Battle Profile: Graham Good & The Painters

February 12, 2021

Graham Good is relentlessly upbeat. Not only is that really his last name, it’s his nature, and it’s the band’s aesthetic. Even the band’s website greets you with “I believe good things are coming.” He wants people to be happy.

So after a year-long delay between the semi-finals and the finals of our Battle Of The Bands, he’s ready to rock.

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Joy as Resistance: Wayne Watts Raps Decompression for Revolutionaries

February 2, 2021

Wayne Watts is a man of letters, but he is also an educator and activist.

“I wanted to make music for revolutionaries to decompress to. While you’re fighting these things it’s really essential to remember to breathe.”

The power of his dedication to words lies in the myriad of ways in which he employs them.

“They’re filled up with a lot of manifestations and affirmations,” he said. “I treat my mantras like songs.”

As an educator, Watts co-founded the Dream Create Inspire Tour. “The intention has always been to create an incubator to give disenfranchised creators a platform.”

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Dead Amps: Where We Are Now / Harnessing the Chaos

January 12, 2021

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.

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A Brother’s Bond: Holdfast. Stays, Fights and Reflects

January 11, 2021

“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.

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DIY Kick: Colorado’s Recording Industry Takes It Home

January 6, 2021

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.

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Sarah Slaton Says It’s Time to Get Up and You Know It

January 5, 2021

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.

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For Once In My Life: John March Remembers Ted Greene.

December 9, 2020

During the 2013 Colorado Floods, John March broke both of his elbows and then continued trying to make a living as a gigging guitarist despite crippling pain.

“Two weeks later, I was playing at a fundraiser for people whose homes had been destroyed in the floods,” March said.

MusiCares was the first organization to provide financial assistance to March, who is now donating a portion of the proceeds from his new album For Once In My Life to three charities, including MusiCares.
The album is March’s second tribute to his former mentor and jazz guitar legend Ted Greene.

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The Thin Black Line: Venues Fight To Survive

December 3, 2020

“It’s nowhere near the money I need to sustain, but I was lucky,” says Travis Ragan.

Ragan was a partner in the Roxy Theater in Denver and the Mesa Theater in Grand Junction, booking shows in 15 different markets. Now he hauls equipment for his brother, a construction manager out of Colorado Springs.

“I know venues are closing down, and yet, we have no leadership backing us and supporting us. We have no one telling us what we should do as opposed to what we shouldn’t do,” Ragan says.

“The place is not made to be at a 250 person capacity,” Renee Jelenik says of The Lincoln Theater in Cheyenne, “and even then, it’s not like we sold out those shows. People just aren’t coming out.”

“We’ve been asked to shut down, or told to shut down, for months now,” says Ely Corliss of The Moxi Theater in Greeley. “We’ve done that, and where are we now?”

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