floor. Steve Earle’s Copperhead Row and Darius Rucker’s Wagon Wheel were the songs inspiring people to shake their tail feathers the most. Nicholas’ daughter and her friends joyfully danced for a few songs. Nicholas’ brother (also wearing a black cowboy hat) was spinning a few lucky ladies around the bar. 

Rocks on the Hill will be playing Long Shots Bar and Grill again soon. Nicholas stated, “It is a great fit for both parties and the crowd has a great time there.”

See you at the next show. I’ll be the one hoping the car was not impounded, the cheeseburger was eaten, and the friend was found.

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