A Fireside Chat with The Beeves on Their Debut Record & More

From left to right: Dahmen, Laffin, Ehrheart & Sease. Photo Credit:  Courtney Farrell

From left to right: Dahmen, Laffin, Ehrheart & Sease. Photo Credit: Courtney Farrell

Since the first installment of “Zach and Pete’s Fireside Chats” went to print a few months back, Zach Dahmen and I had both been itching to get local rock dynamos The Beeves over for a night of campfire, bourbon, and forthright conversation. Coming off the heels of their raw, raucous, and renowned self-titled debut EP, the trio is in the process of rolling out its new full-length record, Adam and Beeve in the runup to their release show on May 17th at The Fox Theatre. We were especially stoked to host them at this poignant moment (with members Ian Ehrheart and Matthew Sease) in our backyard. Also joining us for the evening to take photos was local creative guru Courtney Farrell. The following is a transcript of what went down:

PL: So what’s a Beeve?

IE: Well, technically, a Beeve is just, you know, a Beeve. Slang for vagina.

MS: No, that’s a beaver.

IE: Yes, and beeves is the plural of beeve, meaning one beeve.

ZD: How did you come to this name?

MS: My understanding is that we took this dictionary down to my mom’s basement...

IE: It was a bible.

MS: No, it was a dictionary. I have the dictionary. And we decided the one word we hit was going to be the name of the band, and we had to stick with it. And we did it like three times.

IE: Really? I don’t remember that.

MS: Yeah, because we got, like, “crack.”

IE: It doesn’t say crack in the bible.

MS: That’s because it wasn’t a bible. And we did it again and it was another ridiculous word. And then we hit “beeves,” which was plural for beef, and we were like, oh, that’s actually pretty cool. So we used it the next day for our volleyball team in middle school.

PL: This goes back to middle school?

MS: This was like seventh grade.

IE: This was just after our band The Purple Zebras.

MS: We were going to be The Sun Kissed Nips.

PL: I think you guys made the right call.

MS: So that’s my interpretation of when we got the name. But Ian seems to think we found it in a bible?

IE: We did! It’s in Leviticus. But that wasn’t it. When we actually came up with The Beeves we were looking into a fire quite like this, and in the fire, when we were peeing in it together to put it out, and when the smoke cleared, the red hot embers spelled out “Beeves.”

ZD: So the story here is, they refuse to give us the real story.

MS: Ian and I did go to bible camp together. And we had to stay with the priest the whole time. All of the other kids got to sleep in their own dorms, but we had to stay with the priest and talk to him and confess things.

IE: One time I confessed to touching myself unlawfully.

PL: And I hope you said it just like that.

MS: The only reason I think Ian’s story might be somewhat true is because we were in the religious ed class together.

Photo Credit:  Courtney Farrell

Photo Credit: Courtney Farrell

ZD: How long have you guys been in a band together?

MS: Ian and I have been playing together since sixth grade.

IE: We’ve known each other since elementary school.

MS: I didn’t really like Ian then.

IE: We never got to be friends until sixth grade, when I learned he had a guitar, and we both played guitar. We were in a rivalry until then.

MS: I never liked Ian throughout elementary school because he was really good at sports. And all the girls liked him.

IE: I had the right hair. The swoop.

ZD: You had the Bieber swoop?

IE: It was just at the right time. But then we realized we had guitars and we hung out, and we did it every single day after school. And then we formed The Purple Zebras.

ZD: So when did the third member join?

MS: We had a couple drummers before Will [Erhart]. But he was always part of the picture.

IE: We had some guy who wanted to record us one time when we were in seventh grade and Will did the drums… this creepy guy in Erie who lived in a trailer and just sat there and chain smoked next to us the whole time.

MS: We recorded an AC/DC cover.

PL: When did you know that you wanted to do this seriously?

MS: We always knew we’d do this. We’ve stuck to the same mentality since seventh grade.

IE: We were writing lyrics together in math class.

MS: It’s all we wanted to do.

IE: The first show we did was an open mic in Louisville.

MS: We did our own punk rock version version of “Wagon Wheel.”

IE: Pete, cut that part out.

PL: I talked to your father after your last Fox show, when you guys packed the place, and he was all teared up and he told me this story about how you [Ian] got tossed out of the Fox when you were in early high school.

IE: That’s why we’re doing the release at the Fox. That was where we first saw live music and the potential of what we could do.

MS: The first concert we ever went to by ourselves was at the Fox. We took the bus to the Boulder and we just kind of knew that the Fox was on The Hill. We didn’t even know where it was.

IE: We didn’t even have a ticket because we didn’t know we had to buy tickets to shows. So we just went up to the box office and we were like, “Hi, we’re here for the show.”

MS: We went up to the front, hands on the stage, watching the show.

IE: We told ourselves, “We are going to play on this stage someday.”

MS: That’s why we used to play on Pearl Street. We thought someone from the Fox would like, willy nilly, walk by and ask us to open up at the Fox someday.

IE: We were more lucrative [busking] on Pearl Street than anywhere.

MS: One day we made like $350 and a pack of cigarettes and a condom. But let’s get back to that show Ian got kicked out of. That was at The Expendables. It got a bit rowdy and we’d never crowd surfed before. And Ian was dead set on crowd surfing. So he got up on the stage and fell backwards, and they pushed him back up on the stage.

IE: And then I ran into the bouncer.

MS: And the bouncer immediately throws him out, and I’m like this eighth grader standing there alone.

IE: And from my point of view, somebody just grabbed me and literally pushed me as hard to the curb as they could. And I was like, “What’s happening right now? Is this part of the show?”

ZD: So you definitely weren’t drinking there?

IE: We didn’t even know what alcohol was.

ZD: So this is just sober Ian being pretty extra?

MS: And then we were trying to re-stamp my hand outside on your hand…

The Beeves’ Ian Ehrheart and Matthew Sease. Photo Credit:  Courtney Farrell

The Beeves’ Ian Ehrheart and Matthew Sease. Photo Credit: Courtney Farrell

PL: Let’s talk about the studio recordings. The first one was super lo-fi, and you pretty much did it yourselves.

IE: Oliver from Slow Caves recorded us because we didn’t know shit about microphones or recording. He just loved the songs and really wanted to help us out.

PL: I fucking love that album. But you never play those songs anymore.

MS: Well we kind of got labelled as a “ska” band and that kind of turned us off to a bit, because we never saw ourselves as that.

ZD: You don’t even have any horns.

MS: But we got labelled as a ska band! Fuck!

Photo Credit:  Courtney Farrell

Photo Credit: Courtney Farrell

PL: Who is the best musician in the group? The easiest one in the studio?

IE: Matthew is the best musician and is the best at his instrument.

PL: Who do you rally around in the studio?

IE: It’s equal.

MS: It’s interesting to see when Will chimes in because his input his valuable. Because Ian and I are always butting heads and trying to come up with an answer.

IE: Will has become such a good drummer. At this point he knows probably the most about music. I’ve always been the one who doesn’t know shit but has big ideas. Matthew can usually flatten that out and make something out of it with his bass lines.

ZD: It sounds like elements of conflict are part of your process.

IE: It’s all about compromise. Which is valuable, even though it’s hard.

Photo Credit:  Courtney Farrell

Photo Credit: Courtney Farrell

MS: I think you and I after all these years trust each other’s instincts.

PL: Are you guys going to be together in five years?

MS: Yes.

IE: Oh, yeah. Undeniably.

MS: With all sincerity.

ZD: That’s the right answer. They say if you know someone for seven years, you’ll know them the rest of your lives. You guys kind of have a brotherhood at this point.

IE: It is like that.

MS: Ian is the most important person in my life.

PL: So Nate Cook. Let’s hear it. He’s lifting you guys up quite a bit the past year or so.

MS: He’s just a tornado of creative destruction.

IE: He pushed us in a different direction. We were so surprised he even wanted to do this. I was the biggest fucking Yawpers fan in the whole world. When they asked us to open for their album release show, I was like, “Oh my god…”

PL: In a sentence or two, what has the experience of working with him been like?

MS: He put us on a platform and he didn’t stand for any bullshit in the studio. He just kept pushing us and pushing us until we broke.

ZD: That sounds really intense.

IE: For me, it was every single song. Anyway anything I did was fucking terrible.

MS: It was terrifying to perform for someone like that who we’d idolized like that. But he had a respect for us. We played raw like him. We weren’t musicians who were trained theoretically.

ZD: So this album must have a lot of spontaneity.

MS: It was only five days of recording, and we had ten tracks. Some of the songs weren’t completed when we went into the studio.

IE: I lied to him and told him we had enough songs to record an album. I was going upstairs from the studio in between when I had to play and writing lyrics.

MS: Part of the beauty of the album was that it wasn’t put together before we went to the studio. We had to write it in those five days.

Photo Credit:  Courtney Farrell

Photo Credit: Courtney Farrell

IE: Every day we had to get a certain amount done, so we just did it.

PL: What does this release mean to you?

IE: It means moving on. Letting shit go, and getting onto the next thing. I’m so fucking over it.

ZD: What are you proud of about it?

IE: I think it’s going to be a base for us. I think these songs are good.

MS: I agree. When I look at is as a whole, I think it’s a full entity, ten full songs, and I’m proud at how much we put into that and how hard we pushed each other. We’d never been put under that kind of stress before. I think I’m a bit more proud of it than Ian in that way. I’m proud of what I did in the studio.

PL: That’s refreshing to hear. The default answer when you ask a musician is that they could have done better. But for the most part, people are proud of what they make. It’s nice to hear someone say it.

MS: I really want people to listen to the album. Sit down and listen to all ten tracks. And then actually give us the time of day. Half the time we are trying to get people to just take us seriously because we’re so fucking young. But we’ve been doing this for a long time. It shouldn’t matter anyway. If you care about what you’re doing and care about this art, and you really value the music, it doesn’t matter how old you are.

The Beeves self-titled debut record drops everywhere this Friday, May 17th. Catch them at The Fox Theatre the same night. Tickets here.

-Pete

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

John Craigie's 'No Rain, No Rose' a Reflection of Life on the Road & Finding Home

By: Zach Dahmen

Singer/songwriter John Craigie has been everywhere, but his latest record takes him back to his new home base in Portland, Oregon. His affable character and quick wit make his live shows true entertainment, as I saw over a year ago. Each performance deftly moves from engaging story to poignant song. Seriously- spend ten minutes with this guy and you feel like you have somehow known each other for years. And that’s what’s so genuine about Craigie: He draws people in as a performer and as a person. Needless to say, I was excited about his new record, No Rain, No Rose.

John Craigie.

John Craigie.

Some of John’s storytelling skills have undoubtedly been honed by the road, and John spends over half his year on the road. He’s been traversing The States (and beyond) for years, picking up loyal listeners with his earnest music and endearing personality. Hailing from California originally, Craigie set out as a true troubadour years ago, touring and living on the road for an extended time playing gigs and even festivals like Burning Man. His touring eventually brought him through Portland, which cultivated his eventual move and settling into that community. This move is well-reflected in Craigie’s latest record, which was released this past January.

No Rain, No Rose is an album that feels like it is taking root. For Craigie that means a much more fleshed out sound compared to his previous, more stripped-down recordings. Beyond this, No Rain, No Rose is also packed with friends including members of Fruition, The Shook Twins, Gregory Alan Isakov, Brad Parsons, Bevin Foley (of Trout Steak Revival), Kat Fountain, Bart Budwig, Justin Landis, John Nuhn, and Niko Daoussis. From his old Victorian home’s kitchen, Craigie told me in a recent chat that he would call out players to jump in on tracks.

“We recorded inside the house I live in. All my housemates were there cooking dinner between takes, we set up in the living room, and people came by when they could and sat in on songs.”

These living room vibes fit Craigie well, and with the extended audio, the album has a sense of an intimate house party. It’s like your friends set down their glasses, picked up an instrument and created something so good it feels like it’s somehow yours as well. This style also gives the album some of Craigie’s classic levity.

The heart of No Rain, No Rose comes from the title track. Maybe the most personal song of the album, it’s a fully realized lament and celebration of embracing what is hard: “We need the bad things to make the good things, I know/And I hear them singing, ‘No rain. No rose.’”

"I really wanted to write a response to Portland after living here for a couple of years. All the songs that had been written in my time here.” Craigie told me.

Themes of the road, relationships, and aimlessness show an artist processing his past and looking forward to what is ahead. This record is a true reflection of community, with each song feeling like it has a life of its own while still feeling like a cohesive part of the record. Drawn out vocals and haunting melodies are captured in songs like “I Am California” and “Savannah,” with the the former including some lovely harmonies with Boulder’s own Isakov. Other songs like “Bucket List Grandmas” and “Michael Collins” are filled with strings, and give the feeling of a packed bluegrass jam. The whole vibe of the 13-song record takes real life and makes it just a little more pretty.

You can see John Craigie in Denver TONIGHT Thursday, March 23rd with Holly Lovell at The Walnut Room at 8PM. He has another Colorado gig in Pueblo at Songbird Cellars this Friday the 24th at 730PM. Make sure to keep up with Craigie’s continuing life on the road here.

-Zach

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

Colorado Music Festivals 2017: Your Official Guide To All The Goodness

By: Hannah Oreskovich

Festival season is arguably the best time of year in music. So here at BolderBeat, we’ll be updating this feature with every Colorado festival announcement that comes our way. Stay as on the pulse as we are.


FoCoMX- April 28th-29th

Fort Collins' premiere music festival has announced its lineup, which features hundreds of Colorado artists. Some of our favorites include Antonio Lopez, The Alcapones, BANDITS, Bethel Steele, Danielle Ate The Sandwich, Edison, Foxfeather, Gasoline Lollipops, and The Velveteers. Full lineup here


Spread The Word Music Festival- May 5th-8th

Taking place at several Denver and Boulder venues, Spread The Word features a mix of local and national artists with styles including rock, jam, funk, reggae, hip-hop, folk/grass, electronic and fusion. Headliners of this year's fest include Kyle Hollingsworth Band, Euforquestra, A-Mac and the Hight, & Analog Sun. Full lineup on our announcement link.


Denver’s Project Pabst- May 20th

“Project Pabst was a wild success,” contributor Zach Dahmen wrote in retrospect of the 2016 festival that took over Denver’s Larimer Street last year. This year, the PBR-fueled lineup includes Ice Cube, Phantogram, Danny Brown, Kurt Vile, STRFKR, No Name, & more. We’re pumped for this. Details here


Greeley Blues Jam- June 9th-10th

The Greeley Blues Jam seeks to keep the blues alive, and this year, they’re doing just that with a lineup including Walter Trout, Samantha Fish, Honey Island Swamp Band, and Colorado favorite The Burroughs. This is one weekend you’ll enjoy being blue. Full lineup on their website.


Taste of Fort Collins- June 9th-11th

The 21st annual Taste of Fort Collins includes headliners St. Lucia, Gin Blossoms, Plain White T's, & Waterloo Revival this year. Tickets are only $5-$10 and the fest is hosted at Civic Center Park in Old Towne. Get out and get down! More info on their website.


Country Jam- June 15th-18th

Grand Junction will host Country Jam’s 26th annual four-day fest this year. Kenny Chesney, Jason Aldean, and Thomas Rhett top the headliners list of the 30+ artists that will play to your boot kickin’ desire. Surrounded by the red rocks of GJ, this festival annually hosts some of the biggest names in country music, and clearly this year is no different. More info at this link.


Sonic Bloom Festival- June 15th-18th

If you like electronic music, there’s no better place to be than Colorado’s Sonic Bloom Festival. Happening at Hummingbird Ranch in Spanish Peaks Country, the weekend will feature performances from Gigantic Cheese Biscuits, The Polish Ambassador, The Floozies, and a huge array of electronic beatmasters. The festival will also feature yogis and movement leaders, as well as interpretive artists. And did we mention the visuals? Full lineup here.


Telluride Bluegrass Festival- June 15th-18th

Telluride Bluegrass Festival celebrates its 44th year this summer. Jason Mraz, Norah Jones, Dierks Bentley with The Travelin' McCourys, and Brandi Carlile top the fest’s 2017 list. We can tell you from experience that last year was magical and we even met some our favorite musicians at (where else?) the Port-a-Potties. More info and tickets here.


Van’s Warped Tour- June 25th

Believe it or not, we attended this event back in 2015 after not having been since high school. Yes. Though much has changed since what was arguably Warped Tour’s heyday (moshing is now frowned upon), this is a fest that still has a cult following and still makes its way around the US. Attila, Bowling for Soup, CKY, & Futuristic top this year's bill- grab the full listing here.


Westword Music Showcase- June 25th

Denver’s alt weekly newspaper will host more than 100 live acts at their annual summer celebration this year. With Shakey Graves, The Revivalists, Cut Copy, Bob Moses, COIN, Arizona, and a long list of local acts, this will be one to clink a summer beer to and enjoy. Don’t miss out on Westword’s fantastic Friday night. Local artists should be announced soon; voting is open. More info on their website.


Central Rockies Old-Time Music Association (CROMA) Festival-

July 5th-9th

CROMA's 2017 festival at Parrish Ranch features a great old-time music lineup, workshops, nightly dances, open jams, classes for kids, open stage times, and couples dance workshops. Artists at this year's fest will include Eddie Bond and the New Ballards Branch Bogtrotters, The Ozark Highballers, Jesse Milnes and Emily Miller, and The Musky Dimes and Lansford and McAlister. Get full details and tickets here


The Ride Festival- July 8th-9th

Beck will headline The Ride Festival this year, another Telluride fest that is sure to get you groovin’. Ben Harper, Kaleo, The John Butler Trio, and Colorado favorite Rose Hill Drive will all keep your summer-chill vibes in check at this one. Full lineup here.


The Underground Music Showcase- July 27th-30th

One of our absolute favorite weekends of the summer is Denver’s The UMS due to its focus on local artists, and all the fun that comes along with wandering around the South Broadway venues hosting the three-day event. Benjamin Booker, Red Fang, & Esme Patterson are headlining this year, but we're more stoked on this massive list of local artists (a crazy amount of which we've covered in the last year). Get tickets here. More deets on our announcement link.


Rockygrass Festival- July 28th-30th

Bluegrass, bluegrass, and more bluegrass. That’s what Rockygrass in Lyons is all about! Sam Bush Bluegrass Band, The Del McCoury Band, and The Infamous Stringdusters are already confirmed for this year’s pickin’ celebration, so get your tickets now. More artists at this link.


ARISE Music Festival- August 4th-6th

Colorado’s ARISE is back for its fifth year at Loveland’s Sunrise Ranch, and features seven stages of live music, yoga, workshops, theme camps, art galleries & installations, a children’s village, speakers, and films! Some of the top billed artists for 2017 include Atmosphere, Tipper, and Ani Difranco. Get more details at our announcement link.


Bohemian Nights at NewWestFest- August 11th-13th

Bohemian Nights at NewWestFest is a FREE, recurring, three-day music festival held every August in the historic downtown of Fort Collins. CAKE has been announced as one of the headliners with more TBA- keep up with the full lineup here.


Velorama Colorado- August 11th-13th

Following the Colorado Classic bicycle race, Colorado’s newest festival Velorama will take place in Denver’s RiNo Neighborhood this summer. Wilco, Death Cab For Cutie, The New Pornographers, Saint Motel, and La Santa Cecilia are the bands announced so far, and you don’t have to bike in the race to partake in the party! Tickets for this new fest here.


Rocky Mountain Folks Festival- August 18th-20th

Last year, Rocky Mountain Folks Festival proved to be much more than a music festival. Bringing together local artists for songwriting workshops and more, the Lyons, CO fest created an awesome artistic community that still managed to showcase great national acts too. Gregory Alan Isakov, Lake Street Dive, and Rhiannon Giddens have already been announced for this year’s fest; full schedule and list of acts here.


Jazz Aspen Snowmass- September 1st-3rd

We don’t know how Maroon 5 is jazz, but they are headlining the JAS Labor Day Weekend festival this year. Colorado favorite Nathaniel Rateliff & The Nightsweats, Lake Street Dive, and Keith Urban will also have performances at the Snowmass event. JAS has a smaller June event too, which will feature John Batiste & Stay Human, Michael McDonald, and Earth Wind & Fire. Details on both events here.


Telluride Blues & Brews Festival 

aerial_0077_0.jpg

Telluride Blues & Brews Fest has Bonnie Raitt, Steve Winwood, TajMo at the top of their bill this year. You can get your grand brew tasting on for three days with these artists and more, plus there is a lot of availability in ticket options, so you can schedule your own fest experience. Get more info here


Festivals of The Past

We'll miss you Vertex.

We'll miss you Vertex.

Wondering what happened to some of your other favorite Colorado festivals? Bass Center moved to New Jersey this year, Divide Music Festival has been postponed until 2018, Groove Festival’s web presence has been replaced by this Japanese site making us question everything, Mad Decent Block Party went to India (yes really), Riot Fest Denver will not return due to Sean McKeough's death, and Vertex (which we freakin’ loved) was sadly cancelled, but we’re praying it comes back to life with full zombie mayhem next year. Fingers crossed fellow festheads.


Make sure to keep up with our festival coverage all season on BolderBeat’s dedicated fest page!

-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.

Whiskey, Love, & Death: The Making of Foxfeather's New Self-Titled Album

By: Zach Dahmen

At a time when most local acts are releasing four song EPs, Foxfeather’s new project is bucking the trend. The Boulder-based band dropped their first full length album this month, a self-titled 11-song release. Formed in 2013, the five-piece outfit consists of Carly Ricks Smith (lead vocals), Laura Stratton (guitars/keys/vocals), Patrick Coleman (upright/electric bass/violin), Ben Batchelor (drums/percussion), and Ian Hendrick (electric guitar). This Friday, October 21st is Foxfeather’s Denver CD Release Show at The Walnut Room with Doves and Wolves. Before they hit the stage, we wanted to chat with them about their songwriting style, their new album, and whiskey. Here’s our sit down with Foxfeather:

How did Foxfeather come together?

Laura: Carly and I first started working together to hone our songwriting skills. We were writing and just having fun with it. There came a point when we needed to have more to these songs than just vocals and guitar, which led us to the next stage: forming the band.

Patrick: It was last summer on tour when the five of us officially cemented the lineup.

Carly: And this really feels like the beginning, right now, with this album.

How do you feel like you’ve changed from your first EP to your new album?

Patrick: Our instrumentation has changed in a direct way. We no longer employ mandolin and fiddle. Also Ben is a jazz drummer, and that for me has changed the feel of the band immensely.

Carly: With our first EP, Laura and I really struggled with our identity, and it was difficult to let go of the idea that we were a folk duo. It took making that EP, playing, and touring with this band to make us realize that this is what we wanted. That’s why we self-titled the album; it’s all five of us playing this record.

Foxfeather. Photo Credit:   Kirsten Cohen

Foxfeather. Photo Credit: Kirsten Cohen

Talk to us about your recording process.

Laura: Jay Elliot was our sound engineer [on this album]. We recorded in his home studio last April for nine days. And our producer was Jagoda, who was such an integral part of the entire process. Everyone was there for the whole process.

Ben: It would have felt like we were missing a family member on Thanksgiving had we not all been there for the whole process. Jay mixed and was the conduit, and he was really able to see the tone of it and get a sense of who we are. The songs transformed in those moments.

Carly: The studio changed the way we played these songs live too. We were really trying to be as open as possible during this process.

Ian: As the lead guitarist, I found there to be a lot of pressure; there’s this responsibility, but Jay, Jagoda, and the studio made me feel confident to produce something we are all proud of. It was an authentic experience that was really special.    

Listen to Foxfeather's new self-titled album:

What do you think makes a good song and how do you incorporate that into your writing?

Patrick: Whiskey, love, and death. Those were our themes for this album.

Carly: Laura and I write these songs; it’s a process to find a story that fits. Trying to find that word that gives that exact feeling; starting with just an idea and creating a story around it. Laura and I feed off of each other in that. That base and foundation is what allows us to make these songs.

Ian: For me, a good song is not about geeking out about guitars, it’s the lyrical content and feel. Does the song make you feel something?

Ben: Yeah I think a good song evokes a response from people; that’s the end goal. To connect.

Tickets   here  ! Photo Credit:   Kirsten Cohen

Tickets here! Photo Credit: Kirsten Cohen

What song surprised you most while recording?

Everyone: “Day for Lovers.” (simultaneously)

Laura: We had 16 songs that we brought to the studio. We had a lot of them we weren’t sure would make it. But “Day for Lovers” was a surprise.

Carly: “Day for Lovers” is one of our oldest songs. It changed a lot. We took it and cut some verses and rearranged it to make it its own thing. Afterward, we were like ‘Holy shit. What did we just do?’ I called my mom and told her I just made some baby-making music. It’s become one our favorites.

What are your favorite places to play?

Everyone: Gold Hill Inn; it’s a special place.

Carly: Also Taco Del Gnar is a place we’ve been more than six times. They gave us the opportunity to start touring southern Colorado.

Laura: It’s a home away from home for us.

ON THE ROAD.

ON THE ROAD.

If you could play a show with any band, who would it be?

Everyone: Lake Street Dive. For sure.

What song do you wish you wrote?

Laura: “Pony” by Kasey Chambers, which we cover.

Patrick: Or Dawes’ new song.

So what’s up next for Foxfeather?

Carly: Promoting the CD, planning some small tours, and playing more festivals.

Laura: And continuing the creative process. It’s cool to think about where we can go and to not be stuck in a box.

Catch Foxfeather this Friday at The Walnut Room in Denver. Tickets here! And make sure to give their self-titled album a listen for yourself above.

-Zach

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

Jeremy Mohney Is 'On The Mellowside' With New EP Release

By: Zach Dahmen

Jeremy Mohney, a local swing crooner, is back with another four song EP entitled On The Mellowside. The release was produced locally with a cast of Boulder musicians, including Jason Bertone on upright bass, Matt Cantor on electric guitar, and engineering by Derek Warwick. This is Mohney’s third release, and his second of 2016; we covered his last EP, Get Dancin’, back in May.

Jeremy Mohney.

Jeremy Mohney.

On The Mellowside is a collection of slow-crooning swing featuring minimal vocals. It showcases Mohney’s prowess on the saxophone. The exception to this rule is the title track, a bouncy call-and-response tune sure to get dancers out on the floor. The low-fi production of this release showcases the raw talent that Mohney and his cohorts have in creating their timeless sound. Each musician gets their own space to breathe life into the arrangements, and that simplicity allows for an intimate feel in every track. It’s a style of music done with authenticity, love, and talent that really helps transport the listener to another time and space.

Watch Jeremy Mohney’s newest music video for his tune “Sometimes I Can’t Think”:

Mohney has been entertaining the Front Range for years with his authentic swing, drawing crowds and creating dance floors from venues, to house parties, to the Pearl Street Mall. If there was ever a doubt that there is a swing community in the Front Range, Mohney has managed to lay that rumor to rest.

Make sure to go see Jeremy Mohney for yourself this weekend! He’s throwing his release party this Saturday, September 3rd at The No Name Bar in Boulder. Details here.

On The Mellowside will be available for purchase and listening this Saturday as well, on Mohney’s Bandcamp page.

-Zach

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

Allah-Las Will Bring Their Dreamy California Rock to The Fox Theatre Next Wednesday

By: Zach Dahmen

Backlit by a hazy Denver sky on the Underground Music Showcase’s main stage, the Allah-Las dreamy California rock’n’roll blew through like a summer breeze. With vocals that melted into the warm evening air, the band proved that they make their influences their own by mixing modern indie and 60s dream pop. It was a nice moment in a festival full of movement to pause and take in the Allah-Las. There was no better place to be. But whether you were there or you’re FOMO-ing just at the thought of it, you’re in luck. The Allah-Las are headed back to Colorado for a headlining show next Wednesday at Boulder’s Fox Theatre.

Hours before their UMS set, I sat down with Miles Michaud, the lead singer of the L.A.-based band. We shared some whiskey as we chatted about writing music, their latest album, 'Calico Review', and the ups and downs of tour life. Read on:

It’s easy to hear in your work that you are music buffs, with an appreciation for what has come before you. Where did that come from and how did that influence your music?

Before we were musicians we were just music fans. Never really expected to be in a band professionally. We were kids just buying tapes and CD’s. We try to distill our inspirations and all the things that turn us on into a sound that is timeless.

Allah-las. Photo Credit:   Hannah Oreskovich

Allah-las. Photo Credit: Hannah Oreskovich

So how much of that comes into play with song craft and writing?

The way that I write is basically a concept; a lyric or a melody that builds into something. It’s something that comes out when it does; I just have to be careful to capture it and write it down. Too often, it’s easy to forget those ideas.

You took several years to make your first record, and then spent a significant amount of time on 'Calico Review'. What is the process of producing an album like for you?

We demoed 40 songs for this new record. For our process, we do take care to release songs that meet our criteria of what we want them to be. A lot of people these days release a lot of shit and that’s one way to do it, because people are always hungry for more. But I think that the downside to that is that if you release too much, people can’t digest it all and it kind of gets lost and becomes too much. It’s a natural rhythm [for us]. We write a record, we record it, we tour on it, and we come back to write more songs. We try not to put out just whatever goes down on tape; we keep it tight.

Miles Michaud. Photo Credit:   Hannah Oreskovich

Miles Michaud. Photo Credit: Hannah Oreskovich

Talk to me about the new record, 'Calico Review'.

Our first record, we wrote all together. On this record, the writing was done individually. You have a lot more diversity and various textures. We spent a lot of time building these songs in the studio together because of that. It’s always strange making a record; you do it until you feel it’s done, but you really don’t know how it sounds to anyone else. I like it; I hope everyone else likes it. Especially after spending a year on it.

Watch Allah-Las’ official music video for “Could Be You”:

You are embarking on a pretty big tour this fall, which includes your Fox Theatre show next Wednesday in Boulder, Colorado. What are the best and worst parts about touring?

Touring is great; touring is a lot of fun. Playing shows in different parts of the world and feeling that energy from people who speak different languages and come from different lifestyles, it’s pretty amazing to have that uniting experience. The downside is [your] health. You start to lose track of the days. It’s a snake eating its tail kind of lifestyle sometimes. It is rewarding though.

Pedrum Siadatian.  Photo Credit:   Hannah Oreskovich

Pedrum Siadatian.  Photo Credit: Hannah Oreskovich

Do you feel like being from California, and L.A. specifically, significantly influences the music you make?

Sure, everything you do, everything you experience… [it] somehow manifests itself. We grew up in L.A and that’s who we are; it’s just a natural thing. I love that city, and I’m happy that people see that [in us].

And we’re happy the band is trekking from the CA to Boulder! The Allah-La’s new release, 'Calico Review', drops next Friday, September 9th! Make sure to check it out here and get your tickets to The Fox for their show next Wednesday, September 7th, while you still can. We’ll see you there.

-Zach

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

The UMS Day Two: Sizzling Streets and Shaking Stages with Denver's Finest & More

By: Zach Dahmen

The Underground Music Showcase day two began with heat. Left over from a strong Thursday night of shows, Friday blazed in quickly with the fest kicking into full gear. By the time music began to start off the weekend, beads of sweat were dripping from artists and fans alike as the high hanging sun made South Broadway sizzle. Tunes of the main stage sound checks buzzed along the sidewalks, beaconing the wristband clad masses.

Fort Frances. Photo Credit:   Hannah Oreskovich

Fort Frances. Photo Credit: Hannah Oreskovich

My first stop was 3 Kings Tavern, where Chicago’s Fort Frances was playing. The four-piece, melodic Americana rock outfit stepped the stage with a tight, energetic set. Longtime UMS players, the group engaged a decent crowd with hook-driven songs and precise playing. Every song felt like a single waiting to explode, and their stage presence left a lasting effect. This is a band that could play any stage at the showcase and do it well.

IMG_4553.jpg

Denver’s own Tyto Alba next took the stage at Skylark Lounge with their brand of indie rock. Though their lead singer may be smaller in stature, her voice and presence exudes something much larger. Their music doesn’t ask a lot of its listeners, but gives back plenty. With a tight sound and heartfelt performance, they make 2003 feel just as relevant today.

The Allah-Las. Photo Credit:  Hannah Oreskovich

The Allah-Las. Photo Credit: Hannah Oreskovich

Back-lit against a graying Denver sky was the closing act for the main stage on Friday, the Allah-Las, a five-piece retro indie rock band out of L.A. The full crowd of hundreds swayed along with pines as the gentle summer breeze of this band sent us back to a bygone era of well-crafted, simple pop songs. If the wafting aroma of vaporizers and the faint glow of smart phones weren’t present, one might question what decade this band is from.

Chimney Choir. Photo Credit:  Hannah Oreskovich

Chimney Choir. Photo Credit: Hannah Oreskovich

After the constant movement of the showcase, bouncing from one venue to another and braving the crowded sidewalks, it was time to go to church. Chimney Choir laid their three-part harmonies over intricately composed, gypsy-beat heavy folk to The South Broadway Church. This band can only be described as: unique as hell. Framed against a towering organ on a church stage, their high-soaring harmonies felt like an angelic choir with too many instruments to name. What looked like a chaos of infrastructure in instruments and set up culminated in a beautiful congregation of sound.

NightLife outside of the Hi-Dive. Photo Credit:  Hannah Oreskovich

NightLife outside of the Hi-Dive. Photo Credit: Hannah Oreskovich

As the night grew thick and the Hi-Dive lines wrapped around street corners, it was time to sit and ponder my full evening at the UMS. With already so much talent seen, it’s exciting and daunting to even think about the rest of what this weekend has in store. But I can’t wait.

-Zach

All photos per Hannah Oreskovich for BolderBeat. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat. Header photo of Pizza Time. 

EP Review: Dechen Hawk's Jus' Sayin's Self-Titled Debut Release

By: Hannah Oreskovich

Dechen Hawk's new project Jus' Sayin' is definitely worth saying something about.

Local Boulder artist Dechen Hawk may be best known for his solo work around the Front Range, where he has played for years after studying at Naropa University under Bill Douglas, Art Lande, and Janet Feder. Hawk has released six solo albums, and has been a part of numerous singer/songwriter outfits and projects throughout Colorado. He’s shared the stage with acts including Martin Sexton, Leon Russell, Big Gigantic, and Analog Sun, to name a few. Recently, however, Hawk has a new project: Jus’ Sayin’. The neo-soul, funk/jazz five-piece is comprised of a number of local heavy-hitters, with Hawk (vocals/keys), Mirco Altenbach (sax/synth), Colin Robison (guitar/vocals), Eric Imbrosciano (drums), and Ben Rubin (bass).

Jus' Sayin'.

Jus' Sayin'.

After several successful live performances, Hawk decided to head to Alcheh & Hunt in Boulder, CO to record Jus’ Sayin’s debut EP. The self titled, five-track release features the talents of a slightly different lineup than the live-performance group. Daniel Alcheh (strings/piano/EFX/synth), Eliot Hunt (drums/keys/synth/mellotron), Kip Kuepper (bass), and Robbie Nevil (guitar) all play on the EP, with Hawk (vocals/guitar/keys/synth) as the common denominator between Jus’ Sayin’s live performances and recorded work.

Dechen Hawk.

Dechen Hawk.

Jus’ Sayin’s debut single from the new release is “Drug of Choice”, a very catchy track with sprinkled staccato beats, smooth vocals, and poppy synth sounds. It’s a perfect example of what happens when Hawks’ skillful songwriting comes together with his tenor voice, seasoned professionalism, and pop sensibilities. It’s upbeat with a great hook. “Drug of Choice” is the must-hear song of this release, and the perfect track to add to your favorite summer playlist.

Listen to “Drug of Choice” for yourself here:

“Lost in Line” is the next tune on Jus’ Sayin’, and showcases Hawk’s soulful influences with tasty sax bits. It’s got a great percussive intro, and is the perfect lead-in to the EP’s next track, “Tenderly”. “Tenderly” starts with funky synth sounds dripping in 90s R&B throwback nostalgia. It’s got a great groove and almost feels like a sultry, soulful lullaby.

“Beautifully Back” is the ballad of the EP. It’s a bit slow, but tastefully composed by Daniel Alcheh. There’s an elegance to this one, with strings performed by the Beijing Chamber Ensemble that were actually recorded in China. James Mihaley garners lyrical credit on this tune.

The EP closes with “What You Won’t Do For Love”, which begins with Hawk’s crooning vocals. This track feels a bit more stripped-down than the others, but still keeps your attention.

Overall, Jus’ Sayin’ is a polished release that showcases Hawk's credibility as an accomplished musician and songwriter.

Jus' Sayin' live.

Jus' Sayin' live.

Jus’ Sayin’ is available for purchase digitally, but will also be available in physical form this Friday, June 17th, at The Laughing Goat, where the band will perform the EP live and celebrate Hawk’s birthday! The show starts at 8PM- be there and grab your own copy of Jus’ Sayin’. Check out the Facebook event and keep up with Jus’ Sayin on Facebook.

-Hannah

Follow Hannah on twitter and instagram.

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured. Special credit to Zach Dahmen for his work on this feature.

BolderBeat's Guide to Colorado's Summer Music Festivals 2016

By: Claire Woodcock

It finally feels like summer, so let's fest. 

We know you want to hit the festivals on our list. 

We know you want to hit the festivals on our list. 

It’s festival season, which has all of us here at BolderBeat elated. Press kits are flying, and we want you to be as on the curve as we are! So here are our top picks for Colorado’s summer music festivals:

Project Pabst May 20-21

Nathaniel Rateliff & The Nightsweats at Denver's Project Pabst. 

Nathaniel Rateliff & The Nightsweats at Denver's Project Pabst. 

Project Pabst was a wild success,” were Zach Dahmen’s words in retrospect of the festival that rocked Denver a few weeks ago. We brought you exclusive coverage on Best Coast, TV on the Radio and more in our feature of the event. Relive that time Charles Bradley almost did the splits and The Violent Femmes helped us blister in the sun with our photos per Ian Glass.

Sasquatch Music Festival May 27-29

Kurt Vile at Sasquatch.

Kurt Vile at Sasquatch.

BolderBeat had a press invitation to Sasquatch Music Festival this year, so we threw down content on The Cure, Disclosure, Florence and the Machine, M83, Grimes, Sufjan Stevens, Purity Ring, Kurt Vile And The Violators, Nathaniel Rateliff & the Nightsweats, and more! Take a scroll through our pictures right here and read over our recaps of the awesome weekend. It wasn't in CO folks, but it sure was awesome.

Sonic Bloom Festival June 16-19

The 11th annual Sonic Bloom Festival is coming up soon! This year, SB is at Hummingbird Ranch, nestled in the heart of Spanish Peaks country. The weekend will feature performances from Bonobo, Tipper, and a huge array of electronic beatmasters. The festival also features a crazy lineup of yogis and movement leaders, as well as interpretive artists.

Telluride Bluegrass Festival June 16-19

Telluride's Bluegrass Festival has been a massive success for 43 years. 

Telluride's Bluegrass Festival has been a massive success for 43 years. 

Telluride is known as one of the best festival spots of the west, and Telluride Bluegrass Festival has been keeping that notoriety alive for 43 years! The festival dates fall on the weekend closest to the summer solstice, giving you the longest day of the year to wander from set to set. Guests this year include Ryan Adams, Neil Finn, Emmylou Harris, and more!

Westword Music Showcase June 25

Summer in the city at Westword's Music Showcase. 

Summer in the city at Westword's Music Showcase. 

Denver’s alt weekly newspaper will host more than 100 live acts, most of which are Colorado-based. Denver band 888 is slated to play one of Westword’s main stages, while Cold War Kids, Matt and Kim, and New Politics front a lineup sure to make this year’s showcase a success.

The Ride Festival July 9-10

Views on views at Telluride's Ride Festival.

Views on views at Telluride's Ride Festival.

The Ride Festival, another Telluride fest, is one of the first live music/camp combos of the summer. Since 2012, this festival has firmly established itself in rootsy rock vibes. This year’s headliners include Pearl Jam and Cage the Elephant.

The Divide Music Festival July 22-24

divide-2016-lineup.jpg

Divide in Winter Park is a new music festival in Colorado this year. Its lineup boasts performances by Bleachers, Cake, Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeroes, Kid Cudi, Miike Snow and more! Festival perks include hiking, biking and yoga for festival-goers.

The Underground Music Showcase July 28-31

For many Colorado musicians, UMS is one of the biggest festivals of the summer. Performers on the national scene include San Francisco garage rockers Thee Oh Sees. Go celebrate over 100 local performers making it happen in CO's music scene at this Denver setup!

Bass Center July 29-30

Bassnectar is bringing a massive show to CO.

Bassnectar is bringing a massive show to CO.

California’s Bassnectar first brought Bass Center to Colorado in 2010; this festival is the traveling circus of electronic music. The Bassnectar tour travels with its own custom sound rig, and headlines some of the most noted venues in the country. Acts this year include Flux Pavilion, Flying Lotus, Wu-Tang Clan, and Lupe Fiasco. You can check it out in Commerce City, and there are two camping villages for the hardcores: “The Shire” and “Narnia”.

Vertex Festival August 5-7

At its core, Vertex is diverse music, outdoor adventure, and artful fun in beautiful Buena Vista, CO. Alabama Shakes and Odesza are two of the headliners, to give an idea of the range of performers on this lineup. We’re covering press at Vertex, so expect lots of info to hit our site over the summer on this one!

ARISE Music Festival August 5-7

Nighttime shows at Arise rule. 

Nighttime shows at Arise rule. 

Here’s another festival that is Colorado heavy. ARISE will take place at Loveland’s Sunrise Ranch again this year, and features seven stages of live music, yoga, workshops, theme camps, art galleries & installations, a children’s village, speakers, and films!

Bohemian Nights at NewWestFest August 12-14

Did we mention this fest is free?

Did we mention this fest is free?

Bohemian Nights at NewWestFest is a FREE, recurring, three-day music festival held every August in historic downtown Fort Collins. Local faves DeVotchKa and The Fray are headlining this bad boy, and there's a ton of other great local acts playing too. Check out the lineup here!

Rocky Mountain Folks Festival August 19-21

BYOBlanket to Rocky Mountain Folks Fest.

BYOBlanket to Rocky Mountain Folks Fest.

The Rocky Mountain Folks Festival is happening in Lyons, CO, a mountain town 15 miles north of Boulder that NPR’s All Things Considered once described as “the Nashville of the Rockies”. The festival recently added The Decemberists and Conor Oberst as national acts to their local lineup.

Riot Fest September 2-4

BolderBeat couldn’t be more excited to wrap up the summer festival roundup with Denver’s Riot Fest & Rodeo in September. With national acts like Sleater-Kinney, The Misfits and Yo La Tengo, to name a few, Riot Fest will be an explosive ending to the upcoming sunny summer of music!

Make sure to keep up with our festival coverage all summer on our dedicated fest page!

-Claire

All photos per the festivals featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.

Slow Caves: Fastly Approaching Greatness with New Release "Desert Minded"

By: Zach Dahmen

Fort Collins' Slow Caves are majorly on the come up.

The new EP from Slow Caves has arrived and so has this band! The Fort Collins-based group has been playing the Front Range since 2014. Previous releases showcased a young band with a hard edge. The new EP takes their surf rock sound and adds dreamy vocals and a maturity in songwriting, but this is by no means a tame record. Comparisons can be made, but Slow Caves is a band making their mark in a saturated scene with a sound all their own.

Desert Minded is the name of the four song release, produced by the band themselves and Corey Coffman at the latter’s home studio. It’s a treasure of expanses with one song flowing into the next with ease. The four piece have hit their stride sliding through these songs.

The first song, “2 Hrs!”, is an immediately catchy synth-driven smile on your face. This is an unabashed indie pop song and it works. The vocal harmonies strike all of the right chords; if this track isn’t in your summer playlist, you're doing summer wrong.

“Glares” is a slow burner of pure, surf rock bliss. From the first guitar strums, the song’s light touches and call-back chorus will have you singing out loud.

“Desert Minded”, the EP’s title track, has its roots in the beach with a surf guitar riff running through the song. It’s feels like a beautiful dream like state, and by the time the chorus hits, you are hooked.  

“Son 15" is the most straightforward indie rock song on the EP. Pulsing with an aggressive guitar and a driving beat, this song will have you bobbing your head long after it’s over.

All of these songs could be strong contenders for a great single. The strength of Slow Caves’ writing hooks and song craftsmanship is in full display on this release. With this EP, Slow Caves have cemented themselves as one of the best bands the Front Range has to offer. Expect to be seeing big things from this four-piece in the coming months. Make sure to catch them next at The Downtown Artery in Fort Collins this Saturday, May 28th. Though their digital release of “Desert Minded” has been delayed for what they tell us are “good reasons; cool reasons”, they will have physical copies of the EP available at the show. Head out and keep up with Slow Caves here.

-Zach    

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

Project Pabst Denver: Nathaniel Rateliff & the Nightsweats Announce New Music and More

By: Zach Dahmen

Project Pabst Denver was a wild success.

The fest. [All photos per   Ian Glass Media  . See more   on our Facebook .]

The fest. [All photos per Ian Glass Media. See more on our Facebook.]

Our Lyft came to a slow stop on Larimer Street in the heart of Denver, as the shape of the giant stage formed in front of us. Doors cracked open and the sweat began to make itself visible; it’s a hot one. Between the streets of 27th and 28th on Larimer this weekend lived the Pabst Project Denver: a forty-band music festival put on by PBR, the token drink of hipsters and cheap beer lovers everywhere. Long associated with music, PBR entered the festival circuit in 2014 in Portland, Oregon. This year, the fest branched out across three cities, with Denver being the first of the concert tour.

Raise 'em high.

Raise 'em high.

Walking around the closed-down streets, the scene was flooded with people bookended by two enormous stages: The Captain Pabst stage on 28th and The Laser Horse stage on 27th. Nearly everyone around me held a tall boy, walking between stages and multiple tents.

South of France.

South of France.

Our first stop was the Larimer Lounge, an indoor stage for hometown band South of France. The indie pop five-piece started things off right, with their fresh hooks and melodic vocals. Every band had about a 45 minute set to play, making for a lot to see over the course of the day.

All Chiefs.

All Chiefs.

Next was Boulder/Denver-based All Chiefs playing on the Meadowlark’s patio. The band sweat through a blazing set of their originals, and choice covers, including TV On The Radio’s “Wolf”. The group drew a good crowd for the small venue.

Fidlar.

Fidlar.

Back out in the sea of tank tops and sundresses Fidlar started on The Laser Horse Stage, demanding attention through the walls of the Meadowlark. The indie rock outfit played a heavy set, inciting a mosh-pit and lots of PBR spillage. Their cover of the Beastie Boys’ “Sabotage” drew the loudest reaction from the crowd.

Charles Bradley.

Charles Bradley.

After another PBR and some much needed time in the shade, we ventured to see Charles Bradley, who brought his brand of soul and funk to the party. The 66-year-old singer moved around with ease, and sang through his vast catalog to cheers from the crowd. Bradley moved with grace and ease, even pulling the falling mic-pull move, and taking a small break for a wardrobe change. Bradley was quite possibly the classiest act of the day.

Violent Femmes.

Violent Femmes.

With little time to spare, we raced across the swelling crowds to the Captain Pabst Stage, where the Violent Femmes were just beginning. The 90’s band drew one of the biggest crowds of the day, playing their hits to a more than enthusiastic crowd. The band took an “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” attitude, starting off with their biggest hit first (“Blister in the Sun”). With giant horns and xylophone solos, they proved why after so many years, they still deserve to be a headliner.

Best Coast.

Best Coast.

Beating the crowds back to The Laser Horse Stage, we were prepared for Best Coast, the act that replaced Courtney Barnett because she had to go and play Saturday Night Live (catch that here). But Best Coast were a great addition, and their first show in months had the female-fronted band bringing a sonically impressive, and yet very personal mix of tunes. They played until the sun set.

Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats.

Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats.

As darkness enveloped the block, the masses silhouetted by street lights flocked to see hometown heroes Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats. Clad in an all white denim getup, Rateliff took the stage like a warrior returning from long travels. The crowd of more than 2,000 danced on command, and hung on to every note from the veteran performer. The band played through their current self-titled release, forcing many beer cans to be crushed under tapping toes. One of the highlights of their set was their announcement of a new EP set to be released sometime this fall, followed by the debut of a new track. The experience was not lost on the group themselves, as Nathaniel more than once extolled the greatness of the Denver music scene, and the band’s gratitude for the city.

Finally, the night capped off right where it had started that afternoon: at the Larimer Lounge. A. Tom Collins played to a raucous late night crowd, with an ample horn section, and plenty of onstage antics. Drunken dance abounded, as the crews outside began to clean up what amounted to be a giant, beer-fueled block party of great music. Let’s do it again soon Denver.

-Zach

All photos per Ian Glass Media for BolderBeat. See more on our Facebook. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.    

Shawn James & The Shapeshifters: Metal at The Moon Room & More

By: Zach Dahmen

Shawn James and the Shapeshifters went metal last weekend and it was delicious.

Last week, I crawled through a sea of black t-shirts emblemed with the gods of metal: Slayer, Metallica, and Anthrax, where beards as thick as midnight stretching until dawn were abound, and heavily tattooed arms were a part of the dress code for the evening. At the center of the room was an enormous square bar that left just enough room for the crowd to squeeze up to the stage. I was at Denver’s Summit Music Hall in the Moon Room, and if metal is a feeling, this space exudes it through the walls.

Shapeshifter Beats.

Shapeshifter Beats.

The night began with a pair of Colorado locals: Sea of Teeth and Champagne Charlie. Each set the tones of their performances by engaging with the crowd and creating anticipation for the headliner, and the band I was there to see, Shawn James & The Shapeshifters.

As I sipped a $7 Bulleit, I watched Champagne Charlie’s horn section tune up, a band who claims to be “a drinking man’s music” and delivers. In what was a set of gypsy punk/folk and soul, the band was a surprise of pure fun who are definitely worth seeing live. Frontman Ryan “Peepers” King brought an energy to the stage that spread to the audience, who was soon jumping and shouting to CC’s tunes. The group brought an element of raucous fun that continued to vibe until the venue closed.

Metal.

Metal.

The crowd grew as the openers packed up their gear, and soon it was time for the headliner. Shawn James & The Shapeshifters came out strong, as a high energy rock band with the precision of metal and the sensibility of southern rock’n’roll. The Arkansas trio kicked off their tour missing a few members for this Denver show (those who add the banjo, fiddle, and slide guitar, to be exact), and so, they went metal. In what several audience members told me was a “harder, grittier” version of the typical Shawn James show, the three piece ripped through their set like a pro wrestler tearing a phonebook in half: enthusiastically and without remorse.

Shawn James.

Shawn James.

Frontman Shawn James, who has worked in a number of capacities (solo singer/songwriter and in various group projects), sang with gospel-like pipes, belting his songs over thumping rhythms and heavy guitars. The Shapeshifters made use of their namesake, moving in and out of their songs one after the other while slyly subverting genres.

Hands Up.

Hands Up.

The crowd ate up every moment: they moshed, they howled, and they screamed every word right along with James. And the trio fed the audience’s enthusiasm right back to them: they expressed their love for their Colorado fans as they pulsed the room with heavy sounds, streaming through everyone’s heads. And yet, with all the attention (many people we talked to traveled to all of the band’s shows in CO, and had seen them several times over the years), the men on stage could not have had a more humble and gracious quality to them. They thrived off of the crowd’s adoration, all the while doing what they do best: making great music.

Whip.

Whip.

For a head-whipping good time Shawn James & The Shapeshifters are not to be missed. Keep up with their tour schedule, and pre-order their album On The Shoulders of Giants here.

-Zach

All photos per Hannah Oreskovich for BolderBeat. To see more of this show, follow her on Instagram. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.

Sheingold Shines on New Record "Aquarian Dream"

By: Zach Dahmen

David Sheingold’s anticipated album Aquarian Dream was released last Friday to the masses. Sheingold, who has spent the last decade or so performing around Boulder and the Front Range, has been playing music most of his life. Still, it wasn’t until the past few years that Sheingold really found his voice as a delicate and powerful instrument all its own. Watching him live, you immediately understand that the songs he plays mean much more than a few chords and some lyrics. Sheingold is a veritable performer; an artist who embodies all that he sings.

David Sheingold.

David Sheingold.

Sheingold’s soft and expansive folk is brought to life throughout the twelve song LP, and is done so with a group of local, prominent players: Jeb Bows of (Gregory Alan Isakov), Philip Parker (Gregory Alan Isakov & The Paper Stars), and Ben Berry (Marty O'Reilly and the Old Soul Orchestera). Sheingold lets his voice take the lead on the album, allowing broad arrangements to be filled, and to overflow with the talent surrounding him. The album wanders blissfully like a tumbleweed down the Front Range expanse; a low-fi sound of soft melodies only broken by Sheingold’s Jeff Buckley-esque falsetto. The album takes a talented songwriter and fleshes out his vocal production to a full, and yet perfectly understated sound. Aquarian Dream is a well-produced and artist-centric piece of music.

Highlights on the album include “Morning Star”, with its building crescendo of horns, and “Mandolin Song”, which is a welcome change of pace on the album with its skillful string playing and lyrical earnesty. The track “Grace” is another favorite, and one with Sheingold’s soaring falsetto at center stage.

Aquarian Dream is an impressive debut for an emerging artist, taking some of the best talents of Boulder and creating a unique, original sound that lingers with you.

Preview and download Aquarian Dream for yourself on Apple Music.

-Zach

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

Sweat, Booze, & A Lot of Heart: My Rock'n'Roll Weekend With The Yawpers & Blackfoot Gypsies

By: Zach Dahmen

A personal account of my two days with The Yawpers and Blackfoot Gypsies in Denver. It was a rock and roll blur of sweat, booze, and a lot of heart:

My weekend felt like this: Matthew Paige of Blackfoot Gypsies.

My weekend felt like this: Matthew Paige of Blackfoot Gypsies.

The Blackfoot Gypsies are a four-piece soul and blues rock’n’roll mashup of perfection. Based out of Nashville, Tennessee, BFG are the type of band that you can’t help but notice the minute you walk into the venue. With their long hair, bell bottom jeans, and wide-brimmed hats, you instantly know that they’re playing tonight, even as they casually order beers with you at the bar; they ooze American rock band. The only thing more prominent than their rootsy Southern influences injected into their wild rockin’ blues sound is their humility.

Nate Cook of The Yawpers.

Nate Cook of The Yawpers.

The Yawpers are a three piece, and one of Denver’s favorite local acts. They are thumping rock and roll mixed with poignant lyrics. They are a non-stop manic roller coaster of rock with country/blues sensibility, and some heavy Americana touches.

Paige, Cook, & Dylan Whitlow.

Paige, Cook, & Dylan Whitlow.

My weekend with The Yawpers and Blackfoot Gypsies started a week before the show. I went online to purchase my tickets for the Saturday night performance, which had sold out. Luckily, there was a Sunday BBQ show still available, so I grabbed my tickets for the alternative option. I was not going to miss my opportunity to see Denver’s own Yawpers return. Days later, the Saturday show moved from the Lost Lake to Larimer Lounge, opening up over a hundred more tickets. Without hesitation, I grabbed one. It was time for a Yawpers/BFG double dip.

Zack Murphy of Blackfoot Gypsies.

Zack Murphy of Blackfoot Gypsies.

Upon entering the Larimer, anticipation in the crowd was bowling over with the threat of a true rock’n’roll show, and one which happened to be the end of a month-long tour for both bands. The room swelled as The Blackfoot Gypsies moved to take the stage. The four piece took little time to endear themselves to the PBR-swilling crowd. Frontman Matthew Paige’s slender body moved across the stage with the grace of a rock’n’roll royal, setting the tone for the entire evening. With Zach Murphy fitted in a flower-print button up and a leather hat banging on the drums with maracas and sticks, the crew launched into a gorgeous set of barn burners, landing one after another. Dylan Whitlow’s checkered pants swayed with his bass playing, forcing the crowd to move along with him, while Ollie Dog leaned into the crowd with his harmonica solos and generally hilarious personality.

Noah Shomberg & Nate Cook of The Yawpers.

Noah Shomberg & Nate Cook of The Yawpers.

The Yawpers took the stage to a sold out crowd with pure poetry and fury. With their alt-country and overdriven acoustic guitars, stomping drums, and one enthusiastic mustache, the trio commanded the crowd to do whatever they asked. Frontman Nate Cook made love to the microphone, enthralling the audience to fever pitches, minor bruises from stage diving, and a swirl of rock’n’roll debauchery. Jesse Parmet slid around his guitar like a master commanding the sound, his long hair shadowing his face with a perfect element of mystery. Meanwhile, drummer Noah Shomberg beat the hell out of his kit with energy, sweat, and the driving rhythm that carried every song. From the quiet moments where the group had us singing back “3 am”, to the numerous tracks where The Yawpers had a usually docile Denver crowd dancing, it was a sweaty, booze-soaked good time. Celebration and conversations lasted late into night, with the crowd eager to greet the bands like long lost friends.

Paige & Cook.

Paige & Cook.

As Yawpers’ Noah Shomberg put it, “You couldn't ask for more to come home to after a month away from family and friends. I was proud of this show."

Added BFG’s Matthew Paige, “This is one of the best nights we’ve had [on tour]. This was one of our favorites.”

The Yawpers.

The Yawpers.

If the Saturday night Larimer show was a boozed soaked barn burner, then the Sunday afternoon Lost Lake show was the hair of the dog. The afternoon started with Cook offering me shots of whiskey in the green room, and little did I know that moment would set the tone for one hell of a Sunday-funday BBQ. Venue doors opened at 2pm, when a shuffling crowd made their way to hear openers Mitchel Evan & The Mangrove and The Velveteers. Both bands came out hitting it hard, pulling energy out of people where it didn’t exist before. It was delightful mania, with older songs shared for die-hard fans. The Yawpers of course played another raging set, with the crowd wanting every last bit of what the band had left to give.

Paige of Blackfoot Gypsies. 

Paige of Blackfoot Gypsies. 

After three weeks and over 20 shows together, the Yawpers/BFG tour had come to its end. While both are glad to spend some much needed time off, we wouldn’t be surprised if these two groups joined forces for another round on the road again.

Said Shomberg, “We had camaraderie right off the bat. We drove each other to play better each night; it’s been fantastic.”

The Yawpers closing out their Larimer Lounge set. 

The Yawpers closing out their Larimer Lounge set. 

So what’s next for these rock’n’rollers?

They're gonna miss each other. 

They're gonna miss each other. 

The Blackfoot Gypsies are heading back to Nashville to gear up for a string of tour dates in Europe. From there, they have plans to release their next studio album in September.

The Yawpers will take some time to enjoy being home before touring later this summer; they’ll also make a return appearance at Denver’s UMS.

And as for me, I think I’ll be recovering from this weekend for awhile. While listening to “Doing It Right”, of course.   

-Zach

All photos per Hannah Oreskovich for BolderBeat. To see more of this show, follow her on Instagram. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.

The Burroughs' Single Release: A Review of "You Are My Joy" & "1968"

By: Zach Dahmen

For those unfamiliar with The Burroughs, they’re a band out of Greeley, Colorado that describe their music with the tagline “sweaty soul”. The 9-piece formed in 2013 covering soul classics. In 2015 they recorded their first full-length; a live release called Sweaty Greeley Soul.

The Burroughs.

The Burroughs.

On April 1st of this year, The Burroughs released two new studio singles. They were recorded at Mighty Fine Productions in Denver, a spot that has worked with many local favorites including DeVotchKa. The tracks were engineered by Colin Bricker and produced by Jim White.

Listen to The Burroughs’ new singles:

The lead single of the release is “You Are My Joy”, a bouncy, well-produced, horn-heavy crooner. It’s a nice piece of pop that exudes its own title. The Burroughs wear their influences on their sleeve with classic soul music touchstones, smooth soulful vocals, and just the right amount of horns. When the bridge of this track comes, it’s hard not to at least bob your head if you don’t first find yourself clapping along. This is sure to be a dance-inducing crowd pleaser.

The B-side, “1968”, is a soulful ode to the decade from where it takes its title. It has a funky beat that has lead singer Johnny Burroughs sliding across the track lamenting the state of our world. The saxophone work on the track is worth the listen alone. It’s a good choice for a B-side; juxtaposed to “You Are My Joy”, it shows the band’s range and song craft. Bonus points must be given for using the word ‘asinine’ in a song.

Both of The Burroughs' tracks are currently available on Bandcamp and iTunes.

The band can next be seen this Saturday, April 9th at the Moxi Theater in Greeley with Josh Hoyer & Soul Colossal, and next Friday, April 15th at the Aggie Theatre in Fort Collins.

-Zach

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

On the Record with Zach & David: The Red Petals

By: David Landry and Zach Dahmen

Colorado's newest blues band sat down with us for records and a chat.

On the Record: Where David & Zach sit down with musicians, listen to records, and bring you their conversation.

The Red Petals choices for this session were: 

  1. Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young - Deju Vu
  2. The Beach Boys - Pet Sounds
  3. My Morning Jacket - It Still Moves
  4. The Everly Brothers - The Very Best of
  5. The Band - The Band

House Choice:

  1. Ryan Adams - Rock n Roll

Newly formed blues band The Red Petals walked through the door and went straight for the records; that’s JC McKim, Matt Lowber, and Austin Pacharz. Their story goes likes this: JC and Matt both grew up in Alaska and played in rival high school bands before they both ended up in Boulder. The two played together in a local project, Slanted Jack, but that eventually came to an end.

The Red Petals.

The Red Petals.

In late 2015, JC wanted to start a new project and Matt was itching to play more after a stint of shows playing percussion for Na’an Stop. And that is where Austin (Cold River City) comes in. Na’an Stop happened to need a temporary bass player for a couple of shows and Austin got the gig.

One night, while loading gear, Matt was talking music with the guys and that’s when it happened, the “Hey Austin, want to start a trio with JC and I?” And Austin, “Yeah!” So the three met up in Lyons, the mountain town that Matt calls home, and started to jam old blues and soul standards. It was fluid from the start, and not a lot of questions were asked.

From the beginning, Austin and Matt locked in playing together, and that’s a good thing because it allows JC to dance. JC plays a red, semi-hollowbody guitar, which drives the sound of the band. JC describes the guitar as “flashy blues”, and it’s made him want to play just that.

The three-piece are influenced by 50s and 80s blues, but still allow pop elements to fold in. Each member has their own influences too:

“Funk, jazz, reggae, and hiphop [are] a huge part of my drumming, and my musical approach to drumming.” said Matt.

Austin, on the other hand, is more into the great Pino Palladino (JMT, D’Angelo) and Chris Wood (Wood Brothers). Said Austin, “They know when to hold back and when to push the music further out into space into something cohesive.”

With all of these influences, The Red Petals form a blues power trio, like the greats Stevie Ray Vaughn, The Jimi Hendrix Experience, and even the John Mayer Trio. Being a three-piece lets every instrument have its own space, but blend well together, giving the guys a rich, full tone.

Watch a video about The Red Petals formation:

After their experiences in other projects, the guys decided to go into this one with a different approach: have a solid foundation and act like it’s a business. Which is why they went straight to the studio to record singles before playing shows.

“Knowing we want to approach this professionally means that we have more than just the music to worry about,” said Matt.

And so the guys went to Andrew Oakley’s (WWO, A Shadow of Jaguar, Cold River City, BANDITS) practice space, a spot well seasoned and setup for recording. After tracking their first single, “Ruby Sky”, and an old Robert Johnson tune, “Come On In My Kitchen”, The Red Petals headed to Coupe Studios, where Greg McRae helped engineer and mix their sessions. The trio already has plans for more recordings too, and music videos to help push their vision forward.

Currently, The Red Petals are gearing up to play their first live show in Boulder at the Bohemian Biergarten this Thursday, March 31st, with a hometown show for Matt the following day in Lyons at Pizza Bar 66. In the meantime, keep up with the band here and get a taste of The Red Petals' music on their website

-David and Zach on the record

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

Denver's Soulful Folk Outfit Magpie Hit The Fox Stage Tonight with Satsang & headliner Zach Deputy

By: Zach Dahmen

Get to The Fox tonight for a lineup that has a major mix of sounds.

Denver’s’s soulful folk outfit Magpie is opening tonight’s Fox Theatre show, which features reggae/folk/hip-hop four-piece Satsang and headliner “gospel/soul ninja” Zach Deputy.

Magpie is a three piece whose sound has an heir of the late 00’s folk surge. Lead by Zach Dunn’s wavering vocals and sparse guitar, the band drifts through each song like they are finding their way with each note. Filling out the lineup is Liz Becker on backing vocals and fiddle player Luke Sivertson. Their full length album Good Friends is a full orchestral production, ranging from the expansive eight minute long rambler ‘“Raindance of the Hunter Gatherer” to the brief and breezy “Le Porch”.

“Trembling”, the lead single of the album, gives the best perspective on their sound as a whole; at times experimental but also hitting heavy on repetitive lyrics, which build to a foot-stomping good time. It’s one of the many moments where the band’s sound is reminiscent of Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros, while other songs, such as “Big Sur Drive”, take cues from Conor Oberst with ghostly vocals and simple arrangements.

Magpie make their return to Boulder tonight. Doors are at 830PM, show starts at 9PM, and tickets are only $15. Check out this great local opener and get your tickets here.

Watch Magpie’s video for “Trembling”:

Connect with Magpie on Facebook to keep up with their live performance schedule and other news.

-Zach

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

15-Year-Old Jaden Carlson Headlines The Lazy Dog Friday with a Massive Cast of Local Talent Set for the Stage

By: Zach Dahmen

This young artist is a prodigy.

Formed in 2014, The Jaden Carlson Band is a Boulder-based trio led by frontwoman Jaden Carlson on guitar and vocals, Will Trask on drums, percussion and backing vocals, and Eric Luba on bass, keys and backing vocals. Their latest EP release, Polychromatic, is comprised of smooth sounds that invoke a lighter side of funk, jazz, and rock. The three-piece matches technical precision with laidback, sprawling songs. The guitar-centric compositions are made that much more impressive with Jaden still being in her teens. It’s obvious that she is beyond her years skill-wise, fronting a successful band who has shared the stage with Michael Franti and Spearhead, The Revivalists, John Popper, and Blues Traveler, to name a few.

Jaden Carlson.

Jaden Carlson.

This Friday is your chance to catch Jaden live, as she celebrates her birthday on The Lazy Dog stage. The event promises “musical soulfulness mixed with rockin’ funk and jazz jams”. Carlson will play with talented members of numerous local acts, including TAUK, Eminence Ensemble, Lady and the Gentleman, The Drunken Hearts, Mama Magnolia, the Jacob Larson Band, and more. Make sure you check out the show and stay tuned for what Jaden has up next by giving her website a look here.

Watch The Jaden Carlson Band’s live performance on Denver8TV’s Loft Sessions:

-Zach

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

Could it be another Cold River City hit?

By: Zach Dahmen

Cold Rivery City just dropped a new single and we dig it.

Boulder's Cold River City at The Fox Theatre. Photo Credit:   Hannah Oreskovich

Boulder's Cold River City at The Fox Theatre. Photo Credit: Hannah Oreskovich

“Could It Be” is Cold River City’s first single off of their soon to be released album Thank You. Sorry. Love You. Just last September, CRC launched a Kickstarter campaign for what is to be their full-length follow up to Let Me Shine (2014). Anticipation around the band’s first release has been building for months, and last Friday, the six-piece dropped the single. Various live performances over the past few months have given a glimpse of CRC’s new material, but “Could It Be” is the first taste of what is to come.

Check out Cold River City’s new single “Could It Be”:

An instant hook and dance-inducing track, "Could It Be" opens with a ridiculously catchy guitar riff. Emma Fields takes lead vocals with her signature soaring voice. The well produced single pulses with energy, which is not a departure for the band, but that’s also a positive. "Could It Be" is a very catchy party track and CRC have found their “groove” as they continue to create memorable, genre-defying music. If “Could It Be” is any indication of what will be on their forthcoming album, this band is primed to make some big noise in the coming months.

You can see them play March 3rd at The Fox Theatre opening up for The Revivalists. Join the FB event and get your tickets here.

-Zach

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

Boulder’s BANDITS Release Two New Singles - Listen Here:

By: Zach Dahmen

BANDITS premiered a new single this week.

BANDITS. Photo Credit:   Hannah Oreskovich

BANDITS. Photo Credit: Hannah Oreskovich

Boulder’s psych-rock band BANDITS are preparing to release some new music on a 7” vinyl in March. The first single “Kill Tonight” was released just after the first of the year. The song is a thumping anthem of heavy synth and crunchy guitars. This is the song that you put on at the beginning of your night when just want to let go. Bassist and vocalist Lulu Demitro takes lead with haunting vocals. The midway break down is an explosion of what makes BANDITS stand out in the Boulder scene.

Check out “Kill Tonight”:

Their B-side, called “Wheels”, drives the band in a different direction with John Demitro taking lead vocals for this wailing song. “Wheels” just premiered on Diffuser Monday and drops everywhere tomorrow. It’s a psych-rock wet dream with bluesy blaring guitars and just the right touch of reverb to put the vocals into the stratosphere; especially at the culmination in the song’s final minute. It is a non-stop ride from first click. The single displays their talent as a band and makes it clear why they stand out as a peerless rock trio in the Front Range.

Listen to “Wheels” on Diffuser before it drops everywhere tomorrow by clicking here.

Both songs off of the BANDITS forthcoming vinyl, which is aptly titled “Kill Tonight” were mastered by award-winning engineer Brian Gardner. Gardner has worked with both The White Stripes and Queens of the Stone Age, both of which are influences of BANDITS. Currently, the band is preparing to head out on tour for the month of February. You can see their dates below. Make sure to see them the next time they play locally before it’s too late!

Feb. 17: The Bottleneck – Lawrence, KS

Feb. 18: The Bridge – Columbia, MO

Feb. 20: Garden Bowl – Detroit MI

Feb. 21: Annabell’s – Akron, OH

Feb. 25: Don Pedro – Brooklyn, NY

Feb. 26: Bowery Electric – New York City, NY

Feb. 28: Elbo Room – Chicago, IL

March 1: Vaudeville Mews – Des Moines, IA

March 2: Duffy’s – Lincoln, NE

-Zach

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