April 14 Verde Canyon Railroad is introducing the first annual Rhythm on the Rails. Eight distinctive musical acts representing a variety of melodic styles will each play a private concert in every coach car before rotating through the train on this five-hour journey through one of Arizona’s most scenic inner canyons. Experience this majestic train trip in comfortable seats, with tempting appetizers and an extensive wine selection … all to the tuneful tempos of talented musicians. While music explodes in every car, outside your window spring will be erupting in the Canyon as blossoms and wildflowers carpet the landscape in a riotous display, making all of your senses sing.
Rhythm on the Rails, inspired by the soothing clickety-clack of the train gliding along the railroad tracks, features a selection of musical interludes throughout the afternoon journey, returning to the depot amidst a scenic southwestern sunset. Headliner Brenn Hill doesn’t just sing about the American West, he is a strong interpreter of life’s trials and tribulations with his raw material. Brenn and his music revisit the many stories that come from the land with a fresh, contemporary and personal twist. Bob and Wendy have been involved in California’s Central Coast music scene since 1987, playing coffee houses, music festivals, concerts and community events. The gorgeous acoustic arrangements often made haunting by Bob’s cello, along with the potent sound of Wendy’s voice and her incredibly moving lyrics, make this a world-class act.
Bobbi Kerr, Kenzie Keicher and Hannah Levos, Chicks with Picks, are the future of Country music. Honing their talents in Arizona, these passionate singers portray youthful energy with old-soul style. Coventry Rhoads, featuring Jason Rhoads and Nick Coventry offers an upbeat tempo of Gypsy jazz violin and guitar. Performing regularly in the Tucson area, these two talents have just recently consolidated their musical prowess. The Nate Williams Band, featuring Nate Williams, Jimmi T Wilson and Davy Morales formed in 2009, is an acoustic-based funk/Reggae/rock project based out of Mesa. Starting out as primarily a cover band, they’ve taken many familiar top 40 hits and added their own spin.
The Verde Valley’s own Jimmy Dufresne will be burning up guitar strings just as he has been doing for the past 40 years. Just try to keep your eyes on his smokin’-hot, flashin’ fingers as he picks that guitar. Dean Cook is a native Arizonan who weaves his life experiences into his songs, stories and poems. He is a regular performer at cowboy gatherings, festivals and historical events around the West, and he is widely recognized as one of the State’s most prolific and versatile songwriters. Devon Bridgewater’s Nuance jazz trio will increase your heartbeats and broaden your smile with the sound of Dixieland jazz. Located in Phoenix since 1989, Devon has been performing professionally since age 14. In addition to jazz, the group specializes in multiple musical genres.
Reservations are required with limited seating. The depot is located in Clarkdale, 25 minutes from Sedona and two hours north of Phoenix, making Verde Canyon Railroad the perfect Arizona day trip. For an overnight stay, ask about their Room, Ride and Meal Packages.
Verde Canyon Railroad, 800-293-7245, www.verdecanyonrr.com