Harry Tuft and...
Otis Taylor

Harry Tuft and...

Swallow Hill Music - Quinlan CafeDenverCO
All Ages
Doors at 6:30pm, Show at 7:00pm. All sales are final.

A note from Harry:

Folks: I'm excited to announce my next guest, amazing blues artist Otis Taylor. I first met and got to know Otis when he came into the Folklore Center at 14, living in the neighborhood. As you can see from the bio below, "the rest is history...."

Otis and I will trade stories and songs a few Thursdays from now, Feb. 21st, in the Quinlan Cafe at Swallow Hill. The show starts at 7 PM. There will also be a song circle following, after a short break and continuing until 10 PM or so. All are invited to stay for the song circle. Tickets are $10, available on line from Swallow Hill. We do usually sell out in advance, so I advise getting tickets before the show.

Here's a bit of background on Otis:

With Otis Taylor, it's best to expect the unexpected. While his music, an amalgamation of roots styles in their rawest form, discusses heavyweight issues like murder, homelessness, tyranny, and injustice, his personal style is lighthearted. Guitar Player magazine writes, "Otis Taylor is arguably the most relevant blues artist of our time."

As a young teenager, Otis spent time at the Denver Folklore Center where he bought his first instrument, a banjo. The Folklore Center was also the place where he first learned to play guitar and harmonica, and by his mid-teens he formed his first groups, the Butterscotch Fire Department Blues Band and later the Otis Taylor Blues Band. His next project became the T&O Short Line with legendary Deep Purple singer/guitarist Tommy Bolin. In 1997 Otis released Blue Eyed Monster which riveted the blues world and marked the emergence of a singer/songwriter who has, in his own words, "a way of saying something that seems to be more intense." Many albums followed, and in reviewing Otis’ seventh album, Downbeat gave it four stars, noting that Taylor "has a poet's soul, with a deep respect for the history of blacks in America and an unshakable curiosity about the human condition." Paste called him " a country-folk version of spontaneous, talking-blues master John Lee Hooker."

Taylor resides in Boulder, Colorado, where he lives with his wife.

Harry Tuft

Harry Tuft grew up singing and playing a series of instruments – from the piano to the clarinet, ukulele, baritone uke, and, in college, a six-string guitar.

Philadelphia's lively folk scene provided the setting for Harry's first ventures into public singing. From there, friendships with Dick Weissman and Roger Abrahams fostered a growing interest in Anglo-American folk music.

In 1960, needing a break from his studies (preparing for an architectural career), Harry traveled out to the Rocky Mountains for some skiing. He found a job at "The Holy Cat" in Georgetown, as a dishwasher, busboy, waiter, bartender, janitor, and – if there was a lull in the work at night – he could sing in the bar.

There he met Hal Neustaedter – owner of "The Exodus," a folk club in Denver – who suggested that he look into starting a folklore center in Denver. With further encouragement from Izzy Young, owner of the first and (then) only Folklore Center, in New York's Greenwich Village, Harry opened the Denver Folklore Center in March 1962.

Putting his energies into the store over the years, Harry has found time for teaching and occasional singing, as time allows. In his first album, "Across the Blue Mountains," Harry was ably joined by old friends Dick Weissman, Jay Ungar, Ed Trickett, Artie Traum and Laraine Grady Traum.

In 1972, Harry and friends Steve Abbott and Jack Stanesco formed Grubstake – originally named "This Band Is Starving." Their five albums include "What You Do With What You Got" and "Warts and All."

40th Anniversary Concert Series

Swallow Hill turns 40 in 2019, and we are celebrating all year long.

Monthly concert events - including this one - feature beloved artists from Swallow Hill’s storied history, as well as those who are leading us into our future. All of these artists uphold Swallow Hill's legacy of bringing Denver its favorite artists in folk, bluegrass, blues, Americana and the singer/songwriter community.

We look forward to celebrating with you!

Venue Information:
Swallow Hill Music - Quinlan Cafe
71 East Yale Ave
Denver, CO, 80210