Silver and Smoke: The New Faces of Western Rock and Blues Grit

By: Jura Daubenspeck

Western rock forces: unite.

Close your eyes and imagine you’re atop a dusty mountain peak, overlooking the oranges, yellows, and purples of a Colorado sunset. The warm, dry wind tousles your hair, and you feel alright. I’ve told many people that music of my heart is classic western rock: musicians like Neil Young and John Denver, whose music is interwoven with soul and grace. Music that evokes powerful imagery of nature’s vastness and unapologetic beauty. It’s with this that I am honored to introduce the up-and-coming Colorado western rock band Silver and Smoke.

 Silver and Smoke live at Lost Lake. 

Silver and Smoke live at Lost Lake. 

Silver and Smoke draw from earthy sounds, laced with gritty blues undertones and haunting melodies. Their story is still being written, yet it goes back eight years ago, when Tyler Bray (vocals/guitar) and Dino Ianni (lead guitar/saxophone) played in a high school band together called Good News, Apollo. After playing together at their graduation, they went their separate ways; Dino venturing to Chicago for college, and Tyler studying in Greeley, CO.

Their reunion reveals the kismet nature of their relationship, returning to Aurora, CO after years of intermittent communication. After getting back in touch, they wrote one song together, and within six months, recorded an entire album.

 Ianni riffin'. 

Ianni riffin'. 

Since their reunion in July 2015, Silver and Smoke have been in the midst of a creative transformation. Working previously with Jenna Moll Reyes as backup singer and Alex Sager on drums, they are now performing and recording with sound engineer and drummer Diego Valenzuela of Landlocked Records. Diego worked with the group on their Workhorse EP, which was officially released in full on iTunes today. Two songs titled “Locomotive” and “Screaming Amazing Grace” have already been leaked on Soundcloud, and after listening to these two tracks on repeat, I could not be more excited for album’s entire release.

Listen to Silver and Smoke's track "Locomotive":

Workhorse touches on the dichotomy of musicians who are discovered overnight versus those who work relentlessly for years, while having a great time and connecting with those who support them. It’s a celebration of life’s beauty and playing music for music itself, rather than playing for fame. It evokes strong imagery of iconic americana and honors the grit and passion that was exhibited in the development of the Western Rockies. They stay true to their Colorado roots and use their home as inspiration to forge on with their music.

 Valenzuela slayin'. 

Valenzuela slayin'. 

Silver and Smoke are truly one of a kind; they hope to pave the way for western rock by constantly challenging themselves, twisting their sounds, and never limiting themselves to one musical identity. They ooze soul, and listening to their music is truly invigorating.

In celebration of the studio release of Workhorse, Silver and Smoke will be jamming at Herman’s Hideaway in Denver this Saturday, March 5 at 11pm. Whether you are looking to rock out to some headbangers, or vibe and sway, Silver and Smoke’s diverse performances have what you are looking for. So if you want to let off some steam this weekend, get yourself to Herman’s and watch Silver and Smoke blow the roof off the joint.

 Bray croonin'.

Bray croonin'.

Silver and Smoke are also planning a West Coast tour starting in August, hitting up hot spots in Seattle, San Diego, Colorado, and more. So join them on their journey, connect via Facebook, and find their music on iTunes, Soundcloud, and on their website. And for a closer look into the making of Workhorse and a taste of their quirky personalities, watch “Workhorse: The Birth of Western Rock” and enjoy the ride.

-Jura

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.