Review: Andy Palmer's 'The Switch' Explores History of American Racism While Remaining Hopeful

By: Mirna Tufekcic

Not too long ago, I wrote about a singer/songwriter showcase at The Walnut Room in Denver and mentioned Andy Palmer. I may or may not have mentioned that he is a beacon of light, radiating positive vibes from his guitar and pure feelings from his vocal cords, and if I hadn’t, I have now. Recently, I had the privilege to listen to his upcoming album The Switch.

Andy Palmer.

Andy Palmer.

My first introduction to Palmer was nothing short of pleasant. Before turning to music full time, Andy was an attorney in New York. After witnessing the weight of the law firsthand, he took an exit and moved to Denver, Colorado where he’s been establishing his musical roots ever since. Even so, much of Palmer’s music and lyrics are influenced by his past experiences as an attorney, making Palmer’s The Switch both provocative and sensitive.

Listen to Palmer’s debut single "Black Moses":

Throughout his new record, Andy addresses America’s convoluted and dark history of racism. The single "Black Moses" honorably nods at humanitarian and abolitionist Harriet Tubman. Palmer also talks about the inevitable contradictions of aspiring to help others in this world, while also trying to live one’s own life. Overall, The Switch is smooth with easy listening melodies, uplifting tracks that are easy on the soul, and full of hopeful tones.   

Very recently, Palmer was selected as one of eight finalists nationwide to compete at the NewSong LEAF Festival singer/songwriter competition, proving Palmer’s planting those musical roots with a strong foundation. If you’re curious to hear and see what Andy Palmer is all about, then you’re in luck! His CD Release Show is happening at The Walnut Room this Friday, May 19th. Be sure to snatch a copy of the album and keep up with Andy Palmer on his website. Tickets to his release show are here.

-Mirna

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

Na'an Stop And Their Gnar'V Are Headed To A City Near You On Upcoming Record Release Tour

By: Mirna Tufekcic

“Everyone thinks we’re a food truck. We’re driving through all these beach communities playing shows and people are like, what kind of food do you sell?” laughed Caton Smith, bassist of Boulder’s Na’an Stop, as he playfully acknowledged that their name does in fact have the name of the Indian bread we all love served as a side to our Chicken Masala. It sums them up in a way though- the Na’an Stop fellas are a bunch of goofy, fun-loving musicians out to have a good time as they make their dreams come true.

Na'an Stop. 

Na'an Stop. 

Na’an Stop stands for “never stopping the pursuit of your dreams.” This becomes obvious once you start to know their music. It’s the van that confuses people. Colorful and painted in graffiti, it’s easy to see how passersby would mistake it for a food truck. But Na’an stop will not sell you food from the vehicle they’ve dubbed “Gnar’V.” They may, however, sell you a lifestyle. If, that is, they’re selling anything other than tickets to their shows, which are always a riot of good, positive vibes as reggae and ska music should be.

The legend that is Gnar'V. 

The legend that is Gnar'V. 

The first thing you’ll learn about Na’an Stop is about their aforementioned lifestyle. Personally, I was intrigued and had to dig deeper into what that meant. Lucky for me I got to go to the Na’an Stop lair for aninterview and see NS in their true habitat to talk about their upcoming CD Release Show at The Fox Theater this Wednesday, April 26th.

Na’an Stop started six years ago as five college friends playing at The Lazy Dog and (now defunct) The Goose. One of the first times they played an impactful gig was opening up for Boulder’s West Water Outlaws, a beloved rock outfit from Boulder that fell apart some years back. That show took place at The Fox, and ever since then, the venue on The Hill has been their home. Naturally, it’s the perfect spot for Na’an Stop to make their next moves known.

NS at The Fox.

NS at The Fox.

Released in 2015, their album From the Deep won accolades, climbing to #2 on iTunes Reggae Charts and #5 on the Billboard Reggae Charts. Following that, the weight was on their shoulders to make something cohesive and whole.  

“For our From the Deep album, we had a great sound engineer, but no producer. Nonetheless, I think we did a great job on that one,” said Caton.

It’s the album that opened doors and platforms in the reggae music scene for the group, and though From the Deep is an impressive body of work coming from very young musicians, they knew that they needed to get a bit more professional after the record’s success. So the five-piece put together a Kickstarter Campaign for a new album. They met their goal and went to Virginia to record the self-titled record with producer Danny Kalb at White Star Sound Studios. Kalb has worked with other established reggae bands like The Green, The Movement, Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad, and Hirie who put out one of the best reggae albums of 2016. He’s also worked with artists like Beck and Ben Harper.

But don’t fret- the Na’an Stop guys are still keeping true to their fun roots, even as they grow their sound. When I walked into the NS crib, the boys were setting up to record a short dance video as a token of appreciation for their fans. That’s when Caton revealed what the Na’an Stop lifestyle means, “Time, practice, and dedication and having fun while doing it. The thing is, we’re all in this world trying to find our way and make a life for ourselves. Each of the members of Na’an Stop are giving their all, putting 100% of ourselves in everything we do, but also not succumbing to the pressures of American society to follow a cookie cutter career and climb ladders. It’s important for people to realize that you can do what you want to do if you actually take yourself seriously, but not too seriously, and have commitment. And we’re committed. We’ve made sacrifices in our lives to make Na’an Stop a priority, and that’s really what it takes to succeed in any career path you take.”

Life on the road. 

Life on the road. 

The “having fun while doing it” part is certainly true for these guys. Their video release for the single “Lazy Susan,” off the upcoming self-titled album, clearly shows the boys having fun. So does the video previously featured by BolderBeat for “Win a Bagel,” the single from From the Deep.  

Watch Na’an Stop’s video for “Lazy Susan”:

I asked Caton what else people can infer from their videos, because they’re pretty silly and have little to nothing to do with the actual song. His response was, “That we like to party. That we’re all friends. That it’s not a hard process for us to have fun on or off camera; on or off stage. We don’t want to follow any trend. We want to show our creativity and put out funny videos that haven’t been seen since The Foo Fighters crushed it.”  

The album art for the self-titled record.

The album art for the self-titled record.

Browsing around, I also noticed Na’an Stop’s upcoming self-titled album features a new logo for the group.

Said Caton, “We want to keep it fresh and show that we’re growing as musicians and artists. Each song that you record, looking back, shows you where you were and where you are now as a musician and as a group. ‘Win a Bagel,’ lacks harmonies in the recordings. It’s something we missed for being so green. But we definitely add them in our live sets now. Our new self-titled album shows how far we’ve come.”

You’ll definitely be able to notice the more refined, matured, and sophisticated rendition of the band with their new record available on all music platforms Wednesday, May 3rd. Hear them for yourself before the record drops as they kick off their spring tour at The Fox this Wednesday before heading west, where the people have “been really good to the band with legitimate fans and venues,” said Caton, “It’s a beautiful thing to watch the rise in our following and dedicated fans as they come out and support us. We’re really looking forward to it.”

Keep up with Na'an Stop here and make sure to wave hello if you see their Gnar'V in a city near you

-Mirna

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

Singer/Songwriter Dave Tamkin Drops New EP of Sophisticated, Easy Listening Tunes

By: Mirna Tufekcic

Dave Tamkin is a Boulder transplant by way of Chicago, and he’s taken the singer/songwriter scene in Colorado by the horns. Whether playing solo shows or rocking out with a full band, Tamkin brings a unique style of rhythmic-acoustic sounds, personal lyrics, and a high-energy percussive backbone. His music is sophisticated easy-listening.  

Give Tamkin’s new single “Hope, Love, Strength” a listen:

Tamkin’s new EP drops tomorrow, with a CD Release Party this Saturday, April 15th at Denver’s The Walnut Room. He’ll be accompanied for the evening by Kevin Mileski, Brian Allison, and Decibel Sound Company. If you haven’t been to The Walnut Room to check out some singer/songwriters, this is a great time to do it, and Tamkin’s set is bound to be a crowd pleaser.

Dave Tamkin. Photo Credit:  Kit Chalborg

Dave Tamkin. Photo Credit: Kit Chalborg

Tamkin has a couple of other Colorado gigs this month in support of his new release. Catch him at Boulder’s Rayback Collective April 22nd. Keep up with Dave on his website; Walnut Room tickets here.

-Mirna

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

Review: Colorado's TAARKA Drop New Record 'Fading Mystery'

By: Trevor Ryan

Every band has the dream of the perfect album: that one project that resonates with fans immediately. This may not be a far off concept for acoustic/folk band TAARKA of Lyons, CO. With their unique, fresh take on Americana, as well as their seventh album Fading Mystery dropping this Friday, March 10th, it’s safe to say this hardworking supergroup/husband and wife duo aren't going anywhere anytime soon except straight to your ears.

TAARKA.

TAARKA.

Combining a number of sounds including swing, folk, jazz, and even a dash of bluegrass, TAARKA produce a truly unique style sure to appease listeners of a variety of genres. Founded by vocalist/mandolin/guitarist David Tiller and five string violinist/vocalist Enion Pelta-Tiller, TAARKA’s current members also include bassist Troy Robey. TAARKA released their debut album TAARKA: Live In The Studio with Omniverse Records in 2001.

David & Enion.

David & Enion.

Breaking all sorts of new barriers with its folk sounds, Fading Mystery features everything from rugged, bluesy riffs to fun melodic, folksy vibes. This record really takes an imaginative approach to acoustic music. TARRKA give us raw and emotional vocals with full and inspiring instrumentals that honestly bring you chills at certain times. With every track flawlessly transitioning to the next, you never lose the overall “still” vibes within this moving piece of work.

“Polyamorous Polly Ann” comes out as the MVP on the Fading Mystery. Illustrating the honest beauty in acoustic music with such a mellow feel and powerful lyrics, this track proves the raw nature of the record. You can, at times, hear the real emotion in every musician at their own respective moments. In fact, there are times that you forget you're listening to an album and almost feel like you’re standing in the studio with them during their creative process. This is a record you can imagine yourself in.

With its experimental approach, listeners from every walk of life can groove to this innovative and melodically stunning record. Fading Mystery will absolutely leave you needing more, and wondering how 10 tracks flew by so quickly.

So make sure to catch TAARKA this Saturday, March 11th at Shine in Boulder for their CD Release Show, where they will play Fading Mystery live. Tickets are $15 in advance; $20 at the door. And be sure to follow TAARKA on the road and in the studio here.

-Trevor

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

From Death to Dawn Comes 'Resurrection': Catch The Gasoline Lollipops at The Fox Theatre This Valentine's Day

By: Mirna Tufekcic

There’s a reason why a band gains momentum. Sometimes people connect through the language of music, and what comes of it, well, it’s undeniable. That’s kind of the story of Gasoline Lollipops, a band escaping genre confinement as they set every show ablaze with heart-forward, stomping, growling tunes.

Jeb Bows, an exceptional fiddler from the tiny town of Ward, CO, talked about this language of music with me recently, in an interview about his role in the Gas Pops.

“I was four years old when my eye caught a violin posted on the wall of the cabin I was born in.” Jeb told me, taking me back to the start of his music career.

Jeb Bows.

Jeb Bows.

“I learned to play music as someone would learn to speak their native language.” Jeb said, “It’s called the Suzuki Method, invented by Shinichi Suzuki, a Japanese violinist. The premise of the method is listening to sounds and figuring out how to produce the sounds you’re hearing, not unlike a baby learns to speak from watching and mimicking its parents… Music’s been my life path since.”

Jeb plays the fiddle with the Gas Pops, but he also dabbles in other music projects.  

As he says, “I stay really busy, but rarely do I say no,” when it comes to playing with other musicians and singer-songwriters. You’ll see him playing a sold out Red Rocks shows with Gregory Alan Isakov or in a local coffee shop swooning a small crowd with his violin alongside other, lesser known, but no less talented musicians. Bows has a keen ability to sync with anybody he plays with, a gift and a privilege he is very well aware of having.  

The Gasoline Lollipops. 

The Gasoline Lollipops. 

But not all of Jeb’s life was as smooth as the vibrations he creates on that fiddle of his. He spent a chunk of time in Los Angeles walking down a dark, dead-end road and lost himself in the process. He stopped playing music for a while. It took a few years of meandering in the dark for fate to finally come knocking. And she gave him a choice, “What’s it gonna be, Jeb Bows, music or death?”  

Right around the time Jeb was figuring out his way back to sobriety, Clay Rose, the frontman of the Gas Pops was fighting his own demons and self-destructive behavior. Clay grew up in the South, always an outsider bullied by other kids for being different. He was a rebel without a cause, maybe, but he was definitely someone who wanted to make himself stand tall… but not before hitting rock bottom first. As fate would have it, when Jeb moved from L.A. back to Boulder, and Clay moved to Boulder from Nashville, Clay started the Gas Pops and Jeb joined very shortly afterward, the two having met through a mutual friend.

Clay Rose (left) and Brad Morse of Gasoline Lollipops.

Clay Rose (left) and Brad Morse of Gasoline Lollipops.

When I asked Clay about his inspiration for Gas Pops he told me, “If you put a tin can over my chest and listen you would hear this… The [Gas Pops] songs are extremely personal. It’s where I come to play, to confess, for redemption, and where I flog myself.”   

Music for Clay is a way of coping with feelings that have no place in this world; it’s what saved him and gave him a purpose. Though his start in the language of music was admittedly a little different. One of his earliest musical influences was a random cassette tape he found in his mother’s closet with Leonard Cohen on one side, and Tim Buckley on the other.

“That’s when I started writing poetry, because I realized Cohen was writing about things I didn’t know you could talk about. I didn’t know there was language for it. He validated that these things exist and that they can be expressed.”

Clay went on, “There’s a lot of songs I write that I won't play for anyone for months, because I think, man, I can’t be that transparent. But, eventually, I’ll present it to the band and they’ll urge me to play it at our shows. So, I’ll play it and cringe for months.Then the people from the crowd will come up to me and affirm that that song means alot to them, and I start to feel better about it. And that’s when I remember the reason I’m doing this in the first place. My function, my validation as a musician, is to validate the lonely and suffering.”

And Jeb’s musical mission isn’t far from Clay’s.

“I’ve dedicated my life to sharing in the light and love and connecting with everyone who wants to play and listen, because, in the end, we’re all better for it.” Bows smiled.

The truth is, if you get the Gas Pops in a room, the whole crowd will undoubtedly perk their ears and pay attention. The band taps into something others can relate to, whether through the language of hardship or love, and they prove time and again that their music is something to get down and dance to no matter your life experiences.

Gasoline Lollipops’ music has been called alt country, gypsy folk, and punk rock among others. Even the guys themselves can’t quite tell you what genre they sound like. But really, who cares? If we can connect through the language of music itself without having to confine it to genre, then I think times are ripe with progress. These days you’re a good musician if you can pluck from the tree of knowledge and make it into something totally your own. Sometimes it takes a group of people to create a special work of art, and sometimes trials and tribulations to show you the way. That’s the Gas Pops.  

16300081_1201932179876177_5767260207913162127_o.png

The Gasoline Lollipops just finished their new album Resurrection, the final piece of their Lucky 7 Trilogy, and are celebrating this Valentine’s Day with a CD Release Party at the Fox Theatre in Boulder, Colorado. Foxfeather and Kid Reverie will share the stage. Explore the Gas Pops’ language of music for yourself on a night where we could all use light and love- get your tickets here!

-Mirna

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

Denver's Coexistence Trio Release Debut Album 'Momentum Forward' + Details On Their CD Release Show

By: Hannah Oreskovich

Founded this year, Coexistence Trio is a Denver-based jazz group consisting of three musicians who have been well-known in the scene for years. Peter John Stoltzman, who has toured and recorded with Steve Gadd and Eddie Gomez, is on keys. John Grisby, on bass, plays currently in Gregory Alan Isakov’s band. And drummer Andreas Schmid plays in Delta Sonics, Spherio, and Motek. The trio took their talents to the studio together this year after a number of monthly jam sessions turned into an album, and their debut release Momentum Forward drops tomorrow.

When asked about how Momentum Forward came together sonically, the group told us, “The third time we got together, we decided to improvise freely and see where it led. What emerged was more than a flame; it was magic. Over the course of two hours, we composed an epic  eight-minute piece we named “Deep Space”. And that became our new M.O.: Every time we got together, we would compose a new song. It could originate from a drum groove, or from a chord progression, or a semi-formed idea. For a trio of veteran musicians pushing forty to discover this kind of magic, it really has rekindled our youthful enthusiasm.”

Listen to the title track from Coexistence Trio’s new release, Momentum Forward:

The band stripped things down for the record, wanting fans to hear everything they do in their headphones live at any Coexistence Trio show.

“The record is great to have, but the thing that’s always magic for us is the live show because this is hybrid jazz-rock-soul-jam, but it’s still jazz, and there’s something different every time. The energy of live improvisation over structured song form is compelling; it’s risky, exciting, expression that is true to the moment, feeding off the energy of an audience, cascading through peaks and valleys. Well-executed and emotionally vibrant live jazz makes for a great concert, both for the audience and the performers.” the band told us.

Which is why we’re stoked that Coexistence Trio have a live performance on the books the same day as their album release! You can snag tickets to their CD Release Show tomorrow at Denver’s DazzleJazz for just $12 in advance here.

“We’re not only excited to perform in the best listening-room jazz venue in Colorado, and to release the CD to the public, but also to play with world-class percussionist Rich Stein and Brazilian guitar master Gabriel Santiago. Peter has collaborated with both of them in the past, and their additions will add new layers to the sound that we don’t even know yet, we just know it’s going to be really cool." said the band.

Cool indeed. Keep up with Coexistence Trio on their website. And make sure to check them out tomorrow night at Denver’s DazzleJazz for their CD Release Show for Momentum Forward.

-Hannah

Follow Hannah on Instagram and Twitter.

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

Whiskey, Love, & Death: The Making of Foxfeather's New Self-Titled Album

By: Zach Dahmen

At a time when most local acts are releasing four song EPs, Foxfeather’s new project is bucking the trend. The Boulder-based band dropped their first full length album this month, a self-titled 11-song release. Formed in 2013, the five-piece outfit consists of Carly Ricks Smith (lead vocals), Laura Stratton (guitars/keys/vocals), Patrick Coleman (upright/electric bass/violin), Ben Batchelor (drums/percussion), and Ian Hendrick (electric guitar). This Friday, October 21st is Foxfeather’s Denver CD Release Show at The Walnut Room with Doves and Wolves. Before they hit the stage, we wanted to chat with them about their songwriting style, their new album, and whiskey. Here’s our sit down with Foxfeather:

How did Foxfeather come together?

Laura: Carly and I first started working together to hone our songwriting skills. We were writing and just having fun with it. There came a point when we needed to have more to these songs than just vocals and guitar, which led us to the next stage: forming the band.

Patrick: It was last summer on tour when the five of us officially cemented the lineup.

Carly: And this really feels like the beginning, right now, with this album.

How do you feel like you’ve changed from your first EP to your new album?

Patrick: Our instrumentation has changed in a direct way. We no longer employ mandolin and fiddle. Also Ben is a jazz drummer, and that for me has changed the feel of the band immensely.

Carly: With our first EP, Laura and I really struggled with our identity, and it was difficult to let go of the idea that we were a folk duo. It took making that EP, playing, and touring with this band to make us realize that this is what we wanted. That’s why we self-titled the album; it’s all five of us playing this record.

Foxfeather. Photo Credit:   Kirsten Cohen

Foxfeather. Photo Credit: Kirsten Cohen

Talk to us about your recording process.

Laura: Jay Elliot was our sound engineer [on this album]. We recorded in his home studio last April for nine days. And our producer was Jagoda, who was such an integral part of the entire process. Everyone was there for the whole process.

Ben: It would have felt like we were missing a family member on Thanksgiving had we not all been there for the whole process. Jay mixed and was the conduit, and he was really able to see the tone of it and get a sense of who we are. The songs transformed in those moments.

Carly: The studio changed the way we played these songs live too. We were really trying to be as open as possible during this process.

Ian: As the lead guitarist, I found there to be a lot of pressure; there’s this responsibility, but Jay, Jagoda, and the studio made me feel confident to produce something we are all proud of. It was an authentic experience that was really special.    

Listen to Foxfeather's new self-titled album:

What do you think makes a good song and how do you incorporate that into your writing?

Patrick: Whiskey, love, and death. Those were our themes for this album.

Carly: Laura and I write these songs; it’s a process to find a story that fits. Trying to find that word that gives that exact feeling; starting with just an idea and creating a story around it. Laura and I feed off of each other in that. That base and foundation is what allows us to make these songs.

Ian: For me, a good song is not about geeking out about guitars, it’s the lyrical content and feel. Does the song make you feel something?

Ben: Yeah I think a good song evokes a response from people; that’s the end goal. To connect.

Tickets   here  ! Photo Credit:   Kirsten Cohen

Tickets here! Photo Credit: Kirsten Cohen

What song surprised you most while recording?

Everyone: “Day for Lovers.” (simultaneously)

Laura: We had 16 songs that we brought to the studio. We had a lot of them we weren’t sure would make it. But “Day for Lovers” was a surprise.

Carly: “Day for Lovers” is one of our oldest songs. It changed a lot. We took it and cut some verses and rearranged it to make it its own thing. Afterward, we were like ‘Holy shit. What did we just do?’ I called my mom and told her I just made some baby-making music. It’s become one our favorites.

What are your favorite places to play?

Everyone: Gold Hill Inn; it’s a special place.

Carly: Also Taco Del Gnar is a place we’ve been more than six times. They gave us the opportunity to start touring southern Colorado.

Laura: It’s a home away from home for us.

ON THE ROAD.

ON THE ROAD.

If you could play a show with any band, who would it be?

Everyone: Lake Street Dive. For sure.

What song do you wish you wrote?

Laura: “Pony” by Kasey Chambers, which we cover.

Patrick: Or Dawes’ new song.

So what’s up next for Foxfeather?

Carly: Promoting the CD, planning some small tours, and playing more festivals.

Laura: And continuing the creative process. It’s cool to think about where we can go and to not be stuck in a box.

Catch Foxfeather this Friday at The Walnut Room in Denver. Tickets here! And make sure to give their self-titled album a listen for yourself above.

-Zach

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

'The Mercury EP' Marks New Era For Colorado's Augustus

By: Riley Ann

Augustus’ latest release is a new plateau for the Boulder-based band. While their early recordings were more rootsy folk rock, The Mercury EP showcases the next era for the trio with a full-blown rock sound that is bold, tight, and unyielding.

Album art from  The Mercury EP .

Album art from The Mercury EP.

The core of Augustus’ sound still comes from solid songwriting, but what stands out on this release is how the songs have been reigned in to feature the ensemble. Instead of meandering vocal melodies and forms from the singer/songwriter tradition that Augustus harnessed in the past, The Mercury EP features vocal lines, guitar riffs, and drum beats that drive the momentum of its songs forward. These sonic changes were no surprise with the recent restructuring of the band instrumentally: since replacing the cello with electric bass, the three-piece were thrust into a new, electrified realm.

Augustus' Colin Kelly.

Augustus' Colin Kelly.

“[The Mercury EP] is definitely more guitar-heavy than any of the other recordings we’ve done,” said Jim Herlihy, guitarist and drummer of the band, “The last two albums were mostly acoustic that dipped their toes in a little bit of electric stuff. For this one, we don’t have banjo or cello on it, but we have a lot more electric guitar.”

Jim Herlihy.

Jim Herlihy.

This is Augustus’ third EP in three years. When asked why they’ve chosen to release EPs rather than albums, Jim offered, “The change is happening quickly, and recording albums takes a long time. In a practical world, releasing smaller snapshot records as EPs rather than full-length albums gives us the ability to grow faster.”

The Mercury EP is definitely one of those snapshots, and it’s evidence of a new trajectory for the band in just five songs. It’s Augustus’ first rock release, and it promises even bigger things to come. It would be no surprise to see a full-time drummer join the band soon, and to see attention for the group grow beyond Colorado. The trio has already earned accolades from Colorado Music Buzz, the Marquee, and Boulder Weekly, and they’ve played shows at The Fox Theatre, area festivals, and throughout the state.

You can join Augustus in celebrating the release of The Mercury EP this Friday, October 14th at Studio 700. Doors open at 7:30PM, and more details about this CD Release Party can be found here, and on the band’s website. You can also stream and purchase The Mercury EP, and Augustus’ previous recordings, through their Bandcamp page. Rock on.

-Riley

Find out more about Riley on her blog.

All photos per the author. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.

DICKIE Release Self-Titled Debut Album + Details On Their Show at Denver's Walnut Room

By: Hannah Oreskovich

This Friday, October 7th, touring duo DICKIE will play at Denver’s Walnut Room. Made up of pop songwriter Dick Prall and violinist Kristina Priceman, DICKIE describe themselves as “the exploration of subtle symphonies over creative prose [and] indie popped-out melodies under innovative storytelling and original grooves”.

The group’s self-titled album, which is also their debut release together, dropped just last month. It’s a mix of rootsy pop and strong instrumentation that truly showcases the talents of Prall and Priceman both. DICKIE also recently released a music video for the album’s single “Pop Pop Pop”, which visually plays on the strong musical connection the two have together through a series of black and white live-performance shots and bursts of melodic color.

Watch DICKIE’s new music video for their song “Pop Pop Pop”:

DICKIE are excited to share their ten song release with Colorado fans; the duo have played the state many times before (we first caught them at Johnny’s Cigar Bar in Boulder) and have developed a loyal and excited following. When asked about their upcoming visit and show, DICKIE told us, “We've always loved coming out to Colorado. We have a lot of great friends here and The Walnut Room feels more and more like home each time [we visit]. For the first time, we're coming as a full band, which packs a bigger punch that we can't wait to share with our fans both old and new.”

Tickets for DICKIE’s show are likely to sell out, so get them here. Denver’s Before the Bulb will open the show; doors are at 7PM.

Download DICKIE’s new album for yourself, and keep up with this talented two-piece here.

-Hannah

Follow Hannah on Instagram and Twitter.

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

"Praise The Funk!": The Pamlico Sound's CD Release Party for 'Jive Church'

“Praise the Funk!” The Reverend EverReady (also known as Will Baumgartner) preached in his pre-show sermon last weekend. And The Pamlico Sound will have you doing exactly that. Throughout their CD release party at Boulder’s The Lazy Dog, the band played tight party funk interspersed with “sermons” from members Ghana Queen (LaShá Afarko) and The Reverend EverReady. At one point, The Reverend even pulled out a water spritzer and “baptized the congregation in the funk”. If that doesn’t prove this band’s energy, let me tell you more about why this is an act you should see:

TPS will have your butt shaking with a funk reminiscent of James Brown meets Larry Graham plus a heavily featured and superb brass section. Mark Wilkolak holds the trombone with an energetically engaging and lighthearted presence that will have you smiling from ear to ear. His brother Matt, who jumps onstage from time to time, turns heads with his trumpet shreds. Maus Nomdeguerre tears up the saxophone with the most badass, old school jazz/blues aura you will ever see, while Greg Leistikow dances on the keys elegantly. Jimmy Giachetti rips on guitar with an otherworldly feel, and Mark Dabrowski holds down some funkin’ funky bass lines. And all the while, The Reverend EverReady leads the band with a multi-instrumental show, playing the baritone and soprano saxophones and the flute. He also shares vocals with Ghana Queen, whose silky-smooth voice paired with her magnetic stage presence will have you grooving throughout the band’s entire set. And last, but certainly not least, one of the best drummers in town is Curtis Collazo, who sits on his throne and bangs out supernaturally intricate rhythms.

The Reverend EverReady. Photo Credit:  Miles Photography

The Reverend EverReady. Photo Credit: Miles Photography

The band’s new EP, Jive Church, showcases the band’s skill set from start to finish. The opening track, “Getcha Self”, is aptly placed at the start of the album as a call to action for people to “Getcha Self UP!” Following this track are “I Know Good”, “Let’s Funk”, and "Here Comes the Devil", keeping the mood light. Finally, “Dancin off the Wall” finishes out the album as another high-energy tune.

The Pamlico Sound. Photo Credit:  Miles Photography

The Pamlico Sound. Photo Credit: Miles Photography

This is a band who plays tight, and who is engaging to experience. They’ve got their sound dialed-in and their performance (both musically and in-between songs) is well-practiced. Keep up with The Pamlico Sound on their Facebook. And make sure to check out their next CD Release Show for Jive Church on October 13th at Ophelia's.

-Clinton

All photos per Miles Photography. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat. 

The Pamlico Sound Release New EP 'Jive Church' & Announce Two Colorado CD Release Shows

By: Hannah Oreskovich

Boulder’s funk/soul outfit The Pamlico Sound recently announced that they will be releasing a new five-song EP titled Jive Church. After jumping back into the local music scene with a bang (the band went on hiatus in 2014 and returned to the mix in 2015), The Pamlico Sound have had a busy year. With headlining shows at major venues across Colorado, TPS decided it was finally time to head back to the studio for some new tunes.

Jive Church was recorded live with engineer/producer Joshua Fairman (The New Mastersounds, Atomga) and mastering was done by David Glasser. Recorded at Colorado’s Scanhope Sound, TPS promises Jive Church will give fans “what they’re waiting for!” Said member Will Baumgartner, “Jive Church is a distillation of the essence of The Pamlico Sound: infectious high-energy vocals and horns over a solid bedrock of pure funk, and a sense of humor and freedom unmatched by any band you're likely to have ever heard.”

Listen to The Pamlico Sound’s new EP Jive Church:

 

Jive Church showcases main TPS members Ghana Queen (LaShá Afarko) on vocals, and The Reverend EverReady (Will Baumgartner) on vocals, sax, flute, and harmonica. Scott Parker Mast (Los Lobos, Euforquestra) guested percussion on the recording, and will play live with the band at their Ophelia’s CD Release Show on 10/13/16.

The Pamlico Sound.

The Pamlico Sound.

The Pamlico Sound will actually host two CD release shows for Jive Church, the first being this Saturday, September 24th, at The Lazy Dog, and the second being their Ophelia’s gig in October. Said The Reverend EverReady, “At the CD release shows, we promise not only a continuation of the joyful madness experienced in past shows, including the legendary 'Jive Church Experience', complete with soul-stirring shout-alongs and 'Funk Baptisms', but new pleasures as well, including special guests.”

There will even be a Funk Costume Contest at each show, and the winner will receive a TPS t-shirt and their own copy of Jive Church. Make sure to get more details on these release shows by checking out The Pamlico Sound’s Facebook. And give Jive Church a groovy listen for yourself above!

-Hannah

Follow Hannah on Instagram and Twitter.

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

The Weekend Six: Six Shows to See 02/26 & 02/27

By: Hannah Oreskovich

Picks! Picks! Here they are yo:

Today (Friday 02/26):

Analog Son featuring Jason Hann with The Pamlico Sound at The Fox Theatre in Boulder 8PM-Close


Denver’s funky duo Analog Son will rock your socks at The Fox tonight with Jason Hann (String Cheese Incident) and other special guests. And Boulder’s The Pamlico Sound will open this magical show, a spot they had to compete for in a recent Battle of the Bands contest. Go get baptized by all these talented funkadelics, and if you’re in Denver, catch both acts at Ophelia’s tomorrow night. Or be a rockstar and see both shows! What a sweet start to the weekend- get tickets to tonight’s performance here.

Listen to Analog Son’s “Shady Nights”:

Jaden Carlson and Friends Birthday Celebration at The Lazy Dog in Boulder 10PM-Close

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Earlier this week, we dropped a sweet feature on Jaden Carlson and her headlining set at The LD tonight. Did we mention Jaden is 15 and has played with Michael Franti and SpearheadThe Revivalists, John Popper, and Blues Traveler? We might have, but you know what? This lady is insanely talented so it’s worth mentioning again! Come celebrate her birthday- she’s sharing the stage with musicians from TAUK, Eminence Ensemble, Lady and the Gentleman, The Drunken Hearts, Mama Magnolia, the Jacob Larson Band, and more. Get to her gig!

Listen to The Jaden Carlson Band’s album Polychromatic:

The Alcapones at Conor O’Neill’s Irish Pub in Boulder 10PM-Close

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Reggae/ska six-piece The Alcapones will take the Conor’s stage this evening. Formed on the Front Range, they “bring a new-school feel to what was made popular in Jamaica in the 1960s”. Righteous. The band plans to make you dance alllll night, so come by and get down. And grab an Irish brew while you’re at it!

Listen to their song “Molotov Dub”:

Tomorrow (Saturday 02/27):

Antonio Lopez CD Release Show at Swallow Hill Music in Denver 8PM-Close

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We just brought you a feature on Antonio Lopez’s Cloud 9000: Vol. 2: The Alamosa EP when it hit the interwebs a couple of days ago. And now it’s time for the release parties! The first one is tomorrow evening at Tuft Theatre at Swallow Hill in Denver. Get your tickets before they’re gone and celebrate with Lopez and opener Theresa Peterson. These two talents are going to put on one awesome show!

Listen to Cloud 9000: Vol. 2: The Alamosa EP:

ASA Martin, Ludlow, Patrick the Pirate, The Real Lyin’ Rohr, & Crust-E the Katt at The Forge in Boulder 630PM-Close

Look- we could give you the info on all of these awesome acts, but half of the fun of walking into a Forge show is not knowing what the h*ll is going on. So we’re not going to. If you just really have to know more, check out the event page right here and preview the bands.

And you know what, here’s ASA Martin’s new EP for your curious listening pleasure:

Anna Englander Trio at Johnny’s Cigar Bar 9PM-Close


Cozy up to some jazz, some bourbon, and a stranger at tonight’s Johnny’s show. Why? Because it’s fun. Anna Englander, Adam Sammakia, and Alex Heffron will light your jazz fire. And Johnny will light your cigar (only in the back room, of course). Read more about the event here.

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PS: This week, our Sunday partnership with Green Light Radio and Streetside Productions will feature a track by Denver’s Miles Wide! The trio released their new EP this week, The Kindness of Strangers, and they’re throwing a release party next weekend. So tune in Sunday to any of the Colorado Community Network Radio Stations here (95.3 or 95.5 Boulder) or stream Green Light between 9-10PM to listen to Miles Wide’s new song “California”!

Thanks Boulder- see you around!

-Hannah

Follow Hannah on Instagram and Twitter.

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

 

Radio Recap: Boulder Band Gingerslap! and their track "Stay the Same"

By: Hannah Oreskovich

GingerSlap! dropped a new single. 

Heyo folks! As you may have read about last Monday on the site, we are partnering with Colorado Community Radio Network (CCRN), Green Light Radio, and Streetside Productions for a weekly artist feature live on Boulder’s 95.5 FM. That means every Sunday night between 9-10PM, we will be promoting one artist on Rocky Flats’ The Network. Andddd then every #MusicMonday, we’ll give you a recap on said artist + another chance to hear their song streaming on our site!

Want to send us a track yourself? Info on how to submit is below!

So let’s chat about last night’s artist:

Boulder-based rock outfit GingerSlap!’s single “Stay the Same” hit the groovy Boulder airwaves last evening. Comprised of Heather Nelson-Boger (vocals), Derek Hayes (guitar), Mike Waldhoff (drums), Mike Morrison (pedal steel), and JD Droddy (bass), this is what the five-piece wants you to know about them:

Every once in awhile there is a synergistic combination of people that produces something greater than the sum of the parts. This is one of those times. Other than our resident diva, Heather, there are no virtuosos in this band, just good players who mesh extraordinarily well. On paper it doesn't look like it would work: power pop guitarist, funky southern bassist, pedal steel and pop diva vocals. But it works, and the recombination of American musical roots yields a sound that defies the current trend of laser focused sub-genres.

Pretty sweet. When it comes to their track “Stay the Same”, GingerSlap! told us:

Everybody contributed to the arrangements on this song. Guitar, bass, and drums had the most to do with the structure [of the track]. We recorded it at The Shop studio in Boulder in late 2015. Overall, the closest simple description of our sound is original classic rock, with power pop, funk and other influences. Different people hear different decades.

We like. So what’s up with GingerSlap! in 2016?

We’re preparing for our live show/CD release at Nissi’s on Thursday, January 21, 2016. Other than that, we’re looking for good places to play in the Denver/Boulder area, summer festivals etc.

Awesome. Keep up with GingerSlap! here. And lend your ear to their rockin' self-titled album here:

Want to have one of your tracks played on the radio? We want to hear ‘em! Just do the following:

*Please attach an MP3 file shared through GoogleDrive to us at bolderbeat@gmail.com.

*If you have an accompanying music video for the song you’re submitting, please attach the URL YouTube link for it as well.

Hope to hear from you local artists!

-Hannah

Follow Hannah on twitter and instagram.

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

The Weekend Six: Six Shows to See 12/18 & 12/19

By: Hannah Oreskovich

The holidays are on zee way so spend this weekend with great music, great drinks, and great shows. Here’s where to be:

Today (Friday, 12/18)

The Kinky Fingers VAGABOND Release Show at the Hi-Dive 8PM-Close

Denver’s pysch/surf/rock mashup band The Kinky Fingers dropped the digital version of their mini-album VAGABOND a couple of weeks ago and tonight they’re celebrating its vinyl release with all their favorite friends. They’ll have limited 7” for purchase and there will be performances by Bark Wilson, Josh Moorehead & The Guestlist, Dead Palms, & Scary Drugs. Plus the theme of the show is “Western Surf Wars” aka wear a cowboy hat with your Darth Vader suit kids! Get tix here.

Give VAGABOND a preview here:

Contraband at Bohemian Biergarten 10PM-Close

Been itching for a night of ska and reggae with a sprinkle of afrobeat and jazz? Then Denver’s Contraband is gonna scratch it for you tonight! Chase things down with a bierrrrrrrr and dance the night away. There are so many people in this band that the party is sure to boil over into the crowd. So get to it at the BB.

Peep a Contraband original below:

Jababa at Conor O’Neill’s Irish Pub 10PM-Close

Boulder’s own Jababa will be taking the Conor’s stage tonight for an evening of funk and fusion jazz. This five-piece wants to party with you- finals are done, you haven’t left town yet, and it’s the weekend. What more do you need? Go get funk nasty with these guys tonight.

Listen to a Jababa track here:


Ugly Sweater Party with Whiskey Autumn at The No Name Bar 10PM-Close

That's an ugly sweater.

That's an ugly sweater.

The WA boys dropped a new music video this week for their track 07.04.07. We’ll be bringing you a feature on it early next week, but in the meantime, go see these boys live in the flesh at The No Name tonight! They’ll be dancing with you in their ugly sweaters and the whiskey will be flowin’. Come hang!

Watch the new music video for 07.04.07 here:

Tomorrow (Saturday, 12/19)

Holiday Tequila Dinner with Suerte featuring Hunter Stone & Augustus at Cafe Aion 5PM-Close

Impress your Tinder date with more than a burger and fries by bringing them to Cafe Aion tomorrow night. There’s a crazy collaboration happening between Aion, Boulder’s Suerte tequila, and local acts Hunter Stone and Augustus. If you wanna do everythanggg it’s $55- steep yes- but you get a ton of food + cocktails and, c’mon, the music is obviously rad. Get fancy. 

Here’s a Hunter Stone original:

And here’s a sweet Augustus track:

El Javi at The No Name Bar 10PM-Close

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Denver-based flamenco guitarist El Javi is making the trek to the B tomorrow night to play a sick show for you at The No Name. If the snow hasn’t already melted Boulder, his guitar will demand it. El Javi is one incredibly talented dude so we’ll definitely be hanging here. Come say hi! Listen to El Javi here.

Stay warm at a show with us! See you soon. Happy holidays!

xoxo

-Hannah

Follow Hannah on Instagram and Twitter.

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

The Weekend Six VIDEO EDITION: Six Shows to See 11/20, 11/21, & 11/22

By: Hannah Oreskovich

Weekend! Weekend! Let’s go to these shows:

Today (Friday, 11/20)

Paul Kimbiris and The Dark Side of Pearl Concert at the Chautauqua Community House 7PM-9PM

Joined by the talents of cellist Philip Parker, percussionist Leor Manelis, keyboardist Danny Rankin, and vocalist Beth Preston, tonight is one of Paul Kimbiris’ last shows of the season. Kimbiris and these powerful players will be performing a number of songs off of his album, “The Dark Side of Pearl.” Though it’s a bit softer than what you saw with Kimbiris' project BLVD at TFS, it sure sounds like the cozy type of night we want to be a part of. There are only a few tickets left, so get yours here. PS: Say hi to Paul’s mom, and wear a nice shirt.

Watch Paul performing for CPR OpenAir here:

Ben Hanna & the Knighthawks, Whiskey Autumn, & Hunter Stone at Shine Gathering Place 730pm-Close

Get ready for Ben Hanna to electrify an entire room once again kids! We were crazy for Hanna’s performance at TFS and we can’t wait to see what he’s got up his sleeve tonight. The show is only $5 and Whiskey Autumn and Hunter Stone will be opening things up, making for an overall tasty lineup. Word on the street is Whiskey Autumn is dropping a new single soon; yum. Anddd we caught up with Stone earlier this week before his rehearsal for tonight’s show so we can tell you, it’s gonna be a good one. Leggo.

Watch a Ben Hanna original right hurr:

Funky Friday at The Armoury featuring Vance Romanca, Amoramora, & Booster 8PM-Close

Vance Romance. 

Vance Romance. 

Head on down to the Larimer part of town tonight in the D and catch this funky fresh lineup at The Armoury. Rumor has it that tonight is Vance Romance’s last show for awhile, so catch it while you can. Plussss Boulder bands Amoramora and Booster will be kickin’ thangs off! The place is gonna be straight groovin’. Peep the set times here and head out.

Already ready to funk? Peep Booster’s “Slinky” vid here:

Augustus at Gold Hill Inn 9PM-Close

Augustus.

Augustus.

Augustus is making their Gold Hill Inn debut tonight and it's gonna be a party!! It's only $7 at the door and the Boulder rock trio is even setting up rides for fans and friends on their FB event page here. Head for the hills with these boys- the mountain views + their rockin' tunes will be well worth it.

Watch an Augustus video here:

Tomorrow (Saturday, 11/21)

KUNC Presents: Yawpers Album Release Party at the Hi-Dive 8PM-Close

Now that looks like rock'n'roll. Photo Credit:  Kirsten Cohen

Now that looks like rock'n'roll. Photo Credit: Kirsten Cohen

The only way you’re lucky enough to check out this one is if you already bought your tix friends because it’s SOLD OUT. Which isn’t totally surprising since Boulder--->Denver--->Bloodshot Records band The Yawpers are hanging out at home for the release of their newest album “American Man.” They’ve got quite a badass tour schedule, which you can peep here. So here’s to hoping you’re one of the lucky few shotgunning beers with these good ol’ American boys tonight.

And whether you’re headed to the show or not, watch The Yawpers “Doing it Right”:

The Next Day (Sunday, 11/22)

The Lovebirds and Theresa Peterson at Vapor Distillery 7PM-9PM

Lady projects + Vapored libations= All good things.” That’s what’s up with Sunday’s gig at Vapor Distillery. San Diego duo Veronica May & Lindsay White are The Lovebirds and they’re going to be bringing some “folk that pops” to you Boulder. Local staple and Boulder-in-the-Round creator Theresa Peterson will be opening the show. So go check out all three of these lovely ladies! It’s going to be a great end to the weekend.

Check out The Lovebirds “UNI” here:

So many killer shows. See you out there Boulder!

-Hannah

Follow Hannah on Instagram and Twitter.

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

The Weekend Six: Six Shows to See 09/11 & 09/12

By: Hannah Oreskovich

Another weekend is upon us Boulderites. And there’s a lot of great music happening. Here are our picks:

Today (Friday, 09/11)

arleigh kincheloe, lead singer of sister sparrow and the dirty birds.  

arleigh kincheloe, lead singer of sister sparrow and the dirty birds.
 

Sister Sparrow and the Dirty Birds at The Fox Theatre 830PM-Close

Sister Sparrow and the Dirty Birds are a seven-piece rock outfit from NYC. Though they’ve been making music since 2008, their self-titled debut album wasn’t released until a couple of years later. But from there, the band blewwww up. Since 2011, they’ve been playing 150+ shows a year, and this summer alone they hit 15 festivals, including Loveland’s Arise. They’ll rock your bones and the show is less than $20 so hit the Fox tonight.

jebediah almond of the almond butters. photo credit:   Hannah oreskovich    

jebediah almond of the almond butters. photo credit: Hannah oreskovich
 

The Almond Butters at The No Name Bar 10PM-Close

We have mad love for the Butter boys. After months on hiatus, they played a show back in July that we wrote about here. They have several fall performances on the books and some new material planned for their show tonight. It’s finally your chance to put on your best britches and party down with the Butters. Don’t miss it y’all.

Tomorrow (Saturday, 09/12)

shafer.  

shafer.
 

Danny Shafer CD Release with special guest Paul Kimbiris at eTown Hall 7PM-930PM

Shafer is a Boulder-based musician who plays 200+ shows a year, and as Marquee Magazine said, "Rarely has one singer songwriter caused such a stir.” Not only is he a talented performer, but he books music for a lot of local venues, and he runs Conor O’Neill’s open mic night. He’s an essential part of the Boulder music scene. And tomorrow is Shafer’s CD release show for his latest album, “Weddings, Floods, and Funerals.” Paul Kimbiris, who we wrote about just yesterday, will be opening the show. To see both of these musicians for only $15 is a steal. Get your tickets here. Now.

forrest lotterhos, cody hart, and matty schelling of asalott.  

forrest lotterhos, cody hart, and matty schelling of asalott.
 

Asalott at The No Name Bar 10PM-Close

It’s been a minute since Asalott has had a show and we are thrilled they’re back at it! We first featured Asalott in a July article here. They have a Middle Eastern trance sound with a hip-hop pulse and they’ll be bumping things around behind the big brown door tomorrow night. It’s impossible to sit still during their performances, so go sway to Lotterhos’ sick hammered dulcimer skills.

polaroid of pettine from misfire. photo credit:   becky guidera    

polaroid of pettine from misfire. photo credit: becky guidera
 

Misfire with Realtalk at Owsley’s Gold Road 7PM-Close

Misfire is a supergroup of sorts consisting of Aaron Pettine of Booster (keys), Ara Verbano of Realtalk (bass), Cameron Heitmeier (guitar), and Peter Wills formerly of Shane Tully and the Rain (drums). After watching the Booster/Realtalk show at the Lazy Dog a few weeks ago, we have a feeling the energy at this show will be insane since various members of both groups are involved. Pettine told us Misfire has no set list planned for tomorrow- it’s all improv- so get ready to groove! Anddd we’re planning a Realtalk feature later this month, courtesy of Nikki Steele, so keep an eye out for that. In the meantime, hit this show and dance all night.

bhat,


bhat,

Valerie Bhat at Johnny’s Cigar Bar 9PM-Close

Bhat is a local singer/songwriter who plays a mixture of folk, rock, and blues covers, along with some original tunes. She’s played a number of venues this summer and hosts the Open Mic Night at the Eclectic Cafe in Louisville. Go check out her rich vocals and skilled guitar playing at good ‘ol Johnny’s.

So many great sounds. See you out there, Boulder!

-Hannah

Follow Hannah on Instagram and Twitter.

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

Album Review: Paul Kimbiris' "The Dark Side of Pearl"

By: Pete Laffin

Paul Kimbiris' newest release is his best work yet. 

Ever wonder what Bob Dylan would sound like if he could sing?

First off, I entirely reject the notion that Bob Dylan actually can sing, or that he is an “interesting” or “unique” singer, as people like to say at parties. The man can’t sing.  What’s more, claiming he can only diminishes his genius. The genre known as “singer/songwriter” seemingly requires the capacity to perform two specific functions. And yet, Bob Dylan became the greatest ever without being able to do one of them. Consider Michael Jordan becoming the greatest basketball player without being able to dribble, or Churchill becoming the greatest orator with a stutter. This is what Bob Dylan somehow pulled off. There’s no need to make excuses for him. His accomplishment is otherworldly, akin to Beethoven composing the Ninth Symphony while deaf.

paul kimbiris.

paul kimbiris.

Another qualification: In no way am I equating Dylan to the subject of this review, Paul Kimbiris. Dylan didn’t just write some of the greatest songs you’ve ever heard, he wrote most of them. When a song plays in a bar or a coffee shop and someone asks “who wrote that?” the answer is usually Dylan. In hundreds of years, skeptics will question whether or not any human could be so prolific in a given craft, the same way they question Shakespeare: Was there an enslaved coterie of writers he stole from? Was Satan in on it?

But back to the initial question: What would Dylan sound like with a decent set of pipes? This writer’s contention is that it might sound a lot like Boulder’s own Paul Kimbiris, especially on his latest album, “The Dark Side of Pearl.” His vocals are rich and deep with a timbre that occasionally rattles the ground. And yet, he retains the frantic dips and leaps that define the Dylan aesthetic. His songwriting is pretty darn good, too.

The title track “The Dark Side of Pearl” is where my Dylan musings find their strongest foothold. On the iconic downtown strip of Boulder known as Pearl, one strata of society buys $900 table napkins from knick-knack shops, while another earns its keep juggling flaming swords, or slinging coffee, or washing dishes, or working retail, as Kimbiris himself did years ago. From behind a counter he watched the crowds march down the red brick walking mall with plump shopping bags and blissful expressions. This track is a whimsical meditation on those days. It’s not the biting social commentary familiar to Dylan fans, but simply one man’s recollection of a less-than-stellar sitch: “All your confidence has left you/And you feel no one respects you/A simple hello would make all the difference in the world,” he wails at the chorus with his Dylan-esque vocal abandon. The perky rhythm and melody stand in contrast to the subject of the piece, which provides a satisfying dissonance. The essence of this track is that of the proverbial madman laughing at the rain, and you’ll find yourself laughing and clapping along too.

“Heavy Things” is another tune colored with the markings of Dylan. “Heavy things always come down/Get used to it/Deal with it,” is the bluntly sung chorus, a modern echo to A Hard Rain is Gonna Fall.” Even more than on “The Dark Side of Pearl,” Kimbiris takes the vocal aesthetic of Dylan and infuses it with his own signature opulence. The instrumentation on this track is simply beautiful: the winding electric guitar notes in the deep background, the skillfully placed keyboard notes, and the resonant cello bows (played powerfully by Philip Parker of Denver’s Glowing House; also the record’s producer). The sound is more early-era alternative rock than it is folk, and the combination is damn cool. And more importantly, when he laments the heavier happenings of life, it rings with authority. The qualitative feel of the song is a great match for the message it hopes to convey. This song sounds like the hard-fought acceptance of life’s tragedies.

When Kimbiris first handed me the disc and I saw a track entitled “Sitting Home Alone with Your Guitar” I recoiled. Listening to artists talk about their art to other artists is something I’m just plain sick of. Having played stages for the past eighteen years, I’ve had my fill of listening to this kind of thing. (I’ve similarly been unable to attend a writer’s “talk” since grad school.) At this point it all just seems so (sorry, Mom, I can’t avoid the word)… masturbatory. And worse, the attempt to do so within a singular piece of art is loaded with landmines. It’s just so easy to come off trite or self-involved, or worse, miles off the mark. But after listening to the track dozens of times, I find myself experiencing two of life’s greatest feelings: being surprised, and being wrong. Kimbiris’ secret for pulling off the dreaded artist-explaining-art-in-a-piece-of-art is remaining a few feet off the ground throughout the piece, never committing to maxims, but sticking to abstractions. In this way, he is able to convey his experience without sounding preachy or clichéd. “When you’re sitting home alone with your guitar/The universe expanding, a union torn apart/Counting constellations from the rooftop of your car,” is the line recurring at the chorus, accented by some of the highest and truest vocal notes on the record. The description rings true: The art we make, we don’t really make, but access, from a place somewhere above our heads, and we pull it down and filter it through our souls. What’s more, the song itself is a clinic on quality songwriting. The airy and wispy vocal harmonies are a modern take on Simon and Garfunkel, but not as sleepy as what you might hear on a Fleet Foxes record. The cascading finger-picking gives a nod to the virtue of minimalism in acoustic music, and the nearly imperceptible shifts in volume dynamics keep it interesting till the end. The successful execution of this track is an accomplishment acoustic players from coast-to-coast would like to have under their belts.  

My highest expectation for the record was a song of Kimbiris’ I’ve been familiar with for some time. “Bring Out Your Dead” is a straight up modern folk classic. If you love soulful acoustic music and are a fan of Monty Python (and man, are there a lot of people who fit this description), this might be your favorite song ever. It’s also another track where my Dylan-on-steroids vocal comparison finds a home. While “Dark Side of Pearl” recalls early Dylan protest songs, “Bring Out Your Dead” is more of the 70s Dylan love jam variety. While Kimbiris dips and climbs the length of his range with startling immediacy, the timbre of his tenor sustains. The elegant melody derived from a chord progression familiar to every guitar novice (you can figure out most of these songs in a single sitting, I even covered one at a show last weekend), the bittersweet beat, the lyrics that raise more questions than they answer: It all adds up to some seriously satisfying song-smithing.

Which is why I have to sadly conclude this track an opportunity missed. The magic is in there somewhere, but you have to strain to hear it due to overproduction. There is simply too much going on in the instrumentation, and the elaborate harmonies seem unnecessary, especially if you’ve seen this video on YouTube. The production is too smart by half, and the vocals are sterile in comparison to what Kimbiris achieves elsewhere on the record. Word is he will be re-recording this track for an upcoming project, and I can’t wait to hear how it turns out anew.

the album art from "The Dark Side of Pearl".

the album art from "The Dark Side of Pearl".

I’ll end with the real gem of the album: “Home Soon.” This track more than any reflects modern rock sensibilities; it could stand out in any of Ryan Adams recent releases. It’s got an infectious hook at the bridge, but it doesn’t rely on endless repetition (think “Let Her Go” by Passenger). The vocals are revelatory in their scruffy authenticity and the instrumentation is pristine, yet soulful, especially at the transitions, which are aided by rich cello bows. Local luminary Gregory Alan Isakov aided Kimbiris in the studio on this one (he also has co-writing credit for the track). Kimbiris was emphatic on the following point in the run-up to this review: If you want to make a great record, find great musicians to help you pull it off. He raved about the contributions of Patrick Meese, Ben Gallagher, Jeb Bows, and Philip Parker, each accomplished music makers from various musical outfits.

Though I can’t go into each track in-depth due to space/time restrictions, that’s not to say they aren’t worth some deep listening. If you want to hear how a single major-to-minor note dip can alter the complexion of an entire composition, take a listen to “Mexico.” If you revel in being stabbed in the heart by a single lyric (“Don’t know what I’m going to do/There’s a light in the tunnel and I hope it’s you”) listen to the “Ballad of Alex and Victoria.” And so on. Just buy the record, if only to give me a good old-fashioned bullshit check. You’ll thank me for it.

And if you see Kimbiris’ name on a local lineup, get your ass to that show. (Hint: There's one this weekend.) It’s rare that any local scene should harbor such a talent. Chances are, he won’t be part of it for long.       

-Pete

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

Boulder Listeners on Last Weekend's Shows

By: Hannah Oreskovich

We chatted with concert-goers around town and this what they said.

Snaps from the weekend: Realktalk (top left), Booster (top right), Whiskey Autumn (bottom left), & Jeff Vescuso (bottom right).

Snaps from the weekend: Realktalk (top left), Booster (top right), Whiskey Autumn (bottom left), & Jeff Vescuso (bottom right).

Here’s what some of you Boulderites thought about last weekend’s shows:

Augustus

They killed it. I would totally see them again and I want one of those masks.” -Girl outside of The Lazy Dog

Booster

“Funk’s charm comes from the dichotomy of structure and creative freedom. Booster establishes this charm through tightly synchronized rhythms and the dismantling of the focal guitarist.” -Becky Guidera

Jeff Vescuso

“Jeff Vescuso’s storytelling-driven songwriting captivated listeners by successfully blending his quirky sense of humor with unmistakable sincerity. Vescuso sang straight from the heart and left patrons feeling ‘All Buttered Up’.” -Greg Laut

Paul Kimbiris

Paul’s set was great. He played electric in his three piece. It was a blazing set. He had a lot of new songs. Audience loved it too. I really think he’s going to catch on.” -Zach Dahmen

Realtalk

“Man these guys played every house party I used to go to and I seriously love them. Was that ‘Gin and juice’ remix sick or what?” -Guy on the LD dance floor

Whiskey Autumn

“The energy was high during Whiskey Autumn’s set and the crowd carved out a dance floor. They kept it fresh with a mix of originals sprinkled with crowd-pleasing covers from the WA jukebox. I boogied.” -My own thoughts on WA's No Name performance

Hope you made it to one of our weekend picks, Boulder. If so, leave your own thoughts in the comments. Happy Music Monday.

-Hannah

Follow Hannah on Instagram and Twitter.

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

The Weekend... Eight? Eight Shows To See 08/28 & 08/29, Boulder.

By: Hannah Oreskovich

It’s Friday once again and there is so much awesome music happening this weekend that we couldn’t pick just six. So here’s our weekend… eight? Peep it:

Today (Friday 08/28)

shafer.

shafer.

Danny Shafer at Pearl St. Pub 5PM-??

Danny’s doing a sweet double dose of shows the next two nights. Catch him at The Pub tonight or NedFest tomorrow. You can peep his music here. And don’t forget that Shafer’s CD Release Show (Paul Kimbiris is opening the event!) is less than a month away, and you can buy tickets here. You’ve got to make it to at least one of these Shafer performances. Seriously.

the booster boys. Photo Credit:   Hannah Oreskovich

the booster boys. Photo Credit: Hannah Oreskovich

Booster and Realtalk at The Lazy Dog 8PM-Close

We first fell for Booster here. These guys always bring a good time! Their funky jams will have you dancin’, and they told us Boulder-based Realtalk will be starting the party off right with some rockin’ tracks. We dig the LD’s stage setup, and their dancefloor was made for a show like this. Go groove.

emily and her kurzweil. PHOTO CREDIT:    HANNAH ORESKOVICH

emily and her kurzweil. PHOTO CREDIT: HANNAH ORESKOVICH

Emily Shreve CD Release Show at The Mercury Cafe 10PM-Close

We just brought you a feature on Shreve’s latest EP Bliss and Gravity last week. Check out her music here, but head to this show if you want to hear her latest. Her howling vocals and love for her Kurzweil will take you on a trippy dream that you’re not sure you want to wake up from. This show is the worth the drive, Boulder. Head down to the D.

wa jammin. PHOTO CREDIT:    HANNAH ORESKOVICH

wa jammin. PHOTO CREDIT: HANNAH ORESKOVICH

Whiskey Autumn at The No Name Bar 10pm-Close

This indie doo-wop rock trio has recently thrown some amazing R&B and hip-hop influences into their usual mix. If you haven’t seen WA drummer Matty Schelling break sticks on his Octapad, then you'd better roll up to the bar with no name tonight. Things will be bumpin’ behind the big brown door. PS: Rumor has it Jeff Vescuso (Natural Motives, The Almond Butters) will be opening this show. Leggo. 

Tomorrow (Saturday 08/29)

the foxfeather ladies. polaroid: becky guidera

the foxfeather ladies. polaroid: becky guidera

Foxfeather at Vindication Brewing 4PM-Close

The good thing about our list of Saturday shows is that you can hop from one to the next. Start at Vindication for a brew and Boulder’s folk outfit Foxfeather. Their upbeat tunes will get your night going. They’re playing shows all over Colorado this fall, so catch a Boulder gig while you still can.

Augustus' new ep. 

Augustus' new ep. 

Augustus CD Release Show at The Lazy Dog 8PM-Close

We recently reviewed Augustus’ EP Into Frames, and long story short, we liked what we heard. Tomorrow is their highly anticipated CD Release Show at the LD, and we can’t wait! Bloodbath live? Yes please. Andddd Paul Kimbiris is opening this CD release show as well. So excited.

the longest day of the year has another fox show soon.

the longest day of the year has another fox show soon.

The Longest Day of the Year at Conor O’Neill’s Irish Pub 10PM-Close

The Longest Day of the Year will be hosting a dance party of fun at Conor’s tomorrow. Get boozed, get yo dancin’ shoes, and go jump around with this Boulder-based Americana band. They’re opening a show at the Fox in less than a month, which you can get tickets to here. Check ‘em out.

NedFest

And finally, just a short drive away, NedFest is happening this weekend. Some of our favorites on the lineup include Gipsy Moon, Gasoline Lollipops, Danny Shafer, The Chris Robinson Brotherhood, and Caribou Mountain Collective. You can peep the full lineup and schedule here. Head to the party.

So seriously Boulder: Get out this weekend and catch a show. With this many options, you have no choice but to have a rad, bumpin’ time. TGIF.

-Hannah

Follow Hannah on Instagram and Twitter.

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

Music Video Release: Whiskey Autumn "My Dear Miss Claire"

By: Hannah Oreskovich

Boulder's Whiskey Autumn have dropped their first official music video.

A scene from Whiskey Autumn's music video "My Dear Miss Claire".

A scene from Whiskey Autumn's music video "My Dear Miss Claire".

Local band Whiskey Autumn has just released their new video for “My Dear Miss Claire”, a highlight from the band’s latest EP, Call You Mine. The video follows a young couple around Boulder, with familiar scenes shot on the Pearl St. Mall and the Boulder County Farmer’s Market. The video pans between the couple in color, and the doo-wop rock trio performing on a farm in black and white. We sat down with Whiskey Autumn frontman Greg Laut to learn more about the video, the process of filming, and what he enjoyed most about the entire experience.

1. We really enjoyed the CD release show for your EP Call You Mine. How did you decide which song from the EP to film a video for?

After we decided to work with directors Grant Speich and Waeli Wang on the video, I asked them listen to Call You Mine and pick a song. I’ve found from experience that we are too close to the music to determine which track people will gravitate toward. Grant and Waeli both liked the dancey hip-hop beat of "My Dear Miss Claire"  and had a solid pitch for the video so we followed their instinct.

2. We dig the contrast between Whiskey Autumn performing in the country in black and white and the couple exploring the city in color. Was there any deeper meaning behind this visually creative choice?

The intention was to make the scenes of the couple exploring the city in the color of springtime seem like memories of a past relationship and the wintry black and white band scenes to be reminiscing on those [past] times. The color shots were completed using old film, which provided this dreamy, surreal look indicative of intimate memories. The digitally shot band scenes represent the clear-eyed present, where thinking back on old times makes you realize the seemingly small moments you shared with another person are actually quite powerful and should be cherished.

3. The song sounds as if it’s written for a couple who is breaking up. What’s the story behind the couple in the video? Are they actors or are they together in real life?

James and Carrie are a real-life couple! We wanted the couple scenes in the video to capture a true sense of intimacy and thought that using actors may come across as insincere. When it came time for casting, James and Carrie seemed like the perfect choice as they are both ridiculously good-looking and all around lovely people.

4. As the writer of the song, what was your favorite part about filming the video?

I really enjoyed the process of working with Grant and Waeli on the initial storyboards and seeing that come to life. It was important to the band to create a video that was more than us fake playing our instruments along to the recorded track from the EP. We wanted it to have a bit more depth, and in the end I think we accomplished that.

Watch Whiskey Autumn's video for "My Dear Miss Claire" here:

-Hannah

Follow Hannah on Instagram and Twitter.

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