Wes Watkins Returns to the Colorado Music Scene

By: Hannah Oreskovich

Wes Watkins has returned with a bang. After a battle with epilepsy forced him to leave a touring stint with Nathaniel Rateliff and The Nightsweats, Watkins made his way back to Denver and has been doing what he does best: playing music with every inch of his soul. Not one to stay offstage for long, Watkins came back to The Mile High City earlier this summer and managed to guest in twelve sets at The UMS with various performers, started recording an album for his project The Other Black, and has played gigs throughout the state with artists like Izcalli. How’s that for a homecoming, Colorado?

Last week, The Other Black performed at The Boulder Theater opening for Who’s Bad?, and if there was ever any question of Watkins’ capabilities as a frontman, let me lay those to rest for you now. From his trumpet and synth skills to his energetic engagement with the crowd to his incredible vocal range (when he hits those soulful low notes honey, you’ll straight swoon), Watkins proved he’s everything you want in the leader of his brainchild, The Other Black.

Wes Watkins.

Wes Watkins.

Watkins danced across the stage with finesse during most of the band’s tunes, backed by a 12-piece outfit that included four backup singers, two percussionists, and a small horn section. The group had a couple of minor sound issues in their set, like when they had to stop mid-song because Watkins’ keyboard was nowhere to be found in the mix, but overall they kept a crowd of a couple hundred people engaged who were mainly there for a Michael Jackson cover band. When you can get people up dancing and clapping along to your music, and they came for a band that plays zero originals, that says something.

Megan Crooks.

Megan Crooks.

The Other Black’s sound is a mix of soul and funky doo-wop meets R&B with a little baby bit of pop thrown in. It’s tasty, and we can’t wait to hear what they lay down on their next record, which is set to be finished near the end of the year.

Watkins’s triumphant return to the scene continues tomorrow night, when he will play a solo set at Larimer Lounge opening for The Shadowboxers. Keep up with The Other Black’s show schedule here, and we’ll keep you posted on their upcoming album as details become available.

Welcome home Wes.

-Hannah

Follow Hannah on Instagram and Twitter.

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

Catching Up with Whiskey Autumn: Fireworks, #MusicMasquerade, & R&B Jams

By: Hannah Oreskovich

Boulder's Whiskey Autumn are bringing new tunes to this Saturday's Music Masquerade.

We’re just two days away from our #MusicMasquerade with Whiskey Autumn, Villain Baritone featuring Andrew Sturtz and Hunter Stone, and Noctogon at Studio 700! Want the event details? Then peep the FB event here. This week, we’ve already brought you features on both the boys of Villain Baritone and the prog/alt rock trio that is Boulder’s Noctogon. Give those a read if you haven’t yet kids.

Today, we’re talkin’ Whiskey Autumn, the headliner of Saturday’s bill. This indie, doo-wop rock trio comprised of Greg Laut (vocals/guitar/keys), David Landry (bass/vocals), and Matty Schelling (drums, vocals) have been up to some pretty sweet thangs as of late:

They dropped this badass video for their single 07.04.07:

And they released 07.04.07 for free download and your listening pleasure:

You might notice that 07.04.07 has more R&B and pop undertones than some of Whiskey Autumn’s previous work, and that’s the sort of sound the band has been experimenting with most recently. Said frontman Greg Laut:

I had grown a bit tired of the Americana vibe of our previous two EP’s so writing from a R&B/pop perspective felt very refreshing. The recording process for 07.04.07 was interesting because we chopped up and sampled the beat in a similar manner to what a hip hop producer might do and incorporated some electronic elements. We’re constantly pushing to further develop our sound and explore new ideas. The song is certainly a sign of things to come in the near future.

The three-piece have written several other songs in this new vein, one of which they just filmed a live video performance for with Ian Glass Media (who also filmed 07.04.07). They plan to drop that video sometime in February, along with a live performance video of a popular R&B cover that you’ve probably seen them play at one of their recent shows.

A scene from 07.04.07.

A scene from 07.04.07.

Whiskey Autumn is also heading back into the studio over the next couple of months with plans for a new EP release in the late summer or early fall of 2016 Want to check out their previous EPs? Head here.

When we asked the WA boys what they’re most excited about for Saturday’s #MusicMasquerade, they told us this:

We’re really looking forward to playing a rocking, DIY venue like Studio 700. Plus everyone will be wearing masquerade masks so it will feel like we are in Eyes Wide Shut. Fingers crossed that Tom Cruise will dig our sound.

So there you have it Boulder! Come see Whiskey Autumn close out the night at Studio 700 this Saturday! Join the FB event righhhht here. And don’t forget your mask...

-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 09/25 & 09/26

By: Hannah Oreskovich

It’s the weekend! Get out and jam with these bands:

Today (Friday, 09/25)

An illustration of Ben Hanna.

An illustration of Ben Hanna.

Ben Hanna Band at Still Cellars 630PM-Close

Rumor has it that Ben Hanna has been working on a followup album to his 2013 debut “We Were All Like Whatever” with local producer Robbie Stiefel. We’re hoping to hear some of those new tracks at this show! So come grab a brew and hang out!

Community Music Night at eTown Hall 7PM-9PM

What cooler way to support Boulder’s music community than to head to eTown for a night of “every-day folk: scientists, educators, engineers and more” playing music? It’s a bunch of Boulderites with a passion for “full band soul, folk/bluegrass, pop, classical, and even on-the-spot comedic originals.” It’s only $10 so check it out!

Grupo Chegando Lá at The Laughing Goat Coffeehouse 8PM-Close

Last week, we mentioned Sambadende’s awesome show at the St. Julien. Tonight, some of the members of that group will be bringing samba sounds to The Laughing Goat under the name Grupo Chegando Lá. It’s definitely a show worth checking out, so go boogie!

Tomorrow (Saturday, 09/26)

Whiskey Autumn AT THE MERC. Photo credit   per the author.

Whiskey Autumn AT THE MERC. Photo credit per the author.

Whiskey Autumn at The Merc 8PM-Close

Pardon me for my selfish ways, but TOMORROW IS MY BIRTHDAY! And I’ll be spending it at one of my all-time favorite Colorado joints, The Merc, with one of my all-time favorite Boulder bands, Whiskey Autumn! I’ll be snapping photos, dancing on tables with Matteo, and generally having an awesome night, so come join us all!

The Growlers at The Fox Theatre 830PM-Close

“Take five SoCal guys, mix in some surf, stone, and psychedelic, and throw them in a haunted mansion in West Ho Chi Minster and with a little luck, you might get a band like The Growlers.” Sounds like a good time to me! Check it out for less than $25 at the Fox tomorrow night.

PDMF.

PDMF.

Punch Drunk Munkey Funk at Conor O’Neill’s 10PM-Close

Punch Drunk Munkey Funk are making the drive from Fort Collins to dance with us tomorrow night at Conor’s. They’re a five piece who blend “funk, jazz, hip hop, R&B, rock, & soul.” Sounds like they got a jam for just about everyone, so go groove with these cool cats.

See you around! 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... 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.

The Weekend Six: Six Shows to See 08/21 & 08/22

By: Hannah Oreskovich

It’s the weekend. Per usual, here’s your six Boulder:

Today (Friday 08/21)

the polkanauts.

the polkanauts.

The Polkanauts at Bohemian Biergarten 9PM-Close

That’s right Beat kids. Polka. But not just traditional polka. The Denver-based Polkanauts play metal, rock, punk, and surf variations of polka. Curious how this is done? We are too. So check out their show!

Moonwavve at Johnny’s Cigar Bar 9PM-Close

This electronic outfit is one of our Boulder faves. Remember when we wrote about them here? Eason’s voice combined with Warwick’s synth will take you into space. So launch yourself by rolling to Johnny’s tonight! Word on the street is they have a pretzel machine now. Time to nom.

the z boys.

the z boys.

The Zimmermans at Conor O’Neills Traditional Irish Pub 10PM-Close

The Zimmerman boys have been bringing Bob Dylan’s sounds to Boulder ears since 2006. Their covers rock out and as you know, we think Conor’s is always a fun time. Johnny’s and Conor’s are in close proximity, so double dip to both shows for a night full of good tunes.

Tomorrow (Saturday 08/22)

Bareface. polaroid per   the author  .

Bareface. polaroid per the author.

Bareface at Boulder Outdoor Cinema 730PM-Dusk

We just wrote about how much we dig this doo-wop lounge band yesterday. So tomorrow is your chance to lend an ear. They’ll all be dressed in costume for this screening of The Princess Bride, and they’d love it if you grooved with them before the film. So head on over.

G-Nome Project at The Lazy Dog 8PM-Close

G-Nome Project claim to be Israel’s premiere livetronica band and tomorrow they’re making a stop in the B on their tour. They say their sound is “grilled cheese funk at its finest,” so prepare to boogie. Roll down to the LD and check them out.

pettin'.

pettin'.

The Heavy Pets at Owsley’s Golden Road 8PM-Close

Get ready for some heavy petting tomorrow at Owsley’s. This five piece jam band from Florida have been around for a decade, and even played big festivals like Bonnaroo and Wakarusa years ago. So if you couldn’t see them then, or you’re just in the mood to chill at a bar with The Grateful Dead acid bears painted all over it, this one’s for you.

That’s it Boulder! Pick a show and we’ll see you there!

-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.

I Spent Saturday in a Storage Unit with Bareface & It Was Awesome.

By: Hannah Oreskovich

I spent my Saturday night in a storage unit with Boulder band Bareface and it was awesome.

Driving up, the venue appears to be part warehouse, part storage unit. It’s got a garage, it’s got a front door, and everything else around the unit it is dark and quiet. The location is secret, the vibe is relaxed, and I’m told that the music at this spot is always choice. Where am I? Paradime.

The Paradime Steps.

The Paradime Steps.

Paradime is a local DIY venue that, according to one regular, hosts “primarily punk folk bands and solo artists.” When you enter, there’s an old wooden piano to your left and beyond that, a stage. There’s room for dancing and there’s a small kitchen that’s been crafted from scratch: a counter with bar stool seating, a refrigerator, and a back room with more seating and a cut-out window for show-viewing. On the far wall opposite the door, there are steps that take you to a lofted area, and beneath them is a little hallway with a library and a vinyl collection for anyone to peruse and use. The whole place is also dripping with art: canvases, drawings, scribbles. Paradime is wildly independent and beautiful, a true testament to the DIY community’s talent and passion for this space. But sadly, due to lease issues, Paradime is closing its doors soon.

Bareface Grooving Us On Stage.

Bareface Grooving Us On Stage.

Enter Bareface, who played the final Paradime gig last Saturday. Bareface is a Boulder band composed of Will Parkhill (vocals, guitar, and bass), Robert Collins (also vocals, guitar, bass), Rebecca Oliver (vocals, kazoo), Jean du la Monde (vocals, drums), Lee Garrett (banjo, guitar, lap steel), and Emma Mulholland (violin). Parkhill and Collins met in an alchemy class a couple of years ago, started playing music together, and slowly collected members for what is now the current Bareface lineup.

Dancing with Ghosts. 

Dancing with Ghosts. 

Before the five piece started their set Saturday, a couple of solo performers had played the Paradime stage. Neither were exactly dance-worthy and they had driven a good part of the crowd outside. But the minute Bareface opened their set with a couple of jazzy numbers, everyone wandered inside. And by the time they started into their cool rendition of Paul McCartney & Wings’ “Bluebird,” everyone was dancing and laughing. A girl with blue hair grabbed anyone who wasn’t moving and pulled them onto the floor to groove with her. Soon, the whole place was twirling along to Bareface. It was radical.

Balls to the Wind. 

Balls to the Wind. 

After watching Bareface electrify Paradime with their positive, groovy energy, I wanted to know what this doo-wop lounge-group was up to besides playing amazing DIY spots. Parkhill smiled, “Well, to keep on the DIY theme, we’re actually doing a lot of DIY recording- we’re working in the bedrooms and garages of good friends.” And their plans for release? “Sometime this fall!” shouted Jean du le Monde. Bareface also has an upcoming gig that they’re pretty excited about. “We’re playing the Boulder Outdoor Cinema on August 22nd,” Mullholland laughed, "and it’s for The Princess Bride so we’re dressing up!” Sweet.

Collins Kiling It.

Collins Kiling It.

So Boulder, although you might not have the chance anymore to peep a Paradime show, you should definitely check out Bareface. Listen to them here. And keep up with their upcoming events, including this weekend’s show, here.

-Hannah

Follow Hannah on Instagram and Twitter.

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