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Rocky Mountain Way: An Evening to Remember

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The Colorado Music Hall of Fame latest & largest Induction Event, “The Rocky Mountain Way” brought together musicians for a special evening of music and entertainment. Artists performed tribute sets, honor videos were played, and award presentations made, all celebrating the music and contributions of the Hall’s inductees – Caribou Ranch, Joe Walsh & Barnstorm and Dan Fogelberg. Events like this happen once in a lifetime and the Induction’s theme fittingly echoed throughout the night.

Caribou Ranch

In the early 1970s, musicians were starting to hear about an out-of-the-way recording studio far from the major recording hubs of New York City and Los Angeles. That studio was Caribou Ranch, and over its short history, it would play host to dozens of musicians and artists who would record some of their best-known works there.

Artists of Caribou Ranch

Artists as diverse as Michael Jackson, U2, John Lennon, Tom Petty, Stevie Nicks, Chicago, and The Beach Boys wrote and recorded timeless music at Caribou Ranch.

Elton John’s album “Caribou” was named in honor of the studio, and John Oates (of R&B duo Hall & Oates) was on stage to perform the single, “Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me” from that album during the concert. 

Two other major acts of the ’70s – Earth, Wind, & Fire and Supertramp – also recorded at Caribou Ranch. Big Head Todd & The Monsters and The Lumineers helped pay respects to both the bands and the studio itself with covers of “Shining Star” and “Give a Little Bit,” respectively.

The musician who holds the distinction of being the first artist to record at Caribou Ranch was also on hand since he was being inducted as well. Joe Walsh was between bands at the time, having just left The James Gang and not yet on the radar of The Eagles. His solo album ‘‘Barnstorm’’ was recorded at Caribou Ranch after a mixer at his house failed. The rest is rock and roll history.

Joe Walsh & Barnstorm

Joe Walsh rejoined his Barnstorm bandmates on stage, who also helped write and record the album, to play some of its best-known tracks. He even cheekily introduced “Rocky Mountain Way” as “the anthem of Colorado.” Before his performance, Walsh presented his good friend and producer Bill Szymczyk (who’d worked with Walsh and The Eagles on a number of albums) with the Award of Excellence.

Dan Fogelberg

The last inductee of the night, Dan Fogelberg, also recorded at Caribou Ranch during the ’70s. The many admirers he had was reflected during the last portion of the event as they paid tribute to him. 

The final batch of performers included artists playing their renditions of Dan Fogelberg’s songs, which have been recently re-recorded for an upcoming Fogelberg tribute album to drop next year – Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Riche Furay, Amy Grant (singing a duet with her husband Vince Gill) and new folk-pop duo Johnnyswim.

The night ended with country superstar Garth Brooks performing two of Fogelberg’s hits before rounding out the event with “There’s a Place in The World for a Gambler.” Most all the artists joined Garth on stage for this final tribute song.

It was a fantastic event and we are immensely proud to welcome our newest Inductees!