Thursday, February 28, 2013

Head For The Hills with The Holler! 2.15.13



The Aggie Theater
Fort Collins, Colorado

Words, Photos & Video By Nicholas Stock


Fort Collins has a vibrant music scene; case in point the monstrous bluegrass tainted event at the Aggie featuring the homegrown duo Head For The Hills supported by The Holler!. Much of the time Fort Collins is overlooked when it comes to local music, or seen by touring bands as a warm up show. Over the years I’ve tried to share some of the incredible music that happens here on a weekly basis. This show is a prime example of why I’m happy to call FoCo my home. The Holler! who are usually relegated to playing festival stages, or smaller venues, found themselves with plenty of room for activities on the Aggie stage. I worried that they would sound thin, but from their opening notes it was clear that they came to play.

Set One: Kitchen, Karakoram, Wildwood, Beyond The Mirror, You’re So Bad> Come Back Home, Climb, Just Like You, Red Dress> Peak, Memory, Gratitude, Song Remains The Same, Peace Frog



The at times delicate sound of The Holler! filled the room as the few that were already inside wandered toward the stage. They eased into the set with a few originals, before waking up the crowd with a cover of Tom Petty’s “You’re So Bad” into their own beautiful “Come Back Home.” By this point the crowd was steadily growing and they were definitely drinking The Holler! Kool-Aid. Arms flailed as the Friday night crowd showed they were there for a good time. The highlight of the set was an impeccable jamgrass version of Led Zeppelin’s “The Song Remains The Same.” And after that when everyone thought the dance party was over, they closed with The Doors’ “Peace Frog.” I have to say this was the best I’ve seen The Holler! perform, and I look forward to them hitting The Aggie stage again soon.

Head For The Hills is arguably the best musical export Fort Collins has to offer. (I’m sure many Pretty Lights fans would disagree.} They are a local band that has made good performing on the biggest bluegrass stages in the country including Telluride. They recently announced they would play at Rocky Grass this summer. H4TH continues to draw big crowds at home and across the country. They opened the hometown extravaganza with “Down The River Road.”



Set One: Down The River Road, Instrumental, Light The Way, Instrumental, Never Does, Instrumental, Daylight Turns To Night> 50 Ways To Leave Your Lover> Instrumental, Blue Orchid, Instrumental, Take Me Back, Scrap Metal, Unchain My Heart, New Song?, My Angeline

Set Two: Call Me The Breeze*, Mind Is Moving*, Poor Boy’s Melody, Music For A Found Harmonium, Instrumental, If And When, Midnight Highway, Chili Dawg, Nellie Kane, Lover’s Scorn, High On A Mountaintop, Goin’ Down
Encore: Run To The Hills, Instrumental> Japanese Cowboy, Love Please Come Home

*w/ The Holler!

Focusing on debuting a few new songs, and delivering a top-notch romp through their repertoire, Head For The Hills gave those in attendance quite the show. I don’t know if it was something in the water or perhaps the beer, but just like The Holler! before them, H4TH came out firing on all cylinders. The level of authenticity in Head For The Hills’ lyrics and ability is so unprocessed and at the same time beautiful. First set highlights included the prolific jamming on all of their instrumental tracks, as well as a stellar version of The White Stripes’ “Blue Orchid.” The “Unchain My Heart” was perfect, they closed the first set with “My Angeline.”

The second set began with a huge hometown jam that saw The Holler! sit in on a sweet version of J.J. Cale’s “Call Me The Breeze” before they went into a gigantic version of the Holler original “Mind Is Moving.” First of all, wow, and secondly it was really nice of H4TH to support their opener by playing one of their songs. Additional highlights from the set included a sick version of “Music For A Found Harmonium,” which is a bouncy, lighthearted instrumental. “Nellie Kane” made an appearance, before they closed the set with an incredible “Goin’ Down.”

They began their encore with Iron Maiden’s “Run To The Hills.” First of all, nice play on words there, and secondly way to rock out the grass. Their four song encore ended with a nice “Love Please Come Home.” What a show! This hometown throw down was loads of fun and both bands really came to the stage correct. Get out and see these guys, hopefully they will be playing together real soon.

Nicholas' Photo Gallery

www.thehollermusic.com

www.headforthehillsmusic.com

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

MusicMarauders Presents: Mickey Hart



The Oriental Theater
Denver, CO


Join us on Friday March 1st at The Oriental Theater in Denver, CO for The Mickey Hart Band!

Purchase Tickets Here: holdmyticket.com/checkout

Facebook Event Page

www.mickeyhart.net

Maceo Parker & Euforquestra 2.22.13


Cervantes Masterpiece Ballroom
Denver, CO

Words & Photos By Brad Yeakel


Although it's spelled oddly, Euforquestra was meant to be a contraction of euphoria and orchestra. Keeping that in mind made it much easier for me to pronounce. They were as advertised... a small orchestra devoted to your own euphoric listening experience. Friday was their first show with special guest saxophonist, the Motet's Matt Pitts. His playing was stellar and seemed to kick the band up a notch as they successfully tackled Bowie's "Let's Dance", Beck's "Nausea", and Lettuce's "Madison Square." Each were played with a combination of excellent reproduction and pioneering jams. During "Let's Dance," I was amazed at the drums and percussion which nailed every nuance of the rhythm. They just generally played an upbeat, joyous, party of a set that was worth the price of admission alone. Me? Fan.


With a considerable percentage of Denver's "hippies" in Broomfield for Furthur, the jazz crowd seemed to stretch their legs at Cervantes Masterpiece Ballroom. Maceo's band got the music started with Blue Note exactitude and got the room moving before they announced Parker's entrance. Having never seen Maceo before, I was excited to hear a man who has worked with James Brown, PFunk, Ray Charles, De La Soul, Dave Matthews, Jane's Addiction and Prince. Maceo was a bridge traversing jazz and funk. He created shades of jazz, soul and all things funk. From the more traditional James Brown style through the dirty sub-aquatic, psychedelic funk reminiscent of George Clinton and company, watching Maceo's band was like a musical history lesson. Maceo's nephew laid beats that popped like Orville Redenbacher and Will Boulware tickled the ivories in time with Rodney Curtis's bouncing bass. Maceo danced about the stage like Heathcliff Huxtable as he took the time to highlight each of the musicians. Guitarist, Bruno Speight played succinct, clean rhythms throughout the night and used his solo opportunities to light up mode after mode of impressive scale work. His trombone player had soul, flair, funk and was the icing on Maceo's cake.

Everyone in his band was professional, talented, sharp and cool like the breeze. I could tell their joy in playing music rivaled our joy in listening. Their smiling and dancing matched the music's energy and inspired the crowd to join in the fun. When Maceo took the spotlight, his solos were silky, accentuating, aerodynamic, clean, reliable, profound and luminescent. He was nimble, agile, and made me think of a dirt-bike skirting gridlock, weaving in and out of a traffic jam. Perpetual. Kinetic. Fluid. The lighting designer played with softer lighting that made me feel like I was in a jazz club from the 70's. The packed house responded by applauding solos as they passed and dancing the night away. Maceo took a moment to let his background singer rap, and then spit a little of "Gone til November," himself. He also took time to honor Ray Charles, something he does at every show. Comparable to former bandmate Bernie Worrell, Parker has a resume that includes so many legendary acts it is hard to comprehend. Sought after by many of the best, he inspired the Godfather, James Brown, to coin the phrase, "Maceo, I want you to blow"... And if James Brown wanted you to do something, you could bet on two things: One, he had confidence in your abilities and two, you had better do what he said... well. Now that I've seen him, I understand why James Brown wanted Maceo to blow... He probably liked listening to him as much as we do.

Brad's Photo Gallery

www.maceoparker.com

www.euforquestra.com

Monday, February 25, 2013

Jimkata & Kinetix 2.16.13



Cervantes Other Side
Denver, CO

Words & Photos By J-man


Following a week of touring in Colorado, Jimkata made its final stop of their run at Cervantes Other Side for a show with Colorado's own, Kinetix. The evening kicked off with a sizable early turnout for the Upstate, NY band and would mark my first time seeing Jimkata in a few years. The last time our paths crossed was at Castaways in Ithaca, NY and at the time, I saw Jimkata as a band with a lot of potential, but a lot of room to grow. The show began and the room filled in at a rapid rate with folks who were without a doubt familiar with the band. Fans sang along and danced, with a clear connection to the band who looked down upon them with a smile. Jimkata's compositions were tight, their production was fantastic and the band reflected massive growth from when I had last seen them. Evan Friedell lead the charge with solid vocals and guitar work while Aaron Gorsch commanded most of the lead on guitar and keys. The rhythm section of Dave Rossi on bass and Packy Lunn on drums made for a great canvas on which Evan and Arron could let loose. I was captivated by the lights and the vibe of the music which seemed to blend jamtronica with a sort of 80's electro vibe. The result was excellent and kept the crowd moving from start to finish. Outside of a few technical issues with a laptop which allowed the band to bust out some old material, the set was flawless.

The evening's closer had big shoes to fill in having to follow such a finely tuned project like Jimkata, however Kinetix was up to the challenge. As is often the case, the room cleared out in between sets, with folks wandering into the ballroom and outside for a smoke. But with Kinetix's entrance onto the stage the room packed in once again. Their music was energetic and their blatant chops moved the crowd who ate up the mix of rock, dub and jam music. Eric Blumenfeld dug into the keys with Jordan Linit rising to the challenge and ripping up the guitar. Adam Lufkin's added hip-hop esque vocals while Josh Fairman lost his shit on the bass flailing about wildly. George Horn's drumming was driving and precise, giving the Colorado crowd a beat to dance to. Later in the evening Stanton Moore (Galactic) and Corey Henry (Lyrics Born) turned out to guest and further elevate the energy! One thing was evident, that Colorado loves both Kinetix and Jimkata! The evening was a huge success and the pairing was fitting and relevant. I look forward to catching both bands in the future!

J-man's Photo Gallery

www.jimkata.com

www.facebook.com/thekinetix

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Two Nights of The Infamous Stringdusters 2.15 & 2.16



The Fox Theatre
Boulder, CO

Words & Photos By Kevin Hahn


It is becoming harder for me to write about a band that continually impresses night after night, concert after concert, and show after show. What I mean by this is, once I have praised a certain band for being spectacular, inspirational, and awesome, is it necessary to keep slathering on the musical compliments? Is there such a thing as too much “positivity” when it comes to your favorite band or musician? Can the outpouring of the emotions and utter jaw-dropping love get to a bands head and possibly affect their performance on stage? In this case, we will have to experiment with these very questions as I can truly not find a bad thing to say critically (I know, very surprising) with the 2-night run the Infamous Stringdusters provided us with at The Fox Theatre in Boulder, Colorado. Have you heard these bluegrass soon-to-be titans as of late? In my opinion these guys are the “hot” thing on the jam-grass scene, the next big act, or as some might say the absolute “Bee’s Knees” when it comes to plucking those strings. But how do they continually put on these beautiful shows that cause listeners to move their feet and have a massive smile on their faces the entire time?

Traveling through our great state of Colorado on their hopefully annual Ski-Tour, the Infamous Stringdusters had a giant task in front of them. Not only were they going to have to ski everyday on a different mountain, but they were also required to rip faces off hundreds of ready and willing bluegrass loving Coloradoans. From Vail, to Fort Collins, and through to my hometown of Boulder, the Dusters left a path of outright destruction behind them. Hearts exploded, faces melted, and feet were hurting all across our great state as the Dusters went from show to show blasting our ears off with some of the most beautiful bluegrass one can imagine. Each member of the five person musical unit plays a key and integral part in what the Infamous Stringdusters bring to the table each and every night. From Chris Pandolfi on the banjo, to Andy Falco on the guitar the Dusters do not have any exposed weaknesses. Unlike my San Francisco 49ers in the Super Bowl, the Dusters are ready to rip it anytime they are called upon. Solos are thrown around on stage like a light-up Frisbee, and not one member misses a beat. But how is this possible? Even the best of bands on the scene today seem to have an off night or a song that just doesn't fit with the evening’s performance, but not the Dusters. Could these five humble and soft-spoken gents be our next bluegrass Super-heroes?

Travis Book (bass), Andy Falco (guitar), Jeremy Garrett (fiddle), Andy Hall (dobro), and Chris Pandolfi (banjo) are the Infamous Stringdusters. Each member brings something unique and special to the unit. Whether it’s Travis’s big booming voice or Andy Hall’s interesting taste in fashion this band has an intense amount of personality waiting to smack ya right in the face! Jeremy Garrett is an amazing fiddle player with flawless technique exuding out of every note he plays. Chris Pandolfi’s on-stage laughter/smile is contagious and his banjo playing has been described as “Bela Fleck-esque”. (See my previous Stringduster review) A recently christened dad, Travis Book has a beautiful, deep voice that echoes through any sound system with a woodsy like quality. Andy Falco and his red pants are a force to be reckoned with via stage left as his fast/furious way of picking on that guitar reminds me of another bluegrass hero of mine… Mr. Billy Nershi. With The Fox Theatre run being two nights, us Boulderites were given the opportunity to truly see what this band is capable of and wow did they impress!

Night one in Boulder was full of all sorts of musical goodness. From Duster originals such as “Far I Fall”, “High Country Funk”, and “Telluride” to Jerry Garcia classics “Jack-a-Roe” and “He’s Gone” our bluegrass superheroes provided special moments with each song that raged by. There are almost too many highlights to name, but the “Rain” from the first set was especially heady, or crunchy as some of you jam-banders like to say. For the encore the Dusters treated us to a classic bluegrass number “Steam Powered Aeroplane” with Travis Book taking lead on vocals. All in all Night one was downright fantastic and the hundreds of sweaty Boulderites were extremely appreciative of the performance. What would these masters of the strings give us for Night two? Would it be more of the same awesomeness or would the mighty El Dora Mountain in Nederland tire the boys out and bring us a lackluster second performance?

Saturday night, or night two of the run was another typical Infamous Stringduster show. No frills, no computers, no womp… just straight up beautiful jam-grass music. “Changes”, “Fork in the Road”, “Get it While You Can”, and “Loving You” were some of the Duster originals which are starting to become staples on most of my friends I-product. “Deep Elm Blues”, “I Know You Rider”, and “Up on Cripple Creek” were the cover highlights of the evening and all three were outstanding renditions of songs which many bands do, but not many do well. My personal highlight of the evening was the Chris Pandolfi led tune “Machine” which showcased his filthy banjo skills while providing a beautiful melodic sound. To sum up Night two is like being forced to chug an expensive glass of wine, it’s tough but sometimes it just has to happen. Night two was just another example of how the Dusters have completely captured the jamgrass scene’s attention and more noticeably this past weekend how much love we Coloradoans have for this band. The ovations were deafening and the screams ear piercing, but the music is just that good.

If it is not evident already, I have a huge musical crush on these guys. The Infamous Stringdusters are slowly creeping into the upper echelon of bands in my opinion… getting right up there with their good friends, The String Cheese Incident. I truly believe we will be seeing them headline at Red Rocks this summer (PLEASE!), and I hope that they continue their love for Colorado because we are ready to adopt them as our own whenever possible. Thank you to Chris, Andy, Jeremy, Travis, and Andy for an amazing weekend and I hope to see you guys soon. Now if I could get all this dust off my shoes before the next show…

Kevin's Photo Gallery

www.thestringdusters.com


Friday, February 22, 2013

Two Nights of Rudresh Mahanthappa's GAMAK


Dazzle Restaurant and Lounge
Denver, CO


Join us on Tuesday February 26th & Wednesday February 27th at Dazzle Restaurant and Lounge in Denver, CO for Rudresh Mahanthappa's GAMAK!

Purchase Tickets Here:

-Tuesday 6:30 PM Show

-Tuesday 8:30 PM Show

-Wednesday 6:30 PM Show

-Wednesday 8:30 PM Show

www.rudreshm.com

www.dazzlejazz.com

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Yamn 2.15.13



The Bluebird Theater
Denver, CO

Words & Photos By Brad Yeakel


Almost two years ago I arrived in Denver, and immediately heard about Yamn. They seemed to have an intense local following, and I wanted to know what all the hype was about. The first opportunity I had to see them was at Cervantes, and they were doing the Almost Famous soundtrack. I was very impressed. I was excited to have another opportunity to see them, but before long I heard they were taking a break to integrate a new key player. The wait was long, but in November, 2012 the band opened for Moe. at the Ogden. They also performed a New Year's Eve show in Vail, but the Bluebird show was their first headlining gig in Denver for quite some time. The anticipation was high.

Our evening began with a decadent pot luck at a friend's birthday shindig before the party descended on the Bluebird. As we entered the theater, the opening act, Bedrockk were nearing the end of their set. Consisting of a drummer and guitarist/dj/vocalist, they had a unique style... It wasn't my bag, but it still reminded me of a number of musicians I love at various points. I remember thinking they reminded me of Beck at one point, and EOTO at another. There also seemed to be slight nuances of Chromeo and Daft Punk. They had a very supportive following dancing up front, and seemed pleased with the turnout. Playing for a wall to wall Bluebird Theater, is a thrill for any band, and they enjoyed the exposure... Not bad for an up and coming party-rock-tronica band from Denver.

The house music leading up to Yamn's entrance was Thin Lizzy's "The Boys are Back in Town," and Denver's devoted were rapt with anticipation. As the four piece took the stage, their brand new light rig sparked to life. Featuring a large LED "Y," and more fog than a Tim Burton movie, the stage was often awash with color, all but obscuring the band from sight. From inside the neon haze came an excited sound, mixing electronic elements with energetic rock and roll. Like most jam-bands, they touched on everything from jazz to bluegrass, but with a professionalism, aplomb, and fluency that set them apart. Yamn's still developing, but they have transcended the trappings of a strictly local jam band, and had the sound of a national act. As I honed in on what they do, I began to notice that they approached their blend of rock much like dj's originally approached electronica. They established phrases or hooks of extremely danceable melodies and then repeated and embellished them. David Duart's agile bass-lines mingled with Adam Ebensberger's drums to create a smooth groove of boundless energy. Brian Hamilton's guitar added the melodic themes that propelled the dance party like fuel to a fire. Newly added Paul Evans sprinkled in key parts and synthesizer space effects as needed. I was impressed with their comfort playing together as they routinely followed each other's improvisations and created a show that had continuity and depth.

While I felt that their excitement to be back on the stage elevated the energy, I also felt that they were only going to get better from there. The show was a solid performance from a very talented band, but it had a touch of trepidation, pinch of inexperience, and hint of insecurity that comes with a relatively new lineup change. Given a little more time and dedication, Yamn may be better than ever. As the theater emptied, people discussed the cover choices, including "We Didn't Start the Fire," and expressed thanks that Yamn was back. I was one of them.

Brad's Photo Gallery

www.yamnit.com

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Two Nights of Kurt Rosenwinkel Quartet



Dazzle Restaurant and Lounge
Denver, CO


Join us on Saturday February 23rd & Sunday February 24th for Kurt Rosenwinkel Quartet at Dazzle Restaurant and Lounge in Denver, CO!

Purchase Tickets Here:

-Saturday 7:00 PM Show (SOLD OUT)

-Saturday 9:00 PM Show

-Sunday 6:00 PM Show

-Sunday 8:00 PM Show

www.dazzlejazz.com

MusicMarauders Presents: Easy Star All Stars "Dub Side of The Moon" 10th Anniversary Party 2.14.13



Cervantes Masterpiece Ballroom
Denver, CO

Words & Photos By J-man


It was early 2000's and I recall sitting with some of my best friends in a party house in Ann Arbor, MI. As we smoked hookah and all sorts of various herbal selections, the room filled with smoke. The sun hit the smoke just right making it dance as we listened to a plethora of old records. As one record came to an end, another replaced it, until we arrived at this "new" record that our buddy had picked up. It was Easy Star All Stars' Dub Side of The Moon. I was blown away by the band's approach to the music of Pink Floyd and the album quickly became an essential in my collection. Fast forward a decade to current day and MusicMarauders was presenting Easy Star's Dub Side of the Moon 10th Anniversary Party at Cervantes Masterpiece Ballroom in Denver, CO.

Upon our arrival, Colorado band, The Sesh, played to a near empty room. The band was made up of Cristian Basso on bass, Jeff Jani from Frogs Gone Fishin' on drums and Trevor Jones of Frogs Gone Fishin' on guitar. The trio sounded great with each member displaying an elevated skill set and ability to flat out rock. The music was strong, the solos were sound and I was thoroughly entertained. It was just unfortunate that more folks weren't present to experience the set. After poking our heads into the main room, we decided it was best to remain on the Other Side as Andreux and The See of Sounds prepared to take the stage. See of Sounds is lead by Andrew Portwood, also of Frogs Gone Fishin', on guitar. The project is a rotating cast of musicians who come together to make popular sounding jam music on the surface. Underneath the hood is a complex mix of various sounds, tones and approaches that paint a bigger picture. The songs soared with sonic beauty and musical chemistry causing the room to fill in for a brief time. As the Easy Star All Stars took the stage in the main room, the Other Side cleared out, however we remained until the end. I was impressed with the set and recommend that folks check out this rare treat.

The Ballroom was pretty packed. Easy Star was already in the midst of the Dub Side album, with the female vocals of "Money" ripping through the smoky room. The nostalgia of the situation took hold and I found myself smiling and enjoying the music. It was short lived as the music's predictability became clear. It's a tough thing to keep what many consider a gimmick, fresh. Though it's a great concept and an incredible album, touring on much of the same material for the better part of a decade is not conducive to being viewed as a band pushing the envelope. That being said, the musicians involved were top notch and the solo work was very impressive. Admittedly, the songs were fun, but after ten years the horse has been beaten. For those who witnessed the performance for the first time, I am sure it was captivating. For many of us folks who listened to the album when it came out, the evening was more about nostalgia than anything else.

J-man's Photo Gallery

www.easystar.com

www.facebook.com/andreuxmusic

www.facebook.com/thesessh

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

MusicMarauders Presents: Garrett Sayers Trio & Bluegrass Delta Force



Quixote's True Blue
Denver, CO


Join us on Friday February 22nd at Quixote's True Blue in Denver, CO for MusicMarauders Presents: Garrett Sayers Trio w/ Bluegrass Delta Force!

Purchase Tickets Here: www.holdmyticket.com/checkout

www.garrettsayers.com

www.reverbnation.com/bluegrassdeltaforce

www.quixotes.com

Lotus: Build


Words By J-man

Build opens with a track called "Break Build Burn" that conjures images of an era long before Lotus' rise to the top; An era where horns and arranged music dominated the lounges. A subtle hint of current day sounds tease until the track drops and the two worlds collide in a chaotic scramble. "Massif" comes next and eludes to a much more characteristic sound. Dance beat in place, a dirty synth opens up a world that many Lotus fans are all too familiar with. A plethora of tones offer new possibilities of innovation while still paying homage to those electro bands that have come before and at the same time staying true to the band's sound. "What Did I Do Wrong" grabs the listener's attention with a haunting organ that transcends expected normality and welcomes it's electro counterpart, more synth. Siren like highs come crashing down with digital blips, all while the initial organ remains. Through straight forward progressions come wailing lead guitar work and an increasing tempo that fans are sure to enjoy.

A sort of backbeat drum layer falls into place on "Uffi," with a synth that sounds like a horn section cuing the guitar. The song's mid-section is a fantastic tonal exploration that achieves lift off and dosn't return to reality until the song's close. "Middle Road" starts with a sound reminiscent of Medeski, Martin & Wood, before leveling out to a funky groove, more fitting for the vocal samples that intertwined with great instrumentation. "Kodiac" wastes no time in climbing to soaring heights. The track's layered composition creates a sonic barrage before resolving to the song's main riff. Prior to its close, "Kodiac" once again reached for the stars, creating what will ultimately translate into an epic live experience. From the darker side of Lotus comes "Cutinuo," a menacing track that gets about as "whompy" and "glitchy" as Lotus permits on this album. "Aschon" continues with a very similar feel, leaning heavy on electronics and minor scales.

A brief sample leads off "Neon Tubes Part 1" before the songs floor falls out and danceable space ensues, utilizing heavy synth and once again, an increasing beat. "Neon Tubes Part 1" turns into "Neon Tubes Part 2" and gets significantly dirtier. "Part 2" may be the most irresistible track on Build. "Am I at Burning Man? No. I am in my living room listening to Lotus," I reassured myself on multiple occasions during this extended beauty. What a fitting way to close an album like Build. The album is an adventurous exploration of sounds both familiar and previously unfamiliar to fans of Lotus' realm of music. The band does a great job of bridging the instrumental and electronic gap with precision and a masterful approach from seasoned musicians. Build is a perfect reflection of where Lotus is developmentally as a band. Purchase this album.

www.lotusvibes.com

Monday, February 18, 2013

MusicMarauders Presents: Juno What



Cervantes Masterpiece Ballroom
Denver, CO


Join us on Saturday February 23rd at Cervantes Masterpiece Ballroom in Denver, CO for MusicMarauders Presents: Juno What! Juno What will be joined by Dam Funk and Mike Moses.

Purchase Tickets Here: www.ticketfly.com/purchase

Doors: 8:00 pm / Show: 9:00 pm (event ends at 2:00 am)
$12 Advance / $15 Day Of Show

www.junowhat.net

www.cervantesmasterpiece.com

Banyan 2.9.13


HoodLab Colorado
Denver, Colorado

Words, Photos & Video By Nicholas Stock
Audio By Corey Sandoval (Kind Recordings)


This tight formation of Banyan consisting of Stephen Perkins, Willie Waldman, Tony Franklin, and Brian Jordan was smack dab in the middle of a two night run at Quixote’s True Blue. Perkins and Franklin arranged for a short drum and bass jam at the multi-purpose space known as HoodLab. Distributer of HoodLamb Hemp coats out of Amsterdam, HoodLab is also an art gallery and a space for live performances. Curated and owned by Adam Dunn, this place is one of the hidden gems in Denver. Opening up was self-described funk metal group Herb N’ War. They were without lead singer Eutimia Cruz Montoya. So, they played as a power trio and basically blasted through an improv set that featured heavy riffing and some tight drum work by Carter Casad. Without their voice they were left to focus on the music, and honestly this was a perfect fit for the Perkins Franklin jam.



There was a modest gathering, many of which seemed to be regulars and friends of the proprietors. Originally billed as just a drum and bass jam with Perkins and Franklin, Waldman added his horn to make it a full-blown Banyan show. Perkins unleashed his fury on the drums as the crowd settled in for thirty minutes of freeform rage. Franklin tickled his fretless bass to the delight of the audience as Waldman, without any effects or petals, created a cacophony of sound with just his horn and a microphone. At one point Waldman created distortion by inserting the mic into the bell of his trumpet. Franklin went wild on the bass causing the roof of the HoodLab to rumble as the Perkins broke into a raucous beat to blast off on another jam tangent. All in all, this entire musical journey was short but powerful. As they finished up, Herb N’ War took the stage again to close out the evening. If you get the chance spend some time at the HoodLab, this place was special, and worth the visit.

Nicholas' Photo Gallery

Quixote’s True Blue
Denver, Colorado


No one puts together a lineup quite like Jay Bianchi. As I entered the newly reformatted venue, which has moved to the old Bender’s Tavern, the band Tick was warming up in the main room. Quixote’s is two stages split by a large wall. Each room contains their own bar, and it actually does work quite well. I opted to watch some docile covers by The Mighty High Band in the front room rather than get bitten by the Tick. The Mighty High Band is a basically a Grateful Dead, Bob Dylan, and Legion Of Mary cover band pulling out deep cuts from Garcia’s side projects. This band was a fun way to ease into the night. Performing songs like “Tangled Up In Blue,” with amazing accuracy I was happy to have caught a bit of The Mighty High Band. As Tick cleared the stage it was time for something completely different. The People’s Abstract could be called a Zobomaze side project. However I prefer to think of them as another side of the same musical coin. With Zobo’s Sean Dandurand, this tight four piece at first glance has a lot in common with Zobo. When they start playing those similarities disappear. The People’s Abstract is a instrumental blend of jazz, funk, rock, and more. As people slowly filtered in, it almost seemed that they were caught off guard by the incredible music coming from the stage. I too found myself blown away but this unassuming quartet. Given their warm take on jazzy funk, they were a perfect fit to open for Banyan.



As I mentioned earlier, this was a tight four-piece version of Banyan. I have seen this group bloated with as many as seven members, however this amalgamation of Banyan had laser focus and impeccable back and forth. With Franklin and Perkins holding down the rhythm, Jordan and Waldman were left to fill in the musical gaps. Performing two sets, over the course of a few hours, Banyan proved once again why they are not to be missed.

Banyan Live at Quixote's True Blue on February 9, 2013.



Weaving their way through jazz, rock, and Middle Eastern inspired jams, Banyan is as fluid as any group you will see live; in essence with a rotating pool of players you have to see. Perkins just wows the crowd as he slowly peels off layers until he is left in his signature black wife beater. Watching Stephen Perkins in a tiny room playing jazz to forty of fifty people is something everyone should experience. He is a force behind the kit that literally unleashes an all out attack on the skins. Waldman back on stage with his effects is able to paint sonic murals that fly around the crowd. Franklin too is a beast who simply shreds. Brian Jordan, continues to impress with his virtuoso guitar work. They sounded fantastic together and I would love to see this lineup continue to tour regularly, as it was too much fun. If you’ve never heard of them, download the show, take a listen, and get inspired. This type of free form musical exploration is a rare treat in today’s paint by numbers scene. It’s definitely worth checking out and it could change your perspective on what jam can be.

Nicholas' Photo Gallery

www.quixotes.com

MusicMarauders Presents: Victor Wooten Band & Garrett Sayers Trio 2.9.13



Cervantes Masterpiece Ballroom
Denver, CO

Words & Photos By Kevin Hahn


My friends ask me all the time, “Kevin, what do you think is the most important instrument in a jam-band?” To me this is a very interesting question, as I always thought that the words piano or keyboard would immediately jump out of my mouth. Being a pianist I am usually biased towards the melodic nature that the ivories provide, but recently I have started to notice that without a decent bass player on stage, my feet just don’t get that same “dancing” feeling. So when I saw our homegrown bass virtuoso, Garrett Sayers, on the same bill as international bass god, Victor Wooten, I knew it would be a special night.

When I arrived at Cervantes I immediately noticed how packed it was for the opening band, the Garrett Sayers Trio. In the approximately fifty times I have seen a show at Cervantes I had never seen it that packed for any opening act! Maybe the weekly residency at the Highland Tap had really gained Garrett and his trio an awesome local following? Was the crowd drawn in with the want to get a good seat for Victor Wooten and his funky friends? Whatever the reason was it was elbowroom only on the always-delicious Cervantes floor and Garrett’s one hour set did not drop a beat. Smooth transitions, great interplay between the band members, and just some downright jazzy jams got the bass-loving crowd hooting and hollering from start to finish. If people in the crowd didn’t know who Garrett was before the show, they certainly were digging his stuff after, as the ovations got louder and more intense with each song. I am one of the lucky few that have witnessed the real growth of this trio and wow did they sound well rehearsed and tight! From one song to the next it was funky, jazzy goodness as Garrett dropped one bass bomb to the next with laser-like precision! What a great way to start off a night of, in my opinion, the most important instrument in any type of jam scenario... The bass!

Until now I had never had the opportunity to see the Victor Wooten in person. I have heard mixed reviews ranging from “oh, my god!” to “There was so much R&B…" I was pumped to finally be able to see one of the best bass players on the planet do his own thing. Victor’s band consisted of two drummers, one singer, and four bass players. Yes, you read that correctly… four bass players! Playing everything from slow smooth jams, to rocking covers of Eric Clapton’s Cocaine, to an exhilarating Amazing Grace > Hallelujah combination, Wooten’s band has something that every type of music fan could enjoy. As the conductor/leader of the ensemble, Wooten ran around on stage changing bass instruments and shouting instructions from one song to the next, and he always seemed to have a huge smile on his face. In my opinion the highlight of the night was when Victor invited his friend Michael Cox to the stage to take part in a sit-down cello/bass duel. To say Mr. Cox was a bit unique is an understatement, but he sure could rip it on that beautiful cello of his. Well, what happened next still has me baffled, confused, and utterly disjointed.

Michael Cox did not just rip it, he fucking killed it to the tenth degree! He possessed a beautiful assortment of sounds and techniques, which had the Cervantes sound system working extra hard to pick up the small subtleties in Cox’s furious finger movements. As Victor and his band sat back and watched the magic in front of them it was very evident that Cox meant a great deal to Victor and his playing was an inspiration for all to be heard. Wooten eventually sat down and joined Cox on an upright bass playing just as precisely with a bow as Cox himself, but the energy that the random musician possessed was contagious. After the classical portion of the night ended, the funky dance party got back underway and the evening raged on from bass solo, to bass duo duel, to some of the craziest bass playing I have ever witnessed!

To summarize the bass-extravaganza with Garrett and Victor leading the way is a hard task. There were so many highlights from each band, and the crowd loved both almost equally. Maybe next time around Garrett and Victor will play a tune or two together? Now that would be bass-tastic!

Kevin's Photo Gallery

www.victorwooten.com

www.garrettsayers.com

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Vital Organ 2.13.13



Highland Tap & Burger
Denver, CO

Words By J-man
Photo By Carly Marthis


It was Wednesday on Colorado's Front Range, which meant folks would be making their way to The Highland Tap and Burger in Denver's Lower Highlands to get down for HTB's Wednesday Music Showcase. That specific Wednesday would feature "supergroup" and Motet side project, Vital Organ, which is comprised of Joey Porter (Juno What, The Motet), Garrett Sayers (Garrett Sayers Trio, The Motet), Dan Schwindt (Kyle Hollingsworth Band, The Motet) and Daren Hahn. The night kicked off with a thinner crowd than usual, which was to be somewhat expected with Vital Organ launching a weekly residency at Quixote's true Blue just a couple of nights prior. As the music and energy grew, so to did the crowd. From funk to jazz to rock and back the group went with precision and a strong compositional vibe. The band was tight and it was clear that they had been fine tuning their songs and playing together more frequently.

The evening wound down with music fans wanting more and the band obliging. With that Vital Organ show in the books, only two Garrett Sayers Trio shows remain in the residency that started music nights at The Tap. Join us Wednesday February 20th & 27th for the final two GS3 shows and join us every Wednesday for a wide variety of bands from Colorado's incredible music scene and beyond!

www.highlandtapdenver.com

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Jimkata 2.12.13


The Fox Theatre
Boulder, CO

Words & Photos By Kevin Hahn


Jimkata. By the name alone I really had no idea what kind of music this band was going to be playing or what scene they would be providing when they came to play the Fox Theatre in Boulder. I started to do my homework, and what I found was that Jimkata is being described as an “Umphrey’s Mcgee” type of jam-tronica act with a very devoted group of fans and a bright future in front of them. What I heard and saw at the Fox the other night was much of the same. A four member unit, Jimkata is definitely an up-and-comer on the jamband/live music scene and the Boulder fans were whole-heartedly showing their sincere appreciation for these Ithaca, New York based musicians.

Playing numerous songs from their new album “Die Digital,” Jimkata gave us a good “ragefest” as fists were pumping and all the girls were dancing. Backed by an impressive lighting rig, these East Coasters brought their “A” game to the small and intimate venue, doing their best to rip our faces off with everything they could muster on this cold night in the Rocky Mountains. As the crowd continued to bounce with song after song I started to realize why they liked these Ithaca boys so much. Jimkata provides great energy, good lyrics, and an awesome sound that no doubt will be rocking festival stages this summer and beyond. I left the show thoroughly impressed with what Jimkata had to offer and will definitely be catching them next time they come into town. I highly recommend you do the same, as Jimkata will be on the scene for a good time to come.

Kevin's Photo Gallery

www.jimkata.com

Tea Leaf Green 2.9.13



The Bluebird Theater
Denver, CO

Words & Photos By Brad Yeakel


I had not heard of the Tumbleweed Wanderers until I arrived at the show. This Oakland based band started with a sound that matched their name... A rock band with a breezy, dusty, rambling spirit. Their country-kissed rock could have been on the soundtrack to the Big Lebowski, an album featuring artists such as Bob Dylan, Don Henley, Kenny Rogers, Jagger and Richards, John Fogerty, and more. Suddenly a wash of liquid echoes and reverb enveloped the sound, and the band delved into a vintage late '60s sound reminiscent of Syd Barrett's time with Pink Floyd. The rest of their set triggered memories of Led Zeppelin, the Who, and the Beatles as they played with an authentic British rock tone. It's almost as if Tumbleweed Wanderers had come from a time gone by, to bring back a small piece of those sounds that changed the world.


By the time Tea Leaf Green took the stage, the theater was full of fans, some dressed in 1980's hair metal regalia, wielding inflatable guitars. The crowd energy was palpable as I heard the guy behind me say, "It's time to get weird." As the show got under way, I was immediately taken back by Reed Mathis's bass. His playing was essentially like a second lead guitar, yet he still hit the bottom and kept the grooves moving. Later in the show, he used his bass to create what I could only describe as whale calls. It sounded like a violin trying to communicate with a beluga. Just simply cool. He used that technique at various points through the show, sometimes to create atmosphere, and other times to supplement his dynamic bass-lines. I've never seen anyone play the bass like Reed did... He is a truly unique talent. It helped that he was surrounded by a great group of musicians as well. The tandem drumming of Cochrane McMillan and Scott Rager dropped unified rhythms you could use to set your clock. Their beats were tighter than Russia's synchronized swim team, and they maintained the consistency required with a bassist like Mathis. Trevor Garrod's keys and vocals added to the rich tapestry of sounds and worked well in focal and supporting roles. His vocals were the most memorable of the night, though all the guys could sing.

Last but not least, Josh Clark was outrageous. His furious fingers dominated his guitar throughout the show, and shifted between interesting accompaniment and aggressive solo work. His playing touched on elements of southern rock, hair metal, island grooves, funk, and jazz. It reminded me of Brendan Bayliss from Umphrey's McGee at times when he would let loose with his rapid-thrash solos. Clark was a showman... From windmills to "O" faces, his stage presence was almost as intense as his playing. They had an original sound, but it had the commercial appeal of a band like Wilco, but with an improvisational depth beyond their commercial competition. At one point, the key player grabbed a banjo and the guys gathered around a single mic to play acoustic instruments. They sang into a single mic also and fused the traditional bluegrass approach with a campfire vibe before inviting Tumbleweed Wanderers to join them on a singalong version of U2's "With or Without You." Other notable covers, "End of the World as We Know It" by REM and Europe's "The Final Countdown" kept the crowd smiling as Tea Leaf Green delivered knock-out punch after knock-out punch of thrilling music. I've seen TLG before as openers or at festival sets, but this was my first show where they headlined. Wow. I've been missing out. How about you?

Brad's Photo Gallery

www.tealeafgreen.com

www.tumbleweedwanderers.com

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Euforquestra & John Brown's Body 2.8.13


The Aggie Theatre
Fort Collins, CO

Words, Photos & Video By Nicholas Stock


For the second night in a row I ventured down to the Aggie Theater for some live music. It was a co-bill between local favorites Euforquestra and reggae powerhouse John Brown’s Body. It had been three years since JBB last performed in Fort Collins. I first saw JBB very early in my concert-going career; in fact they were a band that demonstrated to me what was possible on any random Wednesday night in a sweaty, crowed bar. The last time I saw them was around 2006 and seeing them live in Fort Collins it was evident that this band had evolved. As we entered the room Mikey Thunder was gracing the slowly growing crowd with a tasty mix of funk and jazz backed by some palpable beats. At times in the past I’ve found Mr. Thunder’s heavier electronic sets to be off-putting, but he sounded really solid. The audience was unenthusiastic and Thunder politely called them on it. He also performed during the setbreaks, which seemed to help the overall flow of the evening.

Euforquestra took the stage and hit the fans with a saucy “Obatala” into “Change Me.”

Set One: Obatala> Change Me, Road Funk, Soup, Backbone> Wasted, Madison Square, Solutions, 64/18, All The Light I Need, Dr. Standby

Euforquestra has been going through some changes, but watching them live you would never know it. Scott Mast continues to fill in on percussion with Craig Babineau holding it down on kit. These two are really starting to gel, which culminated in a huge back and forth drum jam during “Soup.” They continue to surprise me every time I see them perform together. Speaking of surprises, Matt Wright’s vocals have added a whole new dimension to Euforquestra’s sound. However the most powerful moment of the set came when Austin sang “All The Light I Need,” which was a song he wrote to honor a fallen friend. They closed their set with “Dr. Standby.”

John Brown’s Body is another band that has gone through their fair share of hardship and change. With the passing of Scott Palmer in 2006 the band underwent a metamorphosis of sorts. Through their sorrow they emerged as a more focused group blending new styles and pioneering what they call “Future Roots Rock.” They eased into the night with an organ-heavy “Ameliorate.”

Set One: Ameliorate, Give Yourself Over, Following Into Shadow, The Grass, Plantation, Wellington Dub, Shine Bright, Make Easy, Empty Hands, Ambrosia, What You Gonna Do, 33 RPM

Encore: Peace, The Gold

The horn section consisting of Drew Sayers on saxophone, Scott Flynn on trombone, and Sam Dechenne on trumpet was the icing on the cake all night. They added a level of authenticity and panache to the JBB sound. Elliot Martin, the lead singer was as vibrant as ever and danced around the stage authoritatively. The sound had developed from the roots based songs of yore into something quite different. They were now adding elements of dubstep, hip-hop, electronica, and more to the mix in an attempt to be unique and to craft songs that are truly original. This was not your mother’s reggae. That being said, they did have a nice mix of traditional and infused reggae. The highlight of the show for me was a fiery rendition of “Shine Bright.” While John Brown’s Body is not the same band I first saw in 2001 and 2003, they are continuing to blaze trails in the reggae world. They were a wonderful fit for Euforquestra and a great way to start the weekend. Let’s not wait another three years for JBB to return.

Nicholas' Photo Gallery

www.johnbrownsbody.com

www.euforquestra.com