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7908 The Aspen Songwriter's Festival: Great Expectations from Aspen's Great Indoors

Jamie Lynn Miller's picture

The lights changed to blue and Allen Toussaint brought his sweet southern twang before the piano. The songwriting genius delighted the audience by interpreting some of his better-known songs, made famous by other artists over the years. Piano wizard Jed “11 Fingers” Leiber and soulful songwriter Jimmy Wayne were two festival highlights. The tale of Wayne’s childhood read like a B-side country song: broken home, mobile home, homeless and on the streets as a teenager. He managed to change his life and chart his future, and is now taking Nashville by storm. His hit, “Where You’re Going”, moved the audience to tears, showcasing some of the finest in relateable songwriting.

As the weekend rolled on, so did the word on the street. Fans and dedicated music lovers steadily trickled in, trading brilliant sunshine for shining moments and sparkling chandeliers. A hot scrumptious Sunday Brunch in the lobby was a lovely way to kick off Festival Sunday, followed by the outrageously talented antics of Garfunkel and Oates - a tall blond, a short brunette – putting Sex and the City-style observations to music and lyrics and a standing ovation, from the duly impressed audience. The stage then turned to purple, as Jimmy Wayne joined John Oates for a tremendous mix of soulful new lyrics and modern interpretations of pop classics. Jed Leiber, Sam Bush, Wayne and Oates then called it a festival, with an all-star rendition of Man-Eater, 2010 style: plus chandelier, minus disco ball; roller skates optional.

For a complete listing of this year’s lineup, visit or find 7908 The Aspen Songwriter’s Festival on Facebook. Support for 7908 The Aspen Songwriter’s Festival and for an encore presentation, next year, is encouraged! Write a letter to the paper, tell a friend and let the City of Aspen know what you think!