Brett Dennen will elevate audiences with Lift Series
Singer and songwriter Brett Dennen loves to do two things: play guitar for his fans and ski.
Last year he mixed those two passions with the Lift Series Tour.
“The initial idea was to do a tour of ski towns so I could ski and play music,” Dennen said during a Park Record phone interview from Taos Ski Valley in New Mexico. “We’ve had this idea for a long time, but didn’t know how to pull it off.”
The Lift Series concept solidified as the guitarist brainstormed with his manager.
“When we started incorporating a political component and a community aspect, like gatherings on the mountains and celebrating the resorts, it started to make sense,” Dennen said. “While I’ve always played music in mountain towns, but this is a little different, because we’re celebrating the locals and vacationers. Mountain town people are special to me because they have such a strong connection with nature and care about the environment.”
Dennen, who started his second annual Lift Series Tour in Telluride, Colorado, on Jan. 11, will bring it to the Wasatch Back on Wednesday, Jan. 17, at O.P. Rockwell. He will also perform at the ASCAP Music Cafe during the Sundance Film Festival on Tuesday and Wednesday, Jan. 23 and 24.
This year’s tour will focus on climate change.
“I think Park City, like much of the western ski resorts, are feeling the lack of snow,” Dennen said. “So we are going to address that issue during our stops.”
Although he is a musical activist, Dennen said he doesn’t believe artists have a responsibility to promote causes.
“Everybody has the right to do that, and everybody has the right not to do it,” he said. “I do think, though, that artists have a unique opportunity to get involved with causes.”
Dennen said his fans who come see his concerts have similar philosophies about life.
“There is an opportunity for them to make a connection with each other,” he said. “But I also think that opportunity lends itself for me to shine a light on things they may not know about.”
The main sponsors of the this year’s Lift Series are environmental nonprofit Protect Our Winters and clothing company Alps and Meters.
“When we did the same kind of tour last year, my manager found this nonprofit organization called Protect Our Winters,” Dennen said. “They have a pretty big presence at ski resorts, and their sole focus is to reversing the effects of climate change with education, political advocacy and community-based activism. So the more I learned about them, more I wanted them to be our main partner.”
Dennen discovered Alps and Meters last year.
“I went skiing in Austria with some friends, and one of the guys who was a writer for some ski magazines had some handsome clothes that were made from Alps and Meters,” he said. “Come to find out that Alps and Meters makes these cool throwback ski clothes from wool, canvas and leather. So he put me in touch with them and they liked what we are doing.”
Dennen said the thing that ties activism and awareness together is the power of music.
“Music was just something I liked doing and something I wanted to do more and more,” he said. “The thing about music is that you have to continue improve your craft, or it stops being fun. If you recreate the same things over and over again, it doesn’t become a challenge.”
Singer and songwriter Brett Dennen will bring the second annual Lift Series to town at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 17, at O.P. Rockwell, 268 Main St. tickets are $35 and $50. They can be purchased by visiting http://www.oprockwell.com.
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