Three Degrees of Freedom lets loose a raw, diverse sound |

Three Degrees of Freedom lets loose a raw, diverse sound

Kimberly Nicoletti

DILLON – Just over a year ago, Three Degrees of Freedom’s lead vocalist, Paul Cox, wouldn’t sing in front of anyone. Now he won’t shut up.

“All I want to do is play music,” Cox said. “I get made fun of because the boys (in the band) will walk in my house, and I’m generally in the same position – on the couch with my leg up and my guitar on my lap. I’m always tinkering in the background, when they’re watching movies and stuff.”

The band’s acoustic-driven jam tunes run the gamut, from pop-rock to country, psychedelic, folk and blues. The band’s influences range from Cat Stevens to Metallica, and its sound has been compared to The Dave Matthews Band and The Grateful Dead.

“It’s preppy jam – a nice mix of lyrics, melodies and a touch of jam,” manager Gayor Geller said.

Cox picked up his first guitar at age 17 in a small town of 5,000 in Michigan. Friends didn’t encourage him much, threatening to beat him with the instrument.

“They’d say, “Put that down, you’re awful,'” he said.

At first, the admittedly shy Cox just wanted to write songs for other people.

“I’d sing with myself,” he said. “They were just my songs, and it was just a hobby at first.”

He moved to Colorado, studied communications and played hockey at the University of Denver. When he quit hockey, he knew if he didn’t do something else, he’d get into trouble, he said.

Then his friend Geller told him to sing at a party where he didn’t know anyone. That night, a star was born.

“I wanted people to share my music with,” Cox said. “I need to surround myself with people who want to make this their life. I found people who were raw, not so in tune with their own style that they were not open to change. We’re all growing together and learning from each other.”

Three Degrees of Freedom got its break when the head of KVDU put one of its demos into rotation. Although the band has been together for only eight months, the four members completed their self-titled debut extended play last spring, after adding a new drummer three days prior to recording.

“We just played for three days straight prior to going into the studio,” Cox said. “We ripped it off like we’ve been playing for years.”

“It was sort of a crash course, but it sounded great,” drummer Andy Clapp said. “There wasn’t a lot of time to double-think everything.”

Three Degrees of Freedom plays at 9 p.m. Sunday at the Lake Dillon Pub.

Kimberly Nicoletti can be reached at (970) 668-3998 ext. 245 or by e-mail at

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