Thursday, December 19, 2013

moe. & Technicolor Tone Factory 12.7.13

Ogden Theatre
Denver, CO

Words, Photos & Video By Nicholas Stock
Audio By Brad Ziegler

Saturday felt downright balmy with the mercury hovering right around 0 degrees. Most fans spend the daylight hours either hunkered down beneath layers of blankets or they opted to go to the Jay Blakesberg Jam book signing. Rumor had it that moe. would show up and they most definitely did. After a short performance and a bit of revelry for Jay it was all over and time to focus on round two. Doors again opened at 8 PM with Technicolor Tone Factory starting up right around 9 PM. I’ve seen the TTF name floating around the Front Rage scene for a short while now. This was my first opportunity to see them perform live, and I have to say I was impressed. Tight riff-heavy jams were the hallmark of a band that defies categorization. It’s as if elements of Daft Punk and Jimi Hendrix went to a secluded cabin in the woods and came back with a love child. That love child is Technicolor Tone Factory. This five-piece is one to keep an eye on. Their original “Heist” into a spot on version of Ted Nugent’s “Stranglehold” was a real highlight of the entire evening. Their performance at The Ogden on Saturday was both musically skillful and totally proper given the audience. I wouldn’t be surprised if Technicolor Tone Factory makes their way to a festival near you this summer.

moe. stuck to the game plan and again made their way onto the stage a little after 10:00 PM. They opened up the night with a crunchy “St. Augustine” that contained some serious shredding from Mr. Chuck Garvey.

moe. Live at Ogden Theatre on December 7, 2013.

Set One: St. Augustine> Wind It Up, Bluejeans Pizza*> Waiting For The Punchline, We’re a Couple of Misfits, Jazz Wank> Buster

Set Two: Queen Of Everything> George, Captain America> Seat Of My Pants>Yodelittle> Lazarus> Yodelittle, Dr. Graffenberg

Encore: Akimbo

*w/ Taylor Frederick of Technicolor Tone Factory

Night two was a literal parade of crowd pleasers, several done with a great attention to detail and with much panache. “Wind It Up” was straight forward, but they invited TTF guitarist Taylor Frederick out for a little extended collaboration on “Bluejeans Pizza.” This particular version went well over fifteen minutes and included lockstep transition into a perfect “Waiting For The Punchline.” moe. just knows how to build a proper set. Peaks and Valleys, ebbs and flows, they get it. “Punchline” just exploded into an all out dance party before the band gave a two minute tease with their punkish rendition of a rare tune off of their 2002 Season’s Greetings album, “We’re a Couple of Misfits.” “Jazz Wank” went sort of bouncy as they built the intricate layers of that song. They segued beautifully into the set-closing “Buster.” A great closer, this song became a giant sing-along before moe. called it a set.

The Ogden overall seemed relatively relaxed. Perhaps the jitters of running a live music venue in the one of the first states to legalize it, have finally subsided. The crowd too, seemed to be fairly in tune with the band. There was a distinct lack of utter spunions dotting the perimeter. All in all, the atmosphere on Saturday night was damn near textbook. moe. opened the second set with a tight and invigorating “Queen Of Everything.” Jim Loughlin and Vinnie Amico went back and forth on percussion, pushing the song to its absolute limit. The subtle segue into “George” did little to foreshadow the massiveness of this version. Al blasted off on vocals as the rest of the band fell into a stone groove. The band finally paused momentarily before again launching off into a much appreciated “Captain America.” Chuck and Al shared the microphone for “Seat Of My Pants,” which went intensely metal for the jam. The “Yodelittle” sandwich with “Lazarus” as the baloney was the highlight of the second set. They closed with an incredible “Dr. Graffenberg” and continued the recent tradition of pushing this song into the psychedelic stratosphere through deliberate and distorted jamming.

Again Al, paid his respects before they launched into a one song encore. This time fans were treated to a high-energy burn in the form of “Akimbo.” Having seen moe. now 55 times I can honestly say that this is a band that comes to play. Night after night they throw down. Although their tour schedule has retracted a bit due to family and what not, they are still one of the hardest working bands in the live music scene today. Both shows at The Ogden were solid and despite the weather fans enthusiastically engaged in the experience. As we wandered out into the late night on Colfax I was struck by a thought. Summer Camp is just around the corner, until then moe.

Nicholas' Photo Gallery

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

moe. & Magic Beans 12.6.13

Ogden Theatre
Denver, CO

Photos, Words & Video By Nicholas Stock
Audio by Chuck Miller

Moe. has reliably made Colorado a part of their annual winter tour schedule since the late 90’s. This year was no exception. We were treated to two nights of the boys from New York at what has become their winter home in Denver, the Ogden Theater. Moe. at times has had trouble gaining a real foothold in Colorful Colorado. The dedicated .rons will always make it out. Despite being full for both shows, neither night was completely sold out. This particular run happened to fall smack dab in one of coldest streaks we’ve had in Denver this year. As we drove down from Fort Collins, the mercury was dipping well below zero.

The Magic Beans are a Boulder band that has made great strides in developing a devoted fan base on the Front Range. Their bouncy jam infused sound is wholly approachable and quite enjoyable. They opened with their original, “Luck” that featured Casey Russell trading licks on the keys with Hunter Welles on guitar.

The Magic Beans Live at Ogden Theatre on December 6, 2013.

Set One: Luck, Dying Day, Who’s Crazy*> Zumbai

*w/ Con Te Patiro tease

Their four-song set stretched to just under an hour as the crowd quickly filled in to just under capacity. Their set was a great demonstration of what The Magic Beans do well. A very clean show that culminated with a huge “Who’s Crazy.” The version was a great musical juxtaposition of their tight but relaxed sound and the frenetic rage jam that they are also known for. It also had a striking Con Te Patiro tease. They finished just before 10 PM. Keep an eye on these guys, as they continue to develop and reinvent themselves with each live performance.

Fans that went outside were slapped in the face with a frostbite inducing -8 degrees. Many opted to hunker down and wait for moe. They opened with a healthy “Tubing The River Styx.”

moe. Live at Ogden Theatre on December 6, 2013.

Set One: Tubing The River Styx> The Pit> Kyle’s Song> Bear Song, Lost Along the Way, Tailspin> Timmy Tucker

Set Two: Big World> Ricky Marten> Time>Hi and Lo, Oh, Hanukkah, McBain> Down Boy> Billy Goat

Encore: Spine Of A Dog

Moe. brought the power early. “The Pit” went to the dark side and allowed the boys to flex their musical muscles. The band simply exploded into an amazing “Kyle’s Song.” The jam stretched on filling up an entire twenty minutes with multiple teases including a sly riff on Birdsong. And without missing a note the band launched into a sinister and intense “Bear Song.” They gave a nod to Lou Reed with a “Walk On The Wild Side” tease. It seemed like the band was really having fun, which will always transmit to the crowd. Fans were finally able to catch their breath during the slower, Al sung “Lost Along The Way.” They went back into high gear with a tight “Tailspin” before the very suitable closer “Timmy Tucker.” This first set of music was at a very high caliber and a great indication of what was to come.

During the break kids debated weather a smoke was worth the bone-chilling cold. Others simply mingled with their neighbors. After a short wait they came back to the stage with the brooding classic “Big World.” Moe. wasted no time by segueing beautifully into a ridiculously funky “Rickey Marten.” The unexpected highlight came in the form of Pink Floyd’s “Time,” which has been played sporadically since 2000. After a brief “Hi and Lo” they busted out “Oh Hanukah” that featured some sick surf drum riffs from Vinnie Amico. This instrumental had not been played in 643 shows. “McBain” was another journey into the deep going a full 19 minutes with all the boys settling in nicely. It also featured some of the best back and forth guitar work of the night with both Chuck and Al taking it to the extreme on their instruments. “Down Boy” into the “Billy Goat” closer was another high point in a great show.

After Alnouncements, Moe. encored with a straight forward “Spine Of A Dog” before saying their goodbyes. The first set was the obvious winner, but the entire show was just solid. Musically there are very few bands that are as tight as moe. They’ve been together for so long and play with each other so consistently that there is an apparent effortlessness to every performance. Their first night in Denver was totally worth braving the cold. Fans bundled up and flailed for cabs on the corner. Others sprinted to hotel rooms. As I happily walked out into the crisp night air I kept thinking one down, one to go.

Nicholas' Photo Gallery

Friday, December 6, 2013

Leftover Salmon Ft. Bill Payne 11.30.13

Boulder Theater
Boulder, CO

Words & Photos By Kevin Hahn (Split Open & Shoot)
Audio By Corey Sandoval (Kind Recordings)

When thinking hard about it most of my friends these days listen to the same music I do and generally a good number of those relationships have started at one of the many great local live music venues that surround us here in Colorado. Bands such as Phish, The String Cheese Incident, and Umphrey’s Mcgee unite me with some of the more special people in my young life and truly bring me to where I am “supposed” to be. Leftover Salmon would definitely be on the list of bands that I have enjoyed many a nights of debauchery and unlimited laughter with some of those incredible people I mentioned above. Vince Herman, Drew Emmitt, and the rest of the Cajun slam-grass Boulder based group bring a sense of joy to whoever is in the audience and the recent shows at the Boulder Theater were nothing short of spectacular. Making these shows even more special than just a normal gathering of the “Salmon-Heads” was the addition of one of the funkiest keyboardists coming all the way from the 60's, Bill Payne from Little Feat. This was not just an addition, it was a treat for all whom were lucky enough to attend and by God did the local boys not disappoint.

Forming now more than 20 years ago in my now hometown of Boulder, Colorado, Leftover Salmon has gone through more than a few lineup changes through their jamband tenure, but their most recent group is hitting on all cylinders. Vince Herman and his hilarious antics are still at the helm, while “Mr. Cool” Drew Emmitt, in my opinion, should be considered as one of the more elite musicians of our time. Vince and Drew have been the cornerstones of Salmon for 24 years and both seem to have no intention of slowing down anytime soon. Drew stands on stage with a battle-ready supply of various stringed instruments, which consist of all sorts of mandolins, electric guitars, and even a fiddle or two. The tones he achieves with some of the fastest picking on this side of the Mississippi combined with using the back of his hand for a slide device is just mind-blowing. Herman is not as well known for his instrumental skills, but you would be hard pressed to find a better front man anywhere in our music scene. But other than these two jamband veterans, the Leftover Salmon lineup has evolved over the years due to various deaths, departures, and forced exits. With Andy Thorn on banjo, Greg Garrison on bass, and new drummer Alwyn Robinson on the kit, Leftover Salmon is back in full swing.

Playing the banjo is hard, or at least it looks incredibly difficult when seeing some of my friends try and recreate those familiar twangy tones. But when watching someone like Andy Thorn do his thing on the 5-string banjo, it is made to seem as though his fingers can flow almost effortlessly along the fret board. Thorn can definitely be described as somewhat of a phenom, and with Garrison and Robinson providing more than just a good rhythm section (They are both incredibly talented, and to say otherwise is just stupid) Leftover Salmon has three younger members who will carry the torch long into the future. Adding anything else to this could be seen as unnecessary, but when it is a true living legend such as Bill Payne from Little Feat, “The dude abides.” This past Saturday night was just another example of how far Salmon has evolved with not only their lineup, but also song choices as they blasted through two heavy-hitting set lists consisting of classic numbers and some choice covers.

Leftover Salmon Live at Boulder Theater on November 30, 2013.

Us Salmon-Heads were treated to “Breakin Thru,” “Squirrel Heads,” and “Mountain Top” right off the bat with “Breakin” having some beautiful harmonizing vocals to set the mood right for the rest of the evening. Cover-wise the traditional bluegrass hit “Steam Powered Aereoplane”, The Band’s “Ophelia” and Bill Payne’s own “Dixie Chicken” both made an appearance in the first set with Payne showing off his soulful vocals on the Little Feat classic. Along with Payne’ s noteworthy solos was the Andy Thorn newly christened Salmon song, “Thornpipe?” With Thorn leading the charge on a furious pace via banjo, both Drew Emmitt and Bill Payne were able to play along with each taking turns almost seeming to tease Thorn to pick faster. As the crowd bounced along in an incredibly happy fashion it seemed as if the Boulder-based group was getting stronger as the night progressed, with “Dixie Chicken” truly providing the band with an awe factor as they exited stage left.

Set One: Hollerwood, Mountain Top, Steam Powered Aereoplane, Pepper In The Vaseline, Breakin’ Thru, Squirrel Heads, Last Days of Autumn, Thornpipe, Ophelia, Dixie Chicken

After a fabulous first set it was hard to imagine Salmon having much left in the tank to get us through the second set with as much force as they had just previously. But wow was I wrong about that! “Rueben’s Train” led off the set with beautiful playing from all members of the now sextet, as we got another surprise when String Cheese’s Kyle Hollingsworth joined one of his personal heroes Payne on organ/keyboard. Kyle provided some delicious keyboard riffs during “Here Comes the Night” and “Keep Driving”, as Payne went back and forth with him on chord combinations and quick transitions. Other Salmon classics such as “Up On the Hill Where They Do The Boogie” and “Don’t Look Back” were played to thunderous applauses, but the ending 4-song combination of Little Feat’s “Willin,” Waylon Jennings' “Are You Sure Hank Done It This Way,” Lou Reed’s “Walk on the Wild Side,” and finally the Rolling Stones “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” was nothing short of sensational. “Willin” is not only a Little Feat classic, but the lyrics are also some of the more poignant you will hear in any decade. Payne absolutely destroyed all of his solos and to see him smile as much as he did while playing some of his more known tunes was an amazing thing to experience. Vince Herman took lead on the next two, and provided great versions of both Jennings and Reed legendary pieces and Mr. Drew Emmitt showed us another part of his insane musical repertoire by belting out the lyrics to the Rolling Stones classic. This combination almost brought me to tears as “You Can’t Always” is one of my more favorite songs, and hearing Emmitt sing it was bucket-list worthy. To close the night out “Hot Corn, Cold Corn” (with Colonel Corn onstage) gave us a great laugh, right before “Rock and Roll” by Led Zeppelin finished the night off in a rocking fashion.

Set Two: Rueben’s Train, Here Comes the Night*, Keep Driving*, Don’t Look Back, Up on the Hill Where They Do the Boogie, Light Behind the Rain, River’s Rising, Willin’, Are You Sure Hank Done It This Way, Walk on the Wild Side, You Can’t Always Get What You Want, Feelin’ Alright

Encore: Hot Corn, Cold Corn & Rock and Roll

*With Kyle Hollingsworth

For the last few Thanksgiving weekends here in Boulder, Leftover Salmon has been treating us Cajun slam-grass fans to spectacular nights of shredding string music and some truly special moments. This year we were lucky enough to catch our homegrown boys play alongside a true legend in Little Feat’s Bill Payne. In my humble opinion, Salmon’s music is supposed to have a keyboard player integrated within the ever-evolving jams so you never know what the future has in store for this eclectic group. Whatever happens I will be along for the ride, as I know Salmon always will provide a good time.

Kevin's Photo Gallery

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

MusicMarauders Presents: Two Nights of The Infamous Stringdusters

Boulder Theater
Boulder, CO

Join us on Saturday December 7th and Sunday December 8th at Boulder Theater in Boulder, CO for two nights of The Infamous Stringdusters on their "Road To Boulder" Tour!

Purchase Your SATURDAY Tickets Here:

Purchase Your SUNDAY Tickets Here:

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

MusicMarauders Presents: George Porter Jr.'s Runnin' Pardners & Juno What?!

Denver, CO

Join us this Friday December 6th & Saturday December 7th for two nights of MusicMarauders Presents: George Porter Jr.'s Runnin' Pardners at Cervantes Other Side in Denver, CO! Also, be sure to check out MusicMarauders Presents: Juno What?! Performing the music of Zapp & Roger on Friday December 6th at Cervantes Masterpiece Ballroom!

Purchase FRIDAY Tickets For Runnin' Pardner's Here:

Purchase FRIDAY Tickets For Juno What?! Here:

Purchase SATURDAY Tickets For Runnin' Pardner's Here:

Monday, December 2, 2013

Leftover Salmon feat. Bill Payne 11.29.13

Boulder Theater
Boulder, CO

Words By Brad Yeakel (Opti Mystic Outlooks)
Photos By Justin Gardner

My Black Friday was spent at work recovering from a food battle. When I got out of work, I had some leftover turkey, and then some Leftover Salmon. I have only seen Leftover a handful of times, and not anytime recently. From the look of things Friday night, things were good in Salmon-ville. The band had changed a lot since the last time I saw them. All for the better. The last time I had seen Leftover was as a supporting act and Vince Herman was a little sauced. It didn't make the show any less enjoyable, but it didn't allow for the fiery precision I witnessed at the Boulder Theater. Since I had seen the band, they added banjo master Andy Thorn and drummer Alwyn Robinson. Both phenomenal players! Thorn seemed to inject a vitality into the band that was ferocious and ambitious. Drew Emmitt and Vince Herman were visibly elated to have their baby firing on all cylinders again.

Then there was Bill "Bring The" Payne. Little Feat keyboard wizard, Payne, was outstanding. His playing was not only flabbergasting musicianship, but his intimate knowledge of Salmon's tunes could have fooled me into thinking he was a full time member. From jazz passages through honky-tonk, funk through rock, Bill made me laugh repeatedly in bewildered delight. Holy smokes, he was amazing. His improv skills were honed, sharp, lethal doses of creative genius. At one point he and Andy had me captivated in a jam, and I realized it was only the beginning of first set. The boys were on! Drew's playing was stellar as usual, alternately bringing Jeff Austin and Sam Bush to mind. I can say honestly, Drew Emmitt has never let me down. He has always been energetic, enthusiastic and exciting to watch, but something about Bill Payne and Andy Thorn kicked him into overdrive as he destroyed solos on every instrument he touched. Fire, I tell ya.

With a sturdy rhythm section of Greg Garrison and newly acquired Alwyn, Vince Herman was the last piece of the puzzle. The first time I saw him was in Allentown, PA opening for Bruce Hornsby. After their set, I had a chance to ask Vince a couple of questions. The one thing I've always remembered... I asked him if he had any advice for musicians who were just coming up or finding their way. Vince said, "Play it all at once. Don't build walls around yourself or your music." That was, after all, how "poly-ethnic, Cajun, slam grass" came to be, right? So, more than a decade later, I was happy to see that while some things have changed... That had not. From my limited Leftover history, I can say Friday was the best show I've ever seen them play. It reminded me of the passion and love for music that was evident in early Salmon shows I've heard. This time the Leftovers might have been just as good as the first go-round. Yum.

Justin's Photo Gallery

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

George Clinton & Parliement Funkadelic with Genetics 11.17.13

The Oriental Theater
Denver, CO

Words & Photos By J-man
Audio By Corey Sandoval (Kind Recordings)

The Oriental Theater was packed with an odd mix of folks present to watch the Denver Broncos play the Kansas City Chiefs and to get down to some funk from one of the genre's pioneers. Beer and Bronco jerseys mixed with marijuana and patchouli, while Genetics sat upstairs in their greenroom. On that particular evening the band was joined by manager, Ryan Garvey and photographer, Jedediah Liddell. There was a buzz backstage with people heading in every direction with gear, "costumes" and no place to be. The band was in a bit of a pickle as their opening set was quickly approaching and the football game was still in the third quarter. As an outsider with nothing to lose or gain, it was the perfect storm for an awkward situation. I pictured the band wandering out in front of the big screen to a venue full of booing sports fans, however, that was not the case. Instead, music fans made their way to the floor and tuned into the sounds of Genetics with special guest Chuck Morris (Lotus).

Genetics Live at Oriental Theater on November 17, 2013.

As they began, Genetics quickly captured the attention of the previously distracted crowd. Scott Anderson made the keys scream and Joel Searls took over on the low end, flying through tasty grooves. Jeff Ervine's shredding guitar featured sweep after sweep of notes while Nat Snow drove the jam on a crisp and consistent drum work. The evening's guest, Chuck Morris, followed suit with perfect fills and percussion layering. Together, the band is as good as any within' the Colorado jam/progressive realm. With concepts that start and stop on the drop of a dime, then expand to mind blowing proportions, Genetics tore down The Oriental. The large room filled in quickly and before long, the band was playing to one of the larger crowds that I had seen them in front of. Backstage members of Parliament shuffled around preparing for their set, stopping only to check out the evening's opener with an unexpected look being impressed. Through progressive rock tracks, jamtronica composition and spacey songs, Genetics threw down. Upon the conclusion of their set, they received a large showing of appreciation from the large crowd.

Genetics quickly shuffled off stage and began to load out quickly to make room for the large closer. After finally completing their work for the evening, the band, their manager and photographer Jedediah, wound down out back of The Oriental. Just prior to taking the stage, George Clinton walked up with his fur coat and his security detail. I posed for a quick photo with him and a short time later the Mothership had landed in Denver. Before the near capacity crowd knew it, the stage was packed with members of Parliament, the volume was cranked and the nonsense was in full swing. Between George holding a vocal mic directly to a cranked guitar amp, the musicians competing for center stage and George yelling inaudibly into the mic, the performance was a mess. Classic after classic P-Funk song entered the earholes of the paying music goers, and though most seemed to appreciate, I could only take so much.

J-man's Photo Gallery

Friday, November 22, 2013

Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey 11.15.13

Dazzle Restaurant and Lounge
Denver, CO

Words & Photos By J-man

Denver is a magical town of music, culture and art. For many musicians, Dazzle is the epicenter of their creative output. For fans, Dazzle is a place to experience an array of fascinating musical performances and incredible evenings. In further support of the previous notions, Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey recorded two nights of music at Dazzle to be released as an album. The empty seats filled up quickly with the waitstaff buzzing around the room in organized chaos, as the musicians took the stage. There was more excitement and back and forth banter that evening than at a typical Dazzle show. Music Directer Kevin Lee took the stage, as he always does, and welcomed everyone to Dazzle before turning it over to Brian Haas (keys). A big sip from a bottle of Pelligrino and the newly secured trio version of Jacob Fred was on their way!

The music was an incredible mix of jazz from the depths of the listener's imagination and jam that involved improvisation between the flawlessly executed lines and phrasing. Haas leapt out of his seat on many occasions, even knocking it to the ground while abusing the grand piano, as well as his electric keys. Chris Combs (guitar) read Haas and hit every note that he intended with screaming perfection. Combs' solos were intense, shredding and reflected a side of his playing that I had yet to see. The sonic out put and flow between Haas and Combs was captivating and had me sitting on the edge of my seat, while Josh Raymer (drums) picked up the pieces and held the madness together with a beat that the capacity room could groove to... at times. The trio was loose and jammy featuring extended solos when it so desired and as tight as most jazz ensembles throughout the note for note melodies.

The band felt the perfect fit for the intimate room, however, their sound was so massive that they could easily fit into a large rock room or festival style environment. Comfortable banter turned into larger than life musical arrangements with Haas at the helm. His ability to shatter the keys while holding down a heavy bass line on the synth drew me further and further. As the evening wound down, the music offered no suggestion of its eventual turn towards the end. Instead, Dazzle was treated to a raging set of music from start to finish. JFJO is firing on all cylinders and currently sounds as good as they have ever sounded. As a fan of music and a writer, it's a tough pressure to have to capture the gravity of a show in just words on a page. Luckily the two nights/four sets of music (or portions of) will be released as an album. Rightfully so.

J-man's Photo Gallery

Thursday, November 21, 2013

The Everyone Orchestra 11.15.13

The Oriental Theater
Denver, CO

Words & Photos By Brad Yeakel (Opti Mystic Outlooks)
Audio By Corey Sandoval (Kind Recordings)

Everyone Orchestra Live at Oriental Theater on November 15, 2013.

In 2005, I had the incredible experience of performing at an open mic with a backing band of Scott Law, Tye North, and Matt Butler at Horning's Hideout. To this day, it is one of my favorite experiences I've ever had. Since then, I have seen each of the above perform in various projects. The one I have seen most often... Matt Butler's Everyone Orchestra. Basically, Butler has traveled around the country organizing jam sessions. Often he's played at festivals and simply pulled from the available musicians. Other times, he has hand picked musicians to hit the road and let it all fly. This past Friday night at the Oriental, he pulled together Furthur's John K. and Sunshine Garcia Becker, Particle's Steve Molitz, ALO's Lebo and Steve Adams, Elephant Revival's Bridget Law, the Disco Biscuit's Allen Aucoin, and the Euforquestra Horns. Those brave souls volunteered to follow Matt Butler's whimsy.

Butler communicated using a variety of hand motions, audience communications, and a small white board on which he wrote ideas. Familiar covers were peppered in between the lengthy improvisations and kept the show moving. Obviously with John K in the band, the grooves leaned on a Grateful flavor, but no one was complaining. John really was incredible to watch. His years of walking in Jerry's footsteps have taught him not only how to play like Jerry, but seemingly, how to think like Jerry. Even outside the context of a Dead or Jerry Band tune, he still seemed to play through the improvisations with Jerry's flair.

Steve Molitz has always been a monster behind the keys. His ability to mesh with anything from rock and roll to searing electronica was impressive. I'm accustomed to a Molitz dance party, but he showed his versatility by tearing up the Dead covers and jams. I have enjoyed seeing Molitz play every time I've seen him in the last 5 years. Stellar musicianship. He occasionally picked up the energy singlehandedly and kept the improvisations from falling flat. Allen Aucoin was another standout. His drumming went far outside the womp-tronica I expected from a Bisco drummer. I have enjoyed some electronica, but the key for me was variance. Allen proved he had the skills to keep it fresh all night. Though the jams occasionally dipped dance-party, it was mostly a groovy, organic, natural sounding night. He was versatile, metronomic, and inspired... all I could ask for in a drummer.

ALO provided an excellent rhythmic canvas between Lebo and Adams. They created a great framework for John Kadlecik and Steve Molitz to paint with vibrant strokes of sound. As the propulsion behind most of the songs, they were capable of following Matt Butler's instructions instantly and deftly. Did I mention they were brave? Sunshine brought a vibe to the show that was worldly. It was the land of exotic vocals and gypsy flute melodies to the table. Her energy was positive and the ethereal nature of her voice and instruments were soothing and intriguing. Euforquestra's horns and Elephant Revival's fiddle player Bridget Law added texture, depth, and flavor to the pot. Much like the spices in a recipe, they complemented the whole with nuances, subtleties, and hints that drove the flavor of the evening. Essentially, they were the salt and pepper, but more like the paprika, garlic, thyme, etc. And while their finished product wasn't necessarily Emeril quality, it was quite good home cooking.

Of the many different configurations of EO I have seen, this one was remarkably consistent throughout the evening. Sure, they dropped a groove or two, had a tough start here or there, but on the whole, I enjoyed 90% of everything they played. In fact, the one jam I was disappointed with picked up and took off within a few minutes (way to go Molitz!) and rarely lost speed through the end of the show. Everyone Orchestra delivered a unique, exciting, and inspired show at the Oriental. The confidence, ability, and bravery of each of the players was truly amazing. Matt Butler's ability to direct such musicians in interesting and entertaining ways was almost as remarkable as his ability to get the crowd to participate. The major thing I took away from it was that it takes special people to make the Everyone Orchestra work. It takes the immensely talented musicians and the tremendously adventurous listeners.

Brad's Photo Gallery

Friday, November 15, 2013

The New Mastersounds 11.8.13

Cervantes Masterpiece Ballroom
Denver, CO

Written By Kevin Hahn (Split Open & Shoot Photography)

British bands and their relationship with the American music scene can be traced back to the early days of the Animals, the Kinks, and the Yardbirds. Bands such as The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, and Led Zeppelin followed shortly thereafter and only furthered the love affair that had taken over the United States and its Rock N Roll culture. But not many bands that crossed the pond were into the idea of “funk” and this is where more recently The New Mastersounds have filled that void. Eddie Roberts, Joe Tatton, Pete Shand, and Simon Allen have created a unique form of British funk music, utilizing their incredible individual musical talents to come together and form one hard-hitting funk machine. Fortunately, I have been lucky enough to see these ridiculously funky gentlemen play numerous times now and this past weekend’s show at Cervantes was nothing short of “Funk-ta-cular”.

With Eddie Roberts being his usual crowd-pleasing self, the funk-sters from across the Atlantic Ocean threw down two energy-packed sets with songs spanning their entire career catalog thrown in. Bassist Pete Shand was his usual funky self, controlling most of the transitions from one song to another and even showing off his vocal skills once every couple songs or so. Simon Allen seemed to be having more fun than any of us crowd members, even if he was wearing clothes this time around. (Every other time I have seen the NMS, Simon has drummed in just his tighty-whitey’s) Allen has such a positive energy when he plays the drums and his smile is nothing short of contagious when snapping pictures of him from the front row. Mr. Tatton on the Hammond B3 always seems to be in a serious mood, but his loose style of playing and almost seamless way of cooperating with Robert’s guitar licks provides a great sound for us keyboard aficionados. For this past weekend’s two performances at Cervantes Masterpiece Ballroom in Denver the British boys brought two of their horn-playing companions along with them. Unfortunately, I was unable to catch their names as trying to pick up every word that these Brit’s spew out is harder than catching a Yeti, but even without names they absolutely killed it on trumpet and saxophone. And then there is the leader of the pack, Mr. Eddie Roberts.

Eddie is unlike any guitar player you will encounter in our “scene” today. First off, he is a British funk guitar player who has the immense technical skill of someone from the late 60s/early 70s. Secondly, he has an incredible amount of stage presence and seems to be in control of whatever the band is playing when he is on stage. Robert’s uses his musical leadership skills to call out song transitions, when to stop/start on certain jams, and even to encourage his other band mates to continue with a ripping solo. Having first come across Roberts during his SuperJam set on Jam Cruise 11, I was immediately impressed with the pure sounds he is able to create even when throwing his strumming hand into overdrive. I am confident when I say this, there is not another guitarist in our “scene” today who can create the funky tones/sounds Roberts' can with such precision, determination, and incredible execution. Alright, enough about the man with the old-school mustache/beard combo and back to the whole enchilada.

As I said above and in numerous previous articles, I fucking love the New Mastersounds and it is truly hard for me to find a band that I can compare them to. Not only are they extremely popular in the Boulder/Denver area, but nationally they are becoming more of a household name. With this increasing success, hopefully we will be able to see these funky good times happen more often and in bigger venues to boot. After headlining this year’s LOHI Music Festival, playing the Telluride Jazz Festival, and deciding to record their new album here in Colorado it seems as if The New Mastersounds are here to stay. I truly do hope so as the idea of “funk” is slowly but surely fading away into the distant memories of people my parent’s age. Let’s bring back the FUNK together, and have Eddie Roberts, Joe Tatton, Pete Shand, and Simon Allen help lead the way. Because as our dear friend and one of the true pioneers of funk music George Clinton would say, “Is there funk after death?”

Kevin's Photo Gallery

Thursday, November 14, 2013

The Black Crowes 11.13.13

The Ogden Theatre
Denver, CO

Words By J-man

It was a normal Wednesday in Denver with thick weekday competition in town for the evening's music. As I prepared to head to Armoury for Funk Night, a call came through on my phone. It was Particle's Steve Molitz calling to invite me out to eat and to see The Black Crowes with him. It caught me off guard, but a short time later I was on my way to an Outback Steakhouse near the Denver Airport. Upon my arrival, we had a good laugh about meeting at an Outback. I ordered a glass of red and we were off to the races with humorous Particle stories and catching up. A short time later we were buzzing towards The Ogden for some Rock N Roll. Out front of the venue, lines were surprisingly short at the ticket window where folks were purchasing or picking up their $55.00 purchases. Inside the venue, fans found space to move for the headliner.

The Black Crowes took the stage around 10:00 PM for one sizable set that would end just prior to midnight. Through nearly two hours of straight ahead Rock N Roll, The Crowes impressed with fantastic instrumentation that included ripping guitar work between Rich Robinson and Jackie Greene. At times they sounded reminiscent of Led Zeppelin, at times The Allman Brothers. At no time did the sound stray from what would be considered American Rock. The vocals and demeanor of Chris Robinson exemplified the Rock front man and his raspy yet consistent vocals with his effeminate "hippie" dancing drew a lot of focus. At one point during a spacey/psychedelic jam, Steve leaned over to me and commented on how cool it was that the band was diving into such loose material within the first hour of the set. Though it was only 11:00 PM, it felt much later. Through deep cuts and some familiar material, the band didn't dive much into their more radio oriented material outside of "Hard To Handle," though each song was so well executed that almost any seemed to encompass a mainstream feel.

As the show approached its close, the band exited the stage and returned for a slower couple of selections for the encore. The crowd was appreciative and for many, drunk, as Steve and I made our way towards the backstage entrance. Steve knew a lot of the crew involved as he toured with Rich's band and played with Chris in Phil and Friends. As we turned and headed downstairs into the greenroom, I assumed there would be some sort of meet and greet with the band and fans. Instead it was myself, Steve and The Black Crowes winding down and shooting the shit. It was a sureal moment for me, as though I am not all that familiar with The Black Crowes' music, I was familiar with the personalities through other projects. The band was very kind, offering Steve and I beers and engaging us in conversation. Though I was in this unexpected scenario, all I could do was think about noshing on their spread of meats and cheeses. A short time later, full of beer and cheese, we said our good-byes to the band and crew, exiting the empty venue at about 1:00 AM. I dropped Steve off at his hotel knowing that our paths would cross a couple of nights later for his shows with The Everyone Orchestra in Denver. Driving home I scratched my head, reflecting on another interesting evening in Denver.

Set: Under A Mountain, Nebakanezer, Cypress Tree, No Use Lying, Nonfiction, Paint An Eight, Powerman, Ballad In Urgency, Wiser Time, Welcome To The Good Times, Whoa Mule, Remedy, Hard To Handle/Hush

Encore: Feathers, Willin'

Monday, November 11, 2013

David Murphy (STS9), Tiger Party Trio & Genetics 11.8.13

Denver, CO

Words & Photos By J-man

A small group stood out front of Armoury following soundcheck, smoking, laughing and having a good time. You could see the excitement in the faces of the younger musicians as they conversed with David Murphy, who seemed to be truly enjoying himself. The final addition to the evening's line-up, Genetics, took the stage around 9:00 PM and dove into their set wasting no time in turning up the heat in the slowly filling venue. The four piece jam/jamtronica outfit impressed from the gate, triggering folks coming through the front door to head right to the back of the club to fully experience what they were hearing. Genetics' lights lit the room perfectly and a small machine poured smoke from the stage. With their set rounding the corner towards its conclusion, I extended their set in hopes that more folks would hear their music. Sure enough, during the last fifteen minutes of their extended set, the flood gates opened as Genetics tore down the house. New comers took their place in front of the stage as Jeff Ervine (Guitar) shredded, Joel Searls (Bass) dropped bombs, Nat Snow (Drums) reflected perfect consistency and Scott Anderson (Keys) dug into the black and whites looking as if he were going to murder someone. Ultimately, it was one of the tightest and most enjoyable sets that I have seen Genetics perform, and it was a great way to get the evening started!

Up next was a stripped down version of Tiger Party, performing as a Trio. As always, Blake Mobley (Keys) led the charge with the rhythm section of Fleeb (Bass) and Tanner Bardin (Drums) to hold down a tight and interesting groove. Even as a three piece Tiger Party came with the force of a full band, sonically satisfying the three quarters filled Armoury. Blake did a fantastic job of captivating the crowd with his youthful energy and danceable output. Towards the middle/end of the Trio set, Murph took the stage and Fleeb handed off his bass to the special guest. It was a cool moment that the crowd dug, as Murph would be DJing that evening, not utilizing his bass skills for his set. To see him on stage with Tiger Party seemed the perfect fit, and is hopefully foreshadowing a future collaboration. The set wound down with the crowd wanting more and cheering loudly. Tiger Party Trio was the perfect band to get the packed house moving.

Armoury neared capacity on a night with ample competition around town. Murph took the stage with a smile and kept the party going with an array of tasty tracks from his laptop. His energy on stage was contagious while he danced as if he were just another fan in the crowd. Unlike many DJs and producers, Murph is absolutely engaged in his audience both on the stage and off. He creates a reciprocal flow of energy that fuels the party. As the hours grew later the energy remained in the room until the very end. Armoury seemed to be the perfect venue for a show of Friday's nature. Kudos to sound engineer, Don Ross, for making the room sound great and Kudos to bartenders Chris Corrigan and Brian Davis for their talents behind the bar. Friday was the perfect night at 21st and Larimer St. in Denver. It's quickly becoming our little corner of Lower Downtown!

J-man's Photo Gallery

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Tiger Party Performs The Music of LCD Soundsysten 10.31.13

Denver, CO

Words & Photos By Brad Yeakel (Opti Mystic Outlooks)

In the world of music, few holidays have created such excitement as Halloween. Cover sets, audience participation, costume contests, and pranks have become expected pieces of the Halloween show experience. After debating the local offerings, I decided to go to the Armoury and watch Tiger Party play the music of LCD Soundsystem. I have not had a whole lot of experience with LCD, but I've liked a lot of what I heard. As I entered the bar, the live Phish stream from Atlantic City was just ending and Tiger Party was bound for the stage. One of my favorite things about Tiger Party has been the unpredictable nature of the shows. From the rotating lineup to the changing themes and styles, Tiger Party has always kept me guessing. Sometimes I get a funk-heavy scorcher, sometimes a rocker, sometimes a womp-session... But I typically enjoy the material and the players.

Thursday's Tigers were mostly people I've seen before, but this particular lineup was a little different. Covering LCD Soundsystem was brave in my opinion. If you're not familiar with LCD, they have always reminded me of a contemporary Talking Heads. Awkward dance music, eccentric lyrics, and boundless creativity. James Murphy was the creative lion, writing, producing, singing, and largely playing the instruments on the albums. LCD's unconventional rhythms, vocals, and composition made for a frantic party that was equally daring and danceable. Somehow, the Tiger Party seemed to nearly replicate almost every LCD song I know. While a few hardcore Soundsystem fans were not impressed, the majority of the room (including this writer) were dancing, smiling, drinking, and being silly.

Ashley Niven did a good job imitating Murphy's bizarre and unique vocals through most of the show. When team captain Blake Mobley took the mic, it was typically for the narrative songs, and he was equally convincing. I felt the band did a really good job integrating turntables and live instruments to recreate the material, especially considering the revolving cast of the band. Once again, Blake really stood out as a phenomenal key player. His chops, tones, energy, and presence were professionally casual, much like his Halloween costume (Richie Tenenbaum). Frederick Reisin (bass) and Tanner Bardin (drums) were synced up, with precision and vitality and kept the floor moving all night. DJ Craig Heneveld and guitarist Ryan Ebarb rounded out the ensemble, and added a lot of the melodic adornment and sampling that served as the icing on this musical cake.

Though it was a Thursday, I blissfully ignored my impending demise... work Friday morning. I soldiered through last call, missed the last train home, and tracked down a cab back to Lakewood that got me home around 3:00 am. Through a pounding headache, queasy stomach, and heavy eyelids, I battled to the weekend with a hazy recollection of a downtown dance party and a tab I'd wished I didn't have to pay. Ah, Halloween.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Caravan of Thieves 10.20.13

Avogadro’s Number
Fort Collins, Colorado

Words, Photos & Video By Nicholas Stock

Avogadro’s Number is a tiny oasis of live music in the sometimes-overwhelming Fort Collins music scene. This venue has been a showcase for acoustic and folk music for a number of years. Off the beaten path of Old Town, Avo’s as it’s affectionately called houses a bar, a stage, and a restaurant. On a cool fall night in October, Avogadro’s opened its stage up to Summer Camp favorites Caravan Of Thieves. Hailing from Connecticut this band had been described as a unique blend of swing, jazz, and high intensity jamming. Fuzz Sangiovanni from Deep Banana Blackout fame along with his wife Carrie Sangiovanni form the foundation of the band with Ben Dean and Brian Anderson filling out the lineup of pickers.

Arriving early I caught the last half of the opening set by The Cantrells. They are a duo from a bygone era with a true gift for the art of performance. The majority of the small but dedicated audience seemed to be there in support of opener. The multi-instrumentalist Cantrells focused on their own style of acoustic swing following a more traditional approach than the headliner. They had a folksy way about them that made you feel like you were at a picnic with your extended family. The only cover they played that I was familiar with was a Leadbelly tune. Overall they were a gentle way to get the night started. They had a passion for swing and string music and seemed to fit the bill nicely.

The Caravan Of Thieves took the stage for their single set that went just over ninety minutes. They opened up with their original “I Don’t Wanna.”

Set One: I Don’t Wanna, Shim Sham, Psycho Killer, Eat You, Wasting, Monster, F Got You, She’s Learning, Kiss, Dance

Encore: Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band> I Get By, Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds, When I’m 64, Raise The Dead

They  played a very nice set of music with an encore that featured several of the Sgt. Pepper’s tunes they worked out for Halloween. We were also treated to a couple selections including “I Don’t Wanna” and “Monster” off of their new album Funhouse as well. This band is truly mesmerizing in both their delivery and their energy. Fuzz will often swing his guitar to his back, pick up egg beaters, and begin slamming on all manner of plastic jug and metal cymbal. I’ve seen the man even begin banging on his fellow band mates instruments with any substitute for a drumstick he can find. They managed to work in one of their favorite covers in the form of the Talking Heads’ “Psycho Killer” as well. They lead the small audience on a musical journey that involved some impeccable picking along with an array of makeshift percussion.

Heading out to the bar throughout the night several people who were otherwise engaged in Broncos football would ask, “Who are these guys?” I can only assume that same question was asked by many who have passed by their stage at Summer Camp each year. The reason is that their sound is wholly unique and quite intoxicating. They warned the crowd earlier about their Halloween extravaganza involving their homage to the Beatles, so it was no surprise that the encore gave us a taste of that forthcoming show. As they do with all of their covers, they incorporate their own instrumentation and styling making each song very different from the original. Their jangly strings treated the Beatles well. The Caravan Of Thieves closed by coming down to the floor and inviting the crowd up to sing “Raise The Dead.” This intimate affair is exactly what Avo’s has become known for in Fort Collins. It’s a small retreat for music lovers and music makers alike. If you find yourself wandering the outskirts of Old Town and hear some quality picking, chances are you’ve found Avogadro’s Number.

Nicholas' Photo Gallery

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Preview: Elephant Revival in Boulder, CO

Boulder Theater
Boulder, CO

On the brink of their Boulder Theater show this Saturday, J-man had the opportunity to speak with Elephant Revival's Daniel Rodriguez to gain some perspective on one of Colorado's most coveted bands!

J-man: What was it about Nederland, CO that helped cultivate or produce a band like Elephant revival?

Daniel: When one drives to the top of Boulder Canyon- and when you finally reach the crest of Nederland- there's a moment where you can see the continental divide along with barker reservoir and all the surrounding nooks and crannies of folks' homes nestled into the forest. At that moment you sort of know you've arrived at a special place in time. In that sense it has provided us with significant natural inspiration of landscape- and horrifically beautiful weather patterns that put a lot of things into perspective.

Another huge inspiration and active part of Elephant Revival's cultivation in Nederland were folks like Vince Herman from Leftover Salmon- who found some of us places to live in Ned, hosted countless picking parties at his house, organized chaotic parades through town, and played some of us tracks from his record collection.

Then there's the Nederland picks (circle jam sessions) held at rotating places like Whistlers, The Pioneer Inn, Blue Owl Book Store, and the First Street Pub... Where you'll be picking with locals, and who knows maybe Jeff Austin or Billy Nershi is off the road and at the pick playing bazouki or something.

It's a town unlike any other, and it welcomed Elephant Revival in it's infancy and has nourished us into the adolescent band that we are. It took us in as the transients we were and are, and provided us with the amount of grounding and inspiration we need(ed).

J-man: How does These Changing Skies differ from previous Elephant Revival albums/releases?

Daniel: First off, it's the first record that we recorded straight through without any breaks. Our past album recording sessions were recorded in between the tour schedules of ours or our producers tour schedules. During the recording of These Changing Skies we all lived in the studio, recorded all day, cooked meals at the studio, slept at the studio, woke up and got back to it. In that sense there's an underlying continuity that may have came through more than our previous records.

J-man: How has the band's success translated on a national level and how has the turnout been on the road?

Daniel: Thanks to the organization of our team that extends beyond the musicians, and folks like you who give us more presence across different mediums of press, and the overall necessity we feel as musicians to hone in on our craft- These are the things that help the translation on a national and international level. We are playing to sold out crowds in a lot of places that we pull up to, and the audience always puts off an aura of enthusiasm. There is a great sense that it is growing significantly and taking on a sort of life of it's own.

J-man: How does the band feel about headlining Boulder Theater?

We have headlined the Boulder Theater before, and it's always been more than exciting. This time it feels heartwarmingly special and exciting, because we have been on the road for the past three months straight, ever since before the floods took place. We flew out to begin the tour that we just came home from one day before the floods started. It's been quite a roller coaster of emotions to be in the dynamic lifestyle of being on the road while a raging river is plowing through your town and destroying your friends homes. More so than thinking of it in terms of headlining the Boulder Theater, this time we are mostly thinking of it in terms of bringing the surrounding community together on a healing vibe, and sharing space with friends that we haven't seen in a long time.... and of coarse to bring our new album, and new songs to the community.

Purchase your tickets now for MusicMarauders Presents: Elephant Revival this Saturday November 9th at Boulder Theater in Boulder, CO:

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Todd Snider with The Henhouse Prowlers 10.17.13

Hodi’s Half Note
Fort Collins, Colorado

Words & Photos By Nicholas Stock

When you go to as many concerts as I have it’s a relatively difficult to catch me off guard. As I entered Hodi’s Half Note on a cool fall evening in October, I was welcomed by the warm embrace of bluegrass lofting over a silent crowd. Colorado is such an amazing hub for live music that many of the regular attendees become blasé and often chat during any given performance. So to enter a normally raucous bar and not hear anyone but the bartender asking, “What’ll you have” and the music from the stage is something I don’t expect. As I headed toward the front to take a few photos it was immediately evident that this was not a Bisco crowd. The majority of the silent sold out audience were there to see the vibrant Mr. Snider, but they were treated to a powerful set up from the Henhouse Prowlers. This string band continues to teeter on the edge of traditional and rage-grass. Their set began around 8:45 PM as the early arrivers staked out their spots.

They opened with “Silver Eagle” and the game of shuffleboard began. Utilizing a traditional single microphone setup, every show is like a ballet as each member rearranges himself to the mic stand. In recent years, Henhouse Prowlers had to persevere through the theft of all of their band equipment as well as some personnel changes, and they have emerged more focused and cohesive than ever. Ben Wright continues to lead by example through effortless vocals and powerful picking. The newest member, Starr Moss, has really gelled with the band and doesn't miss a chance to absolutely shred his guitar. Staples like “Track Song” and “Lonesome Road” dotted their hour-long set. The highlight was their closing "Syracuse" into "Ruby" into "Syracuse" that has become a showstopper for the Prowlers. The Henhouse Prowlers are one of those bands that's often overlooked and with a new album out and their relentless touring its time to spread the good word. If bluegrass is your bag, the Prowlers should be in it.

The ever-vigilant crowd allowed themselves to murmur during the set break before Todd Snider appeared from backstage. Snider is like a modern day Dylan and I don’t make that analogy lightly. By appearance he’s all patchwork and floppy hat, but his lyrics belie a deeper spiritual journey. One in which he is not afraid to call out fraud or injustice with his own variety of realism and humor. I first saw Snider working with Leftover Salmon and subsequently Great American Taxi. However this was my first time seeing him in a small room with his dedicated fan base. He opened up with “Play A Train Song” and quickly went into “If Tomorrow Never Comes," a kind of rowdy rollercoaster ride that extrapolates on his Catholic School days. He treated us to his song “Broke;” a humorous indictment of the current economic situation told through the eyes of regular Joe. He did an amazing version of Jerry Jeff Walker’s “Mr. Bojangles” to round out the first set.

After a short break he returned and continued his bard-like ways. Snider is a storyteller, but that’s only if the audience cooperates. At one point he was ready to break into a tangential story when someone in the attentive audience shouted out. Snider reprimanded him by not telling the anecdote and simply launching into the next song. “Conservative Christian” was an absolute peak for the show, and it should be an anthem for any self-proclaimed hippie. Snider finished around midnight. He is a true teller of tales in every way. He entertains through his docile nature and cutting satire. The way to see Snider is by himself and hopefully with an audience as dedicated as the fans at Hodi’s. All in all it was a very good night for acoustic music.

Nicholas' Photo Gallery