• Umphrey’s McGee, Papadosio and TAUK kick off Red Rocks holiday weekend right. (Photos)

    Umphreys_0002By Chris Kemp/CRK Media

    They were all there. All of the things that make a show great. Not just the music but the people, the atmosphere, the place, the time. It’s a unique time to be taking part in Musical history. Electronic music rules the club, the theater, t.v and everywhere in between. The era of the D.J. I’ve heard it called. However there is another group of people. Not rebelling against culture, not fighting the times, simply being different for difference sake. This comes to mind with groups like TAUK, Papadosio and Umphrey’s McGee. No angst, no agenda except fun and meaningful music. We all came to Red Rocks to start the Fourth of July weekend off right, Friday, July 3rd.

    TAUK started things off, immediately setting the pace for the rest of the night. Blending a TAUK_0094-2deep groove, with spacey melodies the first tune “Friction” hits that place in between heavy and jazzy that you can’t help but bob your head to. TAUK continued to push that high level of energy throughout their set. Concluding with a jammy, Dream Theater-Esque “Collateral” TAUK promised to return to Colorado in the fall.

    Papadosio_0265-2The amphitheater filled in quickly for Papadosio. Changing vibes to a more relaxed feel “Direction Song” was filled with light and airy lyrics, vocals and improvs. It became clear that emotionality would be a theme and each member showed a clear commitment to the performance. “Snorkel” quickly elevated the music into the ethereal and entheogenic realm. With the bellies full of beer and minds full of music the sun set and the anticipation set in.

    There’s a lot that can be said about Umphrey’s McGee and a lot that can’t. Self-described Umphreys-874as “Improg” or progressive improvisational music Umphrey’s bends the musical envelope. You can find elements of every kind of music in a single set. Rock, jazz, latin, metal, progressive, jam, are the usual suspects in an Umphrey’s set. These descriptors do not do justice. It’s like describing paintings to a blind person. Just as they must touch a painting, one must listen an Umphrey’s show to understand.

    Umphreys_0761-2Setting an immediate tone of foreshadowing “In The Hall of The Mountain King” set the stage for an epic evening of face shredding rock. Launching into “Puppet String” was an instant crowd pleaser. Mysterious and filled with life observations that we all ponder. “It’s not like there’s a book for this” wails Bayliss. The first set was filled with lot’s of intense moments that can only be categorized by the “Improg” label. Umphreys jams can get insanely technical and we all love it.

    Second set started on more of a soulful note with “Ringo>Cut The Cable>Shine On You Crazy Dimond>Ringo” with “Shine On You Crazy Dimond” being a true highlight as both band and crowd sung at the tops of our lungs.

    One must also take note of the lighting production that goes into an Umphrey’s show. Both Umphreys-541form and texture of the music is infinitely enhanced with lighting that reflects it. Kudos to legendary lighting designer Jefferson Waful. We all envy his work.

    What makes a good show? All of the above. When good people get together with good music something magical happens. We transcend the pettiness of daily life. We become whole people again and with luck we take that bit of grace and carry it with us wherever we go. For more information visit, CRK Media.



    Images by Chris Kemp:


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    Umphrey’s McGee

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  • JAMericana Summit on tap tonight at the Fox Theatre, Boulder

    Grant Farm
    Grant Farm

    By Alan Crandall/Previously published at the Daily Camera
    Two homegrown Colorado bands are joining forces tonight to create a special evening of Americana music. Great American Taxi will join Grant Farm for the JAMericana Summit, at the Fox Theater, Boulder.

    Founding Grant Farm member and National Flatpicking Guitar Champion Tyler Grant (Emmitt/Nershi Band).
    Founding Grant Farm member and National Flatpicking Guitar Champion Tyler Grant (Emmitt/Nershi Band).

    The Facebook event page explains that in addition to a full set from each band you can also look forward to a superjam:Going to be a big night at The Fox Theatre. Full set by each band plus a superjam set of Twang-tastic proportions. Double drums, triple telecasters, all kinds of fun!”

    I have had the benefit of catching some recent Grant Farm shows and can tell you they are at the top of their game.

    Great American Taxi has been in the studio, added some new members and are ready to delight with the new line-up. From the event page:

    Americana outfit Great American Taxi has shuffled the deck in 2015 and added some new dynamic players

    Take a ride with the Great American Taxi, tonight at the Fox Theatre.
    Take a ride with the Great American Taxi, tonight at the Fox Theatre.

    to the fold. Having gathered with Tim Carbone (Railroad Earth fiddle player and record producer) at Silo Sound Studios in Denver, CO in late 2014 and again in early 2015 to record a new album, the band is ready to reveal what’s next.

    Core members Chad Staehly, Jim Lewin and Brian Adams find themselves joined by Arthur Lee Land on guitar, banjo and vocals as well as sharing some of the songwriting duties. Nate Barnes (Rose Hill Drive, Ryan Bingham) will join the band on drums.

    Producer Tim Carbone recently had this to say about the new recording project – “The sound of the new line-up is pure gold Americana! The songwriting is as sharp as ever and the boys are willing and able to experiment.”

    Another special treat this evening, performance artist Keith “Scramble Campbell” will bring his brushes and canvas to capture the performance in brilliant color.

    There is no better place to be tonight than at the Fox Theatre for the JAMericana Summit.

    See you at the show!


  • Meeting on the Mountain tonight at Cervantes Other Side, come early (photos)

    MeetonMountain-34By Alan Crandall/Previously published at the DailyCamera.com

    Well I can’t tell you how much fun these Meeting on the Mountains are to attend. They are intimate, fun, informative and did I mention fun. I was at the first one in Denver and I look forward to attending the series.

    Here are some photos from the the Inaugural Meeting on the Mountain held March 1, 2015.



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    Here is the skinny from a recent press release:

    Denver, CO — Meeting on the Mountain, a new collaborative live broadcast experience, kicks off their second event on Sunday, May 3rd, 2015 at 7pm at Cervantes’ Other Side in Denver, CO. Todd Scheaffer of Railroad Earth, Ragged Union, and Benny “Burle” Galloway will be joining in on the fun with host band, The Grant Farm, for this second Meeting on the Mountain experience, with Tyler Grant hosting. The rousing live one-hour broadcast includes performances as well as interviews with each act and gives The Grant Farm the opportunity to collaborate with some of their favorite musicians.

    Meeting on The Mountain is thrilled to have partnered with Breckenridge Brewery of Colorado and Ripstic Vaporizers for the season. Look out for news and fun contests from them leading up to the next Meeting on the Mountain.

    There will be five installments of MOTM in 2015 featuring a variety of artists. Each event is hosted by Tyler Grant with The Grant Farm as the house band. It will be recorded, video-streamed live, and rebroadcast at meetingonthemountain.com. The broadcast is followed by a concert with sets from each band.

    Meeting on the Mountain is filmed and broadcast by Fort Collins-based Hyphytek. The complete deluxe edition re-broadcast of the Inaugural Meeting on the Mountain (3/1/15), along with bonus footage from the night, is now available to view online at meetingonthemountain.com. It features interviews and performances with Jilian and Bill Nershi, Dead Winter Carpenters, Benny “Burle” Galloway and The Grant Farm with host Tyler Grant.

    The Meeting on the Mountain concept was inspired by a collaborative 4-song EP, entitled Meeting on the Mountain (Sept 2014), which features music by The Grant Farm with Fruition. The song, “Meet me on the Mountain” (written by Fruition’s Jay Cobb Anderson and Tyler Grant) conjures a laid back campfire sing-a-long vibe which embodies the spirit of the new Meeting on the Mountain series and is also the theme song for it.

    “It was really a fit of inspiration,” explains Grant [in an interview with 5280], discussing how a one-off partnership turned into the series Meeting on the Mountain. ‘That [EP] just captured a certain amount of magic, and I wanted to continue with themeeting on the mountain’ theme. I wanted it to be a regular concept, where we could incorporate musical guests we admire and/or have some kind of connection to.’”

    Watch a video introduction of the series by Tyler Grant here-> www.youtube.com/watch?v=YeLM-o6-Ms0

    Meet the May 3rd Meeting on the Mountain Players:

    Todd Shaeffer’s life story…is still being written… For now you know him as the erstwhile front man / singer of amazing roots grass band Railroad Earth and may remember that he also was the frontman and key member of From Good Homes. These labels do not define him however, they are only mere reference points for an artist / singer / songwriter who continually creates his best work every day!

    Ragged Union is a six-piece, hard-driving bluegrass band, performing original tunes and off-the-beaten-path standards, with a focus on the duet singing of husband-and-wife pair Geoff and Christina Union. Award-winning instrumental work, a powerful rhythmic drive, uptempo arrangements and edgy, outsider songwriting are the marks of their style. Influences include Red Allen, Danny Paisley, John Hartford, Danny Barnes, Alan Munde, Jesse McReynolds, and Vassar Clements, with a side of Texas and a healthy dose of the blues. Along with Geoff and Christina, Ragged Unicon includes Chris Elliot on banjo, Jordan Ramsey on mandolin & vocals, Pat Hoeper on fiddle & vocals, and Andrew Bonnis on upright bass.

    The host band, Grant Farm is a band on a mission. Lead by National Flatpicking Guitar Champion Tyler Grant (Emmitt/Nershi Band), the talented four-piece is built on the foundation of love, family and the joy of music. The permanent lineup of Grant Farm is Tyler “The Champ” Grant on electric guitar and vocals, uber-talented Adrian “ACE” Engfer on bass and vocals, rock solid Sean “Magic” Macaulay on drums and the phenomenally prodigious Kevin McHugh on keyboards.

    Benny “Burle” Galloway, resident colorado songwriting collaborator and musician who’s first experience at Telluride Bluegrass Festival in 1978 set off his embracement of what true American music stood for. Having moved to Denver in his teens with a guitar and a stack of records, Galloway found the area teemed with progressive sounds, plenty of like minded people to play music with, an abundance of music friendly events, and places to pick and sing. After hearing Hot Rize, John Hartford, Norman Blake, New Grass Revival and Leon Russell, it was evident to “Burle” that he had just found a deep well from which to draw new musical ideas and directions. Burle absorbed every sound available from rock to gospel and began crafting his powerful songwriting skills. In the past decade, Burle has collaborated and played with the finest of musicians and bands in America. His longtime producer and friend Sally Van Meter, Scott Law, Nick Forster, Jerry Douglas, Yonder Mountain String Band, Danny Barnes, Larry and Jenny Keel, Darol Anger, Sam Grisman, John and Rebecca Frazier, Rob Wasserman, Shawn Camp, Jon Wiesberger, Travis Book, Mark Epstein, Robin Davis, Jon Stickley, Tyler Grant Jordan Ramsey, Pete Kartsounes, The Infamous Stringdusters, Leftover Salmon, Great American Taxi, Emmitt Nershi Band, Head for the Hills, The Grant Farm, Broke Mountain, The Wayword Sons, Town Mountain, Espresso, and many more!

    For more information about the new Meeting on the Mountain LIVE broadcast series, please visit www.meetingonthemountain.com, www.cervantesmasterpiece.com, and www.grantfarm.net.

  • Courtesy of the Prairie Mountain Music Blog and FoCoMX, follow the fun in real-time

    Courtesy of  the DailyCamera.com

    Use the hashtag #FoCoMX or @FoCoMx twitter handle to share your experiences from this year’s Fort Collins Music Experience, now in it’s 7th year. Check back often to see updates from the event.

  • FoCoMX is a genre-bending music event that starts today

    Stelth Ulvang will be among the featured performers at FoCoMX in Fort Collins. (Denver Post file photo)
    Stelth Ulvang will be among the featured performers at FoCoMX in Fort Collins. (Denver Post file photo)

    By Cassie Maack/previously published at DailyCamera.com

    Twenty-six venues, 263 local bands and two days dedicated to the Northern Colorado music scene.

    Those are answers to some FAQs for the seventh annual FoCoMX, which will take place Friday and Saturday  at various venues around Fort Collins.

    Event organizers are proud to host various types of sounds, said Greta Cornett, co-founder of FoCoMX and a local musician.

    “We try to include all those genres and just try to put a spotlight on Northern Colorado and that music scene,” she said, “because we do think it’s such a hidden gem and we do think there’s so much great stuff happening here.”

    Cornell’s co-founder, Kevin Micke, said the large spectrum of genres offers something for everyone.

    “It doesn’t matter what type of music you like,” he said, “there are definitely at least five bands you’ll probably love at the festival.”

    Cornet said the festival takes a novel approach: no headliner, just a bunch of local bands, experienced and otherwise.

    “It’s pretty unique that we don’t have a traditional type of headliner,” Cornett said, “With FoCoMx, it’s more about the community and musicians.” Read More…