Russell Lakes National Landmark

US Hwy 285 in the San Luis Valley crosses the Russell Lakes National Natural Landmark.  Established in 1975 in Saguache County, the site protects Colorado’s largest remaining bulrush marsh and provides plant and animal habitat in the increasing developed mountain park.  Looking east from the “visitor’s center”, you might be able to pick out Great […]

Americana Music Awards 2018: We Can Do Better

Executive Summary:  Jason Isbell won the Americana awards.  Again.  And he deserves it. The Americana Honors & Awards honored and awarded the toast of Nashville for 2018, as voted by the members of the Americana Music Association.  I was once one—a member, not an honoree, by gosh.  I still self-identify as an Americana fan… much […]

Denver’s Civic Center Park

The Civic Center in Denver, at the intersection of Colfax and Broadway, is the beating heart of Colorado, stretching from the Colorado Capitol to Denver City Hall.  The statue on the west steps of the Capitol Building is a Civil War cavalryman, dismounted with rifle in hand, in Memorial of the Colorado soldiers who fought […]

Modernism Overlooking Tradition

Pagosa Springs, Colorado, is a tourist town, and we want to encourage our visitors to stop downtown and admire the scenery…and our shops. Pagosa Springs also has a rich heritage and tradition as a Western, Mountain town, far from fancy modern steel and glass stylish architecture. The Town this last year dropped a pretty penny […]

Kukla, Fran & Ollie: A Nation of Immigrants

Burr Tillstrom—the puppeteer behind the Kukla, Fran & Ollie children’s show—is my family’s claim to fame. I missed his centenary last autumn.  Franklin Burr Tillstrom was born 13 October 1917 in Chicago, Illinois, and had an older brother Richard (1911-2008).  Their mother was Alice Burr and their father was Bert Frank Tillstrom, a doctor.  They […]

JC’s Top Tunes of 2017

They say art thrives in the face of chaos, that genius requires difficulty that must be overcome. 2017 was a difficult year for many—to the benefit of roots music, and hopefully, eventually, to the greater good.  We lost friends like Glen Campbell and Don Williams, and met many new friends, here in Colorado and across […]

2017 Blog Posts in Review—Political Order, Political Decay

Online traffic follows the new.  In 2017, JCShepard.com wasn’t so much of the new and our numbers reflect that.  But that’s OK.  I played a lot of music.  I read a lot of books.  I didn’t get out to play as much as I should, but that’s OK too.  Goals for next/this year. We had […]