Corb Lund: Country Muse, Clean Water and Frontier Justice

March 11, 2022

Corb Lund is the son of a ranching family that goes back eight generations in Southern Alberta. If he can tell you something in three words, he won’t use 20. “Pretty country,” was all he needed to say in an interview with BandWagon to evoke the rolling sage brush on his family’s ancestral homestead. 

While Lund may be conversationally economical, he is lyrically verbose. Over the course of twelve full length LPs, he has become one of Amercana’s most beloved songwriters; lyrically and sonically a modern embodiment of life on the range.

Last May, the Alberta provincial government rescinded a 1976 ban on open-pit coal mining on the slopes of the Canadian Rockies which threatened to scar the landscape and taint the water of nearby communities.

“It pissed off everybody up here, not just the lefties — ranchers, hunters and the first nations people,” Lund said. “It affects the water I drink. This was too egregious to let go.”

Lund collaborated with other Canadian musicians to re-record his 2009 song “This Is My Prairie,” in protest. A few months later, the government backed down and even introduced new protections.

Continue reading

Album Review: Dead Man’s Alibi

March 10, 2022

Fort Collins-based Dead Man’s Alibi keeps a post-grunge metal sound while tossing in some blues on their debut. They have a classic early 2000’s sound, with some Alice in Chains mixed in on tracks like “Hole In A Hat,” and “Lowly Saint” which feature roaring guitars and rowdy drum grooves.

The vocals show some grit but shy away from the screaming and growling most bands these days employ. Epic guitar solos call up Judas Priest, but what makes Dead Man’s Alibi cool is the blues influence in their sound.

Continue reading

Album Review: Big Brooklyn – Everyone Everywhere

March 9, 2022

Denver based Big Brooklyn begs the question “what is jazz?” with their new album Everyone Everywhere, in which every track dips a toe into different sub-genres underneath the jazz umbrella. 

They have enough “straight ahead” stuff,but they also share some funky fusion you might hear from Herbie Hancock’s Head Hunters era. Their incorporation of Melody Dornfeld on clarinet (and bass clarinet) lends a quirkier sound for a group that doesn’t focus on gypsy jazz or 1920’s repertoire.

Continue reading

Album Review: Thom LaFond – The Moon Leans In

March 8, 2022

Nederland, Colorado’s Thom LaFond is most well known as the guitarist and singer in Denver’s four-piece gypsy jam rock outfit Banshee Tree. But on this, his debut full-length, he lets his inner voice shine.

Close, acoustic and intimate speckles of piano, pizzicato violin and nimble upright bass frame his hushed, masculine baritone with gorgeous minimalism; a composition on par with a Kandinsky.

“Did they take the moon you were after and give it back piece by piece?” the record’s first lyric asks, initiating a song and an album dense with gorgeous prose, artful arrangements and beautiful music.

Continue reading

Math Rock and the Immigrant Struggle: ZETA “Dances It All” – from Venezuela to Miami to Fort Collins

March 7, 2022

“Every song is a different rhythm that represents a region in Latin America,” Zeta’s Juan Yilo Alvarado says of Todo Bailarlo, the Venezuelan punk orchestra’s upcoming LP. “It was really liberating and really challenging at the same time.”  

“Our communities dance through everything: sadness, happiness, the good, the bad,” Alvarado said. “We are always dancing through life, moving and adapting and looking for better opportunities in remote places.” 

But Zeta has not lost its frenetic exuberance by embracing its roots. This is calypso (and salsa, samba, latin jazz…) made for moshing. “It’s still rock and it’s still progressive,” Alvarado assures.

While Zeta’s sound might be aggressive, the band’s ethos is the opposite. They are compassionate, inclusive and intent on fostering community wherever they go. Dani “Debuto” Hernandez, the band’s other guitarist/vocalist in addition to Alvarado, is notorious for feeding tour mates, fans and anyone else that walks by. In keeping with the band’s shared pacifistic and environmental ethics, his cooking is vegan (with a Venezuelan flair).

“We’ve connected to, not only to latinos, but also to immigrant people from other countries and ethnicities,” Alvarado explained. “We all feel very identified with the immigrant struggle. In the band and orchestra we are all either immigrants or the kids of immigrants.”

Continue reading

Big Richard: 105.5 The Colorado Sound’s Featured Artist

March 4, 2022

“It is SO FUN,” cellist Joy Adams says of Big Richard. “We’re always laughing until we cry, and there’s no competition. It’s just genuine, supportive fun.”

Big Richard formed specifically to be the token all-female band at McAwesomefest in Colorado in May of 2021. Lucky for fans of bluegrass, authentic vocals and a little something different, what started as a token quickly alchemized into gold.

Continue reading

Right Back Into It: Ben Pu Stays True

March 2, 2022

At the end of most of his gigs, and in conversations with other musicians or friends, Ben Puchalski gets the question: “Dude, why aren’t you bigger?”

Puchalski, these days, answers with a shrug, and that’s not because he’s a little tired of answering it, even though, truth be told, he kinda is.

“You always try to increase your fan base no matter how long you’ve been doing it.”

“I’ve had a lot of good fans, especially through the pandemic,” he said. “They really kept me afloat. They still come out. It’s unfathomable.”

Continue reading

March 2022 – Corb Lund

March 1, 2022
https://issuu.com/bandwagmag/docs/web_bandwagon_march_2022 In This Issue: Ben Pu | Zeta & the Abajo Cadenas Orchestra | Thom Lafond | Big Richard | Dead Man's Alibi | Big Brooklyn | 105.5 the Colorado Sound Continue reading