Dragondeer Are Set To Be Colorado's Next Big Music Name

By: Meghan Hargaden

Dragondeer, a heavy blues American rock band from Denver, CO, is gathering quite a bit of esteem for their newest album, and first full length LP, If You Got The Blues. Sighted for their singularity and strangeness, this Denver band is doing something different, and has us all turning our heads and our hips.

They draw inspiration from all angles of the American sound including the soul and sincerity of the electric blues of Stevie Ray Vaughn, the modern-day dread of The Black Keys, a bit of pre-heavy metal influence from Black Sabbath, and the swamp rock of Creedence Clearwater Revival. These influences have helped Dragondeer claim a first-class seat on Jefferson’s airplane, as it takes off into the future of American rock music, and pays homage to all the artists that set the runway for this band to jet. The members of the band include Cole Rudy (electric guitar/lap steel/mandolin), Eric Halborg (lead vocals/harmonica/guitar), Carl Sorensen (drums), and Casey Sidwell (bass).

The album begins with the self-titled track, “If You Got the Blues,” setting the stage for the sincerity and soul that occurs throughout the journey of this production. A production, I might add, that couldn’t have happened without the help of accomplished producer Mark Howard, who has worked with legendary artists such as Bob Dylan, Tom Waits, REM, Neil Young, Lucinda Williams, and Willie Nelson.

Dragondeer.

Dragondeer.

The album saunters us in with the ethereal notes of Eric Halborg’s voice merging magically with the harmonica, as it soars over the chortling cuts of low-end accompaniment in this psychedelic Americana ballad. “Don’t Go” pleads the song’s opening line, and from the moment the words first burst forth from his lips, the pure longing in his voice lends credence to the name of this track, and the entire project. The discordant harmonies of the chorus resolve into a melancholic, distorted fuzz, leaving us reminiscent of dusty guitars plucked by the firelight, and amplified by the neon lens of modern reality. The second chorus cuts with a solemn breakdown, drifting off into the chasm of our isolation. Both the lyrics and the voicing of the instrumentation echo our worst fear of being truly alone; listening to these tunesmiths, it’s as if our entire psyche has been cloaked in an iridescent haze of the weirder parts of the 1970s. A bold and beautiful love song, this first track stands as a testament to Dragondeer’s songwriting, musicianship, and purity. The band describes the track as a personal manifesto, with inspiration drawn from the belief in a shared human experience and a desire to connect with others.

The next track, “Amarillo Bump,” begins with the sustained sounds of Rudy’s electric guitar, leaving us suspended in time only to be saved by Halborg’s harmonica once again. We are then escorted into the thumping and driving kick of Carl Sorensen’s drum beat, which becomes the outboard motor for the entire track, propelling us into the murky waters of the 1950s and out into the swampy southern rock of the 70s. Like a bunch of Scottish teenagers out for a boating holiday on Loch Ness dropping acid before hearing thumps at the bottom of the boat, the electric guitar and harmonica attempt musical cries for aid, calling until their voices grow raspy, realizing that there is no help coming. And so, we lay back and accept our fate, letting the bass tones and percussive rhythms of writhing tentacles and electronica bring us deeper and deeper into the darkness.

The album continues with Halborg’s raw vocals, rambling harmonica solos, and groovy instrumentation that fuse all together into a unique genre of country funk and American rock. Like taking a long swamp ride along the rolling waves of the Florida everglades, brought up and turned on by the slow, isolating tracks like “Believe,” “Easy With Me,” and “When I See You,” and then brought back down into slow, isolating tracks like “Same Train,” “Let it Ride,” and “Part of the Flow.” This vacillating progression, capturing the beautiful desperation of blues music.

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Alone, If You Got The Blues stands as a declaration of the band’s genius, but their live performance brings an entirely alternate layer of talent, captivating the audience with their impressive improvisation, harmonizing harmonica, heavy metal mandolin, lap steel played untraditionally through delays, and a ripping rhythm section that can’t keep us from getting down and dancing.

You can see Dragondeer perform their new album live at The Grandoozy Festival this summer in Denver, CO on September 14th. The band is stoked to be coming back to their hometown to perform alongside a variety of internationally renowned artists of all different genres.

Be sure to follow Dragondeer on Spotify and iTunes and keep a look out for all of their other upcoming shows in Atlanta, Telluride, and right here in their hometown of Denver. You can buy tickets for Grandoozy here!

-Meghan

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

Famous Men Release Debut Single & Video "Gambler's Cry"

By: Mirna Tufekcic

A brand-spankin’ new trio, Famous Men, who were forged while busking the Pearl Street Mall during the summer of 2017 in Boulder, Colorado, are coming out with their very first album Gambler’s Cry this spring. Recently they released a video for the title track from their upcoming record and we have it here for your viewing pleasure. Check it out below and get stoked for more cool things to come from these guys, like their weekly Facebook live shows every Thursday where they serenade you with originals and covers (of your choice!). You can follow them here.

The band focuses on traditional folk songwriting, while pairing it with rock’n’roll and blues, reminiscent of The Black Keys if they melded with The Wood Brothers and Ryan Adams. Hunter Stone, vocals and guitar of the band, brings a unique twist to this style with a raspy tone that is undeniably cool. His slide guitar skills kill too. Joe Plante on the bass and keys and Joshua Thomas on the drums add to the blues-rock-country feel of this band as a whole. In fact the vibes from these guys at their live performances simply capture the audience’s attention effortlessly. I know because I’ve already seen them on several occasions.

Famous Men.

Famous Men.

Famous men mean business and they deliver. So check them out here first with the video produced by the band themselves. Then make sure to go see them live. How will you know where and when? Head over to their Facebook page.

-Mirna

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

Radio Moscow Bringing Raw Pysch Rock Sounds To Denver's Larimer Lounge This Saturday (07/08)

By: Sierra Voss

Want to know what’s going on in today’s underground world of psych rock? San Diego’s rock’n’roll power trio Radio Moscow will be making their way to Larimer Lounge this Saturday, July 8th. Radio Moscow live in the intersection of psychedelic rock and blues, pulling sound influences from bands like Cream, Black Sabbath and The Jimi Hendrix Experience. It’s just about guaranteed that this band will be showing off their ripping guitar solos, crunchy chords and driving drum beats all night long, so if you’re into that, you’ve got no excuse not to make your way on over.

Radio Moscow.

Radio Moscow.

Radio Moscow currently rolls three members deep: Paul Marrone (drums), Anthony Meier (bass) and Parker Griggs (guitar/vocals). The band actually started off as Griggs’ solo project, and he happened to drop a demo that caught Dan Auerbach’s ear. Subsequently, Dan Auerbach (The Black Keys) helped produce Griggs’ 2007 self-titled debut.

Listen to Radio Moscow's Live! In California:

Griggs released two more albums before RM became a trio in 2013; they then recorded their first album together, Magical Dirt. More recently, the trio pushed out their second album, Live! In California, a record which is insanely explosive and raw, truly channeling back to the era of the great rock bands of the '60s. It’s reasons like these that Saturday’s set will be a show you won’t want to miss!

Grab your tickets for this show here! I’ll see you there-

-Sierra

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

Coastal Wives EP Traditions: Love at First Listen

By: Dawn Raymond

Denver's Coastal Wives released their debut EP Traditions recently, and are already scheduled for a UMS performance this summer.

Coastal Wives is an indie blues rock band based out of Denver, CO consisting of Forest Knauff, Logan Bishop, Austin Perkins, and Kyle Misencik. Their name comes from a time when Forest and Logan were into "surf sound" bands like The Babies, Beach Fossils, and Real Estate, and the two initially wanted to create music in that vein. But their music had other plans, and now borrows more from bands like The Black Keys and Radiohead instead. The name Coastal Wives, however, stuck.

Denver's Coastal Wives.

Denver's Coastal Wives.

Forest and Logan wanted to create a band as an outlet for their songwriting, and so together, they engaged in some healthy competition, trying to outdo each other in the songwriting department. As you might imagine, this caused them to hone their skills quite nicely. Soon, they converged their talents to create music together. As Logan said, "Coastal Wives was us really biting the bullet and saying we are better together than on our own".  

After joining forces, Coastal Wives released their Traditions EP just last month. It consists of 4 songs- a total quality over quantity proposition for the listener. You will find this group striving to evolve musically and instrumentally, but also lyrically on the EP. The writing is an integral part of this collaboration, with the intention to create cathartic, "real" music that stems from an unflinching reflection of life, for better or worse. This is the perfect release for commitment-phobes, as the entire EP is short enough to try on for size, but more than enough to be completely immersed in, and it's strikingly easy on the ears. It's a kind of "love at first listen", which might be because the vocals are reminiscent of another band and another time, or it might be Coastal Wives’ heartfelt lyrics and tightly knit instrumental execution. Whatever it is, it works.

Coastal Wives have a number of Denver shows this summer, including a UMS appearance. You can check out Traditions on the band’s website, and keep up with their shows on Facebook. Go give them a listen!

-Dawn

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

Denver's Meeting House: The Blues Rock Band Who Is So Much More Than Just Their Age

By: Hannah Oreskovich

Alt-blues rock band Meeting House are a Denver-based trio comprised of Ryan Rundles, Ethan Cowell, and Nick Lyon. At first glance, you might think they’re just another blues band kickin’ around the Rockies. They’ve got the influences many bands in their genre invoke: The White Stripes, The Black Keys, and Kings of Leon. But these three dudes are definitely cooler than your average local act. Why? Because in their short time together, they’ve already played The Oriental Theater, the Deer Pile, and the Downtown Artery... and these guys are still in highschool. That caught our attention, so we reached out to the trio to talk about how they came together, what it’s been like trying to score sweet gigs as an underage band, and what their plans are for the year. Check out our chat with Meeting House’s Ethan Cowell:

First things first- how did the three of you get together?

We all live on the same street. I had known Ryan since middle school without even realizing that we live on the same block. We started jamming and really wanted to start an official band. Then we met Nick, who actually didn’t know how to play the drums, but had an interest in learning them. So we let him beat the hell out of an old set Ryan had until he was good enough to fake it.

Hahaha that’s awesome! Where’d the name come from?

The name of the street we live on is Columbine. We found that another name for the Columbine flower is “Meeting House”. So we went with that.

Denver's Meeting House.

Denver's Meeting House.

Nice. Talk to us about your experience so far in the Denver music scene- what have you most loved and what has been a challenge for you?

We love that Denver is this melting pot of music! There are so many genres coming out of this town! However we have had a hard time getting into this scene because we’re so young that people don’t take us seriously. We try to utilize as many DIY venues as possible because when some large venues see that we’re under 21, they won’t give us the time of day.

That’s tough. But we’ve noticed that you guys have still managed to play some sweet mid-level venues with some really well known acts, including My Body Sings Electric and your upcoming gig with Shatterproof at Hodi’s Half Note in May. That’s impressive. How long have you been playing together?

A little over a year now.

Meeting House at the Downtown Artery in Fort Collins.

Meeting House at the Downtown Artery in Fort Collins.

Solid! So we know you just dropped your self-titled EP. Where was that recorded and who produced it?

We recorded it at home. Oliver Mueller (Slow Caves) came over with all of his mics and amps and we had the studio brought to us! Oliver produced and mastered everything.

Those are some great guys to have supporting you. What are your plans for the rest of the year?

At this exact moment, we’re just trying to be taken seriously as a band. We really want the Colorado music scene to view us as heavy-hitters, and not just some high school band.

Something tells us they’ll come around very soon dudes.

Listen to Meeting House’s track “Beware of the Vulture”:

Follow Meeting House on Instagram, and peep their Facebook for regular show updates.

-Hannah

Follow Hannah on twitter and instagram.

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