Summit County weekend in music |

Summit County weekend in music

summit daily news
Summit County, CO Colorado
Special to the Daily

Type of music: Original world rock with elements of rock, reggae and blues featuring explosive vocals.

If your music was a tangible item, what would it be, and why? A protein drink because we will energize you to feel better!

Why do people love ya? Our quality sound and upbeat positive message.

How do you keep it fresh? By creating our own original sound and adding new material as often as possible.

What’s the craziest thing you’ve done? Shot a music video on snowmobiles on a super cold and snowy day.

Where’d the name come from? A friend of ours came up with it late one night, after hours, after a gig. We liked it immediately. “Lubrication” and “sound” seemed like a nice combination. Also, we’d been trying to come up with a name for quite a while. Having someone else name the band sort of let us off the hook.

Home base: Chicago

Type of music you play: We play hard soul and horny rock ‘n’ roll. Everyone in the band has been through the sideman circuit in Chicago, backing up blues and soul artists. We’ve done it all over the world. Eventually, we started our own project, which is influenced by that music but is more on the rock side of things.

If your music was a tangible item, what would it be, and why? It would be a Cadillac convertible because we are the perfect combination of comfort and performance. And chicks dig us.

Why do people love ya? Because they can dance, groove and flirt with each other to our music.

How do you keep it fresh? We keep it fresh by taking chances on stage, by sometimes taking a song in new directions spontaneously. Also, we don’t use a set list. “I HATE set lists,” said Giles Corey on guitar and vocals. “I prefer to call the show as I go.”

What’s the craziest thing you’ve done? We played an event for the Chicago teamsters once, which is kinda a tough crowd ” especially when the beer supply gets low. However, the keynote speaker was a state senator running for Congress named Barrack Obama. I remember thinking, “He’s toast. These guys are just broke and drunk enough to go from surly to menacing.” He spoke and won the room in minutes. I’ve never seen anything like it. Then he shook everyone’s hand (even mine) and breezed out, leaving us to close. I hope we never have to follow that guy again.

The formation: A 10-piece afro beat/rock band from the East Coast led by trumpeter Alex Toth and

fronted by the alluring vocals of Kalmia Traver.

Compare yourself to: Portishead, James Brown, Bjork and Fela Kuti, but Rubblebucket’s afro-beat inspired, trip-rock soul experience is beyond classification.

What people say: It’s “a genre-mashing maelstrom of hot-blooded West African funk rhythms and scorching soul melodies unlike anything that’s come before it,” said Dan Bolles of Seven Days.

And: “Their youthful exuberance is matched with skill, and they remind you, or inform you, that it’s all right to let your guard down and leave your snarky baggage at the door. Listening to Rubblebucket is a moment in time when you feel like everything is going to work out. You feel that spirit,” said Mike McKinley of State of Mind.

– Mike McKinley, State of Mind

Colorado connection: This is the band’s first trip westward, but the musicians have strong ties in Colorado, as the band is fronted by two members of John Brown’s Body and Mike Gordon’s band.

Accolades: Named the Best New Vermont Band of 2008 and won Relix Magazine’s Jam-off in Summer 2008.

Type of music: High energy, foot-stompin’, four-piece, alt-bluegrass newgrass frenzy

Colorado connection: Leader Chad Verbeck lived in Summit for about three years ago. “I make it back to the county a couple times a year to play, hang with friends and relax in the way that only Summit allows,” Verbeck said. “My music grew up and took shape in Colorado, and it brings me back often. This February I’m bringing Rockspring along with me to experience the Colorado winter, skiing and music that inspire so many of the songs I write and we play.”

Who inspires you? Many of the Colorado newgrassers like Yonder Mountain, Tony Furtado and Single Malt Band, along with classic performers like Old And In The Way, Del McCourey and Sam Bush.

Describe your tunes: Original song’s like “Seafaring Stranger” and “Tears Are Growing Old” talk of whiskey and wild women, while getting fans “hootin’ and a hallerin’ ” with the quick tempo newgrass feel. Tunes like “Tucker Ford” and “Daybreak Song” rock them gently with a more traditional bluegrass sound and unique lyricism. Fast and rowdy songs like “Going Down to Rosies” and “One-Woman-Man” will make the dancers sweat and the partiers laugh with humorous lyrics and wild rhythms. Our eclectic choice of cover material ranges drastically from bluegrass traditionals to rock overtures, and from alternative pop to old school hip hop, all played with a new school New England bluegrass flare. Some of the covers that fans love come from bands like Pink Floyd, The Grateful Dead, Radio Head, Dr. Dre, The Beatles, Johnny Cash, John Prine and Modest Mouse. But the majority of our tunes are home brewed and hand hewn.

Livin’ the dream: A long-time dream of mine has been to play with a group of musicians that I can call family ” one that brings us all joy to play together and also brings music fans together to enjoy quality, good-time music. Rockspring is that band.

Royal Bliss’ latest album, “Life In-Between,” is sculpted out of life’s hard lessons.

It starts with “Save Me,” inspired by lead singer Neal Middleton’s own struggle with alcohol, drugs and his transition into adulthood, he said. Though they hail from a state known for its religion, the band has been through enough to make an episode of a VH1 “Behind the Music” episode, complete with addiction, a car crash that left Middleton nearly paralyzed and another that flipped drummer Jake Smith’s car five times, a ski accident that slashed another one of the musicians’ face up and led doctors to wire his jaw shut, near-death experiences and law suits.

Filled with beefy riffs and melodies that repeat in your mind, the album is honest and personal.

The band, based in Salt Lake City, formed when guitarist Chris Harding stumbled into a pizza parlor, where Middleton was playing solo. Afterward, the two talked about playing together.

“That night we instantly clicked and wrote four songs,” Middleton said. The next day he dropped out of college and quit his day job to pursue the rock n roll dream, he said.

The name is a fusion of two of the members’ former band names: “I had the band name Royal Blue,” said lead guitarist Taylor Richards, “and Neal had the name Liquid Bliss. Both names were cool in their own way, but the names combined took on a whole other meaning. The word ‘royal’ means ‘of, or pertaining to, a king’ and the word ‘bliss’ means ‘supreme happiness,’ so together the name means ‘king of the best feeling you can feel.'” That’s according to their bio.

However, Middleton tells a slightly more psychedelic story about the name:

“One morning, I was eating my bowl of alphabits cereal and contemplating a band name. The answer came, in the form of tiny pieces of cereal that spelled ‘bloyal riss.’ I switched the letters around and came up with ‘Royal Bliss.'” he said.

Royal Bliss’ first album led to radio success with the single “Devils and Angels.” Its second album caught the attention of Jason Flom, the then Virgin Records president. He signed the band to his new Capitol Music Group label in May 2007.

MIddleton describes the band’s sound as “modern rock with equal parts beauty and tragedy” and said there’s a song for every mood ” a result of intense life journeys of the musicians, “where every emotion is valid and every emotion is needed.”

“We love what we do, and it shows in our shows ” this is our life, and there is no other option,” he said. “We don’t rehearse what we will say, or what the set list will be. It has to be spontaneous.”

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