Marco Benevento Returns To Colorado With Another Jumpin' Set

By: Hannah Oreskovich

The king of pianist-meets-experimental-rock graced The Fox stage last weekend, and if you’re not familiar, let me catch you up on Marco Benevento.

Marco Benevento. 

Marco Benevento. 

Starting in the experimental jazz scene around 1999, Benevento is known in multiple genre circles for his piano playing. In fact, his first studio album as a pianist, Invisibile Baby (2008), was nominated for an Independent Music Award. In his second solo record, Me Not Me (2009), Benevento dipped more heavily into the jazz collides with experimental rock realm and has been soaring through it ever since.

Benevento has a special history with Boulder. He’s been playing the local scene since his involvement with Joe Russo in what they dubbed the Benevento Russo Duo. Russo called Boulder home for a period of time, and as such, Benevento developed a following here and let me just stay- it’s still strong. Benevento’s Fox crowd exploded in applause when he entered the stage in his trademark sunglasses and a top hat after a super-groovy set by opener Envy Alo, and fans only boogied more from there.

Check out Benevento's Woodstock Sessions:

Benevento started the first half of his set with Side A of his 2016 release, The Story of Fred Short. The band then mixed in a few covers (including fan favorite “Heartbeats” by the Knife, which was a cover released on Benevento’s Me Not Me record). They also played a number of originals from Benevento’s catalogue throughout the second half of the set, including a few from the recently released Woodstock Sessions; “they” referring to badass female bassist Karina Rykman and energetic drummer Andy Boger. Though mostly positioned behind the keys (which were stacked with various pickups, toys, and electronic gadgets to facilitate Benevento’s circuit-bending styles), Marco jumped off of his piano a number of times to the delight of the crowd, and overall brought a ton of energy to his performance.

Benevento put on an electrically-charged show last weekend, and the trio’s current tour continues. Get the rest of his tour dates here and make sure keep up with Benevento’s newest music moves on his website.

-Hannah

Follow Hannah on Instagram and Twitter.

All photos per the author. All 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 11/11 & 11/12

By: Hannah Oreskovich

If there is one thing we want to do after this week, it’s roll to local shows and celebrate art and music. Here are our picks:

Today (Friday 11/11/16):

TAARKA with Caribou Mountain Collective at The Wildflower Pavilion in Lyons 7PM-10PM

TAARKA. Photo Credit: Anne Stavely.

TAARKA. Photo Credit: Anne Stavely.

Earlier this week, we brought you a sweet feature detailing TAARKA’s performance tonight. The Lyons-based bluegrass and gypsy jazz band play Planet Bluegrass’ WildFlower Pavilion, and Caribou Mountain Collective will open the evening. Bring your bluegrass lovin’ buds, treat yourself to a beer or coffee, and spend the start of your weekend listening to a slew of talent on this semi-outdoor stage. The weather alone at this point in November should compel you. Tickets here.

Listen to TAARKA’s Making Tracks Home:

Colfax Speed Queen’s Album Release Party at Lost Lake Lounge in Denver 9PM-Close

Colfax Speed Queen. Photo Credit: Matthew Novak

Colfax Speed Queen. Photo Credit: Matthew Novak

Denver’s Colfax Speed Queen are dropping their latest release today, an 11-track record titled Talk To Your Doctor. We had a chance to preview the record earlier this week, and man did we like what we heard! This one is guaranteed to pull at your rock’n’roll heartstrings, and after watching CSQ at The UMS just a few months ago, we guarantee their live show will too. Fort Collins’ Serpentfoot will open the night, followed by The Golden Apples of the Sun. CSQ’s release is dropping on Heavydose Records; make sure to get yourself a vinyl copy of this bad boy. You won’t regret it.

Check out Colfax Speed Queen’s Talk To Your Doctor:

Envy Alo at Conor O’Neill’s Irish Pub in Boulder 10PM-Close

photo.jpg

Dance away the week tonight at a place we’re so happy didn’t close. Funk rock’s Envy Alo will be playing a free show at Conor’s, and have promised to groove you into oblivion (which may be exactly what you need right now). The trio also play The Fox November 30th opening for Jaden Carlson, so pick up some tickets while you’re there from the crew. Get to it!

Peep Envy Alo’s “When I Play”:

Coral Creek at The Lazy Dog in Boulder 10PM-Close

Coral Creek.

Coral Creek.

Golden’s UllrGrass Festival is just a few months away, and tonight the music and beer fest is hosting a kickoff party for the event with Colorado’s Coral Creek at The Lazy Dog. The Americana/country and bluegrass jam band will sport their stringin’ sounds while you enjoy a brew and nab your discounted UllrGrass passes before they go on sale. Check out the full UllrGrass lineup here.

Listen to Coral Creek’s self-titled album:

Tomorrow (Saturday 11/12):

Silent Bear with Adam H. at The Gold Hill Inn in Boulder 7PM-Close

SILENT BEAR AND THE LATE PETE SEEGER. PHOTO CREDIT:   SKYHOOK ENTERTAINMENT

SILENT BEAR AND THE LATE PETE SEEGER. PHOTO CREDIT: SKYHOOK ENTERTAINMENT

With the future of the DAPL looking more terrifying than ever thanks to President-elect Donald Trump’s current 100 Day Plan, tomorrow night’s show with DAPL protestor and artist Silent Bear seems like a perfect way to spend your Saturday in solidarity. SB, who has spent his musical career working for and with Native Americans and other marginalized populations, plays The Gold Hill Inn tomorrow evening. Singer/songwriter Adam H. will open the night, which sure sounds like a powerful one.

Watch Silent Bear’s recent protest video against the DAPL below:

Oscar Ross with Ol’ Hickory & M. Florea at Syntax Physic Opera in Denver 9PM-Close

Oscar Ross.

Oscar Ross.

Denver’s Oscar Ross recently released his latest album, Get Along. Known for his work as the frontman in Denver stoner metal band Lords of Fuzz, Get Along takes you for a whole different kind of ride in Ross’ solo country-esque project. Golden’s rowdy outfit Ol’ Hickory will share the stage; Megan Fong’s latest project M. Florea will open the night. Tickets are only $7, so get yours and make sure to grab a copy of Get Along for yourself after the show!

Give Oscar Ross’ Get Along a listen:

Music always feels like the right thing to do, Colorado. See you at a show!

-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.

Listen to BolderBeat's 'End of Summer' Spotify Playlist

By: Joliene Adams

Every month, we publish a new Spotify playlist for your ears. Make sure to follow us on Spotify and take a listen at BolderBeat. Here is September's playlist:

BolderBeat's 'End of Summer' Playlist:

1. Tenth Mountain Division, “Drunk Man’s Blues”

Song most likely to sneak jam bandy vibes and bluegrass inspirations right under your nose without it mattering one wit.

There’s something about the way the vowels are pronounced. I’m convinced it has something to do with the hints of warm, soulful vocal spice. You won’t have much to say about a mandolin not being able to throw down after this song either. Rock undertones and jam overtones effectively avoid over-indulgence and hit the baby bear right where the Goldilocks counts.

2. Big Gigantic, “Got The Love”

Song most likely to dance in hi-tops on a spaceship to.

Somewhere along the way, soulful hip hop meets orchestral marching band and they all go to Burning Man together and start a band. This is what happens afterwards. If not a true story, it’s a believable back-story. Also, I couldn’t help but think, “Is that a wooden cowbell coming in at 1:44?”, even though I know better. How can that not make a person smile?

3. A Shadow Of A Jaguar, “Mama Needs The Bottle”

Song most likely to be mistaken as coming from Denver.

Denver isn’t the end all be all. But they do have more rock and roll. Bar none. We almost did, until West Water Outlaws broke up. And then there’s The Yawpers, who relocated to and announced themselves officially as a Denver band. Drop into the rock bowl at the sound of charging, down-stroke guitar grit, and quick, punchy drumbeat stalls between classic, unfrilled, rolling rock drums. Watch out for rhythmic vocals with attitude enough to make you want to spill your whiskey. Just buy the cheap stuff before, m’kay?

4. Envy Alo, “Bodzinger”

Song I most want to see the crew of Scooby Doo dance to.

Instrumentals done well drive me wild. I’m no less obsessed with words than music. But music doesn’t need words. It can communicate perfectly fine on it’s own. Also, killin’ it cool on the keyboards. Anyone would look amazing dancing to this song in bell bottoms. Groovy, but in the still totally hip way.

5. Policulture, “Great Respect”

Song most likely to render me unable to think of anything but bunny rabbits in sunglasses dancing in a field throughout it’s entirety.

You can definitely skank to this, but you don’t have to. You can dance like a slinky might to the guitar too. Ska and reggae are certain influences, but the track is in no way walled-in by them. Short, jumping keyboard strokes with a steady low-key bass keeps the groove moving forward.

6. Sunsquabi, “Odyssey” (feat. GriZ)

Song most likely to jet ski in outer space to.

If you hear this song in the elevator on your way to work, by golly you have the right job. Elevator music has a nasty reputation. My words here are no diss and all compliment. Sunsquabi and GRiZ could totally fly on an elevator, and chances are everyone’s day would be better and the world itself would be a better place for it. High five.

7. Gregory Alan Isakov, “Suitcase Full of Sparks”

Song with the best story to tell, and the best way of putting it.

“Travelin’ through the graveyard/suitcase full of sparks/honey I’m just trying to find you.” You’ve got my attention Mister Isakov. Light smatterings of harmonica and banjo punctuate earnest lyricism, and have a way of making new feelings come from old familiars. It’s amazing how light instrumentation and unobtrusive background vocals can hit your heart with a such a thunderous thud. Here is the song most likely to make me feel feelings & get those goosebumps.

8. Augustus, “Virtues”

Song that’s the most unto itself amongst all.

Augustus’ “Virtues” is the most own unto itself amongst the whole set. This number has the most interesting musical arrangements and distinct use of instrumentation. Won’t find vocals that hit so high delicately and then swing low anywhere else on this playlist, period. Cello like molasses that doesn’t stick, and thus doesn’t slow down the way it pours over you so warm and soft.

9. Cold River City, “Time Slips Away”

Song most likely to make me chill the heck out when a bus is late, all the while falling in love with the person at the bus stop next to me.

Now that’s some saxy sexaphone (courtesy of guest Jeremy Mohney). Back and forth male and female vocals lend this song a lyrical, crooning playfulness that doesn’t hinge on catchy word play. It speaks to the still-in-love love struggle when it’s done in reality, but far from it in heart. Hits me like permission to move on from any break up while still knowing the past was special and untouchable. If you think that’s hokey, it still won’t stop my pokey.

10. Sixty Minute Men, “Born This Way”

Song most likely to listen to on a catamaran at sunset.

Possiblly the best transition from and into a song on the playlist. Cold River City to Sixty Minute Men rolls like a board off one wave, up onto another. This song’s not in a hurry, and the slow simmer gives the listener rooted boots on the ground and soaring above the clouds vibes all at once. Put it in cruise control and tap those thumbs on your steering wheel folks.

11. Na’an Stop, “Questions”

Song that sounds most like an album single, and I somehow feel most likely to least question if I heard it on commercial alternative radio.

It’s catchy, folks. It makes me grateful for stereo speakers and headphones. It’s lyrics call you out and leave you feeling encouraged all at once. Keys and horns sometimes make you feel like someone might be laughing at you, but in a way that doubles back and only has you laughing at yourself, life, and all of us. It’s catchy. But it’s way more than a surface tune.

12. Evanoff, “Transcendance”

Song whose title best matches its music.  

Transcen + (d) + ance. That’s how we do on this ditty. The song title works on two levels. I feel like I could transcend my next climbing problem to this at The Spot, then dance the good vibes that follow off at The Fox straight after. Vocal thunder emanating from a teacup, heavy beats that don’t browbeat: this song communicates what it calls itself without riffing off some theme or line from lyrics, because it has none!! Best guitar shredding to boot.

13. The Motet, “Know It Too Well”

Song I’m most likely to dance to on isolated vocals alone.

More cowbell?! How yesterday of you. MORE ORGAN. The Motet knows it too well. I’d call this articulate funk, an ice cream sundae of funky guitar layers cut fresh and so clean. So much more than a wedding song, I can’t help but say that I can picture everyone from grandma to the youngest buckaroo dancing out on the floor having a good sass time at anyone’s matrimony.

Follow BolderBeat on Spotify for more Colorado music playlists. 

-Joliene

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

Refueled and Ready For Liftoff: Booster’s Front Range Funk/Fusion Sound Rises to a New Level

By: Will Baumgartner

Boulder-based “funk/fusion/rocket fuel” quartet Booster have been one of my favorite local groups for awhile. I first caught them at The Lazy Dog in early 2015, drawn by curiosity and loyalty to old friends who had also been my musical cohorts (bassist Alex Vouri and drummer Mike Lehman had both played in The Pamlico Sound with me). What I heard at that first show was satisfying and exciting beyond anything I could have expected: the duo, with their first keyboardist Aaron Pettine (now of Envy Alo, who we last covered for BolderBeat here), were simply on fire with funky/jazzy compositions, infectious energy, and top-level musicianship. When trumpeter Les Miller joined a couple of months later, it was like their rocket ship had burst through a whole new level of space, breaking some unknown sound barrier, and I went from ardent supporter to rabid fan of the band. I wanted more; all I could get of Booster’s sounds. Then, toward the end of 2015, Pettine announced that he would be leaving the group to focus on Envy Alo, and I was (as I’m sure other fans were too) greatly disheartened. Alex Vouri told me they were going to get someone new in on keys, but I wondered how anyone could fill Aaron’s shoes. Still, I told myself to just wait and see.

As it turned out, all I needed was a little patience and faith: Booster are about to do their first show with new keyboardist Evan Morris, and as Alex said to me in a conversation a little while back, “this guy is straight fire”. There’s nothing like taking an already great band and bringing in some new blood and creativity. And so, on the eve of a new dawn for the exploratory vehicle known as Booster, I was more than excited to have a conversation with Alex Vouri and Les Miller about what the group’s been up to and what to expect from the band next:

I’ve been a Booster fan since the beginning, which wasn’t all that long ago, and have seen you grow and change a lot in a short time. What were the circumstances of the group’s formation, and how have things changed since then?

Alex: Well, it started as most groups do- I wanted to form a group to perform instrumental music that would be equally fun to listen or dance to; good for the brain and the booty, ya know? So I called up our drummer Mike Lehman, we jammed a few times just the two of us, and then we started bringing in players we knew and already had chemistry with. Mike brought Aaron in on keys and after a few shows, we felt we could really use some solid top end melodic focus, so we brought Les Miller in on trumpet.

Alex Vouri of Booster. 

Alex Vouri of Booster. 

For your first year or so, your keyboardist was Aaron Pettine, and I know y’all loved working with him. Now that your lineup has changed, you seem super excited about new keys player Evan Morris. How has bringing him into the band affected your overall scenario?

Alex: Evan is a monster player, and a perfect fit for Booster. His phrasing and voicings really open up the tonal pallet when we improvise, which allows us to be more harmonically complex, and at the same time, a little looser in feel since there are so many paths to choose from. He really dropped right in chemistry-wise, and it feels as if he’s always been here! He’s a good guy too, which is always nice.

One of the most interesting and impressive things about this band is the way each instrument- bass, drums, trumpet, and keys- feels like a lead instrument, yet fits into an organic sound. Do you all take active roles in composing?

Alex: Being a quartet without vocals or a familiar focal point is deliberate; we’re very much a traditional jazz quartet lineup of horn, keys, bass, and drums. We want to spread the focus evenly across the band, allowing each player to feel fulfilled and invested. In a band of such great players, it’s pretty easy to do! In terms of working up material, it’s definitely a group effort. Sometimes someone will have a pretty specific arrangement for a tune and sometimes not, but everyone is typically in charge of their part or contribution: we don’t micro-manage each other’s playing.

Les Miller of Booster.

Les Miller of Booster.

I hear echoes of a lot of familiar sounds and styles within the Booster sound: Herbie Hancock and Miles Davis come to mind, but I’m sure there must be many influences at work here. Who have some of your main influences been, both compositionally and in your individual styles as players?

Alex: Herbie and Miles are right on for sure, I also really love Jaco Pastorius, Grant Green, Christian McBride; all the greats. Weather Report is a big influence for me in terms of instrumental quartets, and Critters Buggin too. They’re one of my all-time faves in terms of chops and pure originality.

Les: My main influences improvisationally are Lee Morgan, Maceo Parker, Jerry Garcia, & as you mentioned, Miles Davis. I really enjoy the 1968-69 output of Miles, and I think albums such as Miles in the Sky, Filles de Kilimanjaro, and of course Bitches Brew have influenced Booster’s sonic direction. It’s interesting to note that the keyboard player on those albums is the other player mentioned in your question, Herbie Hancock.

Mike Lehman of Booster. 

Mike Lehman of Booster. 

Your music is richly rewarding on both an intellectual level and a visceral one: musicians get plenty to appreciate in terms of skill and complexity, while your average concertgoer gets a solid dose of dance music. Has this been a conscious thing? How do you approach creating music like this?

Alex: Yeah, that’s always a goal for me personally. It’s good for everyone at a show. It’s important as a player to be interested and invested in what you’re doing, while at the same time not becoming totally self-gratifying, and alienating your listeners, which can happen in a chops-heavy improvisational band.

Les: I’ve wanted a band like this for a long time, one that combines in-the-pocket groove playing of funk music (making it eminently danceable), the harmonic complexity of jazz & Western romantic traditions, and the rich, constantly expanding sonic palette available to musicians today.

You’re an entirely instrumental band, but since you’re also clearly a band that keeps expanding its concepts moving restlessly forward, I’m curious: Have you considered adding vocals at any point in the future?

Les: No plans for a permanent vocalist, but we have some guest vocalist ideas brewing.  And I’ve been known to drop a mean 16 on very rare occasions.

You began as a trio, with drums bass and keys, then added trumpet. Any chance of the group expanding beyond its current quartet form? And if so, what other instruments might you bring in?

Alex: I think we’ve struck an ideal balance for ourselves instrumentally. We all have just enough room, but we do love having folks sit in with us, that’s always a good time.

Les: I’m very happy with our current lineup. That being said, I have a long history of playing in horn sections with a sax player, so if Skerik wanted to join the band, I think we’d become a quintet pretty quickly.

Ha! Who wouldn’t say yes to Skerik (legendary saxophonist of Garage a Trois etc.) joining their funk fusion group? So… If Skerik came asking what y’all were like, what would you say? What’s your vision? Can you give our readers a capsule version of the “Booster Manifesto”?

Alex: We’re a band in which each player is free to do whatever they want. No limits, no preconceptions, no particular concrete goal or genre is in mind. We’re not trying to corner a market, we all just really love to make music we’re proud of, and want to grow as players and artists together, while putting on a good show of course! But in terms of a description? Funky, high energy, jazzy, adventurous… it’s always changing.

I’m very excited for your performances this week, starting tonight at Boulder’s Southern Sun followed by this Saturday’s Vine Street show in Denver. Can we expect any special treats at these gigs?

Alex: Yeah! The unveiling of Booster 2.0! Our sound has really changed, and we’re excited to share that with people. We’re very invigorated right now. We’ll have a lot of new tunes, and probably some special guests!

What’s on the horizon for Booster? Anything our readers should know about in advance, or would you rather milk the mystery?

Les: After this week, we have a show lined up at The Fox this fall, and are planning dates in Denver, Fort Collins, and all around the Front Range. We are excited to share the new tunes being forged in our rehearsal space, “The Launchpad”, and we can guarantee song breakouts at every show over the next few months! We play mostly original music, but will continue the tradition of surprising the crowd with a cover medley occasionally. In fact, I’m arranging two new ones right now. I won’t reveal both, but I will say that it is a nearly impossible task to choose just two or three favorite Steely Dan tunes, and we will probably invite our fans to choose an artist they’d like to hear us perform in the near future.

Make sure to check out the re-formed and re-charged Booster tonight at Southern Sun, and this Saturday at Vine Street Pub in Denver. Get the details on both events on Booster’s Facebook; keep up with the band on their website here.

-Will

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured, No Coast, and those credited. 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

fb-header-600x222.jpg

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.

Envy Alo: A Danceable Fusion

By: Will Baumgartner

"It never ceases to amaze me what three people can do with a guitar, drums and a Hammond organ. I recently got the opportunity to master Envy Alo's new EP and I was excited to hear so many great rock, funk, and hip hop influences, all wrapped up into their own unique sound. I can't wait to see what these cats come up with next and really hope I can be a part of it!"

-Alan Evans, Soulive

There you have it from the mouth of Alan Evans, the drummer of Soulive, one of the most popular jazz/funk fusion bands on the planet: Envy Alo, a trio of young Front Range musicians, are already well on their way to a bright future after only eight months of existence as a group. While their instrumentation is the same as Soulive, and they obviously share a lot of the same influences and tastes, these boys definitely have their own distinctive thing going on: a stew of jazz, funk, rock that is not only technically impressive, but tremendously exciting and infectious, and definitely dance-friendly. I couldn’t stop moving the last time I saw them live!

In anticipation for Envy Alo’s upcoming performance in The Pamlico Sound’s latest Funkstravaganza (five funk bands in one night at Cervantes’ Other Side this Saturday, June 18th), I recently spoke with keyboardist Aaron Pettine and guitarist/vocalist Kevin Hinder to get some insights into their process, progress, and plans. Check it out:

You guys have been around for less than a year and are already making pretty big noise on the local scene. How did your group come together, and what do you think were the key elements in your rapid rise?

Aaron: Kevin and I knew each other from attending James Madison University in Virginia for our undergrad studies. After we both relocated to Boulder, we met Tyler Gwynn (drummer) through mutual friends. After a few jam sessions with him, we knew we had a unique sound and chemistry and decided to move forward as a band.

Tyler and I both had been playing in other Front Range bands for a while now (Booster and Tenth Mountain Division respectively), so that helped us attract some of the fans from those bands to see this new project. We had developed great relationships with many of the local venues too, who were gracious enough to offer Envy Alo opening slots and gigs within our first few months of being a band.

Kevin: Another key element was just the initial drive that we wanted to do something different. A lot of bands in the area have that typical “jam band” sound, and we really wanted to create something unique. We had the tools already in place individually to do something new, and so far it seems like people enjoy it!

Kevin Hinder.

Kevin Hinder.

With your unusual and rather sparse lineup- keyboards, guitar and, drums- you create a very full, rich sound. How do you accomplish this?

Aaron: It’s simple really: add a synth bass line, swirling organ chords, furiously fast, yet tasteful jazz-rock guitar licks, and a danceable funky drum groove, and boom, that’s our sound!

Speaking of sound, I hear echoes of a lot of familiar sounds and styles within Envy Alo. The obvious comparison would be to the great funk-jazz trio Soulive, but not all your influences seem to be so contemporary. Some of the “organ trio” groups of the 60’s come to mind, as well as the solid classic groove of Booker T. & the MG’s. Who have some of your main influences been, both compositionally and in your individual styles as players?

Aaron: As a keyboard player, it's legends like Jimmy Smith, Booker T., Herbie Hancock, and Stevie Wonder. I also got a lot of my influences from current players like Neal Evans (Soulive/Lettuce), and Beau Sasser (Kung Fu) as well. I’d say my biggest influence is John Medeski from Medeski Martin & Wood, who I was lucky enough to study under in 2015.

Kevin: When I was a kid, I went through a heavy Hendrix phase, and was into heavier rock and the blues. But as I got a little older I started listening to bands like Phish and Widespread Panic, Derek Trucks, and Umphrey's McGee. I would say Jimmy Herring is probably my favorite guitar player out there, but when I really started studying music, my focus shifted to jazz with players like Pat Metheny and John Scofield (probably #2 to Jimmy Herring for me).

Aaron Pettine. 

Aaron Pettine. 

Your music is rewarding on both an intellectual level and a visceral one. Musicians get plenty to appreciate in terms of skill and complexity, while your average concertgoer gets a solid dose of dance music. Has this been a conscious thing? How do you approach creating music like this?

Aaron: [It has] absolutely been a conscious thing. We want to challenge ourselves in the music we write, but we also want it to be accessible and fun for the listener and concertgoer. Finding that happy medium can sometimes be the toughest part but it's one of the great joys of writing our own music.

One of the things that keeps your music interesting and exciting is while your primary focus is clearly on the funk/jazz side of the spectrum, there are also occasional flavors of rock. Where does this varietal spice come from?

Kevin: I think listening to an extremely wide range of styles helps us to draw on those influences and place some of that into our own sounds. Whether it’s conscious or not, it definitely comes through in all of our playing and writing. A Tribe Called Quest is a big influence in that regard, since they mold hip-hop with jazz, funk, rock, and more all into their sound.

Tyler Gwynn.

Tyler Gwynn.

Yet another thing that sets Envy Alo apart is the fact that not all of your stuff is strictly instrumental; you have some actual songs with well-written and interesting lyrics. What songwriters have influenced you?

Kevin: I’ve been listening to Jim Croce a good bit lately, and his lyrics are so well developed, funny, and his flow is so good. The obvious ones come to mind [too]: Lennon/McCartney, Jagger/Richards. I also love Jerry Joseph. The imagery in his writing is so strong and deep, you can tell he has really been through some shit and has a lot of demons and skeletons in his closet, so pulling on his writing is big for me.

Do your compositions come completely realized from individual band members, or are they more often group efforts?

Aaron: It’s a little bit of everything. A lot of earlier tunes came to be through us just jamming, liking something, and putting some structure to it. Recently, Kevin and I have been doing a lot of writing on our own, either chord structures or lyrics or both, and then we get together and finish it up with Tyler.

Listen to Envy Alo's debut EP One Time

I’m very excited for your performance at The Pamlico Sound’s Funkstravaganza show this Saturday. Can the audience expect any special treats from y’all at that performance?

Aaron: Yes! We will have some special treats in store. We are very excited to play our first show as Envy Alo at Cervantes’- it’s one of our favorite Denver venues!

What the hell does “Envy Alo” mean, anyway?

Aaron: It’s a play off of the Spanish word “envialo” which means “ship it”. It’s a term we use when we need to spur one of us to really rock something.

Kevin: Basically, we just replace every verb related to doing anything with “ship it”.

Watch Envy Alo's live performance of "Manic Depression":

I never could have figure that one out on my own! So what’s on the horizon for Envy Alo? Where do you see yourselves a year from now? Anything our readers should know about in advance?

Kevin: We have a summer full of dates we’re ready to announce soon, and we will be playing some of the bigger local venues too, so we’re pretty jazzed about that. We were just booked to play at a music festival in Taos, NM in September, which will be our first festival. Sometime in the fall, we plan on recording a full length album. We’ve been talking to Al Evans from Soulive about recording in his studio out East, so we have some pretty lofty goals. We’re ready to dive in headfirst and become the best and most unique band we can be!

So make sure to “ship it” with Envy Alo and all of the great funk bands on the Funkstravaganza lineup this Saturday at Cervantes! Keep up with Envy Alo on Facebook.

-Will

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 03/25 & 03/26

By: Hannah Oreskovich

One blizzard over and another on the way! Get out there for The Six:

Today (Friday 03/25):

BANDITS with Brandon Hagen and the Inquiry at The Lazy Dog in Boulder 10PM-Close

BANDITS.

BANDITS.

Fresh off a badass tour with several SXSW appearances, Boulder’s BANDITS are back in town kids! “Straddling the line between psychedelic and downright explosive”, this rockin’ three piece are bound to bring your head-bangin’ heart to its knees. Plus Boulder’s Brandon Hagen and the Inquiry will be opening the gig. So party down and get to this show at The Lazy Dog tonight! Details here.

Listen to BANDITS track “Wheels”:


Tomorrow (Saturday 03/26):

The Alcapones with Kyle Williams at Jamestown Mercantile Co. in Jamestown 730PM-Close

Boulder’s folkadelic six-piece The Alcapones are playing a show at one of our favorite mountain town venues, The Merc. They’ve promised to “cook up a special homegrown Spring Fling” for you, “party mountain freakk style”. So make the short drive in your well-equipped Subi and check out the show! PS: The Merc’s dinners are not to be missed…

Peep The Alcapones album Happy:

The Ugly Architect, Whiskey Autumn, & Michael McGraw at Downtown Artery in Fort Collins 8PM-Close

Whiskey Autumn.

Whiskey Autumn.

Join Boulder’s R&B/pop rock trio Whiskey Autumn at Downtown Artery with Colorado singer/songwriters The Ugly Architect and Michael McGraw tomorrow night. There’s a sweet printmaking exhibit up for view right now in the gallery and the venue has a tasty cafe attached. Sip on some wine, check out the art, and support these local musicians! Stoked. Tickets here.

Listen to Whiskey Autumn’s “07.04.07”:

Plum with The Velveteers and Josh Moorehead and the Guestlist at the Hi-Dive in Denver 9PM-Close

The Velveteers.

The Velveteers.

LA’s rock’n’roll four-piece Plum are hitting the Hi-Dive stage tomorrow with two of our favorite local acts, heavy rock duo The Velveteers and western swing outfit Josh Moorehead and the Guestlist. Now that’s a sweet lineup! We’re pumped for this one. Tickets here.

Press play on Plum’s Light Years, Dark Years:

Andrew Sturtz at The No Name Bar in Boulder 10PM-Close

Andrew Sturtz.

Andrew Sturtz.

Ladies- we know it’s cold out, but Andrew Sturtz is just the man to keep you warm tonight. And he’s playing one of our favorite digs, The No Name. The Boulder transplant by way of Michigan will be croonin’ to you all night with special guest Sierra Voss. Come get down with these two and a brew. Can’t wait!

Check out Sturtz’s live performance of “Push to Fade”:

The Jauntee with Envy Alo at The Lazy Dog in Boulder 10PM-Close

12240836_1684180398462858_5988264937030651819_o.jpg

Boston’s psychedelic/jazz/blues trio The Jauntee have a show in the B tomorrow evening. And getting the party started will be Boulder’s Envy Alo, who just dropped their sick debut EP this week! The four-song EP titled One Time is energetic and groovin’ from start to finish, complete with shredding guitar solos, wave-crashing cymbals, and jazzy piano bits. So come party with this crew as they celebrate their new release and support The Jauntee at the LD! It’s gonna be a funkin’ great time.

Check out Envy Alo’s debut EP One Time:

download.jpeg

PS: This week, our Sunday partnership with Green Light Radio and Streetside Productions will feature a track by Boulder’s Envy Alo in honor of their new EP release! Tune in to any of the Colorado Community Network Radio Stations here (95.3 or 95.5 Boulder) or stream Green Light between 9-10PM to catch an Envy Alo original courtesy of Rocky Flats!

See you in the snow.

-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 01/28, 01/29, & 01/30

By: Hannah Oreskovich

Though it’s not exactly the weekend yet, there were a couple of shows we thought deserved some spotlight tonight! And so we decided we’re starting our weekend one day early this week! Here’s our six:

Today (Thursday) 01/28:

Amoramora with Natural Motives at The Lazy Dog in Boulder 9PM-Close

12187773_535797189907251_6014881146191052398_n.jpg

These two Boulder-based bands will be jumping around the Lazy Dog stage tonight with a Big Lebowski-inspired set. When we asked Amoramora what this meant, they told us Ever wondered what it would be like to go to a concert where everyone is dressed up like characters from the Big Lebowski and are drinking only White Russians? Well this is your chance! The four-piece are a mountain-funk fusion jam with earth soul elements so we know you’re gonna love ‘em Boulder! And good vibe tribe openers Natural Motives will start the evening off with some sweet reggae rock beats. Check this show out!

Listen to an Amoramora original, “Rafiki’s Expedition”:

Pete Laffin at The No Name Bar in Boulder 10PM-Close

12525674_1211723058856574_3900110063239784181_o.jpg

Pete Laffin wears many hats in the Boulder music scene- as you probably read in our feature yesterday, he’s booking all music at Cafe Aion, he’s a contributor for our site, and he’s an accomplished musician himself. Laffin’s been playing around the Boulder scene for almost a decade now, with more than one Fox show under his belt. And tonight, he’s playing one of our favorite digs, The No Name! He’s promised “an eclectic mix of covers and originals” for tonight’s set. We can’t wait to check it out!

Learn more about Pete through his website here.

Tomorrow (Friday) 01/29

Tall Heights, Poet’s Row, & Paul Kimbiris at The Walnut Room in Denver 7PM-Close

Tall Heights. Photo Credit: Jeff Fasano

Tall Heights. Photo Credit: Jeff Fasano

The Walnut Room is hosting another amazing Homevibe lineup tomorrow night with touring Boston indie-folk duo Tall Heights, Denver’s folk four-piece Poet’s Row, and Boulder’s own singer songwriter Paul Kimbiris. We’ll actually be bringing you a more in-depth feature on this show tomorrow, but in the meantime get your tickets for this Homevibe event here.

And check out a Tall Heights track, “Spirit Cold” here.

Envy Alo at Taco Junky in Boulder 10PM-Close

Envy Alo at The Lazy Dog.

Envy Alo at The Lazy Dog.

Envy Alo, who we dropped an interview with recently, have a set at Taco Junky on The Hill tonight. The “old-school organ-trio jazz funk” group will be gettin’ groovy while you sip margs and dance! If you’ve kept up with the three-piece, you know they’ve been recording at KMG over the past couple of weeks with plans to drop an EP this spring! So go check ‘em out tonight- the way they’ve been booking around Boulder, they’re bound to be off touring before too long.

Watch EA’s live-performance of “Bobby's Big Boy Bars”:

The Next Day (Saturday) 01/30

The Fremonts at The No Name Bar in Boulder 10PM-Close

Boulder’s Americana duo The Fremonts dropped their self-titled EP last year, which we wrote about right here. Members Stephanie Dodd and Justin Badger have been busy since then, playing shows throughout the state and in Iowa, Nebraska, and New York. They recently entered NPR’s Tiny Desk Contest (watch their submission below) and they’ve got some cool new tunes to play for you at The No Name this weekend. So head for The Hill and give them a listen!

Watch The Fremont’s NPR Tiny Desk entry for their song “Echo”:

Soul Saturday with Let the Beat Speak at Connor O’Neill’s Irish Pub in Boulder 10PM-Close

Conor’s is hosting their first free Soul Saturday event this weekend. Performers include Dent (Zachary Wolff), Paige Sandusky, Dechen Hawk, Mikey Smith, Daniel Nash, Jon Frett, and Let the Beat Speak. The crew plans to make the walls melt with their rhythmic sounds, so go grab a drink and a dance partner and check this one out. We know you wanna grind.

Learn more about Let the Beat Speak here.

PS: This week, our Sunday partnership with Green Light Radio and Streetside Productions will feature a track by Boulder singer/songwriter Joseph Tonelli! He just dropped an animated music video for his song “My Situation” and we’ll be featuring that and more in an in-depth interview with Tonelli next week! So don’t forget to tune in between 9-10PM to 95.5 in Boulder Sunday night, or stream Green Light for a first listen of Tonelli’s “My Situation”.

That’s it B. See yah ‘round.

-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.

Why You Should "Ship It" Tonight at The Lazy Dog With Boulder's Envy Alo

By: Hannah Oreskovich

Ship it. Ship it good. 

If you take a smack of Booster, a sprinkle of Tenth Mountain Division, and toss in an accomplished guitarist who’s new to the Boulder scene, what Boulder band do you have? Envy Alo. Formed just a few months ago, members Aaron Pettine (keys) and Kevin Hinder (guitar) have actually known each other for years. They met while attending James Madison University in Virginia and then both moved to Boulder in the years following to pursue music. The two had wanted to form a project together for quite some time, so after linking up with Tenth Mountain Division’s Tyler Gwynn (drums), Envy Alo was born. The group has quickly become known for their “old-school organ-trio jazz funk and newer, heavier rock and fusion stylings.” And tonight, they’ve got a sweet gig at The Lazy Dog! So before you catch their funkadelic show this evening, read our chat with EA’s Aaron Pettine for the deets on the band:

We know that your trio formed last October, and that this is a new project for all three of you, so tell us a bit about what you’ve been working on since your inception.

We are so new that pretty much everything we are doing right now is a ‘new project’. [For our live shows] we are continuously writing new material while also coming up with our own takes on our favorite covers. We are very excited to be heading over to KMG Studios Boulder at the end of the month to record a 4-5 song EP. Because a big part of what we do is improvised live and in the moment, taking away that element and compressing things into this neat studio version is going to be a challenge. But it’s one that we are very much looking forward to tackling.

Righteous. When are you planning to drop that?

We are hoping to release that sometime in March or early April. We’ve got a lot of plans and goals for 2016 and are looking to expand our music and fan base while also performing as much as possible. We are in the early stages of planning a summer tour on the East Coast as well; roughly ten dates in late summer from VA to VT.

Kevin, Tyler, Aaron.

Kevin, Tyler, Aaron.

On the road is always a good place to be. That’s great! And we’ll keep an ear out for the EP. So we’re curious- what’s up with your name?

The short story is that it’s basically a play off of the Spanish word Envialo, which means ‘Ship It’. This has been a saying among the three of us, whenever we need to rock something or get something done, we’ll say “Ship It!”

Nice. Lots of plans to “Ship It” tonight we’re guessing?

Yes- The Lazy Dog is one of our favorite local venues and really a staple here in Boulder for the type of music we play, so we are beyond excited to play our first show there tonight. We’re also excited that we’re supporting a very badass Denver band, Cycles.

Sweet! So head over to The Lazy Dog tonight and get weird with Boulder’s Envy Alo! Keep up with all things EA here.

Watch Envy Alo perform their track "Hottentot" live:

-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 12/4, 12/5, & 12/6

By: Hannah Oreskovich

You sure have kept us busy this week Boulder! There have been so many performances and music happenings- and now it’s time for the weekend! Here are our picks:

Today (Friday, 12/04)

Derek Weiman and The Farmer Sister at The Laughing Goat 8PM-Close

For the ladies: Derek Weiman.

For the ladies: Derek Weiman.

Sometimes you just wanna ease into your weekend. We get that. But don’t Netflix and chill all night frand! Get out and check out Boulder’s Derek Weiman at The Laughing Goat tonight instead! You can sit down, drink some coffee, and enjoy Weiman and The Farmer Sisters bringing you sounds on vocals, guitar, and piano. Did we mention Weiman allegedly played Red Rocks at 12 years old with Santana? Yeah- that allegedly happened. This show is officially the perfect start to your evening.

Envy Alo at The No Name Bar 10PM-Close

Are you one of those music nerds who has to know what’s up with the newest of the new? Then tonight’s for you kid. Envy Alo, a supergroup comprised of members of Boulder’s Booster and Tenth Mountain Division, have joined together to bring you funk! And tonight is their debut show. So be that cool guy or gal telling everyone about the new group you just heard. Head to The No Name tonight.

Asalott at Bohemian Biergarten 11PM-Close

It’s hard to say whether or not it will be Asalott or das boot putting you in a trance tonight, but one thing’s for sure: it’s gonna be a realllll good one. This Boulder-based trio will be breaking beats and hearts on stage while you bust a move on the Biergarten dance floor. They’ve got a sweet set planned, so pencil them into your Friday night holmes. See yah there.

Tomorrow (Saturday, 12/5)

The Midnight Strange at Taco Junky 8PM-Close

Allegedly some of the members of The Midnight Strange.

Allegedly some of the members of The Midnight Strange.

We told you to go to the first Midnight Strange show back on Halloweekend and there was a reason Boulder: we really dig these boys. The Midnight Strange (formerly The Almond Butters) are rumored to have a lot of awesome new music written under their new moniker and they’ll be playing a ton of it for you tomorrow night. You can have it all: tacos, margaritas, and Jean du le Monde yelling at you from his drum kit. It’s gonna be a good one. Stop by the Junky.

Cold River City with Lula Granji and Tenth Mountain Division at The Fox Theatre 830PM-Close

Yes please Cold River City.

Yes please Cold River City.

Boulder’s own Cold River City are headlining The Fox for their third time and it’s going to be amazing folks. CRC, “the lovechild of funky soul and dirty blues,” are pumped to be playing a show at home and we’re told their set is going to be one of “the heaviest and best to date.” Boulder trio Lula Granji will be blasting you with some psychedelic jam rock after Boulder bluegrass/rockin’ funk group Tenth Mountain Division opens the show. It’s going to be a serious party. And we might even be bringing you some press on the event. Stay tuned.

The Next Day (Sunday, 12/6)

Willy Porter and Dave Tamkin at Shine Gathering Place 7PM-Close

Willy Porter rockin' out.

Willy Porter rockin' out.

Did we mention we’re partnering with Homevibe Presents to bring you some seriously awesome shows over the next few months? Well it’s happening. And Sunday is the first of the series! Willy Porter, the Wisconsin-bred singer-songwriter who has been touring internationally for 25 years with legends like Paul Simon and Jethro Tull, is playing Shine Sunday night. And Boulder-based musician Dave Tamkin, who will be playing some Chicago-fueled acoustic rock for your eardrums, is opening the show. Want more details? Then read our interview with these two here.

STACKED. This weekend is STACKED Boulder. Get out 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.