Free blues at Boulder’s Railhead

May 1, 2001 12:29 PM

The popular free Boulder Blues series, featuring some of the country’s best blues entertainers, continues from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m., on Thursdays at Boulder Station’s Railhead.

The schedule kicks off Thursday with saxophonist and vocalist Greg Piccolo and his band Heavy Juice. Since leaving the legendary Roomful of Blues band, of which he was a part for 25 years, Piccolo has taken full advantage of the freedom to discover and refine his own approach to music. No longer operating in the strict blues mold, he covers a wide range of musical territory, from catchy pop and hip-hop to acid jazz. In addition to his usual tenor saxophone, Piccolo now occasionally straps on an electric guitar and has been known to blow an alto sax. "Alto is a challenge for me," he says, "especially after hearing people like Cleanhead Vinson and Earl Bostic. I never really played it before a year ago. And now," he laughs, "I’m threatening to take up the trombone!"

Latin sensation plays Mandalay Bay

Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino announces a special performance by international Latin sensation Joan Sebastian, along with a variety of rodeo festivities on Saturday, May 5 in the Mandalay Bay Events Center. The festival of events will begin at 9 p.m.

Last April, Sebastian released his 32nd album entitled El Rey Del Jaripeo. The title track has skyrocketed up the Latin Billboard charts, adding yet another hit for the legendary performer. With his unique performance style and gift for composition, many consider Sebastian to be one of the most versatile Latin musicians of our time.

Sebastian’s album entitled Gracias Por Tanto Amor" captured the hearts of many with its wide variety of arrangements that blend Latin pop and country into one collection.

Prior to Sebastian’s performance the rodeo will feature several traditional events including bronc and bull riding. Last year, Sebastian performed his most beloved hits to a sold-out audience at the Mandalay Bay Events Center.

Tickets for the event are priced at $75, $55, $50, $45 and $30.

Righteous Brothers return to The Orleans

They’re back”¦Bill Medley and Bobby Hatfield, The Righteous Brothers return Wednesday through May 13 (Dark Monday, May 7) to The Orleans Hotel & Casino. Tickets are priced at $39.95, $49.95, $59.95 plus tax.

The Righteous Brothers’ high-energy show in February was "standing room only," and their appeal and popularity continue to grow with all age groups. The Righteous Brothers are not related, but they have been best friends since childhood.

When Bill and Bobby began to perform together, they were the only white guys doing black music. Several decades later, the duo’s evergreen appeal is escalating due to the raw emotion which Medley and Hatfield convey as singers. There’s also the knack they have for choosing timeless, immaculately crafted songs to record. Whatever the reason, the Righteous Brothers are as popular as ever.

The return of "Unchained Melody" to the charts some 25 years after the Righteous Brothers first recorded the song, is nothing short of amazing. It is not the first Righteous Brothers’ recording to appear in a hit film - "You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin," was part of the Top Gun soundtrack. In 1987, Dirty Dancing featuring the Bill Medley/ Jennifer Warnes duet, "I’ve Had The Time Of My Life" went to the top of the charts.

”˜King of Queens’ Kevin James energizes Vegas

Kevin James is one of Hollywood’s most vibrant new talents. Already popular with his CBS television series The King of Queens, James is set to "bring the house down" with an evening of comedy at Paris Las Vegas, May 4-6 with one show at 9 p.m. Tickets are $49.95 each and can be purchased at the Paris Box Office or by calling (702) 946-4567 or (877) 374-7469.

James attended Cortland University where he played fullback on the football team while majoring in sports management. An injury ended his football playing days and he realized after three years that this wasn’t the path for him. Dropping out of college in 1989, he became a personal fitness trainer. However, James will joke he had a short client list because of his bulky appearance and his inability to motivate his clients to continue harder with their workout. He jokes, "I’d said five sit-ups are fine, want to go get a chocolate energy bar?"

James went back home and decided to break up the monotony of the summer by joining a comedy improv group. He soon realized he had a knack for comedy. Since then, he has performed standup comedy for about 11 years.

It was on the comedy circuit that he met fellow comedian Ray Romano. While Romano was getting a big break with his own sitcom, Kevin was getting recognition on Star Search. After appearing on The Tonight Show, his big break came at the 1996 "Just for Laugh" Montreal Comedy Festival. While James had a development deal with NBC, the idea of The King of Queens was born. NBC decided to pass on the show that he was pitching and, when Kevin’s contract expired, CBS, who was familiar with his work, came calling.