Acoustic Eidolon

Acoustic Eidolon in concert. They’ll perform in Ouray Saturday at the Wright Opera House at 7:30 p.m. (Courtesy photo)

Three full days (and nights) of first-class rock ’n’ roll are on offer at the Ride Festival in Telluride this weekend.

For those whose cultural tastes run to acoustic instrumental music, on the other hand, there is Acoustic Eidolon — a man, a woman and a total of three instruments on the Wright Opera House stage: a guitar, a cello and a “guitjo” (a double-string guitar that conveys a harp-like sound).

The performance is the second (of a total of five) performances in the Dave and Mary Wood Classical Concert Series, sponsored by the Ouray County Performing Arts Guild. It takes place Saturday night.

This is not conventional classical music. That comes next month at the San Juan Chamber MusicFest (also sponsored by the guild). Acoustic Eidolon’s music incorporates world, Flamenco, Americana and Celtic sounds. (Even the group’s name is richly suggestive: although “Eidolon” sounds like it might be Celtic, it is a Greek term meaning both “phantom” and “examplar”).

Acoustic Eidolon is Joe Scott and Hannah Alkire, a couple in real-life as well as on-stage. She’s a classically trained cello player whose repertoire stretches from Dvorak and Baroque music to Led Zeppelin and the Grateful Dead (she’s played the South by Southwest fest). He grew up outside Boulder, has performed with folk, bluegrass and rock bands and is a graduate of LA’s Guitar Institute of Technology where he studied with (among others) jazz great Joe Pass. They’ve been musical partners for two decades, and marital partners for nearly as long. Their first album, “Eidolon,” was completed while Alkire was undergoing chemotherapy for non-Hodkgins lyphoma and their first tour took place while she was taking a break for radiation. That was in 1999. Though she remains cancer-free, Alkire has described herself as “strangely grateful” for her brush with mortality. (“A wake-up call of that caliber leaves you pretty much stuck in permanent appreciation mode,” she’s said.) Scott and Alkire write on their website that their love for each other and their “passion for life” can be heard in their music. But don’t take their word for it: The Swallow Hill Music Association in Denver has called Acoustic Eidolon concerts “brilliant instrumentality” and the Boulder Weekly has dubbed Alkire and Scott’s acoustic musical partnership “sublime.” They play Saturday at the Wright 7:30 p.m.



More than 150 new quilts by local artisans will be on display, some of them for sale, at the Black Canyon Quilt Show this weekend in the Montrose Pavilion. The show displays the creations of (and raises funds for) three local guilds, each of which meets monthly “to exchange ideas, improve quilting skills and share the love for the art of quilt-making,” and all of which welcome visitors who’d like to learn more: Friendship Quilters of Colorado/Montrose, Columbine Quilters and San Juan Quilters. (For contact information, visit the Montrose Guilds page at

The all-American name of this year’s stunning 98-by-98 inch raffle quilt is “Liberty, Front Porches and Lemonade,” a geometric burst of red-white-and-blue patriotism that is (despite the work’s title) suggestive, not over-the-top. The show also offers classes, a lecture, and a boutique where you can purchase items from local artisans, pick up items that you’d use in sewing and quilting and get a favorite pair or two of scissors sharpened. The show’s hours are Friday and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 10 to 4 p.m.

There’s a free workshop on nature’s artistry, “Native Plants Under a Microscope,” Saturday from 8:30-10 a.m., in the Montrose Botanic Gardens, conveniently located right next to the Pavilion. It involves a stroll through the gardens in the company of two local experts, landscape architect (and CSU native plant master) Sara Ungrodt of Montrose and Peggy Lyon of Ridgway, Western Slope Botanist for the Colorado Natural Heritage Program. The gardens are at 1800 Pavilion Drive.