Cuchara Country Music Fest
Oh What A Show!
By: Michele Mannis
The Historic Cuchara Village in Southern Colorado is situated on the eastern slopes of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains in the heart of the Cucharas River Valley. Surrounded by the San Isabel National Forest and boasting huge Ponderosa pines as a backdrop, this little Western Town is host to the 4th annual Cuchara Country Music Festival. This year's artists were: Craig Morgan, Charley Jenkins, Kinsey Sadler, Lusas Hoge, Jessie Funk and Cappton Reid.
It was a gloomy day for the most part but a little rain, a little thunder, a little lightning, a little sun and a whole lot of clouds couldn't and wouldn't stop the fans or the show!
The Festival opened with Cappton Reid a Country/Classic Rock band consisting of Tony Cappelucci, Bruce Walton and Tom Reid. He and his band were the perfect kickoff for the event. They got the crowd warmed up and ready to party!
Next up was Award-winning Singer, Motivational Youth Speaker, Author, Director of The Ivy Girl Academy - Jessie Funk. Her music was amazing, and the crowd was totally into her. "Perfectly Me" was beautiful. Jessie and her band (great entertainment from all) definitely knew how to work the crowd. Playing her encore song, what she calls her namesake, "Uptown Funk" had folks dancing in the aisles!
The audience got so into it. It was just alot of good people enjoying good music.
Up next was one of the most energetic entertainers and a Colorado favorite, Lucas Hoge. There is one word that best describes Lucas Hoge: FUN! He and his band were having a ball on stage, and that feeling was infectious.
The energy of his show didnít drop, the crowdís interest didnít waiver not even when a thunderstorm shut it down for a while. Hoge's performance was solid and his passion for live performances came through. You can see it by the smile on his face.
Kinsey Sadler was fourth on the bill and damn, she performed the hell out of her set. She's such a talented artist. She's a dynamic and energetic performer who has the ability to deliver a solid performance. She just had so much energy, running across the stage, and playing to her fans. She also looked amazing! Her voice is perfection. "Sometimes I Forget", "That's How I
Roll" and "Bikini Body" were crowd favorites. I loved her entire set, I just wished it were longer. But once youíve seen her, youíll be a fan! She's definitely a rising star.
After Kinsey, one of the highlight artists of the day took the stage... Charlie Jenkins. A little bit of story telling, some laughs and some great music Charlie Jenkins rounded up the cowboy hat, boots and jeans crowd in Cuchara. His easy going swagger and boyish handsomeness was such a pleasure to watch. His interaction with the crowd was often and truly entertaining. He jumped into the audience and sang to a random couple all while taking a video. With four albums under his belt he sure knows how to do it. Born in Utah with deep country roots Charlie is country through and though and it shows in his country songs. Although he did sing a medley of pop songs (dedicated to his 9 yr old daughter) he redeem himself by getting back to his "roots"! The biggest surprise of the day is wondering why Charlie Jenkins isn't as successful as other country stars.
Last, but far from least, was the headliner Craig Morgan. With some catchy tunes, these guys had the crowd cranked up and ready to party all night long. It was clear from the beginning that Craig and his band have a hell of a good time when they jam together. They came out swinging with his number one hit "International Harvester". Morgan brought energy, grit, and one hell of a party to the festival with the hit songs "Party Girl",
and "Redneck Yacht Club" but he also brought raw emotional power with songs like "That's What I Love About Sunday", and the gently seductive,
slow-smoldering ballad and my personal favorite Craig Morgan song "Wake Up Loving You". Morgan was at the top of his game all night as evidence by all the love from the crowd.
This was my first time attending the festival and I was impressed. The shows were outstanding. Every performer did their job of entertaining the audience and they did it well! There was about 15/20 minutes in between each artist to set-up the next set, but it was worth the wait. I think the Cuchara Country Music Fest delighted festival-goers with good times, great music and phenomenal scenery. It did not fail to deliver a great show from start to finish. This Festival reaffirms for me that Country Music is still alive and well. I am so totally down for next year!