Niwot's Curse Play Illegal Pete's On Pearl This Thursday (06/01)

By: Hannah Oreskovich

This Thursday, June 1st at Illegal Pete’s on Pearl, Niwot’s Curse have their first official show. The Boulder five-piece band consists of Four Horse Johnson (vocals/guitar), Dave Long aka Mr. Long (vocals/guitar), Ben Gaubert (bass), Derek Cibere (drums), and Amber O'Hearn (vocals). Though it’s their first official gig in Boulder, Niwot’s Curse are well-known in these parts. Frontman Four Horse Johnson played many an open-mic at the now defunct Conor O’Neill’s Irish Pub, and his songs have even been covered by bands including Augustus. Four Horse is a bit of a character, and that’s ever-present in his witty lyricism and rock’n’roll onstage demeanor. And as Four Horse says, Mr. Long is his perfect musical counterpart, so in honor of the band’s first billed show, we sat down with Four Horse Johnson and Mr. Long to learn more about Niwot’s Curse and their plans to rock out this summer. Read on:

What are the origins of Niwot’s Curse?

Mr. Long: The origins go back to the curse itself. Myself, Derek, and Four Horse are lifelong Boulder residents who wouldn't be here if not for Niwot's Curse. Everyone met organically by playing at Conor O'Neill's open stage, where we all came together and formed the band.

How long have you been playing together then?

Mr. Long: Nine months.

Niwot's Curse recording at   Cosmic Collective

Niwot's Curse recording at Cosmic Collective

What can patrons expect from NC’s first official gig?

Four Horse Johnson: A powerhouse band of talented musicians blowing the roof off the place, with energy to spare and super catchy tunes.

Illegal Pete’s is one of our favorite Colorado supporters of local artists. Tell us why you’re stoked to play there for your first gig.

We love the vibe- their support of music comes from the top. We’d like to thank Derek Warwick for booking us. We all go there all the time- it's a great place with good food and inexpensive drinks too.

We know you’ve been recording in the studio. Talk to us about what you’ve been laying down and who you’ve been working with.  

Mr. Long: We recorded eight songs live at Cosmic Collective and they were recorded by Eric Plein. They were mixed by Ray Smith, who is well known for his work on the Muscle Shoals soundtrack and with Strangebyrds. They are mastered and sound great in stereo and all. We decided to release five of the tracks and they are available for streaming or download on our Reverbnation. We just also submitted one song to iTunes and Spotify. We are very proud of the tracks and plan to record more songs at Ray's studio in Rollinsville soon.

Is “Tame Me” based on a personal experience?

Four Horse Johnson: Yes it is. But it's a universal theme to a lot of relationships that I think men and women go through- the, ‘I love you, now change yourself’ bullsh*t.

What inspired your track “Wine Tasting From Hell”?

Four Horse Johnson: The song is based on a true event in my life. I wrote it on the train to Paris. I was new in a relationship and we fell in love hard and fast. That night nipped a budding romance at the bud. It was one of the most traumatic events of my life. The lyrics that tell the story are some of my best verses I ever wrote. The tragedy of it all is summed up in the final verse, ‘Love was at our fingertips. Now I know it don't exist. I won't forget our last kiss. The taste of vomit on your lips…’

Four Horse Johnson doubles at The Most Interesting Man In The World. 

Four Horse Johnson doubles at The Most Interesting Man In The World. 

So what else can we expect from Niwot’s Curse this summer?

Mr. Long: We are moving our rehearsal location to Niwot, appropriately. We are playing in Lyons this weekend at Burning Barn, followed by a set at Johnny's Cigar Bar on June 17th. Since we released our new music, we're getting a lot of interest. We are interested in booking shows later in July and August and ask any bands or venues that want us to contact us as we ramp into the scene.

Nice. Four Horse- I’m going to ask the question all the ladies want to know. Will you be wearing your all-white suit to the gig this week at Pete’s?

Four Horse Johnson: Yeah if I can get the beer stains out of it…

So there you have it. Make sure to stop by Illegal Pete’s this Thursday night for Niwot’s Curse- details 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.

Card Catalog: Move And Feel And Dance

By: Kelly Harthan

“My intentions are to relate to others and to share my stories. I want to make people move and feel and dance.”

-Jenn Tatro

Card Catalog labels their sound as classic American, ranging from blues to alt-country to rock, and I would have to agree, with maybe a hint of “rockabilly” added in the mix. The Colorado trio consists of Jenn Tatro (vocals/lyrics/guitar), Dalton Clayton (lead guitar) and Rob Spears (bass/backup vocals). Tatro’s strong voice packs a Pat Benatar punch, ridden with subtle rich tones and emotionally charged melodies reminiscent of a classic Patsy Cline. Accompanied by Clayton’s aggressive guitar licks and Spears’ strong dance-oriented bass lines, the trio create a distinctive sound of their own, with an energy resemblant of JD McPherson. In short, Card Catalog makes you want to dance as they showcase their originals, along with covers from Johnny Cash, Queens of the Stone Age, and Prince.

The band name Card Catalog came from Tatro, who believes it reflects their music: “I want to be able to do a broad spectrum of things with our music, and not get stuck in one sound. I feel like the possibilities are endless when searching through an actual card catalog."

Card Catalog.

Card Catalog.

With this group, it’s apparent that friendship and collaborative creation are at the nucleus of their sound. Clayton and Tatro had been a duo for several years prior to the addition of Spears, who they met when he jumped onstage uninvited during one of the duo’s open mic sets a few months ago. After Clayton and Tatro let Spears sing a Prince cover, he was officially in. Reflecting on the creative process and accompanying sense of accomplishment of the band now that their momentum as a trio has begun, Clayton said, “those moments only happen because we support each other and help drive each other”.

When I first sat down to do a little research on Card Catalog, I was surprised at how little I could find of their actual music. “We have been hesitant to put too much recorded material onto social media sites until the quality is where we'd like it,” explained Spears. But after getting a sneak peek at two songs from their upcoming EP, I was impressed and set out to do my best to describe this local band’s unique flare. As a songwriter myself, I couldn’t help but pay close attention to Tatro’s lyrics, and the emotion that translates through her vocal melodies in the tracks on the band’s upcoming EP, Can I Be.

“The story behind Can I Be comes from my desire to have someone in my life that lets me be exactly who I am. At the time I wrote that song, I had just come out of a relationship that didn't go the way I was expecting. I just kept coming back to the feeling of wanting to be the gas for someone's fire, and to have something where we lifted each other up.” Tatro said.

In talking with Card Catalog about their recent entrance into the local scene, Clayton added, “People around here really love and support live music. I feel lucky I get to play for these folks.” As a native Coloradoan, I could not agree more. So there you have it- great music and great people with something to say.

Card Catalog has several shows coming up this summer in Boulder, as well as an upcoming EP release for Can I Be. Get details on their Facebook and Instagram.

-Kelly