Katie Carroll: Downtown music underground at Karma Wine Bar | SteamboatToday.com

Katie Carroll: Downtown music underground at Karma Wine Bar

Katie Carroll

— A hot breeze is blowing through Karma Wine Bar this month, all the way from southern Spain. Guitarist Dave Bullard returns for his second Flamenco and Jazz series at Karma. If you’re feeling a little chilly on a snowy subzero Thursday (speaking of which, where are those snowy nights, anyway?) then I can guarantee a barstool at Karma with a glass of cab, and Dave on the strings, will warm you right up. He is a regular visitor to our perfect Colorado town, and if he’s already back, then it’s clear he loves us too.

Flamenco music comes from Andalusia, Spain, and is a dance of courtship and passion. And as we all know, “courtship” implies the sweet first date kiss, the first night you go home together, and throwing crockery on the kitchen floor to make a Very Important Point. In short: passion. Dave’s flamenco guitar blended with jazz perfectly fits with Karma’s underground atmosphere. As owner Sarah Freese told me over a glass of chardonnay: “[the] space is good for intimate, sexy and soulful music.”

If You Go…

Weekend Music at Karma Wine Bar & Lounge

Thursday, Jan. 15:

Dave Bullard — 5;30 to 7 p.m., Karma

Flamenco and Jazz

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Friday, Jan. 16:

DJ Grant Johnson, Ambient House — 10 p.m., Karma

Saturday, Jan. 17:

Sage & Tim — 7 p.m., Karma

Eclectic acoustic duo

DJ Aurbyt debut — 10 p.m., Karma

Sunday, Jan. 18:

Nature Dreamweaver — 7 p.m., Karma

Music, yoga, and poetry

Soulful is the key word in Karma’s music vision, and came up again and again while Freese and I chatted. Anything that’s good, she said. Any music that’s good implies quality is the most important factor while they book. Musically that leads the door wide open, and my impression is to expect the unexpected. Karma is making a conscious choice to veer away from the southern rock, bluegrass, and rock and roll bands that come through most other venues in town, and book a more worldly sound. Karma’s status as the “non-bar” venue allows the team to play with acts that might not fill the space at Carl’s Tavern or Old Town Pub, increasing the music diversity in town. At the same time, Karma certainly seems to be accruing a reputation for good, unique music. Freese said, “It’s not just a place to get wasted.” It’s a place to connect with your friends, other patrons – and the musicians.”

Bringing in a flamenco guitarist fits perfectly with Karma’s newly announced Friday tango lesson and dance night. In keeping with the soulful and sexy, Eva Luna will now lead a tango or salsa lesson followed by dancing, every Friday through February. The weekly dances start next week. I suspect many of you got in touch with your sexy selves last Friday! While you could say that the music is in an experimental stage as the Karma team sees what the community wants from them, a definite theme is developing. Freese calls it “conscious connection,” that is, having the space to enjoy each other.

So what kind of music programming is in Karma’s future? Freese dreams big: high-end artists in an intimate space. That would be like Belly Up Aspen on crack: stellar music and a more intimate connection with the artists. Sounds like a dream come true for all of us music lovers. The bar’s capacity ensures that those types of shows could fill a unique niche for a venue north of I-70. If there’s a bar in town that could do it, it’s likely Karma – especially with a team that so clearly wants to create a space of connection, friendship, and laughter. Definitely check out one of their shows this weekend to get a feel for the “non-bar” music venue. After all, the most exciting acts come from the underground, yes?

This weekend, Dave Bullard will take the stage from 5:30 to 7 p.m. today at the Karma Wine Bar & Lounge.

If You Go…

Weekend Music at Karma Wine Bar & Lounge

Thursday, Jan. 15:

Dave Bullard — 5;30 to 7 p.m., Karma

Flamenco and Jazz

Friday, Jan. 16:

DJ Grant Johnson, Ambient House — 10 p.m., Karma

Saturday, Jan. 17:

Sage & Tim — 7 p.m., Karma

Eclectic acoustic duo

DJ Aurbyt debut — 10 p.m., Karma

Sunday, Jan. 18:

Nature Dreamweaver — 7 p.m., Karma

Music, yoga, and poetry