Permission to Shine: Shinyribs’ Kevin Russell Goes Big

August 24, 2022

Kevin Russell was nearing age 40, and given the upheavals in his career, should have been facing the clichéd mid-life crisis. Instead, he gave himself permission to be himself.

He left a band he’d played with for nearly 20 years, to focus on Shinyribs.

“The odds were against me for sure,” Russell said in a phone interview with BandWagon, “But I felt like I had to do it. It was a now-or-never kind of feeling. It was a gamble. But it was so great. We are now an instant party – wherever we go.” 

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Play it For Your Mates: Tones And I Rises Up Solo; Puts the “I” in Team-Macklemore

August 11, 2022

You’ve heard it.

It was written by a busker, in a closet, for a few friends at a youth hostel but somewhere on Planet Earth in the last three years, you’ve heard it.

The song is “Dance Monkey” and the number of times it has been streamed online is literally incalculable.

“I didn’t write that song to release at all,” Toni Watson aka Tones And I tells BandWagon. “I lived at a hostel. Like – I’d parked my van there, I used the showers. I played that song for a year on the street before I decided to release it.”

Now, for the first time, the one woman wonder is ready to collaborate – with her musical hero Macklemore, of course. “It’s just the most perfect track for both of us,” Watson says.

And she will finally release her first song ever about love. “I don’t mean to, but I’ve actually never written a love song,” Watson says. “I just don’t feel like I’d ever really known what it is.”

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Bevin Luna: 105.5 The Colorado Sound’s Featured Artist

July 21, 2022

“Madison & Angelus is a garage rock EP because it’s rock and roll. And it was literally recorded in a garage in LaPorte, Colorado,” Bevin Luna says.
True to the garage band ethos, the 6 tracks mesh originals, covers and co-writes with big, fuzzy guitars, overdriven vocals and bashing drums. But the garage has a heart and some depth behind its door. Much of the writing discusses the turmoil of being a musician in the digital age, and as Luna puts it: “In the middle of a pandemic sandwich: never knowing where to begin or if it’s ever going to end – constantly trying to reassure ourselves that everything was gonna be OK.”

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Album Review: People in General – friends

July 20, 2022

People in General are making the leap. Since their first release Piglet in 2019, the trio has grown into a full 8 piece band with horns, extra vocalists and more. The sounds on the new EP Friends are more mature, with bigger, fuller arrangements. But the shift isn’t only because the band is suddenly all grown up. Like it or not, the vocalist is the most identifying element of any band, and People in General have changed that up too.

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The Bones of J.R. Jones: Desert Rhythms and Dancing Through the Blues

July 14, 2022

J.R.’s life as a touring bluesman came later than some. In his late 20’s, he was living in Brooklyn, bartending and teaching at a pre-school. He had a masters degree in printmaking, but the medium was quickly being usurped by digital alternatives. Still, he needed a creative outlet. 

A few years before, J.R.’s college roommate had introduced him to a song that made him fall in love with the blues. It was Blind Lemon Jefferson, a 1920’s singer and guitarist who is sometimes credited as the “Father of the Texas Blues.”

“I had never heard that raw, gritty passion in anything else,” he said. “It just kind of leveled me.”

From then on, J.R. spent his in-between time — in between work, school, relationships and everything else — playing the blues.

“There were a lot of DIY venues that popped up in loft spaces or garages. They were perfect for the type of music I was playing,” he explained. “All you needed was a condenser microphone, a picnic table and a cooler of PBR.”

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Album Review: Pathos & Logos – Cult

July 13, 2022

When you find yourself on the old familiar quest for heavy, ethereal, instrumental music that takes you on a sonic journey through space and time, look no further than the latest effort from Colorado’s Pathos & Logos, “Cult.”
Pathos & Logos is a two-man operation that sounds like a galaxy of performers smearing a solar system of sounds together.

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