David at the Desk: Billy Shaddox's Transformation from "Working Class Hero" to Americana Artist

By: David Landry

Billy Shaddox has had quite the journey to get to where he is now, which is in Colorado making great Americana music.

The first time I heard Billy Shaddox was live at Birdhouse Concert Series, a once a month DIY concert series with local music, food, and beer. I’d been wandering around the event finding people to talk to, and after bumping into Billy, I learned he was one of the night’s performers. Billy’s songs were strong and short, leaving everyone in the audience wanting more. I was pumped to hear his new music, and he killed his performance. I was curious to learn more about this Colorado transplant by way of California, so we met up at Mountain Sun for a brew.

Ol' Billy Boy.

Ol' Billy Boy.

Shaddox has this attitude that makes you want to get to know him. And the more you talk to him, the more you realize he embodies a “working class hero”. Years before moving to Colorado, he was an everyday man, working as a civil engineer in San Diego to support his family. His job required moving around often, and spending time away from his wife and two kids. So one day, after discussing his fears about playing music for a living, his wife was actually the one to tell him to make the jump.  And so began Billy Shaddox’s musical career.

Billy Shaddox.

Billy Shaddox.

Shaddox recorded at Great North Sound Society in Maine with Sam Kassirer (Elephant Revival, Langhorne Slim, Josh Ritter). This is where Shaddox’s record, I Melt, I Howl was born, an Americana album filled with love and relief about life. The theme of change can be heard throughout the 11-song record. His songwriting has this timelessness to it that makes you remember past feelings and gets you excited for what's to come.  

There is also a visual element to Shaddox’s work. His songs remind me of being in the mountains and seeing every shade of green that exists. Billy’s music has this great country-Americana vibe to it that is perfect for a beautiful summer in Colorado. I can honestly say that I will be listening to it all summer, and hoping for more to come.

Though Billy has been touring for almost two years, he hasn’t played Colorado much. I get the sense that part of that is because that when he gets home from traveling, there’s probably an element of not wanting to do anything but be in the mountains with his family and write new songs. But, for the next few months, Shaddox has a number of shows around the state, including performances in Boulder, Longmont, Lyons. Make sure to catch one and check out Billy’s music.

Listen to I Melt, I Howl, and I have a feeling you’ll be happy Billy made the jump too:

-David at the desk

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited.

On the Record with Zach & David: The Red Petals

By: David Landry and Zach Dahmen

Colorado's newest blues band sat down with us for records and a chat.

On the Record: Where David & Zach sit down with musicians, listen to records, and bring you their conversation.

The Red Petals choices for this session were: 

  1. Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young - Deju Vu
  2. The Beach Boys - Pet Sounds
  3. My Morning Jacket - It Still Moves
  4. The Everly Brothers - The Very Best of
  5. The Band - The Band

House Choice:

  1. Ryan Adams - Rock n Roll

Newly formed blues band The Red Petals walked through the door and went straight for the records; that’s JC McKim, Matt Lowber, and Austin Pacharz. Their story goes likes this: JC and Matt both grew up in Alaska and played in rival high school bands before they both ended up in Boulder. The two played together in a local project, Slanted Jack, but that eventually came to an end.

The Red Petals.

The Red Petals.

In late 2015, JC wanted to start a new project and Matt was itching to play more after a stint of shows playing percussion for Na’an Stop. And that is where Austin (Cold River City) comes in. Na’an Stop happened to need a temporary bass player for a couple of shows and Austin got the gig.

One night, while loading gear, Matt was talking music with the guys and that’s when it happened, the “Hey Austin, want to start a trio with JC and I?” And Austin, “Yeah!” So the three met up in Lyons, the mountain town that Matt calls home, and started to jam old blues and soul standards. It was fluid from the start, and not a lot of questions were asked.

From the beginning, Austin and Matt locked in playing together, and that’s a good thing because it allows JC to dance. JC plays a red, semi-hollowbody guitar, which drives the sound of the band. JC describes the guitar as “flashy blues”, and it’s made him want to play just that.

The three-piece are influenced by 50s and 80s blues, but still allow pop elements to fold in. Each member has their own influences too:

“Funk, jazz, reggae, and hiphop [are] a huge part of my drumming, and my musical approach to drumming.” said Matt.

Austin, on the other hand, is more into the great Pino Palladino (JMT, D’Angelo) and Chris Wood (Wood Brothers). Said Austin, “They know when to hold back and when to push the music further out into space into something cohesive.”

With all of these influences, The Red Petals form a blues power trio, like the greats Stevie Ray Vaughn, The Jimi Hendrix Experience, and even the John Mayer Trio. Being a three-piece lets every instrument have its own space, but blend well together, giving the guys a rich, full tone.

Watch a video about The Red Petals formation:

After their experiences in other projects, the guys decided to go into this one with a different approach: have a solid foundation and act like it’s a business. Which is why they went straight to the studio to record singles before playing shows.

“Knowing we want to approach this professionally means that we have more than just the music to worry about,” said Matt.

And so the guys went to Andrew Oakley’s (WWO, A Shadow of Jaguar, Cold River City, BANDITS) practice space, a spot well seasoned and setup for recording. After tracking their first single, “Ruby Sky”, and an old Robert Johnson tune, “Come On In My Kitchen”, The Red Petals headed to Coupe Studios, where Greg McRae helped engineer and mix their sessions. The trio already has plans for more recordings too, and music videos to help push their vision forward.

Currently, The Red Petals are gearing up to play their first live show in Boulder at the Bohemian Biergarten this Thursday, March 31st, with a hometown show for Matt the following day in Lyons at Pizza Bar 66. In the meantime, keep up with the band here and get a taste of The Red Petals' music on their website

-David and Zach on the record

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

We Talked to The Fighter and The Kid About Their Upcoming Denver Stand-Up Shows, CO Music, & More

By: Hannah Oreskovich + An Interview By David Landry

This is a duo you don't want to miss. 

You may know actor/writer/comedian Bryan Callen and former professional football player, UFC fighter, and Colorado native/CU alum Brendan Schaub best from their podcast “The Fighter and The Kid”, which garners over 3 million downloads a month. I first heard the comedic duo on The Joe Rogan Experience, which prompted me to dive into their hilarious and wildly successful show. Recently, the two announced that they’re hitting the road together for a nationwide stand-up tour, starting at the Irvine Improv in California this Wednesday, March 16th. We were hoping for a Colorado date, and lucky for us, WE GOT FOUR, the most shows of anywhere that these riotous dudes are scheduled to perform.

Our contributor David recently chatted with the duo about their upcoming stand-up tour, Schaub’s time at CU, Colorado music, and more. So get ready to roar this Friday and Saturday at Comedy Works Denver South, because if our conversation with these two is any indication, it’s going to be one hell of a weekend at the CW. Keep reading, and for the full audio interview, scroll to the bottom and listen up:

D: How yah doing gentleman?

C: Just a couple of men on a Friday morning.

Schaub & Callen. 

Schaub & Callen. 

D: Haha great. So you have a really fantastic podcast. It’s really funny and it seems really natural, like you guys just have fun talking and laughing with each other. How did y’all meet and build that chemistry and create something like this?

S: We’ve always kind of had that chemistry, from day one. I met Brian on the set of The Ultimate Fighter in Vegas and I’ve always been interested in the entertainment business. Bryan is one of the pioneers for that out here [in LA] so when I moved out here, he took me under his wing. He asked me to come on his podcast and we had this weird chemistry, so it was Brian’s idea to start this thing and, man, I was never expecting it to become what it has.

C: Yeah- you never know if something is going to become successful. But we are two guys who are hanging out and talking the way we would anyway- and that’s the big thing. We’re not planning anything. We just go and talk. And when we have someone on as a guest, we’re not trying to interview them…. They’re part of a conversation. There’s no filter.

S: Yeah we have no agenda. We can talk [with our guests] about whatever we all want to talk about. We’re just hanging out. I think a lot of people tune in because [it’s like] they’re one of the guys. A lot of people in this business want the love from everybody, but that’s not the way to go. And that’s how I know a show is good- if we get a bunch of bad comments or good comments, as long as they’re comments, it’s good because then we know they care about what we’re saying.

C: It’s true. In comedy, if 20% of the audience is a little disturbed or maybe doesn’t even like you that much, then you’re doing your job. If everybody likes you, then you’re just one of those comics up there smashing watermelons or something, with all due respect.

S: Yeah I’m thinking about smashing fruit at our next live show Brian. I’m running out of material…

C: I’m already all over it.

D: I think as long as you wear a cabbie hat and a mustache for that, you’ll be fine. So talk to us about this radical tour ya’ll are about to start on March 16th.

S: We start in Irvine and then we head to my hometown of Denver.

D: So Brendan you’re from Colorado? You grew up here and are from the Denver area?

S: Correct- I grew up in Aurora, Colorado and I went to Overland High School, and then I went to University of Colorado where I played football for four years.

D: That’s fantastic. I didn’t know you grew up in Colorado as well. Is that a reason you are doing four shows at Comedy Works Denver on March 18th and 19th?

S: Yeah that’s usually not our game plan. Usually what we do is one city, one night, one show- a big show- in like 800-900 [person] theatres. But in Denver at Comedy Works… I mean I’m from there so I’d like everybody who wants to see it to be able to see it, and it’s Denver. I know they’re going to come out and support, so that’s kind of the plan here.

C: A lot of times we’ll do a show and sell out really quickly but the bummer is we have to turn a bunch of people away and we’re like look, we’re in Denver, let’s just do four shows and see what happens.

D: That’s awesome.

S: Oh and it’s my birthday March 18th!

D: So the 18th show is going to be like a nude show? Everyone’s going to be in their birthday suits?

S: Yeah the only way you’re going to get in is with a birthday suit and a positive attitude. 

Callen preparing to get into his birthday suit. 

Callen preparing to get into his birthday suit. 

D: I’m glad we’re on the same page. So BolderBeat is a music news and entertainment website. Brendan- growing up in Colorado, who were some of the local bands and artists that you were listening to? And what were some of the places you’d go hang out in with your football buddies?

S: I remember one of the [local] bands who was really huge in highschool and college was The Fray. They were awesome. As far as other Colorado bands, I worked security at The Fillmore, The Gothic, and Red Rocks in college so I was around a lot of the music industry… And as far as where we hung out, I was in the typical Boulder spots: The Sink, Pearl Street.

C: Yeah some really big bands have come out of [Colorado] right? Like Big Head Todd [& the Monsters]?

D: Yeah and The Samples. So when you guys go out and do a performance of “The Fighter and The Kid” live, are you going out and doing the podcast?

S: See that’s where people make a mistake. A lot of the bigger podcasts in the podcast world go out and do these live shows, but “The Fighter and The Kid” live show is not a live podcast... it’s a live experience, it’s an entertainment show. It’s not like the podcast. But if you like the podcast, you’ll love this. We get pretty wild and have some fun.

C: Yeah we kind of surprise each other too. We like to throw things in there and get crazy.

D: Nice. So your podcast is weekly- are you still doing the podcast while you are on the road since y’all are on tour until May?

S: Yeah we always find time to get it done. The podcast is our mothership and home base and we know that not everyone can make it to these live shows. We realize that. So people can still bank on two podcasts a week, that’s for sure.

C: Always. Without fail.

D: Cool. Can you tell us one of the weirdest things that has happened to y’all while you were traveling on tour?

C: One time this woman got up and accused Brendan of proposing to her and there was this weird moment in the audience. She was like, “You asked me to marry you.” And she was um… she was the worst. She looked like Brendan with a wig. And Brendan was like-

S: -yeah we do open forum fan questions at the end where it’s a live mic, so you can’t really censor those. So we’ve had some pretty interesting questions. It makes it fun though. That’s how we end every show.

C: Then it’s like $10 to touch us and $15 to have sex with us.

50 Cent   allegedly paid $20 in Vitamin Water to touch Callen and Schaub. 

50 Cent allegedly paid $20 in Vitamin Water to touch Callen and Schaub. 

D: Well gentleman, I don’t really have any more questions. We know you’re playing Comedy Works South in Denver this weekend. Anything else you’d like to add?

C: We’re excited.

S: Last time I was in Denver, I was fighting in an octagon for the UFC, so this performance, I think, is going to be a little more fun.

D: Well hopefully there will still be a knockout.

C: Brenden and I are going to do some light sparring on stage, some light sparring.

D: Can’t wait.

Get your tickets to the show while you still can! Buy them here.

Listen to our full audio interview with The Fighter and The Kid:

We’ll see you at Denver Comedy Works South this weekend peeps.

-Hannah & David

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

A Review of Greg Corcione's Debut EP "Believer"

By: David Landry

Greg Corcione sure has us believin' something. 

Greg Corcione’s debut EP Believer is something I have been waiting for with a lot of anticipation. I met Greg years ago as the drummer of Fleedami, which was the experimental jazz group that played every Wednesday at The No Name, and parts of them still do. Corcione spent some time traveling, and when he got back, he told me he wanted to work on a solo project.

When my band Whiskey Autumn started working with producer Robbie Stiefel, we found out Robbie was working with Greg on his new project too. I soon learned that Greg actually came to the studio with only rough demos of all of his songs. Greg and Robbie arranged and recorded all of the instrumentation to the songs together with help from Bill Douglass on the board. With each song on Believer, Corcione shows his love for all styles of music; overall there is a major blues undertone.

Robbie Stiefel (left) and Greg Corcione (right).

Robbie Stiefel (left) and Greg Corcione (right).

Corcione comes in battling a demon with “Holy Water”. The heavy distorted guitar welcomes you to this haunting voice that is reaching out. The thunderous drums and crashing cymbals fill the empty space and bring you this dark sermon of blues, with a Morrison-like preacher confiding in a higher power for help.

When I first listened to the record, “Mother’s Poem” grabbed me before finding out the deeper meaning to this song. Greg paints this image of a rainy evening in the summer with the quiet fingerpicking guitar. The piano and the warm bass sound like the steam off the streets. And then there’s a little girl in her room alone, missing her father, wishing that he would walk up the stairs just like the night before. “Mother’s Poem” was written by Greg’s mother about her father passing away when she was only ten.

“Blame it on Love” enters with this R&B blues backbeat and guitar; a swelling organ brings in the obsessive vocal groove. The lyrics go along with the music, and it makes you want to be “standing there naked”. Corcione sings about big decisions he made while being in lust and love.

Corcione in action. 

Corcione in action. 

“Tango Women” stays with the sexiness of “Blame it on Love”, but with this great Spanish flare. The women in the song must be the only ones in color in this black and white affair. The whispering guitar fills; the rhythm is like tap shoes to the hardwood.

The EP’s closer and title track, “Believer”, brings you to the sea of the spirit, with his arms open wide singing to the heavens. Filled with claps and stomps from the congregation, and Greg’s slightly distorted voice, this one feels like it’s his last call.

Overall, Corcione’s Believer is a great debut, and I can’t wait to hear more from him.

Listen to Believer below: 

-David

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

David's Desk: Blood Was Spilt on Friday the 13th

By: David Landry and Zach Dahmen

What's a rock'n'roll show without a little blood?

Friday the 13th is known as a superstitious evening. Most of us give it the middle finger and get tattoos for 20 bucks and hang out at Crystal Lake. The virgin dies, so get to it. But we spent last Friday the 13th at the Hi-Dive. And though no one was slashed and all three bands on the lineup KILLED it, the vocal mics that evening were unfortunately cursed.

The night was a sonic smorgasbord: blaring guitars, chest rattling bass, and passionate artists who left their guts onstage. We were transported from surf rock to outright wailing rock’n’roll that you could feel in your teeth. The sound didn’t give the performers vocal justice, a guy in the audience blacked out and face-planted on the floor, blood was spilt, beers were guzzled, bodies moved, and the ringing in our ears wasn’t the only thing we took home with us. 

Slow Caves. Photo Credit:   Zach Dahmen

Slow Caves. Photo Credit: Zach Dahmen

Fort Collins’ Slow Caves started the night pulling no punches. Their style had surf heavy guitars and electric energy, but their tenacious vocals were often lost in the mix. Bodies were grooving hard to this four piece. They set the tone of the evening for a memorable night.

Drop to Your Knees and Choose the Outfit. Photo Credit:   David Landry

Drop to Your Knees and Choose the Outfit. Photo Credit: David Landry

The Outfit took the stage next and had the best sound of the night, but only because an overly enthusiastic fan jumped onstage and no one could hear Eric Johnston telling her to get fucking going. So Johnston grabbed the bass player’s mic, and with his soapbox voice coming through, the sound changed dramatically and the crowd definitely responded. Nasty lead bass lines, distorted harmonic guitars, and a booming kick drum made the show move with the thrashing heads in the crowd. We can tell you that BolderBeat will be going to The Outfit shows more often.

Groupies. John Demitro of Bandits. Photo Credit:   David Landry

Groupies. John Demitro of Bandits. Photo Credit: David Landry

Finally, Bandits hit the stage blaring. The high energy from the cursed evening coursed through all of our veins. Halfway through a crowd turning performance, their vocals began to fade to nothing due to the hexed mics. But in true Bandit fashion, the trio played a blistering set to a fever pitch of crash amps and a very damaged drum set. Each member had their sonically shining moments. John Demitro on guitar played with a real fearlessness and took advantage of every inch of that stage. Lulu Demitro on bass and keys was a highlight with all of the melodic parts. She shined on the band’s dark interpretation of the Beatles' Happiness is a Warm Gun. And Mr. Andrew Oakley on drums crashed through the stage with ferocious rhythm. His set-ending drum solo was a catalyst for a defiant stage destruction. Bandits are back with a new, grittier sound and we can’t wait to see what happens next.

All three bands made Friday the 13th a hit. We’re hoping for a sequel very, very soon.

Get a taste by watching vids from each of the bands here:

-David and Zach at the desk

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

David's Desk: TV On The Radio Burned the Boulder Theater Down

By: David Landry

TVOR burned the Boulder Theater down.

I’ve been listening to TV On The Radio for years now, but I never used to bump them on a regular basis. Until last Christmas. I remember the moment when my roommate picked me up from the airport and Seeds was blasting out of my shitty KIA stereo in the parking lot. It reeled me in and I was hooked; I felt like I was a teenager discovering a new, awesome album for the first time. It’s a ‘from top to bottom’ record for me.

Yes.

Yes.

Last weekend at The Boulder Theater brought me right back to those highschool rock and roll show days. It was all ages, so the big black Xs on the kid’s hands around me didn’t help with the nostalgia. TVOTR came out with a welcoming intro from their first EP Young Liars. Then they kicked us in the front teeth with their straight rockin’ “Lazerray” (watch the video if you haven’t seen it).

Aqua Rock.

Aqua Rock.

Everyone in the crowd was headbanging, and if I was in my early twenties, I might have been pushing some people to make a mosh pit. The crowd lost their minds when “Wolf Like Me” came on, and it was badass. Throughout their whole set, TVOTR kept the energy flowing and moved all over their discography.

Fists up. Hell yeah.

Fists up. Hell yeah.

I know TVOTR had a big show at Red Rocks the day after I saw them. But if you were at the Boulder Theater, you know we got the better show. After 15 years as a band, it’s insane that TV On The Radio can keep putting on shows like this. I can’t wait to be the old guy in another 15 years rocking, and maybe starting a mosh pit with the whipper-snappers.

-David at the desk

All photos per Kristy Gray. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.

David's Desk: Party with the Pack: A Shadow of Jaguar

By: David Landry

A Shadow of Jaguar are high-energy blues rock.

ASOJ in their natural habitat.

ASOJ in their natural habitat.

Pearl Street Pub and Cellar has music most Mondays and Wednesdays, and they keep it pretty calm on Mondays. But recently, things were a little different. Here’s the scene:

You walk up to the Pub and you’re instantly hit with a thumping kick drum and a whip-cracking snare. That’s when you first realize, this isn’t going to be your normal Monday at the Pub. You expected acoustic, sad-bastard music to be playing so you could sit in the corner and drink your whiskey alone.

Instead, just inside the door, you are greeted with a bluesy slide guitar. And a two piece rocking band. At the helm is Brian Hubbert (of Cold River City) and on the skins is Andrew Oakley (formerly of West Water Outlaws). It’s a super-powered project. It’s A Shadow of Jaguar.

Let these boys take you for a ride.

Let these boys take you for a ride.

ASOJ plays you a bunch of originals, and some fun covers like Death's “Keep on Knockin’”. To make it even more of a party, at one point Will Buck (formerly of West Water Outlaws) hops in with some tasty licks screaming over Brian's slide guitar parts, and John Demitro (of Branded Bandits) jumps off his normal guitar playing to keep the rhythm section tight on bass. The four play together like they’ve been doing this for years; they never skip a beat. Neither you nor the Pub were ready for this high-energy set, but you and everyone there want more. And that’s your Monday night.

A Shadow of Jaguar just finished recording with Robbie Stiefel over at The Crucible and the boys are playing UMS in Denver at the end of the month. See them when you can, because jaguars don't travel in packs very often.

-David at the desk

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

David's Desk: Surfer Blood, Sweat, & Cheers

By: David Landry

Surfer Blood is missing a core member, but they still rocked out at The Lost Lake.

Surfer Shreddin'. Photo Credit:   Liz Whitman     

Surfer Shreddin'. Photo Credit: Liz Whitman
 

Surfer Blood came in like a tidal wave last week at Denver’s Lost Lake Lounge, playing songs spanning their whole catalog. JPP (lead vocals/guitar) took the helm, diving right in and singing his heart out. He even walked directly into the crowd during his favorite song “Take It Easy”.  The crowd danced with pure joy, fueled by the energy of beach pop riffs and a shared love for the band in this quaint rock venue. We packed ourselves in there nice and tight for the boys, and their melodic harmonies echoed throughout the club. It was awesome.

Packin' it in. Photo Credit:   Liz Whitman

Packin' it in. Photo Credit: Liz Whitman

Surfer Blood started back in 2009 and have been going full throttle ever since. Unfortunately, original lead guitarist Thomas Fekete had to step away from their tour this year right after the band finished recording their latest album 1000 Palms.  Fekete is battling a rare form of cancer, and despite his absence from the stage, his presence was still felt in Surfer Blood’s performance.

He explains everything with a wonderful open letter to everyone, here.

If you want to help please do. See their shows and support them in every way. They are one of my favorites. I couldn’t have been happier with the show.

Thomas Fekete’s GoFundMe page can be found here.

-David at the desk

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

David's Desk: Augustus Take The Fox Theatre Stage

By: David Landry

Augustus' first Fox show was a success.

I want to start this off with saying Paul Kimbiris did one hell of a job last Saturday night. I have only seen him at The No Name Bar playing solo before this, but with a full band behind him, it was awesome and makes me want to see him again. But I am not writing this article on Paul. I’m writing this on my dear friends Augustus.

Augustus top right, baby. Photo Credit:   Augustus


Augustus top right, baby. Photo Credit: Augustus

I have a special place in my heart for Augustus. They have been friends of mine ever since we met and I couldn’t be more pumped that they nabbed a gig at the Fox. They were the first band to play last Saturday’s show, and they made it hard to follow them. Colin’s voice echoed beautifully around the theatre and Jim’s kick drum felt like a thumping heartbeat. It was good to see the boys in a venue where all of the members were heard well; I always wanted more Jim and Jessie.

Sidenote: Jessie plays the cello like no one I have ever seen. He gives it so much energy ripping along (and always looks dapper).

See what I mean? Dapper. Photo Credit:   In the Shed Media

See what I mean? Dapper. Photo Credit: In the Shed Media

Augustus held nothing back last weekend. They blasted through a forty minute set and left nothing behind. They played a few songs off of their EP Common Collapse, and some great new tunes I know will be on the EP that they’re currently finishing up in-studio.

Augustus thank you for killing it at the Fox- you made a fellow musician and friend envious in all the right ways.

-David at the desk

Follow David on Instagram.

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

David’s Guest at the Desk: Robbie Stiefel on Leon Russell

By: David Landry and Robbie Stiefel

Leon Russell ain't stoppin' anytime soon.

Robbie came over one evening and heard a song spinning on the record player that he claimed to know, but by a man he could not name. I told him: this is the legendary Leon Russell. And it just so happened that Leon was headed to the Oriental, so we bought tickets. I had planned to craft a write-up for Leon’s show, but in the morning I woke up to a “David’s Desk by Robbie Stiefel” email. And so it follows:

He wobbles out from the wings of the stage with a cane looking very old and crooked. He sets his cane on the stage floor and seats himself at a white baby grand piano striped with red, blue, and green. He immediately launches into Ray Charles' 1954 hit, "I Got a Woman". He looks mean and defiant as if to say, "F*ck gravity and time.” You quickly realize that his “wobble” was a “saunter” and he ain’t stiff or crooked, he’s spry! His playing belies the old man's hands.

Photo Credit:   David Landry

Photo Credit: David Landry

This IS and WAS what rock and roll has always been: the organic protest of everything that slows us down. At 73, Leon proves himself a patriarch; an old school musician who plays because he knows nothing else. A phrase like “Keep on Keepin’ On” was born from the need to describe men like Leon. Keep on, Leon.

-David Landry and Robbie Stiefel at the desk

David’s Guest Robbie Stiefel: Robbie Stiefel is a producer and musician. He lives in Boulder, Colorado. Click here to read more about Robbie.

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

David's Desk: Bacon and Gregs Heat Up Boulder's The No Name Bar

By: David Landry

Who wouldn't like a little bacon with their Gregs?

Photo Credit:  Greg Laut

Photo Credit: Greg Laut

You walk through the No Name door and are greeted with bedroom talk from the booths and the bar. Greg Corcione (jazz drummer here on Wednesdays and beat-keeper of Moonwavve) croons to you with a rhythm section of only piano and drums. Greg Laut (of Whiskey Autumn) lets his fingers dance across fake ivory keys and Matty Schelling (also of Whiskey Autumn) keeps the percussion clean and tight. You wouldn’t think that they haven’t performed live together. The Bacon and Gregs project hums through a full, tasty set. They even trot back on for three more original tunes written by Corcione. These boys will kiss you goodbye in the morning. 

Greg right; Bacon left. Polaroid:  Becky Guidera

Greg right; Bacon left. Polaroid: Becky Guidera

Your eyes are heavy from a good bourbon and the night starts to wind into some impromptu jazz once Greg Laut exits and Jeff Vescuso jumps in. Matty Schelling leads the team; Vescuso slaps sweet and sour bass lines. Corcione has fun shaking the cabasa. They twist you past the midnight hour. And you exit the door, off to dream. Happy weekend. 

Video by David Landry

-David at the desk

Follow David on Instagram.

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

David's Desk: King Tuff Are MY Kind of Rock'n'Roll

By: David Landry

King Tuff is badass rock'n'roll.

Magic, Captain, & a King. Photo Credit:   Hannah Oreskovich

Magic, Captain, & a King. Photo Credit: Hannah Oreskovich

The scene: April 9th at the Ogden Theatre. Father John Misty and King Tuff sold out show.

The opener: King Tuff starting the night off just the way you want- with a swift kick in the balls and a kiss on the cheek. King Tuff jumping around in a hat that reads: “Ice Cream”. He’s hitting a fog machine that is blasting off thick smoke for every guitar solo. Magic Jake is on the bass, smiling his goofy smile the entire set like every moment is the best he’s ever had. And President Gary is holding things tight with his Bonham-esque drumming. Energy. Punk Rock. The perfect way to get you jazzed for the man of the hour. Which is...

The Headliner: Father John Misty. He enters the scene with dapper flair, silhouetted by red stage lights. Father John Misty. Breaking your heart and sewing it back with the string that he holds. Lights. Sex. Rock ’n’ Roll. Party On!

-David at the desk

Follow David on Instagram.

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