The Weekend Six: Six Shows to See This Holiday Weekend (11/27 & 11/28)

By: Hannah Oreskovich

It’s a holiday weekend and there are some shows to explore as sweet as the pumpkin pie you nommed yesterday. Check ‘em out:

Today (Friday, 11/27)

Wildwood Roots at The Jamestown Mercantile Cafe Co. 6PM-Close

It’s hard to think of a better way to spend your holiday weekend than with the awesome regulars of the Merc. And tonight the Wildwood Roots will be providing “acoustic nectar for your ears.” The duo will be laying down some swooning originals and a few covers that are sure to make everyone headed to this mountain town dance the night away. The snowy drive is always worth it. Make the trek. And peep a track here:

Asalott with Gypsee at The No Name Bar 10PM-Close

Asalott. Photo Credit:   Hannah Oreskovich

Asalott. Photo Credit: Hannah Oreskovich

Asalott is bringing their Middle Eastern beat trance back to The No Name tonight and it’s gonna be a rad time. Their combination of Forrest Lotterhos on hammered dulcimer, Matty Schelling on his Octpad and Cody Hart on cajon is hypnotizing. Plus Gypsee is in town aka Boulder musician turned world traveler Will Buck. He’s been recording new tracks at The Crucible Recording Studio all week, so if you’re lucky, maybe he’ll lay one down for you tonight. Word on the street is he’s going to be jammin’ some flamenco-style guitar playing. Head out. And watch Asalott live here:

Tomorrow (Saturday, 11/14)

Ben Gallagher, Ben Hanna, & Brian Esau at The Laughing Goat Coffeehouse 8PM-Close

Ben Gallagher.

Ben Gallagher.

We’re dubbing this one the three Bs. Ben Gallagher is a Boulder-based singer/songwriter who “writes from the gut. . . and plays from the heart.” He’s been involved in a number of local projects over the years, but tonight he’s playing you some of his solo work. He’s self-produced two full albums, which you can listen to here. Oh Ben Hanna, how we love him so. We’ve brought you quite a bit of info on him lately, and you can read more here. Let him smirk his way into your cold heart tonight. And finally there’s, Brian Esau, a talented musician who will be playing you lots of original songs on guitar, sitar, and banjo. Check out his work (some of it with Ben Gallagher) here. And stream Ben Gallagher's album Heart Shaped Rocks here:

The Casino Effect at The Dark Horse 930PM-Close

We said it before and we’ll say it again: The Dark Horse somehow always has acts we’ve never heard of, can rarely find much info on, and somehow, the bands are unusually awesome to watch live. Here’s to hoping The Casino Effect are one such band, as we can’t find a single thing about them to share. So go get weird! Experiment! And report back to us…

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

The gentleman of tallgrass.

The gentleman of tallgrass.

What have you been missing this holiday weekend? The stomping-ground sounds of Tallgrass, Fort Collins’ dirty soul trio. They claim to be “raised by wolves, taught by squirrels, and enemy of the owl.” How’s that for you Boulder? Sounds like it will be a great time, and this is the band’s only Boulder show before they set off on a Colorado tour. So go get at ‘em! And check out their video for "So Blind" here: 

Both Nights (11/27 & 11/28)

Leftover Salmon at The Boulder Theater 830PM-Close

Leftover Salmon.

Leftover Salmon.

Formed in Boulder in 1989, Leftover Salmon have become a Colorado staple, especially in the world of bluegrass. Their rootsy sounds have kept even the coldest Colorado mountain towns warm on blizzardy nights over the years. And this weekend, they’re returning to Boulder to celebrate 25 years in the slamgrass game with all of you. They have an extensive tour planned over the next few months, which you can peep here. But we recommend catching them while you can this weekend- get your tickets in advance here. Watch a live Leftover Salmon performance:

There are our picks for your Thanksgiving Weekend Boulder! Go work off your feast and hop to 'em!

-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.

Producer Robbie Stiefel: Wolves, Making Studio Magic, & Finding That Thing.

By: Hannah Oreskovich

Robbie Stiefel is a talented set of ears crafting tunes with several of your favorite local bands.

Ben Hanna and the Knighthawks. A Shadow of Jaguar. Whiskey Autumn. Greg Corcione. These are just a few of the Boulder-based acts that producer Robbie Stiefel has worked with over the past few months. And after recently watching Stiefel insert his own beats and sounds to a band’s live performance while he sat next to me at The No Name, I can see why so many local acts are partnering with him. His job is to bring that thing into a band’s recording. That thing. You know, the one that every musician is always chasing. And the one that Robbie can somehow hear in his head whenever he listens to a track. So I sat down with him over a giant calzone to find out exactly how he does it. How did he develop finding that thing? And this is what he told me:

Stiefel’s from the East Coast. He grew up in DC, started playing sax at 11, and followed that with guitar, which is when he says “the addiction started.” Toss in his Dad’s love for James Brown and Stiefel’s own discovery of Zeppelin’s discography at 13 and there was Robbie: a kid obsessed with sound.

“I used to sneak into my high school gym and re-record songs with this rudimentary cassette four-track trying to recreate Led sounds using ambient rooms. I was always trying to capture different noises, different ways to do something. And I played in a couple of high school bands too.”

Robbie at   The Crucible Recording Studio  . Photo Credit: Kristy Gray.

Robbie at The Crucible Recording Studio. Photo Credit: Kristy Gray.

And eventually, playing in bands is actually what brought Stiefel to Colorado.

“My first more serious band project was Ego Vs Id. I grew up with Jesse [Parmet, currently of The Yawpers] and when we first moved here, he had this big house and it was basically just a studio for us. It was like our college- we were just teaching ourselves and experimenting for a couple of years with different recording techniques. Eventually, things got more serious with Ego Vs Id and we had unlimited access to a local studio. We actually just worked for a year and a half on an album and learned to craft songs in the studio, trying to make them sound effortless. Making that album solidified something in me.”

But, like many bands, eventually the guys went their separate ways into other projects. And for Stiefel, the most serious of those became production.

“I ended up moving to the Bay area for awhile. I worked with artists there and made connections at different studios. And then I made my way back here eventually and have kind of been doing that same thing.”

Stiefel at   The Crucible Recording Studio   with Whiskey Autumn. Photo Credit: Kristy Gray. 

Stiefel at The Crucible Recording Studio with Whiskey Autumn. Photo Credit: Kristy Gray. 

Which is when I wondered, what exactly is the producer-artist relationship like? To which Robbie had my favorite answer of our whole conversation:

“Being a producer is like holding a wolf by its ears- I feel so responsible for the project and its success and to make sure that what a band wants done is done. By the end, I want them to feel like I’ve made it more clear as to what they are. I put a lot of pressure on myself- I can be obsessive but I think that’s a good thing. I mean- it’s a lot of money to record. I’m getting paid here. And it’s not like paying someone to fix your deck- it’s paying someone to work on what is most important to you. So I always feel like I’m playing with this very dangerous thing- like a wolf- but it’s only dangerous because I care about it so much.”

Robbie and the wolf. Photo Credit: Kristy Gray at   The Crucible Recording Studio .

Robbie and the wolf. Photo Credit: Kristy Gray at The Crucible Recording Studio.

Though holding a wolf by its ears sounds like an almost impossible task, Robbie assures me that while it’s a challenge and a fine balance of sorts, he puts in a ton of preparation before heading into the studio with an artist:

“What it’s really about in preparation before the studio is synergy. The way I work with projects is that I’m basically being invited in as a temporary member of the band or a collaborator, and so there has to be this initial connection there. Especially with bands- they have this brotherhood-tribal-thing and I’m coming into the mix aware that I’m in that situation and building trust. And sometimes you don’t have a lot of time to do that before you start recording. But I’m an artist too, so when I ask them to make big choices, I get the whole ‘I don’t want anyone telling me how to make my music.’ That’s why building that initial trust and having synergy are so important. I know that what I’m asking an artist to do [in my role as a producer] is a lot.”

And so what does one do when there’s a battle back and forth on finding that thing: on finding the right mix, the right beat, the right shaker for a track? On creating and developing one’s sound and making studio magic?

“In those situations, it goes back to trust. But the best thing I can do is to let a certain amount of any idea be worked through- everyone needs to be able to express what they want. You can’t shut anyone down. And then I have to ask, ‘How passionate are you about this?’ because then I need to let them know realistically I will go down that road with them, even if I wasn’t intending to, but that the consequences and hesitations will be x,y, and z. I can’t beat around the bush- that’s the worst thing you can do in a creative environment. At the same time, they have to feel comfortable- somehow you have to have that.”

Stiefel at   The Mountain House Recording Studio   with Greg Corcione.

Stiefel at The Mountain House Recording Studio with Greg Corcione.

Which brings me back to the night I watched Robbie tapping out new rhythms and making sounds that somehow fit into a song he’d never heard before at that live performance. How did he hear those beats he was making? Where does that come from? When I ask him about this, he laughs:

“I’m at a point now where I do just hear it. It’s hard to explain. But I think the development of that came from having an awareness when I’m listening to something of what excites me. There’s this alarm that goes off and I’m suddenly aware that something has grabbed my attention. ‘Oh that’s where that shaker comes in’ or ‘That’s where that intentional harmony changes.’ And I can pull sounds from so many things that I’ve listened to. Eventually, you just kind of have this idea of ‘Oh that might go there’ and things come together.”

And in listening to music from several of the Boulder artists that Stiefel’s been working with, things sure do. A Shadow of a Jaguar already released their single that Stiefel worked with them on, titled “Mama Needs the Bottle” and you can listen to it here:

And the other artists mentioned have plans for new releases soon. We’ll be featuring those as they come out, but in the meantime, go check out two of the artists Stiefel has worked with LIVE THIS FRIDAY at The Fall Showcase.

Read more about Robbie here.

And get details for The Fall Showcase on our FB event 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.

A Shadow of Jaguar's Debut Single: "Mama Needs the Bottle"

By: Hannah Oreskovich

A Shadow of Jaguar's new single is tasty.

ASOJ.

ASOJ.

As you might recall, we covered an A Shadow of Jaguar show back in June at the Pub. Comprised of Cold River City’s Brian Hubbert and former West Water Outlaws’ drummer Andrew Oakley, desker David Landry described the boys as a “super-powered project” with “a thumping kick drum and a whip-cracking snare.” Following that performance, the duo played The UMS and various gigs around Colorado. The pair then hit the studio, The Crucible Recording Studio to be exact, and worked with producer Robbie Stiefel and bassist John Demitro of Branded Bandits to lay down a few licks. After tossing things around in mixing with John Peacock and having their jams mastered by Brian Gardner, A Shadow of Jaguar have released their debut single, “Mama Needs the Bottle.”

Cheers to new music! Check it out here and leave your thoughts in the comments:

-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.