Ted Vigil brings Rocky Mountain High to the AvalonAug 23, 2021 12:37PM ● By Jan Weeks
The minute Ted Vigil walks onstage, it’s obvious how he won a celebrity look-alike contest as John Denver. Even the late Steve Weisberg, Denver’s long-time guitar accompanist, remarked that Vigil resembles John both physically and musically. But Vigil doesn’t impersonate Denver. Rather, he pays tribute to his musical idol by bringing Denver’s songs to audiences internationally each year.
Vigil kicks off Community Concerts of the Grand Valley’s current season with songs from Denver’s early years as well as later numbers.
John Denver (aka Henry John Deutschendorf Jr.) sang with the Chad Mitchell Trio from 1965 to 1968. His career took flight when Peter, Paul and Mary recorded “Leaving on a Jet Plane,” an original John Denver song. The romance didn’t stop there. “Annie’s Song” and “For Baby (For Bobbie)” also tugged at heartstrings. “Country Roads,” co-written by Denver and Bill and Taffy Danoff, became a megahit, as did “Thank God I’m a Country Boy.”
Denver also became a committed environmentalist and friend of Jacques-Yves Cousteau, which led him to write “Calypso,” a tribute to Cousteau’s ship. Denver recorded nearly 300 songs, 200 of which he composed, and took home 12 gold and four platinum albums, as well as an Emmy and two Grammys.
It’s no wonder Denver is admired as one of the most prolific singer-songwriters of the 20th century.
“My mother was a big fan of Denver’s and I’ve been singing his songs since I was a boy,” said Vigil, 57. “My favorite song is ‘Eagles and Horses.’”
Vigil took drum lessons when he was 9 and later taught himself to play the guitar. When he won a national title for Talent Quest in 2006, he began to plan his tribute show.
Vigil still displays the same enthusiasm he had when he started the tribute 12 years ago. He has sung all over the U.S., Australia, Canada, Mexico and even on the high seas for Royal Caribbean’s annual Traveling Kountry Kruz. He shared the stage with John Denver’s lead guitarist, Steve Weisberg, in 2010.
“The best part of touring is meeting all the wonderful people around the world and bringing joy and healing through music,” Vigil said.
He also performs a lot of duo shows with fiddler Amy Eaves, who will play with him at the Avalon Theatre.
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