We’ll be rocking out on the Pedersen Toyota Stage at Civic Center Park and the Pedersen Scion Stage at Washington Park again this year!
Trombone Shorty & Orleans AvenueRock/Jazz/Hip-Hop
New Orleans native Trombone Shorty began his career as a bandleader at the young age of six, toured internationally at age 12, and spent his teens playing with various brass bands throughout New Orleans and touring worldwide with Lenny Kravitz. He fronts Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue, a funk/rock/jazz/hip-hop band. Together they have toured across the U.S., Europe, Australia, Russia, Japan and Brazil. In 2010, Trombone Shorty released his debut album, the Grammy®-nominated "Backatown," followed by "For True" in 2011, which topped Billboard magazine's Contemporary Jazz Chart for 12 weeks. His newest album, "Say That to This," was released in 2013 and features funk/jazz elements of New Orleans. Trombone Shorty appeared in several episodes of HBO's "Treme," and has recently appeared on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Jimmy Kimmel Live," "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon" and "Conan." In 2012, he performed at the White House in honor of Black History Month with music royalty such as B.B. King, Mick Jagger, Jeff Beck and Booker T. Jones. At this year's Grammy Awards, he performed alongside Madonna, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, and Mary Lambert. In 2012, he received the President's Medal from Tulane University in recognition of his charitable work with the Trombone Shorty Foundation, which donates quality instruments to schools across New Orleans.
On his third full-length album, singer/songwriter Allen Stone proves himself deeply devoted to making uncompromisingly soulful music that transcends all pop convention. Stone’s debut for Capitol Records, Radius marks the follow-up to the Chewelah, Washington-bred 28-year-old’s self-released and self-titled sophomore effort, a 2011 album that climbed to the top 10 on Billboard’s Heatseekers chart and gained acclaim from renowned rock critic Ann Powers (whose NPR review hailed Allen Stone as “meant for those of us who like our R&B slightly unkempt and exceedingly feelingful”). Made in collaboration with Swedish soul singer/songwriter/phenom Magnus Tingsek, Stone’s latest batch of songs capture the warm energy of that creative connection and transport the listener to a higher and more exalted plane.Culled from several dozen songs penned through a year and a half of constant writing and refining, Radius bears a title that reflects both its scope and intimacy. “The radius is that line extending from the center of the circle to its exterior,” says Stone, “and in a lot of ways this album is about getting out things deep inside—whether it’s love or insecurity or joy or frustration about things going on today.” Along with immersing himself in a songwriting approach that involved unflinching examination of “some very dark and negative moments in my life,” Stone shaped the sound and feel of Radius by pushing himself to “get past the boundaries of what I felt comfortable with, so that I could progress into a whole new level of creativity.” Despite that sometimes-daunting process, Radius wholly reveals Stone’s easy grace in blending everything from edgy soul-pop and earthy folk-rock to throwback R&B and Parliament-inspired funk.Radius first began to come to life back in the fall of 2013, when Stone headed to Sweden to join in a writing session with Tingsek. “His musicality is so outside-the-box, and it really stretched me as an artist,” says Stone, who’d tapped Tingsek as one of his opening acts for an 85-date headlining tour in 2012. “We just kept on throwing a wrench into the works and tried to create something that’s the complete antithesis of what you’d expect from pop music.” After recording the bulk of the album in Sweden, Stone rounded out Radius’s production at his own studio in the woods of northeast Washington and in L.A.-based sessions with producers like Benny Cassette (who’s previously worked with Kanye West) and Malay (a co-producer on Frank Ocean’s channel ORANGE). Like many of his own musical heroes—Stevie Wonder chief among them—Stone pulls off the near-magical feat of channeling a weight-of-the-world sensitivity into his songs while still radiating hope and promise. And though that depth of consciousness feels transmitted from a more golden era, Radius continually hones in on issues both timeless and of-the-moment, with Stone’s breezily poetic lyrics touching on topics ranging from rampant materialism (on the tenderly string-accented, harmony-soaked “American Privilege”) and the toxic takeover of technology in art (on the gutsy and groove-heavy “Fake Future”). “That song’s mainly about how technology’s infiltrating music in a way that’s making it less and less human and taking all the heart out of it,” Stone says of the latter track, a soul-pop powerhouse peppered with playfully cutting lines like “Rock stars pushing buttons/Few actually play/City wasn’t ever built on lights and Special K.” And as evidenced by Radius’s lush yet raw sonic landscape—wherein the only hint of synth comes from a Moog analog synthesizer—Stone stayed true to his pledge to “keep fakeness completely out of this record” and rely entirely on live instrumentation.Equally introspective and outwardly searching, Radius also finds Stone exploring intensely personal matters, such as depression on the stark and lovely, acoustic-guitar-woven ballad “Circle” (“That one was written at a pretty dark time for me,” Stone points out. “It’s about how depression can put you into a kind of circle, where you’re just trying to find a way out but it keeps on leading you back inside”). Showing his skill at crafting a killer love song as well, Stone looks at heartbreak and regret on the aching, electric-piano-infused “I Know That I Wasn’t Right,” slips into hopeless romanticism on the dreamy R&B pastiche “Barbwire,” and unleashes some starry-eyed affection on the dancefloor-ready “Symmetrical” (a sample lyric: “The angle of your spine/Is sending lightning bolts down mine/When those molecules combine/It’s astronomically divine”). And in tracks like the ultra-catchy album-opener “Perfect World” and the fiery, horn-laced “Freedom,” Radius unfolds into epically joyful anthems that show the full range and power of Stone’s vocals.Stone started working those vocals as a kid, thanks largely to his parents’ influence. “My father was a minister so I spent about half my childhood in church, watching my mom and dad sing together and lead the congregation in song,” he recalls. By the time he was 11 he’d picked up a guitar and written his first song, and soon began self-recording demo tapes to pass along to classmates. Although Stone enrolled in bible college after high school, he quickly dropped out to move to Seattle and kickstart his music career. “I had an ’87 Buick and I’d drive up and down the west coast, playing any gig I could get just to try to put my music out there,” he says.At age 22, Stone self-released his debut album, 2010’s Last To Speak. But it was his self-titled follow-up (on which he joined forces with former Miles Davis keyboardist Deron Johnson) that ended up earning him serious recognition. Along with entering the top five on iTunes’ R&B/Soul chart after its digital release, Allen Stone prompted him to score appearances on such late-night talk shows like Conan and grace the pages of publications like the New York Times (whose chief popular-music critic Jon Pareles praised Stone for possessing “a tenor voice with the eagerness and frisky syncopations of [Stevie] Wonder”). And upon partnering with ATO Records for a physical release of his self-titled album in 2012, Stone soon turned up on the likes of the Late Show with David Letterman and landed a gig as the opening act for soul legend Al Green. In the midst of all the buzz, he also took up a grueling touring schedule, tearing through nearly 600 shows in just two years.For Stone, all that time onstage went a long way in preparing him for the many creative breakthroughs he’s made on Radius. “I think you really grow as a musician when you’re playing right in front of people, and for me constantly growing and progressing and getting better is really the most important thing,” he says. Ruminating on the emotional undertones of his new album’s title and noting that “the center of me is my heart,” Stone says he also hopes that Radius will ultimately help listeners shed new light on their own struggles. “There’ve been times in my life when records were my saving grace and really helped me to figure out who I am, and I’d love for my music to have that kind of impact on a kid who’s looking for his or her own place in this life,” he says. “Because I absolutely believe that if you’re going to stand at a microphone and say something, you need to recognize that as a privilege. You’ve got to be incredibly careful about it, and really put all your heart into the message that you’re sending out into the world.”
Los Angeles: a city of contrasts. On one hand, a metropolis of aspirations, a place which offers the transient a tantalising glimpse of glamour and permanence. On the other, many dreams drift away, deserted within an urban personification of unfulfilled ambitions. It might not seem like the most obvious place around which to theme an album for a band rooted in Liverpool (albeit via Norway in the case of bassist Tord Øverland Knudsen, or onto London for frontman Matthew 'Murph' Murphy), but that's precisely what The Wombats have done with their third set "Glitterbug," a collection which follows their top five hit "This Modern Glitch."Completed by drummer Dan Haggis, The Wombats have a long association with Los Angeles. They've played in and around the city numerous times since the release of their debut "A Guide To Love, Loss and Desperation," and even recorded their second album "This Modern Glitch" there too. For the band's core songwriter Murph it also proved to be a fount of inspiration, which gradually mutated into a magnetic attraction."Along with Liverpool and London, Los Angeles is my favourite place in the world, but I used to hate it," admits Murph. Part of the appeal was its versatility: the ability to experience "the opulence and anxiety" of the city or the rejuvenating qualities of the easily accessible countryside that lies just outside its borders.As the process of working on a new album drifted over the horizon, Murph's internal dialogue took on a questioning tone, notably: what was it that inspired him to write in the first place? He soon realised that his greatest strength was writing about both the romance and the failings of modern relationships. The first new song, "Isabelle," placed those issues within the realm of a seductive new location."That was based on an idea of going through tumultuous times with a fictional woman from L.A.," he explains. "That became the main inspiration for most of the songs, this false world that I'd created for myself. As time progressed, I'd go to L.A. more and more, and the idea kept on building. The album's about the envy and the struggle and the pretence and the worry and the fear that L.A. -- and every major city in the world -- encompasses."Instrumentally, most of the songs took one of two directions: back in Liverpool, Tord and Dan's rush of creativity would result in them delivering backing tracks as a foundation for Murph to then build upon in L.A. or London; alternatively Murph would develop the essence of a song on guitar or piano for the band to collectively flesh out -- a process that had served them so well in the past. The slick Eighties synth grooves of "Headspace," for example, originated as an initial idea from Tord before Murph expanded it into one of the album's strongest moments: "I wanted that whole song to feel like you were driving a Cadillac, coming down or hungover. Like an antidote to 'The Boys of Summer.'"In January 2014, approximately halfway through the writing process, events conspired to curve full-circle from fiction into fact when Murph started dating a seemingly unattainable woman from the city. It was, he admits almost gleefully, a decidedly creepy coincidence. And so imaginary stories evolved into real life concerns: the fading embers of his relationship back in London and the challenges of maintaining a long distance relationship."Be Your Shadow" is a prime example of a lyric about the reality of that person, and "Give Me A Try" was written after she returned home from visiting Murph in London. "I was distraught. I just felt like a part of me was missing," he shudders. "I really love that song. It's special to me because it has a far more positive outlook than what you've heard from us in the past."When it came to recording, The Wombats changed course from the plan which dictated "This Modern Glitch." Instead of collaborating with an army of star names, the majority of the album was recorded at Bastille producer Mark Crew's studio in Battersea. Vitally, Crew exuded a calming influence to counteract the band's shared collection of irrational neuroses."Glitterbug" certainly demonstrates that their efforts have resulted in the band's finest album to date. "Your Body is a Weapon" -- inspired by the sight of a disinterested pap snapping Harry Styles after an awards party -- was first to emerge when it was released as a stop-gap sweetener to the band's devoted fanbase. The rest of the album is just as compelling.Excitingly for the band, "Emoticons" is a track which is often met with a "is that you guys?" reaction when played to outsiders; the elastic bass that permeates "Be Your Shadow" imbues the track with a pulsating disco rhythm; while "Greek Tragedy" floats an East Asian-infused synth riff over booming, distorted drum beats. Collectively it snakes subconsciously into the leftfield but it's recognisably The Wombats.Another of the album's key moments comes with "This is Not a Party." Although The Wombats had previously been renowned as a band who could party as hard as anyone, some "fairly sizeable" nights out in the summer of 2013 saw Murph seesaw from celebratory hedonism to a borderline existential crisis -- all of which he has documented here."Those nights were a lot of fun, but they came with a hefty price," he summarises. "They led me to question what the hell we were all doing and, more importantly, why we were doing it? This song was one of the easiest to write and most challenging to record. I also decided to name-drop everyone involved, and no one has complained yet. Apart from Charlie."Despite the album's focus on L.A. and the band's growing geographical displacement, The Wombats remain a Liverpudlian band at heart. Tord and Dan still live there, with the band's rehearsal room also in the locality. Similarly Murph is proud of his roots, despite plotting a move to Los Angeles in the longer term. "I'm actually excited about how much of an awful struggle I'm going to have to make it a reality," he laughs. "It's going to be great."For now, though, all thoughts are focused on the band's return with "Glitterbug." It's taken a while due to the recording schedule, two solid years of touring as well as 2014 delivering yet another hectic summer schedule of European festival dates, but The Wombats are truly thrilled by the prospect of the wider world finally hearing it."This album is the reconciliation," affirms Murph defiantly. "They say your first album is luck, your second is a rebellion and your third is what defines you. As proud as I am of the first two albums, I think 'Glitterbug' will be what defines The Wombats."
2016 LOCAL FAVORITES
A. Tom Collins
A. Tom Collins is a band who is hard to pigeon-hole, navigating the murky swamps of New Orleans R&B and ’60s Soul, and following the cues of diverse influences from Tom Waits and Cab Calloway, to The Stooges and Sam Cooke. Called “one of the city’s best front-men” by Westword, piano-man Aaron Collins drops anchor with an impressive crash at each and every port, transfixing bewildered audiences with his strange brand of old time futurism that is as familiar as it is refreshing. Expect wild horns, surprising rhythms, catchy gang chants, and one hell of a live show. The band played to a completely packed house, with lines out the door, at the Underground Music Showcase.
ATOMGA is building an empire for fevered, afrobeat-influenced dance parties.However, staging sweaty dance parties is not ATOMGA's only intention. Consciousness is something this 10-piece afrofunk collective takes very seriously. Since their inception in 2011, they have meticulously studied the hypnotic grooves and lyrical prowess of afrobeat’s forefathers in order to maintain musical integrity and positively contribute to afrobeat in a modern setting. ATOMGA’s music encourages their listeners to wake up and grasp life with awareness as they humbly tackle socially conscious topics such as human rights; corporate greed; environmental advocacy; government oppression and last, but not least, the need for more love in this world.ATOMGA released their debut EP in January 2014 after nearly 3 years of captivating audiences from all walks of life. The diverse body of musicians and group compositional atmosphere shines in this 5-song collection. The first single, “Still Today” examines the struggle for social and economic peace that is still as relevant today as it was at the advent of afrobeat music. The musical goals ATOMGA strives to achieve are being recognized as Tom Murphy of Denver Westword exclaims that ATOMGA’s EP is “Filled with politically charged but never heavy-handed songs, the EP reveals a band that's making tuneful, fluid and surprisingly visceral music.”With an unyielding drive stronger than ever, ATOMGA plans to release a follow-up album later in the year and continue taking the region by storm as this project always pursues to connect your mind, body and soul.
Breakfast for DinnerBluegrass | Rock | Jazz
Coral CreekAmericana | Bluegrass | Jamband
CORAL CREEK is an Americana / Bluegrass / Jamband featuring the original music of Chris Thompson, Luke Bulla (Lyle Lovett / Ricky Skaggs / Jerry Douglass Bands), and Bill McKay (formerly of Leftover Salmon and Derek Trucks Band) – performing original songs as well as Americana classics by The Band, Grateful Dead, Peter Rowan, etc.CORAL CREEK is a Colorado front-range band with a big sound and a growing audience, playing high-energy shows that appeal to audiences across the bluegrass, blues and jamband spectrum, playing genre-bending original music and unique renditions of traditional bluegrass tunes and Americana classics.The Road Ahead (2010) and Watch Me Fly (2012) - both produced by Bill Nershi of the String Cheese Incident – launched Coral Creek into the heart of the Colorado music scene. With the addition of Bill McKay on keyboards and vocals, Coral Creek will be back in the studio to release a new record in the summer of 2015 (produced by Tim Carbone of Railroad Earth). Since forming in 2008, Coral Creek has performed on festival main stages, concert series and clubs across the US, Europe and the Caribbean.
Follow the FoxContemporary American Roots
Follow the Fox is what happens when Sarah Cole and Dylan McCarthy join creative forces to create honest acoustic music. Occasionally joined by a myriad of talented friends, Follow the Fox is centered around the captivating songwriting and passionate performances of these two Denver artists. Anywhere from heart-breaking ballads to hard-hitting bluegrass tunes, their spell-binding harmonies and thoughtful arrangements give them a sound all their own. Come see them in person and follow the fox, wherever it may go....Guest musicians on recordings:George Guthrie - banjoJake Simpson - fiddle
Eryn DeSomerSinger | Songwriter
Eryn DeSomer is an award winning songwriter/ performer from Denver, Colorado. She joined the Denver music scene in 2006 when she and her husband helped form the alt.country band The Hollyfelds. In 2011, she went on to help form retro/ 60's pop inspired band The Jekylls. In 2014, she teamed up with Jim Dalton from Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers/The Railbenders to form The Kingbyrds, a 70's country duets project.Eryn likes long walks with her husband Keith (who frequently joins her onstage) and her basset hounds Dottie and Bettie (who don't).
Jacob GreenBlues | Singer/Songwriter
Energetic rhythms and captivating melody, Jacobs Green brews bona fide homegrown music. Blues singer/songwriter with a twist, Jacob Green, becomes an 'OneManBand', Stomp Box under foot, harmonica upon neck, strumming instruments tirelessly touring the country. Whether Green plays guitar, banjo, dobro, or ukulele, he forms rhythm, percussion, andlead simultaneously transforming into the “OneManGreenBand”. Green’s harvests a resonance of the modern day gypsy, awakening original roots and blues folk songs. The once “down-trodden” old-fashioned blues lyrics to positive riffs of change and “be green”. His versatile homegrown, organic, original songs bring a fresh approach to old-school roots and blues folk music.Green self–records and produces all of his music under Growth Productions , newly releasing his first of trilogy series, Roots Revival. Green produces music of natural acoustic sound, with reverberations of numerous genres, and encourages messages of being kind and conscious of self and the environment. Growing and seeking supporters with a desire to hear original music with a feel good organic Sound.
JekyllsRock | Pop
The Jekylls play retro influenced, guitar-pop / power-pop / rock, featuring strong female vocals and a solid backbeat, with hints of surf and garage rock, and just a little bit of soul.The Denver based band released The One I Want, The One I Need, their second full-length album, on March 19, 2016.Formed in the summer of 2011, The Jekylls have been making quite an impression on their local music scene, having supported a number of national acts including; St. Paul and the Broken Bones, Los Straitjackets, Holly Golightly, JC Brooks and the Uptown Sound, Donna the Buffalo, Jessica Hernandez and the Deltas, Soft White Sixties, Bishop Allen, Pegi Young, and Clairy Browne and the Bangin' Rackettes.In addition, The Jekylls have shared the stage with a number of amazing Colorado artists, as well as performed at local festivals such as; New Belgium’s Tour de Fat, The Bluebird District Music Fest, FoCoMx, Westword Music Showcase, The UMS, Bohemian Nights, and the Colorado Brewers’ Fest.
La Pompe JazzJazz
La Pompe Jazz is a Denver-based gypsy jazz group that fuses eclectic American jazz standards with french ballads, and Django Reinhardt "Hot Club" tunes. With a diverse blend of vocal arrangements and hard swinging instrumentals, La Pompe Jazz has garnered a loyal following of swing dancers. They've been making their mark with performances at Denver's most popular swing dancing venues such as The Mercury Cafe and the Arvada Tavern and a sold out concert at this winter's' 'Speakeasy Soiree'. They have also managed to reach outside the jazz community with notable venues like Ophelia's and great summer festivals like The Denver Flea and The Big Wonderful. La Pompe Jazz is pushing the envelope for what vintage jazz can be and bringing the music alive for a whole new generation. Featuring David Lawrence on vocals and guitar, Andrew Hannum on guitar, Kevin Laxar on upright bass & Erik Fellenstein on Violin
Very few rock bands are capable of wowing people right out of the gate. It usually starts with a half recorded demo here, another half recorded demo there, empty bars, empty promises and then you finally get to the good stuff. In February 2011, four young men who were tired of such a pattern gathered in an empty church to discuss their dreams, aspirations and what they were going to do about it. The idea was to create the music they've always wanted, spend all the money they had and make the best music they've ever been apart of. The group enlisted producer Michael Rossback to help them craft the sounds that they were striving for and to help the songs come to life. "The whole thing was a big experiment. None of us had worked with a producer before and the biggest thing was, the band had yet to even play music together in a room." says Aaron Wagner, the groups frontman, "when we got to Rossback we had only laid ideas down piece by piece in a computer, never anything more. Rossback would then make us play everything as a live band when we arrived at his house and that's when things came to life. There was a chemistry and sense of trust between us all." August rolled around and after months of working, Medic had finished their first EP. Five songs that had stolen the very breath away from all who would hear and with a developed sound that felt like they had been around for 10 years, the band started to play around the Denver area with the intent to stun the audience. They are succeeding. Bassist Drew Barnard explains: "We went in to this just wanting to make music with hope. Music that made people feel like they were understood and the shows feel like that; like we are reaching an understanding between us and the audience that hope is alive and well." "In the midst of the trials that we go through these days, I think we are just tired of the same old. Anyone can make art these days. It's so accessible to make and promote and yet most of it is so negative. It was wearing on us. Medic is about something new, we are about creating a community of thinkers, dreamers and believers that aim for something positive. This world will continue to fall apart if we keep talking about how it's falling apart. But what if we dare to be the people to figure out ways to put things back together? That's our platform. That maybe our music can be apart of someones healing process and spread from there."says Aaron.So maybe it is time for something new. New songs to sing, new dreams to dream. MaybeMedic is formed out of four guys who might be what we call idealists. But maybe it's time forus to leave the cynicism behind and begin to embrace hope. Maybe it's time for a new beginning. Let us welcome, Medic.
One Flew WestRock | Folk
One Flew West is a folk rock band based in Denver, Colorado. With personality to spare, the six-piece band channels its love of music and having a good time into honest songs and a live show that forcefully captivates audiences across the Front Range. From busking on the Pearl Street Mall for passersby, to performing with national acts such as The Dirty Heads at sold out venues, the boys of One Flew West have become a force to be reckoned with. Through the musical inspirations of Frank Turner, Airborne Toxic Event, and Saints of Valory, the group has created a sound that received a Westword Music Award for Best Folk Band in 2015, and earned them a spot in the finals of Channel 93.3’s Hometown for the Holidays in 2014.In July of 2015, One Flew West recorded a five-track EP entitled "Selective Memory” at The Keep and The Blasting room. The EP was produced by Andy Rok Guerrero (Flobots, Bop Skizzum) and engineered by Jeff Kanan (No Doubt, Madonna, Kelly Clarkson), and Chris Beeble. “Selective Memory” is now available on iTunes, Spotify, Google Play, YouTube, and SoundCloud.One Flew West has performed with many notable acts, including: The Dirty Heads, 3OH!3, The Devil Makes Three, Brick+Mortar, Joywave, The Unlikely Candidates, Saints of Valory, Barcelona, and the Spill Canvas.In addition, One Flew West has performed at and headlined Colorado's most popular concert venues including the Fox Theatre, The Aggie Theatre, The Marquis Theater, The Summit Music Hall, The Larimer Lounge, The Belly Up, and the Gothic Theatre.ONE FLEW WEST IS:Linden Jackson - Vocals and Acoustic GuitarDavid DiSalvo - Lead GuitarJordan Gurrentz - Bass GuitarDillon Mount - KeyboardsJonah Bartels - Drums and PercussionJoe Pineda - Trumpet and Rhythm Guitar
Paper LightsAlternative | Pop
Paper Lights is an alternative/pop band from Atlanta, GA. There is a large & unique cinematic soundscape found within their music. Paper Lights' highly anticipated album named Caverns released in November 2013 and featured multiple percussive elements. Their single off the album, The Cave, gained worldwide attention which has included film and commercial placements including Coca-Cola, Boeing, MTV, ESPN, Chick-fil-a and Outdoor Magazine. Their third album, We Are Arrows, released in early 2015. While the band took some time off from the road, they have been hard at work in the studio once again, planning to release their first full-length album, Great Escapes, on March 15, 2016.
P O P F I L T E R
After a year of quiet collaboration to refine their vision, Denver based band, P O P F I L T E R, exploded into Colorado's sonic radar with their debut song, ‘Empire’. A week upon the song’s release, the band was voted as a top 3 finalist for KTCL 93.3's Hometown for the Holidays contest and played their first ever show to a packed Summit Music Hall audience. Barely a month later, ‘Empire’ was featured on the homepage of Noisetrade as part of their New & Notable collection, and it appears as if the band has nowhere to go but up. With their dreams and aspirations aligned, P O P F I L T E R aims to create a brand of music that is honest, yet appealing to the masses. With only a handful of performances under their belt, the band continues to push the limits of their live experience to create an engaging and unique atmosphere for existing and new fans alike. P O P F I L T E R recently released their follow up single, ‘All The Colors,’ with plans to release three more songs throughout the year.
Strawberry Runners spins harrowing, confessional storytelling with catchy melodies into irresistible pop songs. With a reverence for their humble roots in the DIY music community, and traces of 90’s pop-punk grit, the outline of this Denver band begins to take shape. Their music weaves precise and elegantly constructed instrumentation through the evocative vocal melodies of songwriter Emi Night. Night composes powerful and poignant lyrics that conjure detailed portraits of her experience growing up in the Ohio River Valley.Tackling dark personal experiences including familial abuse, violence, abandonment, and sexual assault, through her songwriting Night is able to begin to articulate what was silenced in her childhood. “These stories are a vehicle for some of the pain and love and wisdom that’s been obscured by a lifetime of fear and secrecy. These songs try to give voice to my experiences as a child.” Contrasted with charming, energetic performances and captivating melodies, her dark and deeply personal experiences are transformed from tragedy into defiant and poetic moments of growth. Through the storytelling in her album, 'When We Were Good', she aims to bring awareness to the invisible and guarded stories that lie beneath the surface of many individuals' daily lives, and to help guide survivors of similar experiences toward empowerment. Listeners are drawn deeper as they find themselves reflected in her innately human stories. 2016 is poised to be the band's biggest year yet. Kicking off the year with the release of their first Daytrotter session, the year will also see the release of Strawberry Runners' debut album 'When We Were Good'. In the meantime, fans can hear their debut single streaming on NPR's Austin 100 playlist here.
Tera JohnsonFolky Soul
Known for her soul-sounds, phrasing and scatting in the jazz and blues world, Tera Johnson has evolved into a genre of music all her own: Folky Soul. With reflective lyrics, her voice brings out a deep, moving spirit - nearly unbelievable coming from a woman of her small but mighty stature. Inspired by artists such as Ani Difranco, Tracy Chapman, and Susan Tedeschi among others, you can quickly hear what traits she evokes from each.Born and raised in Central Illinois with a rich history in music and poetry, since she was 10 Tera has continued to hone her craft. Graduating from world acclaimed contemporary conservatory, Berklee College of Music (Boston, MA), she has since spent over a decade contemplating the fibers of her musical fabric.Now residing in the lush mountains of Colorado (Steamboat Springs), Tera has unlocked her inner sound and is ready to share it with the world. With support from her already established and loving fan base as well as some new ears hot on her trail, Tera is working on her second full length album HOMEIn an ever changing industry, this album [HOME] is a lyrical story of discovery. Through each song listeners are able to learn some of Tera's most intimate life experiences - of love and loss, forgiveness and self-empowerment. HOME will most certainly become an album set to replay over and over in order to fully capture and appreciate the artistic fluidity behind the arrangements and production.Partnered with equally esteemed Berklee alum residing in Austin, Texas, (John Bamber - JBRecording), this team has only scratched the surface. Tera has made a commitment with herself, her fans and her family (husband of over 10 years and two young children) to continue making what she was made to do: music and memories...Stay tuned for upcoming details about the release date for HOME. If you wish to contribute to the fundraising campaign, please visit her Go Fund Me page.
Wendy Woo BandSinger/Songwriter
Wendy Woo has led anything but a “normal” life, which separates her from the average performer. As thedaughter of bohemian parents who were founding faculty members at Naropa University in Boulder Colorado, her childhood home was a truly eclectic social center. Influential Beat writers such as Allen Ginsberg, William S. Burroughs, and Ken Kesey would be regulars in the living room!This unusual setting helped develop Wendy into an emotive singer as a child. She started playing the guitar just so she could provide her own accompaniment. After mastering the guitar, she began writing songs and performing in songwriting circles. She attended both the University of New Mexico and the University of Colorado, where she studied a variety of musical genres, theory and composition. Her many musical influences include everyone from folk chanteuse Suzanne Vega to the legendary Paul Simon. The trademark blended rhythms in Simon’s music inspired her to add similar complexity to her own compositions.With this in mind, Wendy developed a technique she calls “Slaptap,” a method of creating a captivating visual and percussive backdrop using the guitar body and fret board.Her innovative spirit led her to the storied steps of Boulder’s Fox Theatre for her first job in the music industry. There she gained confidence as a performer, while learning the skills of self-promotion, booking and publishing. The venue acknowledged her talent by slotting Wendy to open for world renowned headliners, including Counting Crows, Michael Franti and others. Wendy’s dedication and competence was rewarded when she won the Colorado Lilith Fair Talent Search in 1999, sharing the stage with an elite lineup including the Indigo Girls, Shawn Colvin and Sheryl Crow. Her versatility is evident by the wide variety of artists whom Wendy has since shared the stage, including The Fray, Sarah McLachlan, Indigo Girls, James Taylor, Counting Crows, Brad Paisley, Karla Bono and Big Head Todd and the Monsters. Her tour stops have included performances at premier venues like Red Rocks (CO), the Living Room and Bitter End (NYC), Hotel Café (LA), Bluebird Café (Nashville) and Eddie’s Attic (Decatur, GA). Having penned and recorded over 200 original songs and playing over 150 dates yearly, she has gained areputation as one of the most versatile performers on the circuit. An example of that reputation is the legendary Carly Simon inviting Wendy to perform with her at “Festival of the Senses” on Martha’s Vineyard in 2014. Wendy has also been named Westword Magazine’s Music Awards “Singer/Songwriter of the year” ve separate times, resulting in her induction into Westword’s Hall of Fame.The 2015 release of “Tipping Point”, which was produced by Grammy Award winner Jim Gaines (Stevie Ray Vaughn, Carlos Santana, Huey Lewis and the News) and mastered by Grammy winner Brad Blackburn (Maroon 5, Alison Krauss & Union Station, Black Eyed Peas and Sara Bareilles.), is a testament to her mastery.
Wilson HarwoodBluegrass | Soul | Funk
Wilson Harwood launched his solo career in 2015. Not afraid to bend genres, Wilson has been drawing on a diverse array of influences including bluegrass and old-time banjo, blues, soul, funk, Afro-pop and Americana. Wilson’s latest work incorporates banjo, guitar, ukulele and voice, making use of live looping, instrument changes, and layered vocal harmonies to create the rich sound of a full band with just one person, even when performing live solo shows. Wilson’s accomplishments as a solo artist include his single “Saturated in Sunshine,” released in October 2015, another single released in February 2016 and an EP to be released in April 2016. His music was featured in the trailer for the independent film Persephone: Pictures at the End of the World.” Wilson Harwood’s first formal exposure to music was with violin lessons at age 5, but his career as a musician really began when he picked up a guitar at age 10. By age 13 he was performing with a ska band in his hometown of Bethesda, Maryland. Since then, he has continued to build his musical arsenal, mastering the ukulele and banjo as well as voice. Wilson moved to Boulder, Colorado in 2006 to study music at the University of Colorado. While at CU, Wilson studied afro-pop, and also traveled to Cuba where he studied Tres (a traditional three-stringed Cuban guitar). In 2010 he received a Bachelor of Arts in Music with an emphasis on World Music. In 2010, Wilson became a founding member of Rocktin, an Americana/rock band that played and toured nationally for five years and was the Rocky Mountain Battle of the Bands Rock winner in 2014. Rocktin produced an EP, single and LP, and also scored music for the documentary film Life, Liberty and Resilience by Stephen Tubbs, which won Best Documentary Short at the SLO Film Festival in 2014. Rocktin has played alongside groups including American Authors, Marshall Tucker Band, Collective Soul, and Particle. In addition to Rocktin, Wilson’s other projects include the afro-grass ensemble Mbanza (formed in 2014) and the bluegrass group Hilltop Harvest (formed in 2012).