Kyle Hollingsworth Band feat. Eric Krasno 12.6.12

Hodi’s Half Note
Fort Collins, Colorado

Words & Photos By Nicholas Stock

It’s becoming a winter tradition that Kyle takes a trip down the Front Range sharing good music and first-class beer. This year he upped the ante by including Soulive as well as a couple fresh brews. He warmed up for two nights in Denver by bringing Eric Krasno to sit in for the show at Hodi’s in Fort Collins. Kyle also brought a variation on Avery’s dry-hopped Winter Day IPA that he collaborated on with the brewery. It was a spicy ale, balanced by an abundance of hoppy goodness. It’s definitely a nice holiday beer.

Opening act Ruff Draft was a nice treat with members of Mofro, Nu Classics, and Super Collider. Focusing on a blend of jazz, funk, and hard hitting vocals this group really had some chops. It almost felt like being transported back to the age of cabaret in some smoky nightspot from long ago. Tightly wound horns backed a lockstep rhythm section that was very impressive. Their bassist was jam stalwart Todd Smallie who has played bass with Derek Trucks Band and currently tours with Mofro. Apparently he lives in Fort Collins now. It’s nice to have such an incredible musician playing the local funk jams and gigging at Hodi’s. They played for about an hour before they left the stage for Kyle.

Kyle has assembled an incredible group with The Motet’s rhythm section consisting of Dave Watts and Garrett Sayers along with Dan Schwindt who has played with everyone from Jeff Coffin and George Porter to sitting in the pit for the Denver Center for the Performing Arts. Normally we would get a hard-hitting array of KHB tunes intermixed with a few SCI songs and a cover or two. Tonight would be different with the addition of Soulive’s Eric Krasno on guitar things were about to go interstellar. He added an almost soulful tone overall, that alternated between beautiful and face melting often. They opened with a huge instrumental version of the Beatles “Taxman.” This was the absolute perfect way to begin; classic KHB cover and a song out of the Rubber Soulive repertoire. It felt like a clandestine meeting of two great artists. From then on fans were treated to an amazing blend of Kyle’s bouncy pop sensibilities and Krasno’s fiery guitar work. At one point we were treated to an extended bluesy jam that really allowed Eric to blast off.

They broke up the show into two sets and the sold out crowd took the opportunity to mingle. Living in a community as small as Fort Collins, you see the same faces at every show up here. It’s comforting to have such a dynamic group of music fans in this town. They make heading out fun. Highlights from the second set included a nice “Naïve Melody” and a huge “Rosie.” Seeing Kyle Hollingsworth and his band is always a great time, but the addition of Krasno stepped the entire experience up a notch. I would really like to see this group do a tour or two. The integration of Krasno was instant and powerful. This was definitely a unique show, and I compliment Kyle for continuing to make these runs interesting for the fans. With two more nights to go, and a quickly escalating marquee, Kyle Hollingsworth Band was firing on cylinders.

“I guess I must be having fun.” – David Byrne

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