Dragondeer Are Set To Be Colorado's Next Big Music Name

By: Meghan Hargaden

Dragondeer, a heavy blues American rock band from Denver, CO, is gathering quite a bit of esteem for their newest album, and first full length LP, If You Got The Blues. Sighted for their singularity and strangeness, this Denver band is doing something different, and has us all turning our heads and our hips.

They draw inspiration from all angles of the American sound including the soul and sincerity of the electric blues of Stevie Ray Vaughn, the modern-day dread of The Black Keys, a bit of pre-heavy metal influence from Black Sabbath, and the swamp rock of Creedence Clearwater Revival. These influences have helped Dragondeer claim a first-class seat on Jefferson’s airplane, as it takes off into the future of American rock music, and pays homage to all the artists that set the runway for this band to jet. The members of the band include Cole Rudy (electric guitar/lap steel/mandolin), Eric Halborg (lead vocals/harmonica/guitar), Carl Sorensen (drums), and Casey Sidwell (bass).

The album begins with the self-titled track, “If You Got the Blues,” setting the stage for the sincerity and soul that occurs throughout the journey of this production. A production, I might add, that couldn’t have happened without the help of accomplished producer Mark Howard, who has worked with legendary artists such as Bob Dylan, Tom Waits, REM, Neil Young, Lucinda Williams, and Willie Nelson.

Dragondeer.

Dragondeer.

The album saunters us in with the ethereal notes of Eric Halborg’s voice merging magically with the harmonica, as it soars over the chortling cuts of low-end accompaniment in this psychedelic Americana ballad. “Don’t Go” pleads the song’s opening line, and from the moment the words first burst forth from his lips, the pure longing in his voice lends credence to the name of this track, and the entire project. The discordant harmonies of the chorus resolve into a melancholic, distorted fuzz, leaving us reminiscent of dusty guitars plucked by the firelight, and amplified by the neon lens of modern reality. The second chorus cuts with a solemn breakdown, drifting off into the chasm of our isolation. Both the lyrics and the voicing of the instrumentation echo our worst fear of being truly alone; listening to these tunesmiths, it’s as if our entire psyche has been cloaked in an iridescent haze of the weirder parts of the 1970s. A bold and beautiful love song, this first track stands as a testament to Dragondeer’s songwriting, musicianship, and purity. The band describes the track as a personal manifesto, with inspiration drawn from the belief in a shared human experience and a desire to connect with others.

The next track, “Amarillo Bump,” begins with the sustained sounds of Rudy’s electric guitar, leaving us suspended in time only to be saved by Halborg’s harmonica once again. We are then escorted into the thumping and driving kick of Carl Sorensen’s drum beat, which becomes the outboard motor for the entire track, propelling us into the murky waters of the 1950s and out into the swampy southern rock of the 70s. Like a bunch of Scottish teenagers out for a boating holiday on Loch Ness dropping acid before hearing thumps at the bottom of the boat, the electric guitar and harmonica attempt musical cries for aid, calling until their voices grow raspy, realizing that there is no help coming. And so, we lay back and accept our fate, letting the bass tones and percussive rhythms of writhing tentacles and electronica bring us deeper and deeper into the darkness.

The album continues with Halborg’s raw vocals, rambling harmonica solos, and groovy instrumentation that fuse all together into a unique genre of country funk and American rock. Like taking a long swamp ride along the rolling waves of the Florida everglades, brought up and turned on by the slow, isolating tracks like “Believe,” “Easy With Me,” and “When I See You,” and then brought back down into slow, isolating tracks like “Same Train,” “Let it Ride,” and “Part of the Flow.” This vacillating progression, capturing the beautiful desperation of blues music.

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Alone, If You Got The Blues stands as a declaration of the band’s genius, but their live performance brings an entirely alternate layer of talent, captivating the audience with their impressive improvisation, harmonizing harmonica, heavy metal mandolin, lap steel played untraditionally through delays, and a ripping rhythm section that can’t keep us from getting down and dancing.

You can see Dragondeer perform their new album live at The Grandoozy Festival this summer in Denver, CO on September 14th. The band is stoked to be coming back to their hometown to perform alongside a variety of internationally renowned artists of all different genres.

Be sure to follow Dragondeer on Spotify and iTunes and keep a look out for all of their other upcoming shows in Atlanta, Telluride, and right here in their hometown of Denver. You can buy tickets for Grandoozy here!

-Meghan

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

Famous Men Release Debut Single & Video "Gambler's Cry"

By: Mirna Tufekcic

A brand-spankin’ new trio, Famous Men, who were forged while busking the Pearl Street Mall during the summer of 2017 in Boulder, Colorado, are coming out with their very first album Gambler’s Cry this spring. Recently they released a video for the title track from their upcoming record and we have it here for your viewing pleasure. Check it out below and get stoked for more cool things to come from these guys, like their weekly Facebook live shows every Thursday where they serenade you with originals and covers (of your choice!). You can follow them here.

The band focuses on traditional folk songwriting, while pairing it with rock’n’roll and blues, reminiscent of The Black Keys if they melded with The Wood Brothers and Ryan Adams. Hunter Stone, vocals and guitar of the band, brings a unique twist to this style with a raspy tone that is undeniably cool. His slide guitar skills kill too. Joe Plante on the bass and keys and Joshua Thomas on the drums add to the blues-rock-country feel of this band as a whole. In fact the vibes from these guys at their live performances simply capture the audience’s attention effortlessly. I know because I’ve already seen them on several occasions.

Famous Men.

Famous Men.

Famous men mean business and they deliver. So check them out here first with the video produced by the band themselves. Then make sure to go see them live. How will you know where and when? Head over to their Facebook page.

-Mirna

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

The Weekend Six: Six Shows to See 07/15 & 07/16

By: Hannah Oreskovich

Brews, burgers, and bands- this weekend’s got it all folks:

Today (Friday 07/15):

Foxfeather at The Gold Hill Inn in Boulder 830PM-Close

The classy folks of Foxfeather.

The classy folks of Foxfeather.

Boulder’s folk five-piece Foxfeather will be helping you dance your way into the weekend tonight at The Gold Hill Inn. Most recently, the group has been hard at work in the studio recording their first full-length album after the success of their most recent Kickstarter campaign. So make sure to drop on over to The Inn tonight- you just might hear some of their new tunes!

Listen to Foxfeather’s original “Math Problems”:

SleepWalker, The Swifts, & Wild Love Tigress at Boulder House in Boulder 9PM-Close

SleepWalker.

SleepWalker.

Boulder House is hosting “a night of rock, punk, and funk” this evening with Denver acts SleepWalker, The Swifts, and Wild Love Tigress. For a venue that used to only consist of college kids doing the DJ and drinks thing (the spot is formerly Absinthe House), Boulder House is really trying to make a name as a local mid-level venue. So go check out what they’ve got goin’ tonight! The show is $5 at the door; 21+ only.

Listen to SleepWalker’s “Lady in the Sky”:

The Red Petals at Pizza Bar 66 in Lyons 930-PM-Close

The Red Petals.

The Red Petals.

It’s been a minute since we’ve caught a Red Petals set, so tonight's the night folks. The Colorado blues rock trio will be playing over pizza, so come grab a slice and hear ‘em at it! With influences like John Mayer Trio and White Denim, these dudes are bound to break your heart over a Pizza Bar beer. Get outta town and check ‘em out!

Peep The Red Petals’ cover of “Come On In My Kitchen”:

Tula’s EP Release Party at The Lazy Dog in Boulder 10PM-Close

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Tula, the “Colorado funk quartet with Chicago roots”, is throwing their EP Release Party at The Lazy Dog tonight. The funk and jam rock band will be celebrating and performing their latest release, Follow The Beast Inside, and this show is free! So roll over and trip the funk fantastic. PS: If you’re seeing The String Cheese Incident at Red Rocks tonight, here’s your perfect after-party spot!

Listen to Tula’s single from their newest EP, “Bus Stop Booty”:

Tomorrow (Saturday 07/16):

Park Burger Presents The Denver Deluxe with The Original Wailers, Hip Abduction, & More at Park Burger RiNO in Denver 12PM-8PM

Park Burger is shutting down Walnut Street tomorrow in Denver for a beer garden, burger station, and good tunes. And Denver Deluxe is on board the shebang, in support of Denver Urban Gardens, a nonprofit dedicated to creating neighborhood community gardens. Bands on the bill include The Original Wailers, The Hip Abduction, Rob Drabkin, Musketeer Gripweed, Jonathan Boogie Long, Technicolor Tone Factory, and Atomga. $30 gets you entry, a burger, and two beers. Support local sustainability and check out this event!

More details here.

One Flew West, The Longest Day of the Year, & Whiskey Autumn at The Fox Theatre in Boulder

Whiskey Autumn.

Whiskey Autumn.

Blending the sounds of rock and roll with folk and pop”, Denver’s One Flew West will headline The Fox tomorrow night. Boulder’s alt-rock Americana outfit The Longest Day of the Year will share the stage, and it’s rumored this may be the band’s last performance for 2016. Plus Boulder pop rock trio Whiskey Autumn will open the evening with a killer set that will be their last around these parts for awhile, as the group is hitting the road for the third time this summer on tour. We love all local lineups, so come hang out! Tickets are $11 if you message Whiskey Autumn today; otherwise they’re $14-$16 here.

Watch One Flew West's new music video for their cover of "Come Together":

Stoked to see you out Colorado!

-Hannah

Follow Hannah on twitter and instagram.

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

Grant Farm and Dead Winter Carpenters' Night of Americana at The Fox This Thursday

By: Claire Woodcock

Boulder’s own cosmic-Americana band Grant Farm will be playing a show for the working people this Thursday, July 7th, at The Fox Theatre.

Grant Farm. 

Grant Farm. 

Vocalist and National Flatpicking Guitar Champion Tyler Grant founded the free-spirited, growing force that is Grant Farm in 2009. Adrian “Ace” Engfer (bass and vocals), Sean “Magic” Macaulay (drums) and Kevin “Money” McHugh (keys and vocals) join Grant “The Champ” in the band’s rolling roots rock sound. In 2014, Colorado Public Radio deemed the Grant Farm players as “some of the ablest musicians not only in the state of Colorado, but in the nation.”

A scene from Grant Farm's "Fill Your Cup" music video. 

A scene from Grant Farm's "Fill Your Cup" music video. 

Grant Farm is celebrating its latest LP release, Kiss The Ground, which they describe as an “ode to the working people” and the archetype famously described by John Lennon. The band’s latest work follows a 2012 self-titled debut and 2014’s Plowin’ Time, which made it to #2 on the JamBand Radio Charts. Album highlights include “Get In Line,” which discusses the high price we pay for the life we want and “Fill Your Cup,” a call to make the most of life. Maybe you’ve caught Grant Farm’s new video for that track:

This Americana jam band has a lot going for them filmwise as well. The group released Meeting on the Mountain (2014), a collaborative EP with Fruition, a string-centric blues rock quintet from Portland. From there, the concept grew into a collaborative live broadcast experience, Meeting on the Mountain LIVE. The webcast streams live from The Downtown Artery in Fort Collins, CO and is filmed and broadcast by Fort Collins-based tech outfit Hyphytek. The webcast concert series features Grant Farm as the houseband, and includes performances and interviews with musical guests, hosted by Tyler Grant. Keep up with their ongoing broadcast schedule here.

Dead Winter Carpenters.

Dead Winter Carpenters.

The California-based Dead Winter Carpenters will join Grant Farm on Thursday night’s ticket, along with Nederland bluegrass quartet Caribou Mountain Collective. The whole shebang is presented by my other favorite publication, Boulder Weekly.

Get your tickets here, and I’ll see you there!

-Claire

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