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Spotlight West Virginia

By: Dawn Nolan


West Virginia’s new state song is just one of the many John Denver classics that audiences can expect when Chris Collins and Boulder Canyon return to Morgantown in April. “The last time we performed it [Country Roads] here the entire audience got on their feet and sang along,” recalls Collins. “It was pretty amazing, but then again, it is a pretty special song.”


Collins, been a fan of Denver’s since childhood. “His songs were some of the first songs that I learned to play on the guitar,” he says. And, after a long hiatus from the music scene, Denver’s lyrics are what brought him back. “My wife and I were in Alberta… She mentioned that the view reminded her of John Denver music,” Collins remembers. “We went and bought a guitar, and I wrote 10 songs.” As they say, the rest is history. “I entered some contests and did a John Denver Tribute show at a bar. 300 people showed up, including someone from Aspen.”


Since then, Collins and his band have toured the country, celebrating Denver’s life and work, and although he admits that he bears a strong resemblance to the late singer, Collins maintains that he isn’t an impersonator. “We are not an imitation act,” he explains. “I sing in my own voice, and we present the music as our band. We try to produce a show that is authentic, and I think that’s why the audience responds so well. I hope that people get the same kind of feelings like they did when they first heard those songs.”


Chris Collins and Boulder Canyon is scheduled to play at the Metropolitan Theatre on April 6 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $30 and are available at BOPARC in Marilla Park, at Fawley’s Music Store in Morgantown, by calling 800-595-4TIX(4849)or visiting

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