The Mancos Distillery will be pulsing with Dave Duncans’s electric blues on Friday.
The award-winning songwriter has returned again and again to the small venues in southern Colorado and will be spending most of June in the area.
“I love small venues and an opportunity to make friends with the audience,” he said.
The artist refined his skills as part of the Nashville music scene for 20 years, where Lorrie Morgan recorded his song 1-800 Use To Be on a country Gold Record.
In more recent years, he has worked closely with Curtis Salgado and wrote She Didn’t Cut Me Loose, which was nominated for the 2013 Blues Song of The Year by the Blues Foundation in Memphis. The two have worked together on two other song of the year nominations, and Salgado is working on another album featuring Duncan’s work that will be released next year.
Duncan has also been in studio, working on a stripped-down album called Baptized by the Blue, featuring just a Dobro guitar and a harmonica. Duncan recorded the album in three days with Stan Street in Lafayette, La.
“The greatest fun in the world is in the recording studio,” said Duncan.
Duncan got his start in performance in the 1970s in Flagstaff, Ariz., where he met Porchlights member Billy Kneebone and became friends with the local Dolores singer.
“Dave’s growth was amazing to watch he started from nowhere, had a vision of where he wanted to go and he went there,” Kneebone said.
Duncan decided to pursue his love for music in college after he took a break from his studies in agribusiness at Arizona State University and went camping at a lake in the desert.
While listening to the Allman Brothers and looking up at a sky full of stars, he decided to learn to play the guitar.
“At that moment, I needed to be a guitar player with no musical background whatsoever,” he said.
So he dropped out of college and moved to Flagstaff. Later, he moved on to Middle Tennessee State University to “major in rock ’n’ roll,” he said.
He has since returned to the West and lives in Santa Fe. He hopes to add another 20 years to his 35-year career in music, giving him many more opportunities to return the area.
“What is better than southern Colorado? I would do anything to be there,” he said.
Duncan will play at the Distillery on Friday, 8 p.m. There will be a $5 cover.
He’ll also play at Stonefish Sushi on June 28.