Hitting The High Notes: Diane Bolden-Taylor Helps Youths Find Their Voice

July 5, 2020

Diane Bolden-Taylor grew up in the Baptist church, where anyone with a voice would have an audience, and anyone who hit the high notes would be praised as a hero – regardless of their skin color.

She received multiple degrees, sang Opera professionally in Switzerland for 18 years, became fluent in German and taught voice at the University Of Northern Colorado.

Notably, she returned to her native St. Louis to expose classical vocal music to the young black community there. “And you know what?” Taylor said, “they absolutely love it!”

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Drum As You Are: Eric Riley Throws Down The Beat As A Black Musician In Metal

July 4, 2020

Even with all the fun Eric Riley has thrashing onstage with his longtime friend Nate Valdez, there is always that one drunk person who has to point it out: a black guy in a metal band!

“I mean, there’s not a lot of diversity [in the Colorado Metal scene] but it’s not really anyone’s fault,” said Riley, drummer for heavy rock duo In The Whale.

Riley grew up listening to black soul artists from the 60’s and 70’s, but the harder rock acts were where his heart was.

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Hayden Farr: Love and the March of an Angry Introvert

July 3, 2020

Until recently, the pandemic, and our directive to stay put, wasn’t all that hard for Hayden Farr, baritone sax player for The Burroughs and Trash Cat. Farr is an introvert, so when was invited to protest for Black Lives Matter in Denver, he declined.

“But I’m wondering,” Farr asked, “why do we need to have this conversation every two years? I wonder if it’s because people are stuck at home and forced to see what’s going on, or is it because people want to see a change?”

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If You’re Listening: Greg Carroll on the Black American Art Form with an Inherent Sense of Democracy

July 2, 2020

Even though it was the music that got Greg Carroll into his jazz career, he became a champion of the art form, teaching, preserving and protecting the history of it, because it is the music of his fellow black Americans. “It excites me to see everyone play it, but jazz was created by African Americans, born out of the experiences of people forced on this land as a way to honor their culture – the only thing that couldn’t be ripped away from them. It’s a gift to the world, and it’s welcome to everyone. But it’s historically black, and the more I got into it and learned the history of it, the more I appreciated that. It made me proud.”

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Highway To Heaven: Drive-Ins Revive The Live Music Experience

June 30, 2020

“I’ve reset my expectations with everything we do in the music business,” said Adam Aijala. “The best attitude is to just roll with it.” The last time his group Yonder Mountain String Band played was March 12, 2020. Then coronavirus hit. With band members scattered across different time zones in the lower 48, they made video collaborations. But then, their agent called. They had a gig. A live one. Blue Pig Presents in Cheyenne took a chance and installed a drive-in theater set-up at Terry Bison Ranch, booking Yonder Mountain live.

The idea of drive-in concerts spread almost as fast as the virus itself, with The Holiday Twin Drive-In Movie Theater in Fort Collins collaborating with FoCoMX to fill the festival void with their Drive & Jive concert series.

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Going For It: Live Music Returns, At A Distance

June 29, 2020

The Mishawaka Amphitheatre’s second live show during the pandemic happens at the night before Independence Day – and it’s not for the money. For independent music venues and clubs across Colorado, July 1 is perhaps as important as the day we celebrate our independence as a nation. Governor Polis’ new guidelines take effect that day, allowing the assembly of crowds which make live music possible, if not exactly feasible.

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Album Review: VIVIAN – The Warped Glimmer

June 11, 2020

Even during the pandemic, Fort Collins-based dream pop band VIVIAN pushed forward the release of their debut full length album The Warped Glimmer, and according to the band, are already well into producing a full length follow-up.
Spacy in all the right ways and saturated in the tell tale signs of art-rock gone pop, The Warped Glimmer is VIVIAN turning on cruise control and putting the seat back for you. It’s a warm envelope to rest in but exciting enough not to put you to sleep.

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Album Review: Andy Sydow – Wicked Dreams

June 10, 2020

‘Wicked Dreams’ – the title track of Andy Sydow’s most recent EP, is an alt-country story about nation-wide travel and going through the motions, while deep down the storyteller longs for true purpose. Reminiscent in style of early Wilco and Ryan Adams, it’s highlighted with a slide guitar solo that might appear in one of Derek Trucks’ dreams. After rambling through several states, the protagonist lands in Colorado which he “calls home,” full of “beauty, adventure, and a different kind of tone.”

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