Month: January 2021
Album Review: The Crooked Rugs – IT!
On their debut LP IT!, Colorado quintet The Crooked Rugs take the compulsory ingredients of modern rock band instrumentation and create something wonderfully foreign. Echoes of psych, prog and garage rock resound, but each song is clearly the result of diligent experimentation.
IT! was recorded this summer in Durango, and for an album made in a barn in rural Colorado, it’s anything but folksy.Continue reading
Dead Amps: Where We Are Now / Harnessing the Chaos
Erin O’Toole isn’t Dr. Phil, but she does have a little marital advice:
“If you can record an album together and remain happy,” O’Toole says, “you can survive anything.”
O’Toole would know, given that she’s made music with her husband, Jonathan Payne as the band Dead Amps since 2005, a year after they met. She says when they both find something they like, it can be magical )as on their new full-length “DA4”) but it’s usually more arduous than that. Just like a marriage with moments that inspire rom-coms and adult contemporary hits, there’s a whole lot of hard work behind the magic.Continue reading
A Brother’s Bond: Holdfast. Stays, Fights and Reflects
“We are three brothers” is the first sentence Holdfast. wrote in their Facebook bio and they’re not really wrong about that. Brothers Tom and Mikey Maddocks and their cousin Charlie Maddocks grew up right next door to each other in Windsor, CO. They did everything together, including signing a sync licence with Audio Network in 2020 and releasing their first full length Stay And Fight on January 8, 2021.Continue reading
Album Review: Fresh Fruit! – Independently
The groovy, Denver-based soul band Fresh Fruit! released their first EP on January 1st. And while the chill, yacht rock vibes of their past occasionally surface, “Independently” accentuates their soul sounds in a way that is groovy and more commercially appealing.Continue reading
Album Review: Antonio Lopez – Roots and Wings
Antonio Lopez’ voice sits delicately perched at the center of his fourth full-length release, Roots & Wings. The fragile purity of his vocal delivery as the record’s focus proves a point: When given a proper chance, an honest voice can rise to previously un-reached heights.
As the executive director of the music/empowerment nonprofit Sound Bridge and having funded Roots & Wings via Kickstarter, Lopez knows well that respectful contributions from those who back you is a gift as precious as family and as freeing as flight.Continue reading
DIY Kick: Colorado’s Recording Industry Takes It Home
Independent artists made more music online and at home during lockdown, and recording studios have adapted. Mike Davis was uniquely prepared for this shift, founding Koncept Jewel Studios, an itinerant collection of recording equipment and instruments that operates wherever Davis happens to be living at the time.
“It’s kind of an amorphous thing. I’ve moved around since I started it and plan to continue moving around,” he said.
This can-do, remote DIY sentiment is echoed by Ben Behrens of Wright Studios: “It doesn’t matter how cheap or weird your gear is. If it works, we can make something cool with it.”
Stone Cottage studios in Boulder has even turned its space into a stage for live-streaming artist performances online.Continue reading
Sarah Slaton Says It’s Time to Get Up and You Know It
Despite the chaos that was 2020, Fort Collins singer-songwriter Sarah Slaton has been able to find one gig: “I’m joining a bunch of other folks from the music industry who have been laid-off from their normal jobs,” she tells BandWagon. “We are part of a Covid rapid-response team, going to small cities to build testing infrastructure and testing sites.”
Because let’s be honest, if you need to build a mobile facility meant to deal with a lot of people, call are the music festival folks. “We get shit done quickly,” Slaton says.
Additionally, Slaton released the “Get Up” single and video in December, which speaks to what so many are going through. She championed the Save Our Stages Act, spearheaded community events and much more.Continue reading