Winter Wondergrass 2018 Proved That Snow, Mountains, & Bluegrass Are The Perfect Festival Combo

By: Cy Fontenot

From frozen phalanges, to crashing on the floor like sardines, to uncontrollable laughter with some of the best friends you’ll ever make, Winter Wondergrass festival sure does attract a certain type of person, the ones who are willing to battle the cold and rally in the name of live music. If I learned anything at the fest, it’s that the combination of snow, mountains, and bluegrass create the best situational cocktail for bringing people together. As if the snowy mountains of Steamboat, Colorado didn’t do that already, add a little bluegrass and some Dale’s Pale Ale to the mix and there you have it: a wonderful freakin’ time.

Greensky Bluegrass.

Greensky Bluegrass.

The festival kicked off beautifully with Liver Down the River, who played just one note before and snow began! After being thoroughly pumped up by their funkadeligrass music, the crowd was serenaded by Trout Steak Revival who kept the music flowing into the evening, when Liver played yet another rockin’ set. The Wooks kept the energy alive for the Brad Parsons Band to wrap up the Wondergrass pre-party. As the night wound to a close, festies retreated to a set downtown by Colorado jamtronica up-and-comers Evanoff, who delivered a high energy dance party to cap the night off right.

John Stickley Trio.

John Stickley Trio.

Friday immediately started off with party vibes as we festival-goers made our way downtown for a delicious breakfast at Johnny B Good’s Diner, followed by smooth liquors at Steamboat Whiskey Company. After getting properly buzzed up, we made our way into the festival grounds where we were greeted by the Jon Stickley Trio, who had been joined on stage by some all-star special guests.

After a beautiful Steamboat sunset, Elephant Revival took the stage for an emotionally evocative set, playing whilst fireworks were shot from the ski hill above. For me, this remains one of the most perfect and beautiful moments of the weekend, and since the band are going on hiatus in just a few short months, it was even more special.

Grantful Dead Revue.

Grantful Dead Revue.

Just when it seemed the night couldn’t get more beautiful, Yonder Mountain took the stage, and so did the snow! After their heartfelt set, I made my way to the the gondolas and took a ride up to the top with some beautiful humans to catch the Grantful Dead Revue, where Tyler Grant had more than a few things to say with his fretboard. I think everyone agreed there was no better way to finish off the night than gettin’ down to some Dead tunes.

Fruition.

Fruition.

Saturday began with the infamous Bacon Jam, which took place in an absolutely gorgeous house on top of a mountain. Upon arrival guests were greeted by snowballs drunkenly lobbed from a hot tub. After entering the house I found great vibes, unlimited bacon, and WonderGrass all-stars pickin’ up a storm! After the Bacon Jam and a much needed nap, I made my way to the festival to see The Lil Smokies kick the afternoon into high gear. The Smokies were followed by Fruition, who had a perfect sunset set that sent the crowds partying into the night.

Next to the stage was the amazing Greensky Bluegrass, who played one of the most captivating sets of the weekend. As they plucked their last notes, I headed over to the Grand Ballroom, where Leftover Salmon, who were warming up for their killer Sunday night set. Paul Hoffman joined in midway through the set and the night went on ‘til morning.

Billy Strings.

Billy Strings.

Quick-trigger new kid on the block Billy Strings kicked off the mainstage Sunday afternoon with something to say. With outstanding vocals and masterfully edgy guitar skills, Billy brought the energy the crowd needed to power through the last day of this incredible festival.

As day turned to night, the people of Wondergrass reached a new level of love, intoxication, and anticipation as Leftover Salmon geared up to close out the fest. I have to give it to Leftover Salmon- out of all the amazing music I had the pleasure of experiencing this weekend, their capstone performance takes the cake as my most enjoyed set of Winter Wondergrass.

Leftover Salmon.

Leftover Salmon.

WWG was sold-out this year, proving people seem to really love Bluegrass in the winter. If you’re ready for round two, get your tickets to Winter WonderGrass in Squaw Valley, CA happening April 6th-8th here!

Check out our festival gallery from this event here!

-Cy

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.

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.

KMG's Recent Zonnefest Hosted Spectacular Talent & Killer Tunes

By: Clinton Henderson

The KMG Studio Music Showcase continued to impress in its second manifestation last week. The fest is a free mini-show put on by KMG Studios on the last Thursday of every month which showcases bands and musicians for thirty minutes per set. May’s show (affectionately called the Zonnefest by many because it is organized by KMG’s Mitchael Zonnefeld) featured Nite Owls, Amoramora, Lady and the Gentlemen, The Last Minute Band, and Technicolor Tone Factory. Last week, the June lineup consisted of Andrew Sturtz and Sierra Voss, Boulder Sound Lab, Shantyman & The Speakeasies, The Last Minute Band, and Sixty Minute Men. Although the show started nearly an hour late, the music was once again stupendous! There wasn’t a bar... but what’s a boy to do?

The showcase stage at KMG. Photo per the author. 

The showcase stage at KMG. Photo per the author. 

KMG owner Greg Kimble introduced the first performer of the night, Andrew Sturtz, who was accompanied with harmonies by BolderBeat’s very own Sierra Voss. The crowd was told in Kimble’s intro how Sturtz had actually been busking on Pearl Street when Kimble happened to hear him. Kimble asked him to drop by the studio, immediately recognizing Sturtz’s talent, and Kimble was spot on; if anything he was slightly reserved in the praise Andrew deserved for his singing. On songs like “Changing by the Second”, a cover of The Beatles’ “You Got To Hide Your Love Away”, and a tune called “Southern Night”, Andrew sang wonderfully soulful and heartfelt folk music that was beautifully optimistic and melancholy all at once. His falsettos were stunning and the harmonies that Sierra sang filled out the duo’s sound. Sturtz’s original, “Bosnia”, conveyed a peaceful sense of loss, “Avalon” was a new song that captured imagination, and a cover of Marcy Playground’s “Sex and Candy” completely re-imagined the original to highlight the quality of Strutz’s vocal range. Keep an eye out for Andrew and Sierra, who occasionally still play on Pearl Street, gig often at at The No Name Bar, and play other spots in Boulder/Denver.

Following that duo was Boulder Sound Lab, a funky group with goofy tendencies. Their first song, “Jeffery the Bagman”, was written by the band’s saxophonist, Lyle Wilner. It had a definite James Brown influence to it before it evolved into a far more spacey jam. Their second song was an instrumental bit that featured strange scales/licks that moved from raw funk to a more rocking-roll funk with driving energy, shredding guitar, and wonderful two-guitar and saxophone harmonies. Their final song, “Muffin Top”, paraphrased the theme from “The Pink Panther” at the beginning and then evolved into a major-key jam. Overall, BSL were a very positive, upbeat, and optimistic jam band with a party-funk sound fueled by members that are each excellent at their instruments. They write their own music and if you want a grand funky time, catch them this Friday, July 8th at Boulder House.

Andrew Sturtz & Sierra Voss. Photo Credit: Mitchael Zonnefeld

Andrew Sturtz & Sierra Voss. Photo Credit: Mitchael Zonnefeld

Next was Shantyman and the Speakeasies. From the get-go, this band had me thinking of Sublime mixed with the Grateful Dead, thanks to their  song “Cherry Pie”, a loose Wah funk sound. This is your standard Colorado jam band, and that’s a good thing in spite of all odds. The bass was funky played through a synth, the two guitarists played some awesome licks and sang harmonies, and their savage drummer was also singing. Their entire set was a groovy good time.

Featured last month at the first showcase, and in the same slot this month for this showcase was KMG’s house band, The Last Minute Band. This is a “Holy-Sh*t-Did-I-Just-Witness-That?” sort of band. With two Grammy nominated musicians in the group, The Last Minute Band will leave your jaw on the floor every time they play. Covers like “Feelin’ Good”, “Respect”, and “I Want You Back” showcased the band’s astounding talent. Greg Kimble hit impressive falsettos in spite of being sick, Ashley Kisner and Cayla Kimble shredded energetic vocals, Mitchael Zonnefeld held a great groove on bass, Zack Markle burned the keys, Chalo Ortiz absolutely amazed on the guitar, Angel Adams played a magnificent saxophone, and Motown played otherworldly drums. The group finished their set with a pulsing, driving tune aptly called “Party” and a song dedicated to Greg’s mother called “Rollin’”, a beautiful, determined bluesy song, followed by a spot-on cover of “Signed, Sealed, Delivered”.

Shantyman and the Speakeasies. Photo Credit: Mitchael Zonnefeld

Shantyman and the Speakeasies. Photo Credit: Mitchael Zonnefeld

Sixty Minute Men finished out the night. They’re a funky, soulful, prog-rock band. Their burning sax player wrote the tune “Groove Shoes”, which played exactly how the title sounds: it gets you moving. Another song, “Heartbreaker”, was a ripping rocker with some excellent rhythmic stops that kept the audience popping. Other tracks featured beautiful, loving melodies that will have your heart racing when you hear them play. This group plays next in Boulder July 23rd at Souther Sun

All said, the second KMG Showcase, aka the Zonnefest, was a success. Each of the performers were excellent and showed the varied talent that can be found in Boulder, as well as the community that KMG is adding to the already vibrant Colorado music scene. You can learn more about KMG’s studio options here. And you should definitely come out to the next KMG showcase, the third Thursday (July 21st) of this month!

-Clinton

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

The Weekend Six: Six Shows to See 04/22 & 04/23

By: Hannah Oreskovich

Less snow. More shows. Here’s to the weekend!

Today (Friday 04/22):

Billy Shaddox Band at Vindication Brewing in Boulder 530PM-Close

Billy shaddox.

Billy shaddox.

We love easing our way into the weekend. And tonight you can do just that with Billy Shaddox and his band at Vindication! A Boulder transplant by way of California, Shaddox has been playing shows around the Front Range for awhile now. Last summer, he released the LP I Melt, I Howl, produced and engineered by Sam Kassirer (Josh Ritter, Lake Street Dive, Langhorne Slim). We will actually be dropping an exclusive feature on Shaddox soon, so that’s all we’ll say for now! Start your Friday early and get to this show!

Check out Shaddox’s track “Let You Go”:

Midnight Strange at The No Name Bar in Boulder 10PM-Close

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When the strange play the bar things get… more than strange. You never know what this indie country outfit will do when they hit the stage! But they always bring a hollerin’, dancin’ party, so you best make your way on over to the bar with no name. It’s gonna be a grand ‘ol time, yah hear?

Listen to The Midnight Strange’s live performance of “Ed Sentcha”:

Punch Drunk Munkey Funk with Boulder Sound Lab at The Lazy Dog in Boulder 10PM-Close

Punch Drunk Munkey Funk.

Punch Drunk Munkey Funk.

Fort Collin’s PDMF are making their way to the B for a super funky set tonight with Boulder’s “transcendental brain massage therapy” five-piece, BSL. There will be jazz, there will be funk, there will be disco, there will be mambo, and there will be a party. That’s a guarantee. So head over and check out this crazy time!

Listen to Punch Drunk Munkey Funk’s “Montuna”:

Tomorrow (Saturday 04/23):

The Farmer Sisters at Jamestown Mercantile Co. Cafe in Jamestown 7PM-Close

The Farmer Sisters.

The Farmer Sisters.

If The Beach Boys taught us anything, it’s that siblings can harmonize like no one else. And Jamestown’s got some of those sweet harmonies happening tomorrow night thanks to The Farmer Sisters. With their voices, an acoustic guitar, and their playful stage presence, the duo will have you hushed and captivated in no time. And c’mon the Merc is the best, so make your way up the mountain tomorrow!

Watch The Farmer Sisters live performance of “No Apologies” for Front Range Explorer:

Cycles with Terrapin Flyer featuring Melvin Seals at Quixote’s True Blue in Denver 9PM-Close

Cycles.

Cycles.


Terrapin Flyer, one of the country’s most prominent Grateful Dead tribute bands, is taking the stage at Quixote’s tonight. The group has actually had several GD/Jerry Garcia Band members as part of their collective at various times, and tonight Melvin Seals is one such player. He’ll be joining the jammin’ band for a night of psychedelic transportation. And speaking of psychedelic, Denver’s psych/rock trio Cycles will be sharing the room on the side stage. It’s going to be an awesome mashup of sounds tomorrow night, so make your way to the True Blue.

Watch Cycles debut music video for their song “Soulf*ckah”:


Both Nights (04/22 & 04/23):

FoCoMX: Fort Collins Music Experiment Festival in Fort Collins


The annual FoCoMX fest is this weekend, and showcases talent mostly from Fort Collins, with a few other Colorado bands sprinkled in. With shows packed into more than 25 venues over the course of two days, there will be something for just about everyone! You can view the full lineup here and get your wristbands at this link. Maybe if you’re lucky, Slowcaves will let you crash on their couch after their set...

BCFM

Boulder County Farmers Market is every Saturday from 10AM-2PM. We’re working closely with BCFM to promote the music at the market, and this week, acoustic act Left Hand Market Boys will be playing near your favorite vegetables. Stop by to hear their strings and songs and grab some local treats from one of the many delicious vendors near the band!

GREEN LIGHT RADIO

This week, our Sunday partnership with Green Light Radio and Streetside Productions will feature a track by Boulder’s Billy Shaddox. The talented singer/songwriter just sat down for an interview at David’s Desk, so we’ll be dropping that for you soon. Hopefully you’re planning to catch his show at Vindication this weekend (see above)! Make sure to tune in to any of the Colorado Community Network Radio Stations here (95.3 or 95.5 Boulder) or stream Green Light Sunday night between 9-10PM to catch Shaddox’s track “I Melt, I Howl”.

See you in the sun!

-Hannah

Follow Hannah on twitter and instagram.

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

If you're looking for a weird night out, this could be it Boulder.

By: Hannah Oreskovich

For the deadheads. 

You trippin'.

You trippin'.

I don’t know why I didn’t anticipate the Grateful Dead following I’ve found here in Boulder. I know Colorado loves a good jam band- people are still insisting on telling me about their experience at that Phish show at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park last month. And don’t worry- if you missed out, Phish are actually rolling back through Colorado for double nights at The Fillmore in November.

But yes. Colorado loves a good jam band. So it should have made sense that I’d find a collective of Deadheads in Boulder. And with the semi-recent opening of Owsley’s Golden Road on The Hill, it’s obvious there is a demand for the eclectic style of zee dead, “which fused elements of country, folk, bluegrass, blues, reggae, rock, improvisational jazz, psychedelia, space rock. . . and instrumental jams.” And so Deadheads, this one’s for you. If you f*cking love jam bands, if you f*cking love space rock, if you f*cking love acid, then I’ve got two fine options for you tonight in Boulder:

1. The Dark Star Orchestra is playing the Boulder Theater tonight and you can go for $25. The DSO has been playing shows together for 17 years to “continue the Grateful Dead concert experience.” They’ve played small venues, giant festivals, and they even have their own gathering (of course) called The Dark Star Jubilee. Their set list will be comprised of songs throughout the Grateful Dead’s 30 years of touring, so you’ll get a little taste of all the magic. And if you happen to miss this (or you just want more), at the end of the month, two members of the DSO will play a show with their sons at Owsley’s, which you can read more about here. The fun starts at 8PM tonight kids.

Artwork at Owsley's.

Artwork at Owsley's.

 

2. Do you remember drinking purple vodka s*hit at The Goose? Well you can’t do that anymore, bro. What was once the Goose is now Owsley’s Golden Road in Boulder, a Grateful Dead-themed bar named after the famous sound engineer and LSD cook, Owsley Stanley. This actually completes a trio of Denver/Boulder based Grateful Dead bars for owner Jay Bianchi. You have probably been to Quixote’s True Blue and Sancho’s Broken Arrow if you love Owsley’s. In fact, allegedly, there are actually groups of people who just party between the three spots living out of their vans on a very consistent basis. But look the point is, tonight The Jive Tribe is playing Owsley’s and you could go check that out my dear Deadheads. The Jive Tribe are a Denver-based jam band and their show will hit Owsley’s stage from 7-11PM.

So go get tab it, you jam-band loving Boulderites.

-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.