Premiere: Denver's Boot Gun Debuts with a Bang with Two Singles & a New Music Video

Denver’s Boot Gun have entered the Colorado music scene with a serious bang. Today, the three-piece are releasing their debut single and video for “Virginia,” a high-energy rock’n’roll track with a Southern twang, and a rebellious video featuring a slew of Denver haunts to match. And folks, one thing’s for sure, the trio comprised of Keith Lawrence (guitar/vocals), Davie Landry (bass/vocals), and Cody Hart (drums), have brought the party.

“Virginia” was recorded and mixed by Todd Divel (The Yawpers, In The Whale, The Velveteers) of Silo Sound and mastered by Hans Liburd of Burdhouse Mastering. The video was directed and filmed by Colin Anders of Slice Cinematics (Nathaniel Rateliff & The Nightsweats, A Shadow of a Jaguar, Dragondeer). Boot Gun also featured several friends on the track’s instrumentals including Bullfrog Baugh on harmonica, who makes an appearance in the video about 40 seconds in, Sam Janik on guitar, and Bill McKay on organ and piano.

Says frontman Keith Lawrence about the track, "Virginia came to me in multiple dreams last summer. I showed the boys the main riff and they said ‘Sounds great. Where's the rest of the song?' I told 'em I had to go back to sleep to hear [and] see the rest of it. A few months and a couple of disco naps later, we had us a rock’n’roll ripper."

A ripper it is indeed. “Virginia” is a boot-stompin’ tune rife with slashing rips, harmonica twang, and a jangly toe-tappin’ keys solo that will force you on your feet. Some of that energy didn’t enter the track until the boys rounded things out in the studio though.

Says Keith, “As a band, we all believe that a song isn't finished being written until we record it. Todd at Silo pushed for certain creative ideas that we were able to let shine on these tracks. Having Bill McKay sit in on keys helped round out the sound and bring our musical intention into fruition."

Boot Gun. Photo Credit:  Mountain Trout Photography

Boot Gun. Photo Credit: Mountain Trout Photography

Along with “Virginia” and their debut music video, Boot Gun also released their B side “Feels Like A Storm” today. While “Virginia” takes you on a wild ride, quite literally in the video, “Feels Like A Storm” is the moodier, heavy-hitting track from the trio.

Says Davie, “‘Storm’ is a song that we wrote collectively. It started with Keith singing but never felt completely right. So we argued and laughed, and laughed and argued, and I was forced to sing it… In the end, it became the beast that you're listening to today."

You can listen to “Virginia” and “Feels Like A Storm” on all major streaming platforms and catch Boot Gun live at Cervantes with Dave Watts & Friends on Friday, April 12th.

Says Davie on Boot Gun’s debut, “It’s a young band's take on all the rock’n'roll we love and grew up on. We go from A to Z, then back to A just make sure you're still with us."

Join that trip and keep up with Boot Gun here.

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

Durango’s Liver Down the River Keeps the Jams Alive After an Evening with The String Cheese Incident

By: Moriel O’Connor

Ain't no party like a cheesy hotel after party.

Following The String Cheese Incident Saturday show New Year’s Eve weekend, Liver Down the River and Evanoff performed at the unofficial after party at the Aloft Hotel in Broomfield, Colorado. Liver Down the River, known as “Liver” to their fanbase, who themselves are known as “liverfolk,” made me want to spin until I fell down in a mountain meadow. Their style brings bluegrass to a new level sometimes called “funkideligrass.” Step into their set, and you will find heartfelt vocals, marvelous fiddle playing, psychedelic melodies, and funky bass lines growing from bluegrass roots.They capture the essence of Colorado funk and blues in a truly unique way.

Akin to String Cheese, Liver bring individuals together through joyful sounds. Bliss filled the room last weekend and in the midst of a night of euphoric motion, I learned a valuable lesson: If an “officer” in a red lace dress hands you a citation for “killer dance moves,” you should probably make it to the court date.

Liver Down the River.

Liver Down the River.

Fellow BolderBeat contributor Cy Fontenot plays the drums for Liver Down the River, and he keeps the tempo up to the fast paced wanderlust of the west. I asked Cy a few questions to pick his rhythmic and wise mind. Read more below:

What river does your liver go down?

The river of life, love, and psychedelic space grass.

Do you have plans to bring Liver Down the River’s Colorado sound around the world. If so, where will you go?

Definitely, I think west coast is our next move but I would personally love to make it to Japan, Amsterdam, Germany, Columbia, Brazil, all corners of the planet.

What are some of your favorite Colorado venues?

We love playing at the Lariat, the Vic, Cervantes, and Schmiggity’s, but most of all our hometown Animas City Theatre.

Cy Fontenot.

Cy Fontenot.

What do you love about playing the drums?

Personally, I love the drums because you don't have to think about notes, chords, modes… it's all rhythm, so it frees up space in my mind to connect to what the moment wants, enabling my intuition to take over.

Besides playing in Liver and contributing for BolderBeat, what brings you joy?

Honestly I love adventuring, love the mountains, love playing music and love the connection that music allows me to have with my bandmates as well as the audience.

Do you have any advice for aspiring musicians?

Just go for it, play with everyone you can, wherever you can and you'll be surprised how quickly you'll learn.

Sound advice Cy.

With hearts of gold and bold measures of adventure, Liver Down the River is certain to kindle a damn good time. Based in Durango, Liver frequently travels through the Rockies to the Front Range with their jams. They recently signed with Ever Upward Entertainment and have high mountain ambitions for 2019. During the last summer spent touring, they recorded a live album to be released this spring. They also have plans for a brand new studio album. Catch them if you can at their next hoedown on January 25th at Ullrgrass in Golden, Colorado.

-Moriel

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

Color Red Records’ Launch Party at Cervantes Was a Fantastic Celebration of Denver’s Music and Arts Community

By: Will Baumgartner

New Mastersounds’ guitarist Eddie Roberts clearly knows a few things: he knows how to play that guitar, of course, but he’s also very knowledgeable about great soul, funk and groove-oriented music so he knows a good thing when he hears it. Combine these talents, skills and wisdom with his obvious love of the arts community and extensive experience in the music business, and you get Color Red, his new record label. With a growing roster already featuring some of the best artists currently playing soul, funk, R&B, and hip-hop, it was no problem for the new agency to bring one of the most exciting and talent-packed shows I’ve ever attended to Cervantes’ Masterpiece Ballroom and Cervantes’ Other Side last Friday.

Eddie Roberts. Photo Credit: J Mimna.

Eddie Roberts. Photo Credit: J Mimna.

It’s one thing to talk about supporting the scene and each other, but action is proof, and the abundance of activity at this event gave overwhelming evidence that Color Red’s focus is on nurturing our community and the musicians who populate it, while bringing along some of Denver’s best visual artists as well. More than just a “show,” it had the feel of a ‘60s “happening;” a gathering of those who love to come together to celebrate life, music, art and each other to elevate the scene and the individuals who give it vitality. Primarily a concert featuring the star-studded Matador Soul Sounds, local funk/soul masters Analog Son (who were celebrating the release of their monstrously wonderful new album Funky Mother), and the explosive, joyful music of Congo Sanchez, with DJ sets from heavyweights Quantic, Nobide and Recess, plus a patio set by the local groove collective known as Free Bear, there was also a sizable contingent of mind-blowing Denver visual artists courtesy of Matt Worldly and his Denartket group. If happy smiles, ecstatic dancing, blissful revelry and massive hugs are your units of measuring the success of an evening out, you’d have had to bring a huge tape measure to wrap around this night.

There were some “bigger names” involved, of course, but another thing that struck a pleasing chord for me was that none of these musical and visual artists were ultimately given any more star treatment than any of the others. This was a dual-venue event which flowed freely back and forth between Cervantes’ larger Masterpiece Ballroom and their Other Side next door, and from the beginning DJ sets and Free Bear on the patio to the closing All-Star Jam, every performer got plenty of attention and room to spread their talent and love.

Analog Son. Photo Credit: Jarred Media.

Analog Son. Photo Credit: Jarred Media.

I’ve been an Analog Son fan for years, and I’ve never been less than thrilled by their shows, but Friday’s set topped them all. From the minute they took the Ballroom stage, the crowd were willingly and joyfully entranced, as the band smoothly and solidly drove through a set that started strong and just kept getting better. The songs from the new Funky Mother album sounded just as assured and wild as any of their older material, and their outrageously wonderful set-closing cover of The Beatles’ “We Can Work It Out” was on a level with Earth Wind and Fire’s reworking of another Beatles’ classic, “Got To Get You Into My Life”. If you still haven’t seen Analog Son live, you’ve got to get yourself to one of their shows soon. Their new album is a heavy slab of electrifying funk and soul, produced by Eddie Roberts himself, and is one of the most live-sounding studio releases I’ve heard. Since it’s the first record the band has made featuring all the members of their performing lineup, this was not surprising to me, but I’m overwhelmed by the power with which they brought that live intensity to the finished product. From founding members bassist Joshua Fairman and guitarist Jordan Linit to saxophonist Michael Chiesa, trumpeter Gabe Mervine, drummer George Horn, Will Trask on percussion and keyboardist Eric Luba, all the way to the beautiful and spine-tingling vocals of Devon Parker and Ashley Niven Fairman, everyone on this record shines like the stars they all are.

There was some overlap between Analog Son’s set and the frenzy being generated on the Other Side by the musical powerhouse known as Congo Sanchez, but while I didn’t have the luxury of catching their whole set, these guys were my big happy new discovery of the night. It was deliciously overwhelming to run next door and be hit by the delirious onslaught of their sound and presence. Utilizing live drums and guitar and featuring an irresistible vocal duo of frontmen/emcees, it was easy to see why this group resists being pigeonholed into any genre. While their overall sound is something one might call “live hip-hop,” I think it’s fitting that their Facebook page just says “MUSIC” next to the genre slot.

Matador Soul Sounds. Photo Credit: J Mimna.

Matador Soul Sounds. Photo Credit: J Mimna.

Now what can I say about Matador Soul Sounds? First of all, I should defer to the words of formidable singer Adryon de Leon when, early in their set, she protested against the use of the term “supergroup” to describe this band. “Don’t get it twisted!” she said, and then went on to explain that they consider themselves a group, period- one that has put their individual gifts together to write songs as and for Matador Soul Sounds, and for us as their beloved audience. This distinction is important because it reflects the genuine humility of all the admittedly illustrious members of the group. Yes, Eddie Roberts is part of New Mastersounds, Adryon is the singer of the great Orgone, Alan Evans has achieved renown not only as the drummer of Soulive but also as a producer and member of other projects, and Kim Dawson has gone from work with the legendary Pimps of Joytime to further build a name for herself as one of the most dynamic and hardworking singers alive. But onstage, on record, and up close and personal, they’re all just total sweethearts who never let their status or egos get in the way of the real business at hand, which is to deliver the best music and the warmest love they possibly can to us, their fans. Their performance on Friday certainly locked me for life. Every song was a treasure chest, every note was a gem, and I’ve never felt more love and joy coming off a stage and flowing over a crowd.

To return to the subject of community, the glowing memory of a night like this wouldn’t be complete without returning to the many visual artists who gave their creative energy to the event, and they were everywhere. According to Denartket founder and coordinator Matt Worldly, he was thrilled when Eddie Roberts approached him at one of their recent events about bringing the collective’s artists to this show, because the whole purpose of the group is to plug these artists into the bloodstream of the Denver area. It was impossible to ignore the essential element they brought to this celebration, and the discovery factor was greatly enhanced for me by watching these delightfully creative individuals pour themselves into it, crafting their works in the moment, sharing their insights and visions with everyone. While space doesn’t allow me to give credit to every one of them by name, they all deserve your attention and will reward it with fabulous visions to feed your hearts, minds and souls. Some of those whose work especially grabbed me were Pher01, Chris Surposa, John Vega, Parker Ledford, Derek Carpenter, and the delightful Bobbi Larmer, some of whose work has now found a place in my home. These are just a few of the great talents represented by Denartket, and we’d all be enriched by following every one of them, including Worldly himself, whose work is as otherworldly as anyone's.

I hope I’ve given you enough encouragement and inspiration to follow and discover every one of these groups and creative people for themselves, because one of the absolute and indisputable home truths of all art and the blessings it brings is that if I keep it to myself, I miss out on one of its greatest gifts, and that is the almost inexpressible pleasure of sharing it with you. If you’re already part of this community, I can’t wait to see and share with you again. If you’re just arriving, we welcome you with open arms and hearts, because without You, there can be no Us.

-Will

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

Supergroup Of Jam Musicians To Play Cervantes' This Saturday (02/17)

By: Cy Fontenot

Four well-known onstage improvisers are coming together for a joint night of jams this Saturday, February 17th at Cervantes Masterpiece Ballroom. Steve Kimock, the San Francisco-based guitarist best known for playing with several psychedelic jam projects over the past 40 years including ZERO, Steve Kimock Band, and The Grateful Dead, will be playing with PRAANG. Composed of mystical wizardry, Kimock’s guitar style pushes the boundaries of what you thought possible with music.

Joining Kimock on stage this Saturday will be the legendary rhythm section of Michael Travis (String Cheese Incident) and Jason Hann (EOTO), as well as a modern innovator with an ancient style, Jamie Janover, who combines the use of cutting edge technology with ancient instruments to create an out-of-this-world sound! Trip-hop downtempo DJ Templo will also be making an appearance. 

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This show truly features a supergroup lineup sure to evoke a sense of musical enlightenment for anyone in attendance. Tickets can be found here.

Find out more about this event on Facebook.

-Cy

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

Guerrilla Fanfare Bring The Brass And Beats For Fat Tuesday Week Shows

By: Will Baumgartner

Who doesn’t love a big-ass, funky brass band? Probably mostly people who’ve never seen or heard one. The best of them—like Dirty Dozen, Rebirth, and March Fourth—bring such a ridiculously irresistible amount of joyful danceable noise that it’s hard to imagine anyone experiencing it and remaining unmoved. Well, I’ve seen Guerrilla Fanfare Brass Band several times, and they definitely bring it. If you aren’t dancing, grinning, and whooping it up a bit at one of their shows, you might wanna check your pulse.  

In the tradition of the bands mentioned above, Guerrilla Fanfare also bring a catchy kind of fun to the stage, with audience participation and just general energy and goofiness. Lay that over a bedrock of high-stepping, New Orleans-inspired funk rhythms topped with honking and wailing horns, and you’ve got a celebratory dance party, coming to a venue near you over the next week during Fat Tuesday celebrations.

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The band— Zach Brake (sousaphone), Jesse Mathews (trumpet), Steve Nelson (alto sax, emcee), Adam White (drums), Billy Rivera (trumpet), Taylor Friesth (drums), Ethan Harris (trombone), Masaki Kleinkopf (trombone), Harry Forlenza-Bailey (trombone), and Julian Stevens (tenor sax)— has only been around for about two and a half years, and have already established themselves as a vital force in the Front Range music scene. The lineup, anchored by two fiercely funky drummers and the traditional sousaphone holding down the bass lines, is also full of some of the best horn players around. They manage to employ solid songwriting and embrace the wisdom of getting the audience involved in the show at every performance.

The result of all this hard work was a busy and promising 2017, in which amongst numerous other local shows, they played at the Arise Festival, Upslope Getdown, and Five Points Jazz Fest, opened for March Fourth at Fort Collins’ Aggie Theatre and Cervantes Masterpiece Ballroom, and most recently played with Tenth Mountain Division at the Fox Theatre in Boulder. In addition to these local shows, they also played at Honk TX and Honk Fest West in Austin and Seattle, crazy street band festivals geared toward exactly the type of fun brought by Guerrilla Fanfare. They’re shaping up big plans for 2018, including the Spread the Word Music Festival in May and another appearance at Arise in August. Thirsty ears can also look forward to a probable new album sometime this year, and the band plans to continue to spread the joy into other areas of the country as well with a tour.   

Local lovers of live music don’t have to wait anywhere near that long to revel in the party these guys bring, though. In fact, you have four chances to see and hear the band in the next week. Guerrilla Fanfare play Gravity Brewing in Louisville on Saturday February 10th; Oskar Blues Homemade Liquids and Solids in Longmont on Fat Tuesday itself (February 13th); the Bohemian Biergarten in Boulder, Friday February 16th; and Denver Mardi Gras at EXDO Events Center in Denver on Saturday February 17th.

Keep up with Guerilla Fanfare and the fun here.

-Will

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

Denver's Annabelle Raps About The Importance Of Self-Love

By: Taylor Naiman

Annabelle is The Mile High’s very own 20-year-old female rap artist, and she’s making big moves in the industry. After a brief stint in Los Angeles, she returned to her native Denver to hone her sound. Her introduction to the Denver scene was over a year ago at her first open mic and at the time, she felt like one of Denver’s only female artists. Still, she kept pursuing more stage opportunities at places like The Gothic and Cervantes’ Masterpiece, and while doing so, explored a range of sounds: hip-hop, jazz, rap, and soul.

Annabelle.

Annabelle.

Throughout the duration of her first EP, The Desire, Annabelle creates a storybook and gives the audience her true raw emotion. She has found a balance both lyrically and musically where she can explore different sounds and her own vulnerabilities. Her music is “melodic, soulful and highly vulnerable with hip-hop and jazz undertones.” It is open, emotional, and conveys her vulnerabilities. She strives to give her audience a spiritual awakening.

Photo Credit: Bobby Vasquez

Photo Credit: Bobby Vasquez

Annabelle told me that she is most influenced by artists she herself can dance to, such as Ashanti, Missy Elliott, 2Pac, Bone Thugs N’ Harmony and J. Cole. Lyrically, she likes J. Cole, Chance the Rapper, and Kendrick Lamar. She told me, “I think I hold the same potential as any one of those legends.” And maybe that confidence is just what she needs.

Photo Credit: Bobby Vasquez

Photo Credit: Bobby Vasquez

Currently, Annabelle is working on three EPs in the studio, composed with a new energy and varied tones. They are going to be all about her life journey and “how people can be dangerous.” Each will unmask more of her vulnerabilities pertaining to relationships, self-love, and her continued growth. She describes this music as being reminiscent of an ambient Odesza sound with a  jazzy feel and a hint of a “50 Cent club record.” When she is not in the studio, you can catch her either riding horses or modeling in front of the camera.

Well-attuned to her style and vibe, Annabelle is someone to keep an eye out for. I recently had the chance to ask her a few more questions about her music:

What was your favorite song to write and why?

Should I’ because of the whole story behind it. I walked in on my ex with another girl in his bed. I was pretty calm about the whole situation at the time and didn’t know how to feel about it right when it happened. I tried to write a song about the way I was feeling and it went a couple of different ways before I finished it. But I went from the honest, vulnerable side when I wrote ‘Should I.’ It’s the battle, where you ask yourself, ‘What should I do?’ For me, it is a very poetic song where I can prove my self-love.

What is one piece of advice you would give to another female in the music industry?

Always know your worth and do not settle for anything less. Do not be afraid to tell people, ‘no’ in this industry. Have the confidence to do so! If your ideas do not align with those of other individuals, do not settle.

Learn more about Annabelle and her music here.

-Taylor

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

Trevor Hall Bringing 'The Fruitful Darkness' To Cervantes' Denver for New Year's Eve

By: Trevor Ryan

Veteran singer/songwriter Trevor Hall has just released his new EP The Fruitful Darkness PT. 1, a three-track record that leads off with the mellow acoustic riffs of the title track. This particular song appeals to the wanderer in us all. As Hall croons, “I had to find my way through,” his raspy vocals are accompanied only by his guitar and a small choir near the end.

Listen to The Fruitful Darkness PT. 1:

Next is a slightly more upbeat tune with the follow up track, “What I Know,” a song that shows off the reggae roots that Hall is known for, but features an R&B feel as well. From here, we’re set up for more catchy rhythm and synth work with the final track, “Wander.” His smooth voice grooving, “my home is where I wander, body and soul” shows Hall’s rawness and gives us a welcomed twist to a more standard, overall R&B feel. The feels are strong with this one.

Trevor Hall PHOTO_BY EMORY HALL 3_preview.jpeg

Be sure to keep up with Trevor Hall on Facebook and catch him at Cervantes’ Masterpiece Ballroom on NYE weekend, December 30th and 31st. You can find tickets 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.

New Year's Eve At Red Rocks Is Going To Be A Party

The clock is counting down as the holidays approach, and every year it seems to come by even faster than the previous years celebration. We're talking about ringing in the New Year, of course! Starting 2018 off on the right note will be easy when you consider all of the difference parties, local celebrations, and events happening throughout the Denver area.

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New Year's Eve on the Rocks at the Red Rocks Amphitheatre is arguably the most anticipated party to ring in 2018, and even more so when you consider that this is the first ever New Year's celebration at the iconic venue. The all-star lineup for this concert almost guarantees a sell-out, with locals and tourists flocking into town to experience the magic! The line up is boasting names like Migos, Post Malone, Young Thug, Lil Yachty, and Dizzy Wright, so it's safe to say that this is going to be a night of hip-hop to remember for years to come. It's sponsored by Cervantes', Feyline, and KS107.5, so be sure to tune in for your chance to win tickets if you haven't had a chance to snag your own yet.

Safety is important anytime you plan on partying with friends, but even more so when so many people are partying for the new year, so be sure to prepare for your mode of transportation after drinking and dancing. Ride share services will surely take advantage of price surging during this time, so it's worth it to consider professional transportation such as a party bus or limousine. Not only is it more comfortable for a group of people, but it also comes at a comparable price tag after splitting it up among everyone who is attending. With amenities like cup holders, neon lights, comfortable seating and custom streaming ability on the subwoofer-equipped stereo systems, you're sure to enjoy the enhanced experience.

There will be shuttles leaving from specific bars around town like Thirsty Lion and Illegal Pete's, but be sure to weigh all of your options… especially if they're just as costly as professional transportation. Denver Party Bus Services allow you to have more control over your overall experience. For those able to attend, New Years Eve on the Rocks is going to be an exceptional party! Doors are at 5:00PM on the 31st, so don't be late. Swing over in style!

Book your bus now:

Limo Denver

1441 S Glencoe St Denver, CO 80222

(720) 619-2720

Browse the full fleet here.

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

Aminé & Towkio Team Up For Denver Cervantes Show (10/10)

By: Annie Kane

Hailing from opposite coasts but equally matched in their recognizable talent and quirky personalities, Aminé and Towkio will take to Cervantes’ stage this Tuesday, October 10th.

Towkio is a beloved Chicagoan and fellow member of the original Savemoney crew.  His edgy vocals sprinkled with a mix of live instruments and bubbly production have made him an enticing target for features, continuously appearing on songs with the likes of Joey Purp, Kami, theMIND, Vic Mensa, and Chance the Rapper. His lyrics often articulate strong references to his Chicago heritage, club scenes, and introspective philosophical wonderings. His debut mixtape .WAV Theory is a prime example of how he skillfully interweaves these elements all while continuing to critically push the musical envelope. Just this past weekend, he released “Swim,” a celebratory musical experience. His next project, WWW, is reportedly “on the horizon.”

Breakout star and Portland rapper Aminé will headline. Note: He has been wearing and will be wearing the same pants for every night of his 25 city tour. Why? He explained on Twitter, “I’m wearing one pair of pants for the whole tour adding a unique patch for every city… I’m bring 1 fan on stage every show to write on their city’s patch.” Pretty cool reason, I’d say. His debut album, Good For You, dropped this past summer after his “Caroline” video captured the humor and attention of millions of viewers. He snagged features from memorable artists such as Kehlani, Nelly, and Charlie Wilson among others. Aminé’s authenticity to himself is adored by many and proven successful when integrated into his music.

Catch these poppin’ new artists at Denver’s rowdy Cervantes’ Masterpiece Ballroom this week! Tickets available for purchase here!

-Annie

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

Forward Funk: The Runnikine Release Debut Single + Hit Cervantes' with Joey Porter’s Shady Business

By: Will Baumgartner

Denver pop/funk/hip-hop fusion trio The Runnikine are something of a local “supergroup.” Keyboardist/vocalist Eric Luba plays with local funk/soul stars Analog Son, drummer Will Trask is in Great American Taxi, and bassist Jon McCartan is with rising Americana rock stars The Drunken Hearts. All of these bands are making a name for themselves nationally, and if there’s any justice in the music world, The Runnikine will soon follow in their footsteps.

The Runnikine. 

The Runnikine. 

For now though, the group is focusing on building a strong local following- and they’re doing that quite nicely, thank you. It doesn’t hurt that the members are gregarious fellows who, beyond their main gigs, play with anyone and everyone they can on the side: most music fans in the Denver/Boulder area know of these guys having seen them play at some of the area’s biggest all-star jam nights. The word is spreading among the musical and fan community that The Runnikine are a group to watch, and for good reason: Their music is powerful, innovative, and driven by solid grooves.

Laying the foundation for a move beyond local popularity requires coming out with a great recording, and The Runnikine are doing just that. “They Walk Among Us,” the first single from their upcoming debut EP (which is slated for a May release) is a gem. The song starts with block chords on the keyboard and kicks in with a solid hip-hop feeling backbeat; then Luba’s laid-back, pensive vocals reel out a picture of fearful mistrust and jingoism that, while it’s not overtly political, certainly speaks to the current political climate in Trump’s America. When I spoke with Luba about the song, he said it was actually written before the election and the anti-Muslim travel ban, making it an eerily prescient bit of songwriting.  

The verse moves through a couple of key modulations and more potent imagery before hitting the stark, simple chorus of the song’s title. I place a lot of stock in well-written lyrics, and have to say that the words to this song are very impressive with lines like, “They can’t see where they’re going/When their eyes are closed,” “It’s too late to run/They’re already here,” and “You tell me where we’re going/Just don’t say the war.” These words are carefully-chosen, chilling, and affecting. Musically, the song also bears the hallmarks of craftsmanship and thoughtful use of harmonics, dynamics, and melody. And the production, which was done by Josh Fairman of the local treasure of a recording studio known as Scanhope Sound in Littleton, is superb.

A song as well-crafted as this has me eagerly anticipating the release of the band’s full three-song EP, and fortunately I won’t have to wait long: May is just around the corner! In the meantime, we all have the opportunity to see The Runnikine live when they open for Joey Porter’s Shady Business this Friday, April 7 at Cervantes’ Masterpiece Ballroom in Denver. And speaking of supergroups, Shady Business features Porter, Garrett Sayers, Lyle Divinsky and Drew Sayers of The Motet, Kris Myers of Umphrey’s McGee, Jennifer Hartswick of Trey Anastasio Band, and Adam Smirnoff of Lettuce.

Aside from their hook-driven songs, The Runnikine are also highly adept at exciting live improvisation. That, after all, is how the band started- as a no-pressure side project for Luba and Trask when they were both in the Jaden Carlson Band. That was just a couple of years ago, and look how far they’ve come in such a short time. How far will they go? Hop on board with me, and let’s find out. Tickets to their Cervantes’ show are right here.

-Will

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

Evanoff's "Dream Rock" Is EDM + Rock & So Much More

By: Annie Kane

Let me introduce you to “dream rock,” a new genre that the Boulder-born trio, Evanoff, are carving out on their own. What originally started as JJ Evanoff’s solo guitar vision has since grown into the musical experience it is today, with the inclusion of Jake Hall on drums and Parker Oberholzer on bass and synth.

Their most recent release, “Aesthetic Arrest,” showcases the growth this band has experienced since their inception. The song begins steadily, with a series of funky bass guitar notes that evolve into an electronic explosion which bursts and is then broken back down to instrumentals, with more bass, guitar, drums, and some subtle synth. The song then takes flight again, bringing the listener into this ethereal musical collision of sounds, thus earning the “dream rock” titled genre Evanoff have so carefully ascribed to themselves.

Evanoff.

Evanoff.

The constant thread of the guitar not only grounds “Aesthetic Arrest,” but revives an older genre for the contemporary audience, because rock music should and never will die. The song finishes gloriously in a simultaneous electronic and guitar riff buildup, symbolically uniting these once disparate musical genres into a quite beautiful marriage. Evanoff, Oberholzer, and Hall’s skilled abilities in each of their crafts is highlighted strongly throughout the song, and these talents are what set Evanoff up for unparalleled success.

Stream “Aesthetic Arrest” on Spotify:

Evanoff’s presence in the Colorado music scene is hard to ignore, as they have already conquered prominent and beloved venues such as The Fox Theatre, Larimer Lounge, and Cervantes’. They have also brought their undeniably unique sound to huge festivals including Vertex, Euphoria, and Electric Forest. Now, they’re set to tour throughout Colorado and beyond, spreading their infectious new dance music. Whether you’re a Coloradan who has somehow still not caught these guys live, or if you’ve been waiting patiently for them to roll through your city, now is your time to rejoice. Peep Evanoff’s tour poster and get ready to dance your face off.

-Annie

Follow Annie 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.

Bring Em Out! Catch T.I. at Cervantes' This Wednesday (01/11/17)

By: Sierra Voss

This Wednesday night, rapper T.I. will by dropping by Denver’s Cervantes’ Masterpiece, along with Talent Among Us, ITsEVi, Ray Reed, and AP.

T.I. embarked on his well-known rap career in the early 2000’s and soon became a founding father of hip-hop subgenre trap-music. T.I.’s musical career has included the release of nine studio albums, as well as numerous successful singles including, "Bring Em Out," "Whatever You Like," "Live Your Life" (featuring Rihanna), "Dead and Gone" (featuring Justin Timberlake), "Ball" (featuring Lil Wayne), and "No Mediocre" (featuring Iggy Azalea). T.I. has won three Grammy Awards, including “Best Rap Solo Performance,” “Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group,” and “Best Rap/Sung Collaboration.” In February 2016 he joined subscription-based music streaming service Tidal, alongside other artist such as J. Cole, Madonna, and Daft Punk. Most recently, T.I. made headlines in the New York Times for writing an open letter of appreciation to President Barack Obama.

Bring on the nostalgia with T.I.’s video for “Whatever You Like”:

Last July, T.I announced his new project, an upcoming EP title Us or Else. In August 2016, he released the first two singles from the EP: “We Will Not” and “War Zone”.

Tickets for Wednesday night’s Cervantes’ show are still available online!

-Sierra

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

Ring In The New Concert Season at Denver's Cervantes' This Thursday with Nappy Roots

By: Sierra Voss

See yah 2016! A new year means a new concert season! And Nappy Roots are starting off Denver’s Cervantes Masterpiece 2017 concert season this Thursday, January 5th.

Nappy Roots got their start back in the 90s in Kentucky. The four-man collective hold a memorable place in the hip-hop world thanks to their release of five studio albums and 10 mixtapes. It’s pretty likely you’d recognize their most popular songs: “Good Day,” “Po Folks,” and “Aw Naw.” Their 2002 album Watermelon, Chicken & Gritz sold over three million copies, truly putting them on the map as a best selling hip-hop group in the 2000s. They most recently released their single “Looking Grown,” following their 2015 album release The 40 Akerz Project.

Skinny Deville, Fishscales, B. Stille, and Ron Clutch toured throughout 2016 playing shows for their incredibly loyal national and international fan base. They even made our NYE list last weekend where they rang in 2017 in Durango with Denver’s Jerney.

So make your way over to Cervantes’ this Thursday and let’s start the first week of 2017 concerts off right! Tickets here.

Need a little more convincing? Press play on the video below:

-Sierra

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

Nelly Getting Hot In Herre at Cervantes' Denver This Thursday

By: Sierra Voss

Looking to take a walk down memory lane this week? Then here’s one you don’t want to miss: Nelly is making an unexpected stop at Cervantes’ in Denver this Thursday, October 27th.

Nelly.

Nelly.

Nelly embarked on his well known hip-hop career back in 2000 with his debut album Country Grammar. The title track of the album became a top ten hit on the charts, and the release soon made its way to #1 on the Billboard 200. Some Nelly classic hits included "Hot in Herre", "Dilemma" (featuring Kelly Rowland), "Work It" (featuring Justin Timberlake), "Air Force Ones" (featuring Murphy Lee and St. Lunatics), "Pimp Juice", and "#1". And if you’re a millennial, please don’t pretend like you don’t know every. single. one.

Watch Nelly’s “Hot in Herre” below because you know you want to:

Following Country Grammar, Nelly went on to record six more albums, started two clothing companies (Vokal and Apple Bottoms), and has starred in numerous movies and TV shows. His last known setlist this year at the State Fair of Texas included songs “E.I.”, “Ride Wit Me”, “Dilemma”, “Hot in Herre” and “Just a Dream”. I can’t help getting a bit excited thinking of all the high school memories this concert is going to trigger for me.

Nelly needs to hear you at Cervantes' this week. 

Nelly needs to hear you at Cervantes' this week. 

Nelly’s most recent album, M.O., was released in 2013 and features guest appearances by Nicki Minaj, Pharrell, Future, T.I., 2 Chainz, Florida Georgia Line, and Daley. Some say this now forty-one-year-old rapper is a hip-hop legend. This Thursday is going to be quite the intimate night at Cervantes’ with Nelly, and the perfect kickoff to your Halloweekend. Tickets here.

-Sierra

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

Colorado's Western Roots Rock Band Coal Town Reunion Release New Music

By: Hannah Oreskovich

Formed in 2014, Coal Town Reunion are a Colorado Western roots rock band. Comprised of Jeff Montoya (bass/vocals), John Paul Maxfield (guitar/vocals), Sami Steidl (violin), and Alana Dym (drums), this four-piece outfit came together with one goal: to “write honest songs and play the hell out of them”. For the past two years, the band has been doing just that, performing live at gigs around the state.

Recently, Coal Town Reunion actually recorded some of their original tunes, with plans to drop an EP. The first track from the release, “Labor Day Parade” is already out (peep it below). The song’s lyrics were written by Montoya about the nostalgia surrounding a Labor Day Parade he grew up going to annually as a child in Trinidad, Colorado. The track features a sweet string solo by Steidl, driving vocals, and an overall Colorado mountain vibe that is true to the artists of this group.

Said guitarist Maxfield, “[We are] the sons and daughter of the miners, steelworkers, farmers, and cowboys that once called Colorado their home”.

Listen to Coal Town Reunion’s “Labor Day Parade”:

CTR are the sort of band who’d have a dance hall hollerin’ and swingin’ in minutes. Their energy is palpable in their work, and their Colorado pride is hard not to jump around to.

This Thursday, September 22nd, you can catch Coal Town Reunion at Cervantes’ in Denver. The band will also be playing a set at Denver’s Walnut Room Thursday, November 3rd. Stay tuned for Coal Town Reunion’s new music and upcoming performance 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.

New Jersey Producer Clams Casino Plays Cervantes' Denver Tomorrow Night

By: Annie Kane

The New Jersey producer making unexpected waves in hip-hop is set to play Cervantes’ Masterpiece in Denver this Saturday.

Clams Casino's unique sound, which mixes an ethereal presence with a hard edge, has led the artist also known as Michael Volpe to collaborate with a wide range of artists since his beginnings six years ago. He scored his first collaboration with Lil B in 2010, and since then has been making his way through the industry by predominately working with hip-hop artists (though there are some exceptions).

Clams Casino.

Clams Casino.

CC’s latest album, 32 Levels, demonstrates Volpe’s beat-mixing capabilities and really showcases him stepping out and into his own artistry. The release includes both the instrumental and featured versions of his tracks, inviting other curious artists to try their hand at mixing their own vocals over his productions. Vince Staples, A$AP Rocky, Samuel T. Herring, Mikky Ekko, and others are all featured on the album.

Imagine reinterpreting the film Donnie Darko with an electronic and vocal-infused soundtrack, and you can begin to grasp what Clams’ style is reminiscent of. Take “Thanks to You” featuring Sam Dew, for example. The beat comes and goes like a delayed heartbeat, as Dew’s dreamy voice sings about losing his mind and going insane. The random key notes and electronic riffs throw in an added unexpected effect. It’s this sort of style that makes Clams' unignorable.

Clams Casino is part of a new wave of producers, including Metro Boomin and Kaytranada, who are making headway on their own right and giving fame the man behind the curtain. Come see the once very shrouded Clams Casino this Saturday night at Denver’s Cervantes’ with opening acts from Keyboard Kid, Insightful and RumTum. Tickets are only $20 in advance; get them here!

-Annie

Connect with me 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.

Denver's Marquis Theatre Set for a Night of Lady-Fronted Rock This Saturday

By: Hannah Oreskovich

Rock. Punk. Alternative. That’s how Boulder’s Mr. Atomic describe themselves. The four-piece outfit comprised of Boneth Ahaneku (lead vocals/rhythm guitar), Matt Stewart (lead guitar), Mitch Rushton (bass), and Mike Suriano (drums) have been playing together for a little over a year now in the Colorado scene. And in that time, they’ve managed to snag gigs at Cervantes’, Lion’s Lair, and The Roxy Theatre while simultaneously getting picked up by Colorado’s At Night Group label.

Mr. Atromic.

Mr. Atromic.

Best known in the local punk scene for their “melodic, funk-tinted, punk rock music and lively stage presence”, Mr. Atomic are bringing their live show to you this weekend at Denver’s Marquis Theatre! This Saturday, August 6th at 7PM, Mr. Atomic will share the stage with Rotten Reputation, The Hits, and LaRissa Vienna and the Strange. All of the bands on board are female-fronted acts, which is awesome. This lineup is sure to give you a solid punk rock fix, Colorado, and tickets are only $10 in advance.

Currently, Mr. Atomic are working on recording their debut EP, which is slated to be released this fall. Until then, head over to one of their live sets, and keep up with them here.

-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.

The Weekend Six: Six Shows to See 05/17, 05/18, & 05/19

By: Hannah Oreskovich

It’s been a bit since we’ve dropped a six! Hope you missed us Colorado- here are our weekend picks:

Today (Friday 06/17):

Dechen Hawk’s Jus’ Sayin’ CD Release Show at The Laughing Goat in Boulder 8PM-Close

Dechen Hawk.

Dechen Hawk.

Dechen Hawk’s project Jus’ Sayin’ is droppin’ new music tonight at the LG. Just yesterday, we brought you a sweet feature on Jus’ Sayin’s new self-titled release, which you should definitely peep before you roll over to this show. Performances by Colin Robison, Andrew Sturtz, Jarrad S.Menard, Katie Farmer, Mirco Altenbach, and Ben Rubin await your ears. Bonus: Tonight is Hawk’s birthday, so come celebrate with him and get rowdy! See you there.

Listen to Jus’ Sayin’s new single, “Drug of Choice”:

Evergreen and Boulder Sound Lab at Owsley’s Golden Road in Boulder 8PM-Close

Evergreen has landed Colorado.

Evergreen has landed Colorado.

Wisconsin’s fusion/jam rock outfit Evergreen will be making their way through Boulder as part of their summer tour tonight at Owsley’s. The four-piece describe themselves as “blending psychedelic rock, jazz, funk, country, and folk into a soulful and unpredictable groove”. Boulder Sound Lab will be sharing the stage with their “transcendental brain massage therapy” sounds. It’s gonna be a wild time, so come get down!

Listen to Evergreen’s High Noon Saloon album:

Tomorrow (Saturday 06/18):

The Pamlico Sound’s Funkstravaganza at Cervantes’ Masterpiece Ballroom in Denver 8PM-Close

The Pamlico Sound. Hamhock. Envy Alo. Gumbo le Funque. And Low Down Brass Band. All of these glorious funk forces are joining hands tomorrow in the name of danceability at Denver’s Cervantes’.  Earlier this week, we brought you an in-depth interview with Envy Alo, a band that’s reached notable success in less than a year. Lend an eye to that, and your ears to this show! Pastor Will B will make yah dance all night.

Listen to The Pamlico Sound’s “Let’s Funk” live performance:

Jaden Carlson Band at The Pub on Pearl in Denver 930PM-Close

Jaden Carlson.

Jaden Carlson.

It’s been five years since The Pub on Pearl featured music, but tonight, they’re bringing it back! And they’re making their music comeback with one of Colorado’s fastest-rising stars, Jaden Carlson. We first featured 15-year-old Carlson back in February when she headlined Boulder’s Lazy Dog for her very own birthday bash with friends from some of Colorado’s most well-known bands. Since then, the guitar-playing prodigy’s journey has only continued, so catch her while you can! Best part? It’s free!

Listen to Jaden Carlson’s original “Essium”:

All Weekend:

Denver Pridefest at Civic Center Park in Denver 10AM-6PM

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Musicians, artists, friends: Last Sunday’s tragedy in Orlando is still rippling through our brains. And that’s why we can’t think of a better way to spend our weekend than with our LGBTQ community at Denver’s Pridefest. There will be 250 vendors, several music stages, food trucks, and more. It’s your chance to stand up, be heard, be you, and cast fear aside for pride. Let’s do it crew.

Telluride Bluegrass Festival in Telluride, CO - Various Stages & Times

Bluegrass & Views.

Bluegrass & Views.

We sure love festival season! This weekend is the Telluride Bluegrass Festival, and some tickets and camping are still available for purchase. Though the fest started last night with a few performances, today is when the gates and camping actually open. Acts on the bill of note include Ryan Adams, The Oh Hellos, Greensky Bluegrass, Yonder Mountain String Band, Leftover Salmon, Infamous Stringdusters, Emmylou Harris, and the Telluride House Band. We will have some coverage for you from the fest next week, so stay tuned!

Thanks for reading CO.

-Hannah

Follow Hannah on twitter and instagram.

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

Lil Uzi Vert and Playboi Carti On the Come Up

By: Annie Kane

Rising hip-hop artists Playboi Carti and Lil Uzi Vert were greeted by a crowd so hyped, it seems as if they are already legends.

Lil Uzi Vert.

Lil Uzi Vert.

Cervantes’ Masterpiece was filled to the brim with eager hip-hop heads this week, and fans brought their A-game: brand labels shined up nicely in the front row, from Supreme, to Vans, Nike, Adidas and, of course, Bape. The crowd was there for a bumpin’ lineup: J-Krupt, Tony Neek$, Playboi Carti, and headliner Lil Uzi Vert. (Read more about these artists in our Cervantes’ pre-event coverage here.) And they knew it.

Playboi Carti.

Playboi Carti.

Security guards had to push the barricades against the raging crowd to keep people out of the VIP area… and this was just for the opening DJ of the night. As the warm-up acts wrapped up their sets, the crowd grew anxious, and everyone started chanting “Carti!” over and over again. When Playboi Carti finally emerged from the depths of backstage, I could literally see a wave ripple through the crowd as people from the very back pushed to the front.

Carti’s style is raw; he avoids heavy vocal editing in his work. As such, his live performance barely wavered from how it sounds on his recorded tracks, whether he was transitioning from the traditional MC style of blurting into the mic or straight vibing to his own beats. Carti’s voice oscillates between the lazy-like style coined by Future, to that almost nasal pronunciation Vince Staples has. He kept the energy high as well, which culminated at one point when he literally flew into the crowd.

Not long after Carti’s set, Lil Uzi Vert ran onstage holding his girlfriend Brittany’s hand, both of them adorned in colorful Supreme sunglasses. Uzi’s personality is so strong, not only by way of appearance (fully clad in Vlone accented by black Yeezy 750 Boosts), and his recognizable voice, but most by his energy. If you didn’t know who Lil Uzi Vert was prior to this show, you found out the second he stepped out into the spotlight. His quick lyrics were broken with heavy “Yeah!”s, while sweat trickled down his back, shining from the insane dance moves he jumped into while spitting full 16s. His energy is unlike any other hip-hop artist I’ve seen.

The show ended with Lil Uzi Vert’s bringing out Carti for a joint performance of “Left Right”, the song for which their current tour is named.  A security guard brought out an entire case of water bottles and the two artists proceeded to drench the crowd, with people begging to be soaked. It was wild.

Cervantes’ brought such an infectious hip-hop lineup to Denver this week, which has me curious for their summer show lineup. Make sure to keep up with them here, and catch a show there soon!

-Annie

Connect with me on twitter and instagram.

All photos per the author; embedded tracks per the artist featured and those credited.

Lil Uzi Vert and Playboi Carti Join Forces for Left Right Tour at Cervantes Denver

By: Annie Kane

On May 17th, Denver’s Cervantes Masterpiece will be throwing down with some of hip-hop’s fastest growing artists.

Lil Uzi Vert.

Lil Uzi Vert.

At 21 years old, Philadelphia native Lil Uzi Vert has already collaborated with A$AP Ferg, Rich The Kid, Young Thug, Metro Boomin and Wiz Khalifa, along with receiving support from The Fader, Noisey, XXL, HotNewHipHop, and the late A$AP Yams. The “vert” in his name insinuates “vertical”, and that’s fitting since Lil Uzi Vert has a promising unique talent that is soon to skyrocket him to the top of the charts. He fuses his trap-like quality of rapping with old-school hard rock influences like Marilyn Manson. His first mixtape released in 2015, “Luv is Rage”, lit the fuse and his recent tape released last month, “Lil Uzi vs. The World”, has solidified his path toward the top. Lil Uzi Vert is signed to Generation Now and Atlantic Records.

Playboi Carti.

Playboi Carti.

Without even having a full mixtape out yet, 18-year old Atlanta rapper Playboi Carti is already receiving high appraisal. His song “Broke Boi” has reached over 8 million plays on Soundcloud, making it the song that essentially broke him into the hip-hop scene. Affiliated with Atlanta’s Awful Records, Playboi Carti signed with A$AP Rocky last September and is supposedly working on a song with Frank Ocean, according to close friend Ian Connor. Already praised as a rock star in Europe (check this interesting article), Playboi Carti is on the verge of selling out stadium venues.

Tony Neek$.

Tony Neek$.

These two big names will be introduced by two local Denver rappers, Tony Neek$ and J-Krupt on Tuesday night. Tickets at Cervantes are going fast for this star-studded show, so be sure to grab some here before they’re gone!

-Annie

Connect with me on twitter and instagram.

All photos per the author; embedded tracks per the artist featured and those credited.