The KMG Studio Music Showcase continued to impress in its second manifestation last week. The fest is a free mini-show put on by KMG Studios on the last Thursday of every month which showcases bands and musicians for thirty minutes per set. May’s show (affectionately called the Zonnefest by many because it is organized by KMG’s Mitchael Zonnefeld) featured Nite Owls, Amoramora, Lady and the Gentlemen, The Last Minute Band, and Technicolor Tone Factory. Last week, the June lineup consisted of Andrew Sturtz and Sierra Voss, Boulder Sound Lab, Shantyman & The Speakeasies, The Last Minute Band, and Sixty Minute Men. Although the show started nearly an hour late, the music was once again stupendous! There wasn’t a bar... but what’s a boy to do?
KMG owner Greg Kimble introduced the first performer of the night, Andrew Sturtz, who was accompanied with harmonies by BolderBeat’s very own Sierra Voss. The crowd was told in Kimble’s intro how Sturtz had actually been busking on Pearl Street when Kimble happened to hear him. Kimble asked him to drop by the studio, immediately recognizing Sturtz’s talent, and Kimble was spot on; if anything he was slightly reserved in the praise Andrew deserved for his singing. On songs like “Changing by the Second”, a cover of The Beatles’ “You Got To Hide Your Love Away”, and a tune called “Southern Night”, Andrew sang wonderfully soulful and heartfelt folk music that was beautifully optimistic and melancholy all at once. His falsettos were stunning and the harmonies that Sierra sang filled out the duo’s sound. Sturtz’s original, “Bosnia”, conveyed a peaceful sense of loss, “Avalon” was a new song that captured imagination, and a cover of Marcy Playground’s “Sex and Candy” completely re-imagined the original to highlight the quality of Strutz’s vocal range. Keep an eye out for Andrew and Sierra, who occasionally still play on Pearl Street, gig often at at The No Name Bar, and play other spots in Boulder/Denver.
Following that duo was Boulder Sound Lab, a funky group with goofy tendencies. Their first song, “Jeffery the Bagman”, was written by the band’s saxophonist, Lyle Wilner. It had a definite James Brown influence to it before it evolved into a far more spacey jam. Their second song was an instrumental bit that featured strange scales/licks that moved from raw funk to a more rocking-roll funk with driving energy, shredding guitar, and wonderful two-guitar and saxophone harmonies. Their final song, “Muffin Top”, paraphrased the theme from “The Pink Panther” at the beginning and then evolved into a major-key jam. Overall, BSL were a very positive, upbeat, and optimistic jam band with a party-funk sound fueled by members that are each excellent at their instruments. They write their own music and if you want a grand funky time, catch them this Friday, July 8th at Boulder House.
Next was Shantyman and the Speakeasies. From the get-go, this band had me thinking of Sublime mixed with the Grateful Dead, thanks to their song “Cherry Pie”, a loose Wah funk sound. This is your standard Colorado jam band, and that’s a good thing in spite of all odds. The bass was funky played through a synth, the two guitarists played some awesome licks and sang harmonies, and their savage drummer was also singing. Their entire set was a groovy good time.
Featured last month at the first showcase, and in the same slot this month for this showcase was KMG’s house band, The Last Minute Band. This is a “Holy-Sh*t-Did-I-Just-Witness-That?” sort of band. With two Grammy nominated musicians in the group, The Last Minute Band will leave your jaw on the floor every time they play. Covers like “Feelin’ Good”, “Respect”, and “I Want You Back” showcased the band’s astounding talent. Greg Kimble hit impressive falsettos in spite of being sick, Ashley Kisner and Cayla Kimble shredded energetic vocals, Mitchael Zonnefeld held a great groove on bass, Zack Markle burned the keys, Chalo Ortiz absolutely amazed on the guitar, Angel Adams played a magnificent saxophone, and Motown played otherworldly drums. The group finished their set with a pulsing, driving tune aptly called “Party” and a song dedicated to Greg’s mother called “Rollin’”, a beautiful, determined bluesy song, followed by a spot-on cover of “Signed, Sealed, Delivered”.
Sixty Minute Men finished out the night. They’re a funky, soulful, prog-rock band. Their burning sax player wrote the tune “Groove Shoes”, which played exactly how the title sounds: it gets you moving. Another song, “Heartbreaker”, was a ripping rocker with some excellent rhythmic stops that kept the audience popping. Other tracks featured beautiful, loving melodies that will have your heart racing when you hear them play. This group plays next in Boulder July 23rd at Souther Sun.
All said, the second KMG Showcase, aka the Zonnefest, was a success. Each of the performers were excellent and showed the varied talent that can be found in Boulder, as well as the community that KMG is adding to the already vibrant Colorado music scene. You can learn more about KMG’s studio options here. And you should definitely come out to the next KMG showcase, the third Thursday (July 21st) of this month!
All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artist featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.