"When Your Axe is at its Sharpest, it's Time to Lay it Down." - Wild Faith Serenades Longmont at Rosalee's Pizzeria

By: Moriel O'Connor

If you are searching for the sounds of music, you will strike gold in Boulder, Colorado. The Pearl Street Mall is well-dressed in street performers, everflowing fountains, sculptures over sandstone, and manicured beds of marigolds, daisies and tulips. You are almost certain to stumble upon a wandering musician. Some pass by; some choose to listen. This is where I met Leonardo Armigo of Wild Faith

Wild Faith.

Wild Faith.

With long curls, a sweet smile and a guitar in hand, he played for the people of Pearl Street busking. After catching him up and down the road, he invited me to his recent show at Rosalee's Pizzeria in Longmont, Colorado.

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Leo is a storyteller with impeccable rhythm and musical talent. His songs show an appreciation for sacred places and all aspects of nature, including the human experience and all its vulnerabilities. While he sings, passion rings through his voice and medicine moves through his fingers. Wild Faith is rooted in the Southwest, with Apache, Comanche, Spanish and  Mediterranean ancestry. Leo has been performing for over 15 years. He recently traveled through Peru and brought back stories to sing. Throughout his performance, Leo spoke for the land with lyrics and reminders such as:

"The example we set is the destruction we heal."

"When you're axe is at its sharpest, it's time to lay it down."

"When there is wonder, there is a way."

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Wild Faith donates 50% of his album sales to Amazon Watch, a nonprofit dedicated to protecting the Amazon rainforest and the rights and cultures of the indigenous. You can support the Amazon and purchase Wild Faith's album, The Longest Journey- An Acoustic Experience here. Find him at Arise Festival in Loveland, Colorado this August and Tribal Visions in Taos, New Mexico this September. If you're lucky, you might even hear his heart songs on Boulder’s Pearl Street. 

Keep up with Wild Faith here

-Moriel

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.

From Check-In to Check-Out, Hotel Boulderado Provides Luxury Amenities, Historic Charm & Amazing Entertainment

By: Hannah Oreskovich

From check-in to check-out, Hotel Boulderado has all the bases covered for an amazing stay: beautiful rooms built for comfort and charm, a formal and fresh dining experience at Spruce Farm & Fish, poppin’ energy at The Corner Bar, and a nightlife scene of curated cocktails, boot-stomping shows, and skeeball at License No. 1.

Hotel Boulderado.

Hotel Boulderado.

Opened on New Year’s Eve 1908, Hotel Boulderado stands as the first luxury hotel built in Boulder, Colorado. Now a City of Boulder landmark and a member of Historic Hotels of America, the five-story brick building was originally designed by local architects William Redding & Son. Featuring a stunning stained glass lobby ceiling, rich woodwork on every floor, and both modern and classic furniture pieces throughout the property, there’s no doubt the Hotel Boulderado has maintained its luxurious aesthetic over the years.

The author in Hotel Boulderado’s lobby.

The author in Hotel Boulderado’s lobby.

Last weekend, I had the opportunity to stay in the hotel’s Historic King Suite, which features Victorian-era decor, a spacious sitting area with amenities like fresh spring water, and plush Boca bathrobes perfect for winding down your day. The floral wallpaper, iron headboard, and soft colors of the room add to the suite’s beautiful decor details while the room’s vintage desk area allowed me to get some much needed work done before exploring the rest of my stay.

The floral victorian-era decor of the Historic King Suite’s sitting room.

The floral victorian-era decor of the Historic King Suite’s sitting room.

Beyond their stellar room accommodations, Hotel Boulderado houses three incredible businesses under their one roof: Spruce Farm & Fish, The Corner Bar, and speakeasy License No. 1. After checking in and touring the property, I stopped by Spruce to make a reservation for dinner. There wasn’t an empty seat in the farm-to-table restaurant. With a little time before my reservation, I headed to The Corner Bar’s patio for a pre-dinner drink. Located just off of Boulder’s iconic Pearl Street Mall, the bar’s patio area allowed for ample people-watching. Inside, several patrons watched the Denver Nuggets game on television; others were crowded at tables sampling the spot’s small plates, burgers, and beers. A mix of hotel guests and locals, The Corner Bar served as an excellent start to my evening.

Spruce Farm & Fish let me know my table was ready about 30 minutes in to my Corner Bar stop, so I finished my Cabernet and headed to dinner. Though the Corner Bar shares some of the more casual eats from Spruce, Spruce offers an extensive seasonal menu with items you can’t find anywhere else. I sampled the Blue Crab Cakes appetizer (delightful and paired with citrus), the Sweet Pea & Mint Linguini (phenomenally fresh with a soft poached egg and delectable English peas), and the Crème Brûlée (a tasty rich custard with fresh berries and a perfectly caramelized top). The wait staff was exceptionally friendly and willing to talk through recommendations while also providing an opulent dining experience.

After dinner, I wandered downstairs to the hotel’s nightlife joint: License No. 1. There is an entrance from the hotel lobby, so guests never have to leave the property. Alternatively, the spot also has an entrance on 13th Street, a run which features several other Boulder bars. Though License No. 1 is perfectly located for a night of bar hopping Boulder’s downtown, there is so much to do inside of its beautiful brick walls that I never left. Along with its more formal seating rooms, the speakeasy also features a game area replete with a pool table, darts, skee ball, and a photo booth. Partnered with great live music in the venue’s listening room, I was constantly entertained by everything there was to do at License No. 1.

Banshee Tree.

Banshee Tree.

Known as the place where Boulder’s first liquor license was issued, License No. 1 features live music every Thursday-Saturday. Saturdays typically showcase Boulder’s Banshee Tree, a talented four-piece who blur the lines between funk, blues, and gypsy jazz. Comprised of Thom LaFond (vocals, guitar, piano), Jason Bertone (upright bass, shouting), Nick Carter (violin, fiddle, hollering), and Michelle Pietrafitta (vocals, drums), Banshee Tree’s skillful instrumentals and strong rhythm section had an entire room of 50+ people boogieing from wall to wall during my visit. It proved impossible to make my way to the front for photos, so I danced near the back before eventually finding a seat to sip one of the bar’s specialty cocktails, the Boulder Mule. Served in a copper mug, the delightfully refreshing drink is a combination of vodka, St. George pear liqueur, house ginger cordial, and vanilla ginger syrup perfect for summer. License No. 1 has an entire book of custom cocktails, some spirit-heavy; others floral focused or sweet. Much like everywhere else I’d been at Hotel Boulderado, the staff were friendly and enjoyed talking about the menu’s different drink options.

As Banshee Tree continued on, the crowd only grew larger. Formed in upstate New York, Banshee Tree have been living and playing across the Front Range now for years. They’ve played a number of Colorado music festivals, so catching them in the intimate environment that is License No. 1 is a serious treat! The band call themselves a “diverse blend of dance and improvisational styles,” making them easy to groove to or just interesting to hear if you aren’t the dancing type. Banshee Tree’s tunes feature long instrumental stretches, giving patrons ample time to stomp around. Each member of the band is equally skilled at their instrument(s), so songs featured guitar, standup bass, and fiddle solos while Pietrafitta kept up the dancey drum backbone of the tracks. The band broke their night up into two long sets, so during their intermission I had time to explore the venue’s gaming area and snap some shots in the License No. 1 photo booth. Banshee Tree had patrons bouncing well past the midnight hour and since the crew is jetting on tour soon, so I highly recommend catching a show near you this spring!

The historic check-in area at Hotel Boulderado.

The historic check-in area at Hotel Boulderado.

As the night came to an end, I wandered back to my room for a sweet surprise. The Boulderado offers a turn-down service in the evenings, complete with a gift of chocolate truffles from local chocolatier Lift Chocolate. Needless to say, I capped my night with the Grand Marnier and Raspberry truffle selection before drifting off to a very comfortable rest.

No matter the vibe you’re looking for in your next Boulder stay, Hotel Boulderado has something for everyone with an unparalleled excellence in dining, nightlife, and accomodations. Whether you’re booking for business, a wedding, or for pleasure, their staff aim for every guest to have a personalized and elegantly hospitable stay from start to finish. Their lavish amenities are the perfect perk, and historically, there is nothing else like Hotel Boulderado in town.

Hotel Boulderado is offering two special experiences with your stay this spring: the Downtown Boulder Shopping package and the romantic Colorado Clear Skies Stargazing package. To book the Historic King Suite I stayed in, or to see the hotel’s other suites, visit this link. Learn more about Hotel Boulderado here.

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists or venues featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat. This feature is partially syndicated and some pieces originally appeared as part of a series on blondontherun.com.

Boulder's Jeremy Mohney Quartet Celebrates New EP

By: Claire Woodcock

Jeremy Mohney and friends dropped a new hot jazz EP and it's superb.

Long time Boulder-based jazz artist Jeremy Mohney is back, with a new EP and a whole quartet of players. It’s called Get Dancin' and it’s coming out this Saturday, May 7th. On this release, Mohney and his band play to their strengths; the rules of jazz standard, the swing influences genuine. Each mix is saturated strategically, as not to swallow any instruments, but rather, create unity among the players.

The Jeremy Mohney Quartet.

The Jeremy Mohney Quartet.

On “Get Dancin’”, the title track off Mohney’s new self-release, it’s hard not to get up and dance. There is no drum kit on this EP, though a hint of snare can be heard on this track. With Matt Cantor strumming on nylon and Alex Heffron jamming on electric, the pair dance like magnets through the song’s midsection.

There’s a heavy Armstrong influence partying out on “You Got It”, the EP’s starter track, with the horn charging the beat. Bassist Gary Sloan adds an electric energy with his horn solo. Endearing rhymes, guaranteed to make even the purists of jazz artists’ heart sing, pair well with a bebop falling bassline. Mohney purposefully plays up the blue notes, making a statement for standard contemporary hot jazz that reverberates throughout the recording.

“You’re Not Blue No More”, a song you might hear in the background on Fallout 4, is one track I always look forward to hearing on shuffle. The mix sounds well EQed, with much of the body toned down to make room for a hot clarinet and trombone reverb. Although there’s a slight repetition in word choice in the lyrics, there’s no damage. This is hands-down my favorite.

Jeremy Mohney.

Jeremy Mohney.

“It’s No More” is a romantic jazz ballad reminiscent of a more contemporary influence, Michelle by The Beatles. Mohney’s swanky vocals end in trills as he fades out of the vibrato, which creates a pretty suave effect. Cantor and Sloan rock a militant bassline that trudges on with style and ease, a style that’s showcased by all the quartet’s players through a reverberant room-tone.

Overall, Mohney’s newest release is Boulder sophistication to the beat. The group is tight, yet improvisational, with each player getting his moment. The arrangements are short and sweet, with a kick. I definitely recommend celebrating with The Jeremy Mohney Quartet’s Get Dancin' release party on the Pearl Street Mall this Saturday, May 7 at 4 PM.

Your feet will not feel blue- I promise.

-Claire

Connect with me on instagram.

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

Boulder's Asalott: Exploring Musical Worlds

By: Will Baumgartner

Oh you trancey, huh?

Boulder-based group Asalott (pronounced Ocelot, like the wild cat) is led by the quietly unassuming local genius of the hammered dulcimer, Forrest Lotterhos. The hammered dulcimer, a rarely seen instrument capable of complex patterns of rhythm, melody, and harmony is what Lotterhos composes Asalott’s songs with. The group then takes these compositions and adds some electronics, various acoustic and electric drums, and an electric bass played in an unusual way. The resulting music is like a swirling, sometimes meditative, sometimes ecstatic rhythmic journey to strange and exotic worlds.

Asalott's Forrest Lotterhos behind the hammered dulcimer. 

Asalott's Forrest Lotterhos behind the hammered dulcimer. 

Asalott grew out of a collaboration in 2013 between Lotterhos and drummer Cody Hart (of Boulder funk-rock band Cold River City). Depending mostly on the venue in which they’re performing, their shows range from the quietly introspective to all-out explosions of polyrhythmic dance music. And while they perform in different configurations from duo to trio to quartet, they pack the biggest punch in their full quartet form. So if you’re more into the gentle dreamy feel, catching them as a duo or trio might be more your cup of green tea, but if you really love to dance, best to go to a show where they’ve got the full arsenal going. I recently had the opportunity to sit down with Lotterhos to find out more about Asalott, and their hypnotically irresistible sound.

Forrest- your Facebook page describes your music as "tribal breakbeat". Can you expand on what that term means to you?

Many people ask us what genre of music Asalott is, and that’s a difficult question to answer because of our unique instrumentation. Breakbeat is typically used to describe electronic, trance, or drum and bass music with heavy percussive influence. Three out of four of our instruments are percussion instruments and though we don’t utilize any electronic production, our sound takes on an electronic music feel and a tribal quality with danceable beats, and a trance-like quality with the hammered dulcimer riffs.

Matty Schelling on the beats. 

Matty Schelling on the beats. 

I've been a fan of your hammered dulcimer playing since you used to come into Burnt Toast, the legendary restaurant on the Hill that was home-away-from-home for so many artists, musicians and poets. At that time, you performed solo. How did this project come together as a band, and when? 

I’ve been performing [on the] hammered dulcimer both solo and in various bands in the Boulder and Denver areas since 2008. Burnt Toast was the beginning for me. In 2013 I reconnected with Cody Hart and we began busking on Pearl Street and playing shows as a duo with my hammered dulcimer and his cajon. It was an instant connection and success. We didn’t even have to practice; it came together on the spot. By taking my solo compositions and developing them with Cody’s drum rhythms, [our music] started to take on a new life.

Matty Schelling was a mutual friend and fellow percussionist who joined the group in early 2014, bringing in electronic drum pads and auxiliary percussion. About a month or so after Matty joined us, Joe Braun [came aboard] with his uniquely unhinged bass guitar. Together, the four of us have been playing shows in Boulder since the fall of 2014. We’re still in our early stages, refining our sound and our compositions, but with such eclectic instruments and improvisational roots, we always seem to put on a great show. 

I hear a lot of different styles within the Asalott sound, some of which I can't readily identify. What musical traditions and artists would you say have influenced you most? 

As individuals, we all have different and varying influences, but collectively, we have been influenced by electronic musicians and producers who integrate acoustic sounds and live instruments such as Emancipator, Bonobo, Shigeto, Govinda, and Beats Antique.

Personally, I was influenced at a young age from folk, bluegrass, and old-time music. In my teens I began to listen to a lot of progressive and indie rock bands like The Mars Volta, who utilized complex drum rhythms. In my twenties, I got into listening to and producing electronic and hip-hop music. My hammered dulcimer playing is, at its core, harmonically rich in folk and traditional Irish music and simultaneously rhythmically complex with ever-expanding patterns, taking on a progressive and trance-like persona. I also have to give a shout-out to legendary hammered dulcimer player Jamie Janover, who I saw perform with Zilla back in 2007 and then again at Burning Man in 2009 with Lynx. His integration of live hammered dulcimer with EDM production really inspired me to take my dulcimer playing to another level, and I began to write my own compositions and expand out into playing with different bands and exploring various genres. Needless to say, there is a convergence of many musical styles in Asalott.

Lotterhos, Hart, & Schelling. 

Lotterhos, Hart, & Schelling. 

You've got a great group of players in this project, including drummer Cody Hart of Cold River City and Matty Schelling of Whiskey Autumn. Can you tell me a little about each member, their instruments, and how they fit into the overall sound and feel of Asalott? 

I play the hammered dulcimer, and depending on the show, a Nord synthesizer. The dulcimer is the lead instrument in our band, and most of the compositions center around it. It has a harmonic resonance unlike any instrument, and as a percussion instrument, it sets up the rhythmic cadence for the songs. 

Cody Hart plays two different sized cajons, which are often heard in Flamenco and Afro-Peruvian music. Cody brings a fat bass downbeat and an abundance of rich tones that characterize [his instrument]. Cody closely follows and supports the complex rhythmic patterns of the dulcimer while upping the dance factor. 

Matty Schelling plays electronic drum pads and adds a little vocal flair into the mix. With different Nord percussion synthesizers, Matty is able to add infinite variations of drum sounds. Matty ups the danceability of Asalott with his hip-hop inspired rhythms. Without using computer based production, we are able to achieve a live electronic drum beat that further amps and supports the rhythmic patterns [of our sound].

Joe Braun plays a traveling electric bass that he has rigged to a desk. He he either strums it or uses a viola bow to produce droning, often orchestral sounds. He also provides non-lyrical chanting vocals, using his voice as an instrument in itself. Joe brings and amplifies the contemplative nature of the sound, playing bass lines and singing vocal riffs that hold and lift the dulcimer melodies to another level.

When you play a show, what do you hope the audience will do, feel, and take away from the performance? 

We play shows at a lot of different venues around Boulder. We cater to the space and audience, sometimes deciding to play acoustic duo shows at small venues and coffee shops. When we play larger venues, we bring the whole band and up the energy level. We love when people dance and move to the music. That’s definitely one of our goals [at our shows].

Regardless of the venue or the size of the audience, we all deeply feel that the music we create is heart-expansive at the core and mind-expansive in its complexity. People have told us at shows that our music captivated them in a profound way, sparked feelings of joy, and deepened their connection with themselves and the people around them. We really want people to have a great time: whether they dance, have a spiritual experience, or just chill and listen, we want them to take away an experience that resonates with them and that they remember.

What are your long term plans for Asalott, and what's happening next? 

We recently recorded and are about to release an album of acoustic duo music. It will be six compositions featuring Cody and myself. We also just submitted a video to NPR’s Tiny Desk Contest, which was named one of the top ten entries in Colorado.

We are planning to go back into the studio and track out songs with the whole band soon too. That will be a bigger project with more production involved. We want to play festivals this summer and some larger venues in the Boulder and Denver areas by the end of the year.

Tonight, you can catch us at our home-base, The No Name Bar at 10PM.

Details for the show tonight can be found here.

Watch Asalott’s Tiny Desk submission video:

-Will

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

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

By: Pete Laffin

Paul Kimbiris' newest release is his best work yet. 

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

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

paul kimbiris.

paul kimbiris.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

-Pete

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

The Weekend Six: Six Shows to See 08/07 & 08/08

By: Hannah Oreskovich

Hey friends! We’ve been a bit absent on the scene this week working on some cool upcoming features, but you know we’re all about weekend shows, so here’s where to be the next two nights:

Today (Friday 08/07):

Augustus at Twisted Pine Brewing Co. 7PM-Close

We’ve got a piece hitting the site next week courtesy of Pete Laffin on these boys and their new EP Into Frames! Go peep this show, listen to their new tunes, and check back with us Monday to read Pete’s latest on Augustus!

Bateria Alegria at The Pearl Street Mall 730PM

The Colorado Brazil Fest is bringing some awesome Samba percussion to the Mall this evening. There will be music and dance performances by Boulder Samba School’s Bateria Alegria and Samba Colorado right in front of the Courthouse. Their drums will get your heart beating so stop by!

Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats at The Fox Outdoor Stage 9PM-????

Rateliff has been a Denver-based singer-songwriter for many moons now. But recently, he has picked up mad steam with his group The Night Sweats (peep their performance on Jimmy Fallon this week here, for which they got a standing ovation). They have an amazing folk/rock/R&B thing happening, and believe us when we say that NR & The Night Sweats are one of the biggest bands to be watching out for right now. We have a feeling they are going to jet off into some serious fame here soon. Tonight’s performance is free. Come hang with the cool kids. 

NR dancing with Fallon.

NR dancing with Fallon.

The War on Drugs at The Fox Theatre 830PM-Close

Though they aren’t local, this is going to be an amazing Fox show. These Philly boys will be heartland-rocking you deep into the night, and though the show is a bit pricey, you won’t be disappointed. Start with Rateliff and end with Granduciel? Yes please.

Tomorrow (Saturday 08/08):

Foxfeather at The Laughing Goat Coffeehouse 8PM-Close

Boulder folk outfit Foxfeather will be jamming at the LG tomorrow, and you should be too. Let this female-fronted band croon to you over a tasty latte! Emily Scott Robinson will also be performing at this event.

FF.

FF.

Sumilan at The Lazy Dog Sports Bar and Grill 10PM-Close

These progressive rock/trance dance dudes are going to be jumping around the stage at The Lazy Dog tomorrow night and they have a sound worth checking out! They’re from Athens, Georgia and are finishing up their summer tour. Listen to them here before the show. 

Sumi boys.

Sumi boys.

Get to it Boulder. Happy weekend.

-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 07/17 & 07/18

By: Hannah Oreskovich

It’s Friday! It’s Friday! Spend this weekend listening to sounds you love. Here are the bands you should see the next few days:

Tonight (Friday 07/17):

Ben Hanna & The Knighthawks at Vindication 530PM-9PM

Stop by Vindication Brewing after work tonight & check these guys out! Ben Hanna has been described as “quirky”, “pretty damn funny” and “poignant”. He will get your weekend started off right. Rumor has it Hanna is working on a new album with the Knighthawks now, so maybe you’ll get a sneak peak at some of his new tracks at this performance!

Dechen Hawk, Colin Robinson, and Danit at The Laughing Goat 8PM-Close

These three singer/songwriters are bringing some sweet sounds to the Goat tonight. You can read about each of them here. Stop by for a coffee (or a beer) and let these guys croon you into the beginning of your music-filled weekend.

Hunter Stone at Blue Skies Winery 7PM-9PM

We’ve got love for Hunter Stone. He’s a talented Boulder singer/songwriter with a gritty, bluesy sound. You can read more about him on our site here. If you’re in Fort Collins or you’re just in the mood for some great wine, hit up this show!

Hunter Stone

Hunter Stone

Whiskey Autumn at The No Name Bar 10PM-Close

The Whiskey Autumn boys haven’t played The No Name Bar in a bit, but they’re back to make you dance all night! They recently made headlines on our site with the release of their new video for “My Dear Miss Claire”, which you can watch here. Head over to one of our favorite spots and hear them jam this track live!

Tomorrow (Saturday 07/18):

Augustus at Twisted Pine Brewing Co. 2PM-7PM

It’s the 20th Anniversary of Twisted Pine Brewing tomorrow & they’re celebrating with Boulder band Augustus! Augustus just released their killer new EP Into Frames this week, which you can stream for free here. Roll over to this show for some day drinking, and to hear the guys perform some of their new songs live!

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

Foxfeather are bringing their sultry sounds to Conor’s tomorrow night! The atmosphere at Conor’s is always fun and Foxfeather's folky sounds will get you moving! Roll down to Pearl and see their show!

So there's our weekend six Boulder! Hit up a show! Hope to see you out!

-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.

David's Desk: Party with the Pack: A Shadow of Jaguar

By: David Landry

A Shadow of Jaguar are high-energy blues rock.

ASOJ in their natural habitat.

ASOJ in their natural habitat.

Pearl Street Pub and Cellar has music most Mondays and Wednesdays, and they keep it pretty calm on Mondays. But recently, things were a little different. Here’s the scene:

You walk up to the Pub and you’re instantly hit with a thumping kick drum and a whip-cracking snare. That’s when you first realize, this isn’t going to be your normal Monday at the Pub. You expected acoustic, sad-bastard music to be playing so you could sit in the corner and drink your whiskey alone.

Instead, just inside the door, you are greeted with a bluesy slide guitar. And a two piece rocking band. At the helm is Brian Hubbert (of Cold River City) and on the skins is Andrew Oakley (formerly of West Water Outlaws). It’s a super-powered project. It’s A Shadow of Jaguar.

Let these boys take you for a ride.

Let these boys take you for a ride.

ASOJ plays you a bunch of originals, and some fun covers like Death's “Keep on Knockin’”. To make it even more of a party, at one point Will Buck (formerly of West Water Outlaws) hops in with some tasty licks screaming over Brian's slide guitar parts, and John Demitro (of Branded Bandits) jumps off his normal guitar playing to keep the rhythm section tight on bass. The four play together like they’ve been doing this for years; they never skip a beat. Neither you nor the Pub were ready for this high-energy set, but you and everyone there want more. And that’s your Monday night.

A Shadow of Jaguar just finished recording with Robbie Stiefel over at The Crucible and the boys are playing UMS in Denver at the end of the month. See them when you can, because jaguars don't travel in packs very often.

-David at the desk

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

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

By: Hannah Oreskovich

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

-Hannah

Follow Hannah on Instagram and Twitter.

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