In September, Denver Urban Spectrum debuted Up Close and Personal, a cabaret style salon event highlighting local entertainers. So far the community has been invited to see and get to know The Voice’s Biff Gore, Denver’s First Lady Mary Louise and guitarist Gregory Goodloe.
In January, coinciding with the Dr. Martin Luther King African American Rodeo of Champions, Denver is invited to dress up in their best western gear to hear and meet country western singer Rudy Grant (and the Buffalo Riders) on Sunday, January 18 at 3:30. A down home country western buffet will be served along with a cash bar at TREA, located at 1599 Dayton St. in Aurora. There will be a Q&A time for attendees to ask Grant questions for answers you may not find in this article.
Many people are familiar with national recording artist, African American country western singer Charley Pride, but unaware of Denver’s own country western singer hailing from the Mile High City.
“The big time doesn’t interest me, but boy do I love the local scene,” says Grant.
And the local scene sure loves country singer, Rudy Grant! Grant’s path leading to where his beloved “local scene” is today is much too alluring to ignore. Grant grew up on a farm in northeast Louisiana with 19 brothers and sisters. The family hunted, fished, picked cotton, and raised vegetables. At age 14, a pronounced feeling that something bigger was out there for him, compelled Grant to pack a bag, and hitchhike to Bastrop, Louisiana. There, he spent the next year and a half earning money by mending cars, stacking shelves, and running errands for the local grocer. Finally, he boarded a bus to Denver where an uncle agreed to take him in and established a home in the foreign place that would later mean so much to him. Although Rudy was pretty quick to abandon the farming lifestyle, he sure didn’t shake all of his country roots. Rudy Grant is not only a local sensation, but was recognized nationally by the Nebraska Country Music Foundation as Pro Male Vocalist of the Year-2001 and 2002, by the N.F.N.C. as Country Music Pioneer King-2001, was awarded the America West Paul Stewart Award-2002, the Stars of the Sky Award by United Airlines, and for Outstanding Contribution to Country Music, along with others. In addition to this, Rudy is internationally recognized, especially by the fans he acquired in 2002 while performing throughout England with his English friend, Dusty Rhodes. His talent proved ubiquitous – he was welcomed back the following year to hold a CD release party.
In 2014, Rudy grant was voted Entertainer of the year” and the Buffalo Riders were voted country band of the year by the Colorado Country Music Hall of Fame fans and board of directors staff.
Many people are quick to recognize Rudy’s talent and charisma, but what most people don’t know is that Columbia Records offered him an audition back in 1975. Rudy was quick to turn them down – had two young daughters and felt he was obligated to support them with the three jobs he was working at the time. In addition to this, his spare time was already reserved for his love of the local scene, which he still admits he is most passionate about.
Today, retired after 33 years of government service, Rudy’s band, “Rudy Grant and the Buffalo Riders” perform twice a month at White Fence Farm, once a month at the Blossom in Windsor Gardens, and a dinner show every Friday night at Lupita’s in Aurora. Rudy’s passion remains marvelously evident in each one of his performances.
Rudy Grant, an inspirational man with a unique story consisting of several plot-twists and him gaining fans along the way, managed to maintain his humble passion and love for the small local scene – and what a mutual love it is indeed.
Editor’s note: For more information or tickets to Up Close and Personal with Rudy Grant, call 303-292-6446 or visit Instantseats.com. For more information on Rudy Grant, visit rudygrant.com.