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High Country Heroes

By Derek Halsey (

Article Published: Feb. 6 | Modified: Feb. 6
High Country Heroes

Aaron Burdett will perform Feb. 22, as part of Murphy’s High Country Heroes music series.
Photo courtesy of Hang the Moon Photography

The weather in the High Country can be treacherous and unpredictable in the month of February.

As a result, many touring bands based outside of this area often avoid booking a concert date at this time so as to not arrive to a canceled concert or to chance getting stuck in the snow.

So, a decade ago, John Rush of Murphy’s Restaurant and Pub decided to showcase the best local and regional bands available this time of year that were more adept at dealing with the mountain weather. The end result is the 10th annual February High Country Heroes Music Series.

“In the beginning, the High Country Heroes Music Series was more of a battle of the bands event, as in who could get the most people out to a show in February,” Rush said. “For the first few years, we named band champions and so forth. But, after a few years, it became just a celebration of local music instead of a competition. It became a cooperative thing that everybody likes being a part of it.”

The lineup of bands to be featured in the High Country Heroes Music Series over the next few weeks will run the gamut from local favorites to new outfits that have never played at Murphy’s Pub.

This weekend will feature two groups familiar to area music fans, with Native L taking the stage this Friday night, Feb. 7, and Supatight getting its funk on this Saturday night, Feb. 8.

Next weekend features a show by Wave Lynx with Mister F on Feb. 14 and the Southern Belles on Feb. 16.

“The Wave Lynx folks are Murphy’s regulars, but now they are with a booking agent, and they are doing a lot more out-of-town shows,” Rush said. “They are a very psychedelic band that can play stuff ranging from the theme song from ‘Willie Wonka,’ then straight into a song about Frisbee golf or hot sauce. They are a fun band with a dedicated following, and I think the guitar player is amazing. The Southern Belles features a former Boone resident in Tommy Booker, who has moved up to Richmond, Va. They are a group that relies on the fun sounds of funk music.”

The third full weekend in February will showcase Dr. Bacon on Feb. 21 and the Aaron Burdett Band with special guest Andy Pond on Feb. 22.

“This will be the first time that Dr. Bacon has played at Murphy’s,” Rush said. “They are some young folks from here who were in the ASU Battle of the Bands a couple of years ago when I was judging. I’ve been trying to get them into Murphy’s for quite a while. They are closer to an Old Crow Medicine Show, Mumford and Sons type of sound, with soulful sing-along jams and a unique groove. Aaron Burdett is great, and he is an old friend of Murphy’s, as well. He is bringing a returning High Country hero with him in Andy Pond, who is the banjo player for the Snake Oil Medicine Show. Aaron is a good singer and songwriter, who is a favorite on WNCW.”

The High Country Heroes Music Series will end with the group, Donnie Dies, on Feb. 28 and the Florida-based reggae band, Spiritual Rez, on March 1.

Murphy’s Restaurant and Pub is located at 747 W. King St. in downtown Boone. The concerts begin at 10 p.m. For more information, visit, or call (828) 264-5117.

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