Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Euforquestra with Earth Like Twins 3.28.14

Hodi’s Half Note
Fort Collins, CO

Words & Photos By Nicholas Stock (Fat Guerilla Productions)

Euforquestra has just surfaced from the studio with a fresh pressing in hand. The String Cheese Incident’s Kyle Hollingsworth produced their new album, Fire. It marks a bold new step in modern funk from the Fort Collins masterminds. This night was also the first in a series of album release shows starting in their adopted hometown.

Euforquestra drummer Craig Babineau joined with Nick Ierisi on guitar and synthesizer to form the embryonic electro-funk band, Earth Like Twins. We arrived during their opening set. The room slowly filled as they took turns playing their electronic infused riffs. Craig incorporated a set of drum pads while Nick focused on his keys and his guitar. I’m told he also plays a ukulele. The beat was snappier than the headliner, but honestly this duo was quite satisfying. Their blend of the EDM and funk rhythms is unique and worth seeing live. Hodi’s reached about half capacity as they finished up.

Euforquestra emerged from the darkness with a couple of new hired guns in tow. Jeff Porter was sitting in on percussion along with Danny Sears on trumpet. I always enjoy the addition of the trumpet with this band as it has a sharper register than their normal duel saxophone presentation. They opened their two-hour blow out with “Malt Milk.”

Set 1: Malt Milk, Price Is Right, Wasted, Rotten Light Years, Road Funk, You Got The Love, Solutions > Momo Lolo, Free > 64-18, Fire, Dr. Standby, Peaches & Cream, Instant Coffee, Take Me Dancing, Yogi’s Day Out
Encore: Black Capricorn Day, Cause A Reaction

The celebratory “Price Is Right” found the boys settling in with their new friends. Sears was spot was spot on with his hits allowing Austin a little more room to exercise his ample range. Austin, still sporting his ‘friendly mutton chops’ from his recent video shoot, was in rare form. Zalatel belted out the vocals while continuing to lead the group through many of the changes. We were treated to the second track off Fire in the form of an incredible “Wasted.” They busted out a Jamiroquai/Black Seeds mashup by combining “Rotten Apple” and “Light Years.” “Road Funk” of course got everyone moving back on the dance floor. The energy level was peaking and Tallman was absolutely shredding the guitar. They brought out vocalist Kim Dawson (Motet) to add her talents on Chaka Kahn’s “You Got The Love” into “Momo Lolo.” This was a huge highlight of the night. “Free” featured a tight “When The Levee Breaks” tease before segueing beautifully into a dark but driving “64-14.” Next up was the title track of the new album Fire executed perfectly. The cover of Beck’s “Peaches and Cream” was a true crowd pleaser. “Instant Coffee,” as its name suggests, was a musical shot of espresso straight to the grill. They closed the set with a rendition of Ross Martin’s “Yogi’s Day Out.”

Euforquestra returned with another Jamiroquai cover this time a straight take on “Black Capricorn Day.” They finished with an appropriate “Cause A Reaction.” Euforquestra continues to propel Colorado’s funk scene into the limelight. Bands like the Motet paved the way, but Euforquestra is bearing the torch. Their new album is a testament to the diversity and dynamism they bring to the world of funk. If you like to be entertained in a unique and satisfying way, go see Euforquestra soon.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Denver Kush Club Presents Festival 64: A Celebration of Legalization 4.18 - 4.20.14

The 1up - Colfax
Denver, CO

Join us for three nights at The 1up - Colfax in Denver, CO, Friday April 18th, Saturday April 19th & Sunday April 20th in celebration of the legalization of Marijuana in the great state of Colorado! The line-up includes: Signal Path, Tiger Party feat. David Murphy, Ultraviolet Hippopotamus, Chrome Drones, DrFameus feat. Allen Aucoin (The Disco Biscuits), Genetics (three nights), Digital Beat Down & Denver Disco DJs: Fun Factory, Pruitt, Mantaray, Sightlow!

Friday April 18th, 2014:

Purchase Friday Tickets:

Purchase Three Day Tickets:

8:00 PM - 9:00 PM Digital Beat Down
9:15 PM - 10:30 PM Genetics
10:45 PM - 11:45 PM Ultraviolet Hippopotamus
12:00 AM - Close AM Ultraviolet Hippopotamus

Saturday April 19th, 2014:

Purchase Saturday Tickets:

Purchase Three Day Tickets:

8:00 - 9:15 Genetics
9:30 - 10:30 DrFameus feat. Allen Aucoin (The Disco Biscuits)
10:45 - 11:45 Tiger Party feat. David Murphy
11:45 - 12:15 David Murphy (DJ Set)
12:15 - Close Tiger Party feat. David Murphy

Sunday April 20th, 2014:

Purchase Sunday Tickets:

Purchase Three Day Tickets:

4:00 PM - 8:00 PM Denver Disco DJs: Fun Factory, Pruitt, MantaRay & Sightlow
8:15 PM - 9:45 PM Genetics (Oysterhead & Creators)
10:00 PM - 11:45 PM Chrome Drones (Signal Path, Tiger Party, Erriot Ripp)
12:00 AM - Close AM Signal Path

*Schedule subject to change

Tickets on-sale now at

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey & Mike Dillon’s Band of Outsiders 3.20.14

Hodi's Half Note
Fort Collins, CO

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

I first saw the Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey at the inaugural Summer Camp Music Festival in 2001. I finally got a chance at round two thirteen years later at Hodi’s Half Note. The show was a co-bill giving ample opportunity for collaboration. They filled up the stage with both sets of instruments ready for play. The format was a round robin with both groups performing two shorter intermingled sets with a super jam to close. The music started just before 10 PM with Dillon.

Mike Dillon’s Band of Outsiders is an unstoppable locomotive that pushes through the music without much elaboration. Focusing on a darker style jazz that at times includes elements of rock, punk, funk, and general dissonance this group has an incredibly eclectic sound. Mr. Dillon dedicated the song “Rock Star Bench Press” to a friend who was there for the show. This song assaulted the senses in every good way possible. Dillon treated us to a few tracks off his forthcoming album Band Of Outsiders, including “Hero The Burro.”

“Alright now we’re gonna play the Mother Fucker song for you… you know what to do.” – Mike Dillon

The four-piece band is made of Dillon on the vibraphone, Carly Meyers on trombone and auxiliary percussion, Adam Gertner on drums, and Patrick McDevitt on bass. Carly is a huge focal point on the stage as she wildly dances between the instruments. Plus you know she plays a mean trombone. Their two sets of music were absolutely sublime. If you are looking for some ‘punch you in the face’ jazz Mike Dillon has what you are craving.

The Mike Dillon Band Live at Hodi's Half Note on March 20, 2014.

While Mike Dillon was exiting backstage, keyboardist Brian Haas of Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey literally leaped onto the front of the stage and began playing. And that was how it went for the night. There were no set breaks and the music of both bands bled into each other until they finally fused properly during the ‘superjam’ set. Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey now performing as a trio has had many incarnations since their initial formation in 1994. Brian Haas is the only founding member still touring with JFJO. Perhaps people remember that JFJO is where Tea Leaf Green’s bassist Reed Mathis got his start. In fact, they gained their most notoriety and critical success as a trio in 2000 before returning to a larger configuration. Chris Combs (guitar and lap steel) joined in 2009 and Josh Raymer (drums) joined in 2007. These two make up the rest of the current lineup. Musically they are straight jazz with a higher level of refinement than Dillon’s rowdy party. Focusing on the avant-garde and how to interject elements of funk and rock within that improvisational framework. Brian and company have held true to the musical roots of JFJO. They continue to tighten up and develop, but this band is as intriguing and versatile as when I saw them almost a decade and a half ago.

Mike Dillon and friends joined Jacob Fred for one final blast through the jazz canyon. The stage became a massive melting pot of the smooth JFJO sound and the boisterous Band Of Outsiders. The night ended with a vocal rap on “Jazz Millions” lead by Mike Dillon with eerily amazing sounds emanating from Brian Haas’s keyboard. This was a great night of jazz in Fort Collins. The pairing of JFJO and Mike Dillon was brilliant. Dillon and Meyers will again be at Telluride Jazz Festival this year, so they will both be back in Colorado soon. As for Jacob Fred, I hope it’s not another ten plus years before I get the chance to see them perform again.

Nick’s Photo Gallery

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

MusicMarauders Presents: Jimkata, Sunsquabi (DJ Set) & Tnertle

The 1up - Colfax
Denver, CO

Join us on Thursday April 3rd for MusicMarauders Presents: Jimkata, Sunsquabi (DJ Set) and Tnertle at The 1up - Colfax in Denver, CO! Tickets are on sale now at!

Doors: 8:00 pm
Show: 9:00 pm

$8.00 Advance / $10.00 Day Of Show

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

The Infamous Stringdusters: Let It Go

Words By J. Picard

When it comes to bluegrass music one band continues to push the envelope on a near nightly basis. The Infamous Stringdusters' live shows have come to stand as a testament of consistent skill and ability. As new songs from the studio crept into the band's set, fans started getting antsy for another album. Approximately two years after their previous release listeners are treated to Let It Go!

The album starts with anticipatory instrumentation that opens up into the vocals of Jeremy Garrett, conveying meaningful lyrics coupled with incredible harmonies on "I'll Get Away." Fantastic solos from Chris Pandolfi and Andy Hall leave the listener in a state of instrumental bliss, before Garrett's vocals return to steer the song towards its close. Another Jeremy Garrett contribution follows with "Where The Rivers Run Cold," soaring to staggering heights vocally. Each supposed fill sounds like the approach to an epic solo, creating a complicated sonicscape of notation.

Andy Hall's "Winds of Change" followed suit with flawlessly clean vocals and an overwhelming sense that the listener is hearing the future of the genre unfolding before their ears. As if Andy Hall's vocal contributions weren't enough, he steps up for a massive solo on the dobro that winds the tension tight before returning to the chorus for the composition's release. The album slows to a dreamlike state for "Rainbows," a short song by Andy Falco, creating a sort of balance of material.

"Summercamp," a song by Travis Book, came next building through strong harmonies and playful lyrics that conjure up youthful love. Heavy fiddle work from Garrett was chased by Pandolfi's quick banjo licks before returning to the chorus. The instrumental, "Middlefork," creates an interesting shifting rhythm that paves the way for a passing around of solos that take the listener out of their body to a state of euphoric relaxation. "By My Side," another Andy Falco song, returns to up-tempo riffs and incredible harmonies intertwined with instrumental fills that blow that mind and keep the listener on the edge of their seat.

What follows may be the track that creates the most movement on the album. "Colorado," another Jeremy Garret song, could easily be the new state song. With a chorus that begins with "I wanna get mile high touch the sky, Get lost in Mountain Time," it's easy to see how this song could catch on. Andy Falco's "Peace of Mind" follows with consistent vocal ability and some complex notation from the usual suspects. It's short, but sweet nature follows suit on an album of to the point tracks. "Light & Love," an Andy Hall original, comes out swinging with heavy chops and Andy's classic bluegrass vocals. Solos from Falco, Garrett and Pandolfi open up to Andy's vocal return before closing in acapella fashion.

The album's title track "Let It Go" closes with Garrett on lead vocals and heavy harmonies that bring the listener to their figurative knees. As the Infamous Stringdusters convey an essential life lesson, we're left to reflect on an absolutely masterful collection of songs from what will inevitably be the next big thing. I've noted in the past that The Stringdusters were on their climb to the top. With "Let It Go," they have arrived. Congratulations to The Infamous Stringdusters...