Bar bands in Summit County: Rootsy, bluesy weekend
Ryan Summerlin February 2, 2012
Who: Peace OfficerWhen: TonightWhere: Snake River Saloon, KeystoneWhere’d the name come from? I opened a fortune cookie that said, “You will form a band of warlord poets and spread virtue and justice across the land.” It just came to me from there.Home base: Fort Collins/Northern ColoradoType of music: Dub-hop- deep bass, tight drums and revelrous rap songs for the people. Who are you? Peace Officer is a live-band hip-hop/reggae/dub crew with a sound featuring hip-hop lyrics and social consciousness with live, dub-inspired beats. The four MCs strive to entertain and educate with tales of life, struggle, passion and politics, all in a hype set that always leaves audiences wanting more.Awards: Peace Officer’s energetic live show and innovative recordings have earned them several awards over the last two years: FoCoMx Peer Award for best in genre in 2009 and 2010; Best Band in Colorado in Colorado Music Buzz’s Bandwagon competition; and, most recently, a nomination for best hip-hop band in Denver by Westword.If your music were a tangible item, what would it be, and why? The Ocarina of Time. You know, from Zelda. Umm, because it’s incredibly rad and transcends traditional interpretations of time-space.Why do people love ya? I always assumed it’s because I carry bacon in my pockets, but it could be the incredibly fun, energetic live show, top musicianship and the flow of four MCs.How do you keep it fresh? Herbal essences. Several times a week. Also, by taking ourselves incredibly seriously and, starting in summer of 2010, the band began working with the Fort Collins nonprofit Spokesbuzz, an organization dedicated to advancing the music scene of Fort Collins. Through Spokesbuzz, Peace Officer has advanced their promotional and networking capabilities within the music industry, and will be returning with the group to South by Southwest in Austin again this year.What’s the craziest thing you’ve done/weirdest experience? Do we get attorney/client privilege? All my weirdest experiences were the result of weirdness-enhancement techniques, of which I will decline to go into further detail.
Who: El Ten ElevenWhen: TonightWhere: three20south, BreckenridgeWhere’s the name from? An old passenger plane called an L-1011Home base: Southern CaliforniaType of music: Anti-marzipan instrumental flame broiled rock. (In other words, instrumental indie rock.)If your music were a tangible item, what would it be, and why? A money sandwich, cuz we rich.What sets you apart? We are only two musicians on stage creating pounding landscapes of sound with no laptops or sequencers. Kristian Dunn switches off (sometimes mid-song) between a double-neck bass/guitar and a fretless bass, while his feet dance on an extensive floorboard of looping devices and effects pedals. He plays everything live, loops himself and juggles all the layers of tracks on top of each other. Tim Fogarty switches between traditional acoustic drums, roto toms and electronic drum pads, usually within each song. To add to the insanity, Fogarty will occasionally loop himself as well.
Who: Fried GreaseWhen: SaturdayWhere: The Goat Tavern, Keystone.Where’d the name come from? Fried Grease is the name of a Greyboy Allstars song off their first record, “West Coast Boogaloo.” Everyone in the band, made up of members of Vail’s Flux 5 and Summit County’s Big Richard, has a common love and respect for the type of music that band puts out. And, if you’ve ever heard our original tunes, it’s a fitting name for us.Home base: Fried Grease was originally based in Summit County in Summit Cove. Currently, the band’s house is in Coal Creek Canyon on the Front Range with members spread out between Denver and Boulder.Type of music: The band is known for playing a mix of tight, energetic, soul music and horn-driven funk with a touch of the South. It incorporates elements of jazz, rock, blues and soul into a hard-hitting, high-energy show that includes plenty of improvisation, as well. Recently, at the Belly Up in Aspen, someone that had never heard us before came up to us and said, “I’ve never heard so many different styles of music in one song!” Band members sometimes get down on themselves for writing music that doesn’t necessarily fit into a category, or isn’t the type of music you see when you go out to the club on any given night. We’re starting to see, however, this band puts out some interesting material that is also easy to dance to. And, that’s what is most important to us: To get as many people as we can up on the dance floor. Who are you? We are Fried Grease, and we like to get weird.If your music were a tangible item, what would it be, and why? We are not unlike a tuxedo T-shirt. We can be formal, but we mainly came to party.Why do people love ya? Our band features a lead singer from Charleston, a guitarist from Nashville, a sax player from Western N.Y., a bassist from Tallahassee and a drummer from Richmond Va. Together, the musicians create a chemistry that really complements each individual, and the group as a whole. Our music is honest and different. But most importantly, we get people off their butts. Our band is special in that the more people we get in front of us, the bigger the party. It’s pretty rare that anyone leaves early from a Fried Grease show.How do you keep it fresh? We have been writing a lot of new material lately. We have about 20 different pieces that, at some point, will become a new song, or get scrapped. But that’s the key for us right now: exploring new styles and letting things flow naturally from one another and see where that takes us.What’s the craziest thing you’ve done/weirdest experience? We haven’t done anything worthy of a story, yet. But, we’ll drink your Kool-aide.
Who: Atomic PabloWebsite: www.atomicpablo.comWhen: SaturdayWhere: MotherLoaded Tavern. BreckenridgeWhere’d the name come from? Atomic Pablo was born in the deep, dark recesses of Pablo’s desire to honor blues musicians, American rockabilly, Django Reinhardt and improv. Hilary’s desire is to honor Led Zeppelin, Victor Wooten, and Bach simultaneously. Both desires fused in one band. We were going to call it “Zombie Pablo” but it seemed too stagnant, so – Atomic Pablo!Home base: Denver/Fort CollinsType of music: Blues, swing, rock, rockabillyWho are you? Paul Niemiec – guitar, vocals; Hilary Freeman – bass, vocals; Garrett Deloian – guitar, vocals; Kevin Smith – drumsIf your music were a tangible item, what would it be, and why? Hilary said: sushi – raw and punctuated with wasabi-spiced creative moments that make your nose run and your tongue happy. Paul said: clouds (Hilary says they’re not that tangible), but they are always changing – powerful like storms, rain and wind, or calm like night-wisps back-lit by the moon. Hilary then said: shows you Paul is the poet in the group … but I think instead of sushi, I’d pick dark chocolate flavored with cayenne and cinnamon.Why do people love ya? Irresistible blues grooves, high-energy solos, danceable song choices that allows for spontaneous stage antics. People don’t see the same show twice; the songs take twists based on the energy of the moment! (Hilary said: because we have a girl in the band!)What’s the craziest/weirdest thing you’ve ever done? Weirdest: We played an outdoor show in Montrose once, and every time we started playing the birds started singing along. Then when we quit the birds would be silent. Craziest – dropped everything and got on a bus to San Jose, CA, to meet Esteban Maroto, a Spanish comic book artist, who is a fantastic inspiration.
Who: Shakedown StreetWhen: SaturdayWhere: three20south, BreckenridgeHome base: ColoradoSpawned from: Jam sessions at the Ancient Mariner bar in Manitou Springs, CO, in 1987Type of music: Grateful DeadFans are known as: “Shakeheads”If your music were a tangible item, what would it be, and why? A toy claw vending machine: So many options, you don’t know what you’re gonna get, and it’s always fun.Why do people love ya? The band has been playing Colorado for 25 years now. Most of the old folks still make it out, bringing their kids and grandkids. I think that it is a state-of-mind by now.How do you keep it fresh? We can play over 200 songs together and are always adding new ones. We always play songs differently, adding new twists and turns.What’s the craziest thing you’ve done/weirdest experience? In December of 2010, I got a call from DSO asking if I could sit in on keys at the Fillmore Denver. I took the offer and then hired Tom Constanten, from the Grateful Dead, to fly in from California and take my seat for Shakedown Street in Aspen.Claim to fame: One of the longest running Grateful Dead tribute bands in the world. Shakedown Street accomplishes this year after year by embodying the Grateful Dead ethos of improvisation and discovery, while maintaining an intimacy and open repoire with its audience. A whole new generation of “Shakeheads” has discovered the positive and collaborative energy found at a Shakedown Street concert. Longtime fans are thrilled to find the band sounding hotter than ever, and having the time of their lives!The band: Shakedown Street was formed 25 years ago (1987) by Ted Galloway and Rick Starkey in Manitou Springs. When I (Joe Weisiger) joined in July of 2005, Ted and Rick were still playing in the band. One-by-one all four of the guys retired, and I had to hire new ones as the old ones left. Presently, there are no original members left in the band. I was able to get Scott Swartz to re-join about three years ago (previously in Shakedown from 1993-98). The band has really grown in popularity these past few years and is sounding hotter than ever. To celebrate 25 years, we are going on a tour around Colorado with Melvin Seals and Vince Herman. They are jumping on the Shakedown anniversary train Feb 8. We will be doing a pre-tour kick off, just the five of us, Saturday. We are stoked!
Who: Dave Gerard & Moose (Duo)When: Sunday (annual post-Super Bowl party)Where: MotherLoaded, BreckenridgeWhere’d the name come from? My mom gave me my name – after the statue David. I still don’t know where Moose got his nickname, although he does resemble a moose.Home base: Durham, NH, and Breckenridge, COType of music: Guitar and harmonica, vocals and occasional accordion with an edge! Roots music, R& B, soul, bluegrass.If your music were a tangible item, what would it be, and why? A deep dark, sauce with smoky paprika – intense, flavorful, but with the ability to be smooth.How do you keep it fresh? Never a set list and always writing new originals and adding tasty covers to the mix. This tour features more brand-new tunes.What’s the craziest thing you’ve done/weirdest experience? Sleeping on a prison floor in Northern New Mexico during a snowstorm with seven guys, a van and a trailer.
Who: Rising LionWhen: Monday (DJ Rast Rob starts spinning at 5:30 p.m. and a Tanner Hall ski move, “Retallack” premieres at 6:30 p.m. Band starts at 8 p.m.)Where: Alma’s Only BarHome base: Orlando, FLType of music: Reggae, rootsChanges: After a very successful summer touring season, Rising Lion, reggae/roots band from Orlando, Florida, is back out on the road with a brand new six-piece band. Danny Dred, the dynamic singer and songwriter, has revamped the band and added a second guitar and a female vocalist. The band will now be able to totally recreate the sound that you hear on the albums. In addition, Rising Lion will be traveling with its own intelligent light show, which will add a new dimension to the stage performance, as well as a full merchandise table with a lot of new additions.Fundraising: I’m working with Hope for Children of Africa and conducting a fundraiser Monday night. For a $5 donation, people can enter a drawing to win an African drum, and there will be an art sale.If your music were a tangible item, what would it be, and why? A lion.Why do people love ya? Everybody loves reggae.How do you keep it fresh? Revamping the band and always writing and learning new material.