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Grammy-winning Denton band Brave Combo, now celebrating its 40th year, plays at Westfest in 2017 in West.

Carl Finch hadn’t planned to stage a 40th anniversary show for Brave Combo on the rooftop bar of Lone Star Attitude Burger Co.

“Actually, they approached us about special event to honor the 40th anniversary,” Finch said.

Brave Combo has a deep taproot in Denton. Finch and Lyle Atkinson formed the band in Denton while studying music at the University of North Texas. The group grew into a two-time Grammy Award-winning band that still claims Denton as its home base, but is so much bigger than the polka music it’s known and celebrated for.

Radical Hospitality Group, which owns LSA Burger Co. and several other North Texas restaurants, asked Finch to have Brave Combo play a show for the band’s 40th.

“I went and had a meeting with them,” Finch said. “We’re doing several 40th anniversary bashes before the end of the year. We played a gig in San Marcos in the summer with three of the original members. If we pull it off we’ll be doing several shows. One of them will definitely be Denton.”

Finch said he has trouble seeing the 40th anniversary as a milestone.

“It somehow doesn’t seem as important as the 25th or 50th,” he said. “I know it’s a long time, but it doesn’t feel like as big of a deal.”

Six musicians — Finch calls it a small orchestra — will play the show. Atkinson, the original bassist, will play the show, and Robert Hokamp, a later addition to the band, will return to play guitar.

“Robert learned a bunch of Jeff’s saxophone parts on the guitar,” Finch said of the iconic Denton saxophone, clarinetist and didgeridoo player Jeffery Barnes. “To play Jeff’s saxophone parts on the guitar takes some work. You’ve got to be able to play really clean, really fast. And at the same time, you have to play those parts with another horn. You have to work with the timbre and the sound. To have a guitar and a horn playing together, you have to do some extra work. But Robert is totally up to the challenge.”

Finch said Brave Combo will play a show of music from their four decades of song-crafting.

“We’re going to be doing songs from the band’s career, and we’re doing some songs we don’t often do anymore,” Finch said.

The show is free.

LUCINDA BREEDING can be reached at 940-566-6877 and via Twitter at @LBreedingDRC.

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