The night began with opening act and Colorado local, Billy Shaddox. Shaddox gracefully blended American folk instrumentation with pop harmonies. His most recent full-length album, I Melt, I Howl, was released last June, and was produced by Sam Kassirer and recorded at the Great North Sound Society studio in Maine. Billy Shaddox is definitely an artist worth trying to catch live, and lucky for Colorado kids, he is playing all across the state throughout the summer. I recommend making your way to The Gold Hill Inn to see him play in September and October.
The sun went down behind the mountains and stars began to fill the sky. That’s right, stars! -and a lot of them. The Gold Hill Inn has this way of slowing down time. I found myself forgetting about the daily grind, and instead, settled into the simplicity and sweet vibes of this small mountain town. By the time I Draw Slow took the stage, the Inn was lit by dozens of ceiling lanterns and audience members had pulled up chairs around the stage.
I Draw Slow is a five-piece band made up of Dave Holden (guitar/vocals), Louise Holden (vocals), Konrad Liddy (upright bass), Colin Derham (banjo), and Adrian Hart (fiddle). The band originally hails from Dublin, Ireland, but has been touring internationally for the last ten years. I Draw Slow was admired sensationally in Ireland after their 2012 album Redhills made its way to the top ten in numerous international album reviews, and the band was signed by the legendary US label Pinecastle Records. The band most recent release is their album titled, White Wave Chapel in 2014.
I couldn’t imagine a more suited band for this venue. The band seemed to feel similarly, as lead singer Louise, commented, “We wrote the majority of our music in rainy Dublin, but we were clearly meant to be in Gold Hill all along”. The band started their set with the song “Mama Don’t Cry”, followed by “Valentine”. They played songs from all three of their albums, as well as some newly written songs including my personal favorite of the night, “Carolina”. The band effortlessly blended deep Appalachian Mountain, traditional Irish, and modern Americana music vibes together throughout their performance.
Equally as impressive as their ability to create gorgeous music was I Draw Slow’s lyrical skills and ability to tell stories. Their set was like a musical short story book. Each song had rich characters, creative plots, and relatable emotional expression. Before each song, Louise would set the scene, introduce the characters, and capture the hearts of each audience member. By the time the band announced their last song, I was completely swept away by the ambiance of the night. Was it really 11PM on a Sunday? Did I have to leave and face the reality that tomorrow was the start of my work week? Should I just stay… forever?
The band ended their set with a foot stompin’ hoedown to their tune “Bread and Butter”, followed by announcing that they had, “A bucket of fun!” They thanked the audience and stepped offstage. I left Sunday’s show with a smile on my face, and amazing melodies and stories in my head. The combination of I Draw Slow at The Gold Hill Inn was truly one of the most fulfilling concerts experiences I have had yet.
All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.