Defining Emerging/Up-and-Coming/Breakout is a bitch.  We all don’t know about the same bands/artists.  We all may think of the terms in different standards.  What is emerging? Up-and-Coming?  Breakout?  Should it be local or national?  That’s what made doing this post so much fun.  How would a handful of professionals in the scene see things?

I sent out invitations to a considerable statewide list of radio music directors, program directors, and djs; print publication editors and writers; talent buyers, marketing managers and more.  These are the ones who responded.  I’m honored … absolutely honored …

Brian Johnson (publisher/editor Marquee Magazine, Boulder)
Greta Cornett (marketing Fox/Boulder Theater, founder FOCOMA, musician)
Kiernan Maletsky (music editor, Westword)
Randall Frazer (booking/Walnut Room/The Toad Tavern. Producer-engineer/Helmut Room).
Scott Foley (music/program coordinator, on air host, KRFC )
Tim Wenger (editor/Colorado Music Buzz, booking/Herman’s Hideaway)

For my part, I considered what I saw via the monthly spins chart I publish, and what acts I witnessed at the various events I’m involved with in any capacity.  I could not number them.  Each stands on its own as being among my top picks for emerging/up-and-coming/breakout bands of 2014.  Actually, I took editing discretion and made everyone’s lists alphabetical.

CHRIS “K” / goat (The Colorado Sound)

Ark Life:  was there really any doubt?  Serendipity happens twice with the emergence of this act, comprised of East Coast/DC + Denver, as happened with the NYC/Denver fusion that launched the Lumineers to Grammy status.  For the guys who say “there ain’t been no good music since _________” (the height of late 60s and early 70s earth-rock).

In the Whale: for me to say they are not among the top breakout bands of the year would be me denying the obvious fact that they are, just to dig deeper.  I can’t seem to do that with these guys.  They’ve earned the recognition, and the appropriate acclaim.

The Motet: so the obvious question – how does a band that has been around for almost two decades qualify for one of my top Emerging/Up-and-Coming/Breakout bands of 2014?   Because it became a band with this year’s self-titled release, and not just a cobbled collection of national quality pro-level players.  This was the release that moved the band up the ladder a few steps nationally, in the jamband-funk world.  oh yeah .. .and selling out Red Rocks?  HUGE!

Pandas & People:  for me, the most surprising new entry in 2014.  They were first introduced to me by Radio 94.9 (iHeartMedia) program director Doc Jarnigan.   Definitely emerging at a local/regional NoCO level for now, there’s still more than enough depth on their debut to last several more months at radio along with a new single on SpokesBUZZ Vol. V: Band Together compilation.  A few more high-profile shows regionally and they could be one of the most talked about “new bands” of 2015.

You Me & Apollo: biggest bummer of the year for me was the announcement of their demise.  Brent Cowley wins my Best Male Vocal Performance award with his effort on Sweet Honey.  We may have heard the last of the band, but not unlike Nathaniel Rateliff’s ascension in the scene, we very well may not have heard the last of Brent’s voice.  That is if he returns from his guitar-on-back sojourn to South America.  Sweet Honey ranks among my Best Record and Best Album/EP of the year picks.


BRIAN JOHNSON (Marquee Magazine)

Ark Life - Cute indie rock doesn’t usually have a ton of staying power, but Denver’s Ark Life are simply adorable to watch live and their Greater Than Collective debut The Dream of You and Me, holds up spin after spin, after spin. Their songs are superbly constructed and well thought out, but played with a nonchalance that is neither alienating, nor pompous.

Dragondeer – 2014 was a big year for these three guys who fall somewhere between a slick indie-hipster vibe and a bunch of hippies. They cover Dead songs, but with a swampy bluesy feel and with slicked hair and plastic sunglasses. They won a spot at Telluride Blues and Brews this year and their debut EP Don’t That Feel Good is an excellent listen.

Euforquestra – The Colorado transplants got several major gigs this year, and they capitalized accordingly on them. From summer festival spots, to headlining shows and teaming up with some of Colorado’s other jammers, the band took each opportunity provided to them and knocked it out of the park, over and over. They’ve been able to develop and continually build momentum and that’s the definition of a break out band.

In The Whale - They’ve been around for a few years now, but 2014 was certainly their year. They made the most out of opening for Presidents of the United States of America, Guster and Jane’s Addiction and they put out another killer rock and roll EP. But to me their “coming out party,” if you will, was watching them crush Old Town during Bohemian Nights. The stage in Old Town is usually kind of a side stage, but during their afternoon set, they packed it solid and had one of the most raucous live crowds I’ve ever seen — and I’ve seen Rage Against The Machine live.

Strange Americans – They didn’t blow up this year, but they certainly got their pot to a rolling boil and have managed to hold it there and keep it rolling. Straight ahead, working class American rock and roll that goes well with industrial beer is a refreshing spin in our craft-beer saturated world.


GRETA CORNETT (Fox/Boulder Theater)

The Burroughs – This band wowed musicians and crowds alike with their stage presence, songwriting, and full on show.  They are a band that you want to see live because they are exciting and they do what most bands forget to do or try not to do: they entertain.  I put them on this list because they did make an impression in 2014, in the sense that they were one of the most talked about bands as a new band that just kind of appeared in our scene. Poof* where’d they come from?  With some amazing UNC jazz students filling in their lineup, I’m curious to see what the future holds for them since they have already had a lineup change due to graduation.

In the Whale - They get my vote for the local band that made the biggest splash nationally.  They really made a name for themselves this year on a national level by touring with some heavy hitters: Guttermouth, Agent Orange and most notably being picked up by Jane’s Addiction.  They are currently one of the Top 10 in Hometown for the Holidays, which I predict they will win and will push them into 2015 on a big bang.  I’m truly excited to see what they do next.

Michael Kirkpatrick / Cary Morin – The tie! Both of these musicians have been around forever and yes I can see people ask how they are they a “breakout” when they’ve been around for so long.  Michael won the Troubadour contest at the Telluride Bluegrass Festival and was able to show case his musicianship and his stage presence.   Cary represented the Colorado Blues Society in the International Blues Challenge.  He also solidified his place in a band with the Young Ancients who made a big impression in 2014.

The Nadalands.  The songwriting has been there and with the addition of the full band this year, I think they are poised to do some big things in 2015.  Not only did I enjoy watching them grow and evolve in 2014, but I pick them as someone to watch and keep our eyes on the next few years.

Slow Caves - I feel like this line up of musicians has also been around (think the Rewards, etc.) but in 2014 they finally found the sound they were looking for.  Not only have they matured as musicians, but their songwriting has also found its voice.  It’s cohesive, strong, and it really showcases the musical talent in the band.  It’s a huge nod that You Me and Apollo picked them as an opener for their farewell show and perhaps in some weird way symbolizes the passing of the torch.



Ark Life is practically cheating, given the pedigree involved. But they put out the best hang out record of the year, Denver or otherwise, in my opinion. The contributions of these dudes to the scene here cannot be easily measured.

Esme Patterson broke so far out of Denver she just straight up moved away, to Portland. We’ll still count it as the work of a Coloradan; she does, after all. The story here is well-known: just a brilliant concept for the new 10″, the hits with Shakey Graves, the European record deal.

Land Lines have been around for a while, but this felt like the year everyone figured out how great they are. Your favorite band’s favorite band.

Trev Rich made some strides in a hip-hop scene that still doesn’t have many huge success stories. He was the first local to play Summer Jam in a while, getting some coveted attention from 107.5 in the process. He worked with some big names from other parts of the country and put in an incredible installment in the 32 Bar Controversy.

Trout Steak Revival won the prestigious Telluride Bluegrass Festival band competition, earning them a spot on the main stage in 2015 and played some big shows at places like the Aggie.


RANDALL FRAZIER (Walnut Room/The Toad Tavern/Helmut Room Recording)

bluebook: Ok, not really a new band, but their new material is really beautiful. Just swimming in atmosphere and sincerity.

Champion Loves You: Chip Tunes played on a modded out gameboy and electronic drum kit. Really original stuff with great lyrics

Church Fire: Fun, Synthy and pretty freakin’ weird. I love them.

The Drood: Great atmospheric band from Boulder/Lafayette.

Roo And The Howl: Excellent psychedelic blues/rock from Colorado Springs. Perfect dreamy vocals, and a guitar player that just absolutely destroys it.



Ark Life – Jesse Elliott takes leave of These United States for Denver, where he assembles an ad hoc band of local music vets and releases a debut that places Ark Life immediately atop the list of Colorado Bands That Matter.

Esme Patterson – The first time I saw Paper Bird, I knew Esme needed more room on the stage.  It wasn’t only her Woman To Woman EP that finally garnered her that attention.  Esme’s tour with Shakey Graves has introduced her to a whole new audience.

Snake Rattle Rattle Snake – While some of these acts sound like Colorado, Denver’s Snake Rattle Rattle Snake still sounds like nobody else on the national scene.  Their dark, tribal rhythms manage to be both accessible and exotic, and frontperson Hayley Helmericks comes across like a Siouxsie for the New Millennium.

Tennis – Glad to have Alaina and Patrick back in our state following a stint in Nashville.  While previous releases connected nationally, Ritual In Repeat has been hailed as the sound of a band that has grown gracefully into their groove.

You Me & Apollo – No other band took as significant a step into the national consciousness.  Blogs embraced them as the Next Big Thing, and the Fort Collins band was perched on the proverbial brink of fulfilling that prophecy.  And then they broke up (“pulled a Churchill”).


TIM WENGER (Colorado Music Buzz/Herman’s Hideaway)

In The Whale - In The Whale has toured with everyone from Jane’s Addiction to Guttermouth this year, while consistently dropping new releases. They’ve got enough of a mainstream indie rock sound to attract [edit: iHeartMedia] radio listeners as well as underground music fans.

Petals of Spain - Have been working with Grammy-winning producer Frank Filipetti on a new EP which will drop in the spring, and are shopping the songs out for movie and TV contracts as well. These guys are already very established in Denver and about to break nationally with these new recordings.

The Potato Pirates – just finished an East Coast tour with punk legends Leftover Crack, and dropped their third full length album Raised Better Than This back in October on a label called Warbird Entertainment. Solid dudes that have been at it for a while. I’ll plug them any chance I get.

Victory Heights - I worked with these guys at the Snowboard on the Block Festival a few months back, and I didn’t even realize they were from Denver until we were hanging out at the bar after the show talking. They had just returned from their summer tour and seem to be getting very popular with the young nu-wave metal/emo type kids.

Wiredogs - What these guys need is to get an opening slot on a tour package with a punk or alternative band that has a strong social message. Their songs are like battle-cries, very heartfelt and honest. They have built a great name in Denver and with the SpokesBUZZ deal should be able to break out a bit into more new markets over the next year.

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The Colorado Sound S8|EP47

SpokesBuzz Fort Collins logoColorado puts on some pretty big shows.  FoCoMX brings out 200+ acts …Westword Music Showcase brings out over 100 …the Denver Post Underground Music Showcase brings out over 100 …Bohemian Nights at New West Fest brings out over 70 …the Higher Ground Music Festival another 50 or so.  But nothing really prepared me to hear the voice of SpokesBuzz founder Dani Grant announcing from the stage at the SpokesBuzz VOL V compilation release party Saturday night that 128 Colorado bands will make a presence at the 2015 Austin based South By Southwest music festival, and that the state of Colorado itself is throwing down to help make it happen.  Stay tuned folks …this is gonna get crazy.

If you haven’t done so yet, let me know who your favorites were this past year in our fan favorite poll for 2014. I am really looking forward to sharing the top “Emerging / Up-and-Coming / Breakout” acts with you.  I have asked several of my friends and colleagues in radio, in print, and at venues to share their TOP 5 for the year. Based on early responses from a few folks this is going to be fun.


Happy Holidays



40th Day “Little Sister” (1992)
Judge Roughneck “Moon” from Skankin’ Naked (1999)
(N) Five Iron Frenzy “So Far” from Engine of a Million Plots (2013)
OneRepublic “Counting Stars” from Native (2013)
Garuud Effekt “Cut me” (2014)
Mosey West “Old Stone” from Bermuda (2014)
Jeff Scroggins & Colorado “Wheels” from Western Branches (2013)
Katey Laurel “All The Way Home” from Periscope (2014)
The Autumn Film “Because We Are” from The Ship and the Sea (2010)
Nitty Gritty Dirt Band “Colorado Christmas” from The Christmas Album (1997)
Jeff Brinkman “Island” from Strange (2012)
(N) Ben Markley ~ Clint Ashlock Quintet “Cobblestones” from The Return (2014)


The Samples “Close to the Fires” from Samples (1990)
Dan Fogelberg “As The Raven Flies” from Souvenirs (1974)
(N) Jeff Austin “The Simple Truth” from The Simple Truth (2015)
Leftover Salmon “Two Highways” from High Country (2015)
Calder’s Revolvers “Leave Ya Be” from Sunday Morning (2014)
Otis Taylor “Naggin’ Woman Blues” from When Negroes Walked the Earth (1997)
Eddie Turner “I’m Tore Down” from The Turner Diaries (2006)
Danielle Ate the Sandwich “Angels We Have Heard On High” from Dance Club Thursday (2013)
Opie Gone Bad “Blue Christmas (feat. John Common & Jessica DeNicola)” from Opie Gone Christmas (2011)
(N) Matt Skellenger “The Curve” from New Radio (2014)

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The Colorado Sound S8|EP46 2014

We were surprised to learn this past week that a band many expected to launch onto a larger national stage decided to pack up the trailer, come home, and play their final show.  You Me & Apollo began their journey in the spring of 2011.  Dec 20th will be their final show, at hometown venue Hodi’s Halfnote (Fort Collins).  The band will release a limited cd run of two new singles – with digital due out in January.  Drummer Tyler Kellogg stopped by the house to talk about it.  Here’s the video.

I cannot lie … I like me some Young Ancients.

SpokesBuzz Fort Collins logoSpeaking of shows:  ANNUAL COMPILATION CD RELEASE PARTY SPOKESBUZZ BAND TOGETHER: VOLUME V featuring Eldren, Qbala, Wiredogs, iZCALLi, Pandas and People, Gasoline Lollipops, The Yawpers, Winchester Holiday, Wasteland Hop, Shatterproof, Maxwell Hughes, Grant Farm, Lindsey O’Brien

Venue: Hodi’s Half Notef
Venue Address: 167 N. College Ave.
City: Fort Collins, Colorado
Age: All Ages
Ticket Price: $10 minimum suggested donation
Doors Open: 6:00pm
Set Time: 6:00pm


I’m chillin in December … so this month pls visit and to download encore presentations from our first five guests.  COMING IN JANUARY:  Offstage Beyond the Music with Colorado Music Hall of Fame executive director, and Colorado music journalist G. Brown.




The Monocles “Psychedelic (That’s Where it’s At)” (1966)
The Monocles “Boogie Man” (1966)
The Higher Elevation “Odyssey” (1969)
The Longest Day Of The Year “Black Horse Canyon” from Carapace (2014)
Strange Americans “White Legs” from That Kind of Luster (2014)
You Me and Apollo “Don’t Sleep for Free” from Sweet Honey (2014)
(D) You Me and Apollo “Finding Peace” (2015)
Tennis “Needle and a Knife” from Ritual In Repeat (2014)
Drew Schofield “150 Million (-1)” from 150 Million (-1) (2014)
Yonder Mountain String Band “Complicated” from The Show (2009)
Todd Adelman & the Love Handles “Where The Party Never Ends” from Todd Adelman & the Love Handles (2009)
(N) Dana Landry Trio “To Wane” from Memphis Skyline (2014)


Zephyr “Sun’s A Risin’” from Zephyr Deluxe Edition (2014)
Lothar & the Hand People “Machines” from Presenting… (1968)
(D) Jeff Austin “What the Night Brings” from The Simple Truth (2015)
Young Ancients “Nobody Loves You” from Y/A (2014)
Ark Life “What You Want To” from The Dream of You and Me (2014)
Jekylls “First Song About Santa” from A Very Jekylls Christmas EP (2013)
Chris Daniels “Cabin Fever” from Better Days (2012)
Slopeside “Better Off This Way” from One Lane Town (2014)
Euforquestra “Take Me Dancing” from Fire (2014)
(N) Analog Son “Swervantes” from Analog Son (2014)

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You Me & Apollo to play final show

Sad news emerged from Fort Collins’ yesterday.  You Me & Apollo is playing their last gig at Hodi’s Halfnote on Dec 20.  Drummer Tyler Kellogg will be my guest this week in hour 1 of The Colorado Sound to talk about the breakup and more … hit the station and time page for where and when you can listen.  Here’s the link to the story in this week’s Westword.

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colorado case logoColorado Case Company a Fort Collins based, Colorado family owned business specializing in insulated soft cases, gig bags, case covers and rigid cases for most instruments, including hard to fit instruments.

SpokesBuzz Fort Collins logoSpokesBUZZ, a Colorado non-profit with a mission to develop the professionalism of artists, promote and connect progressive cultural destinations, amplify music scenes, and grow local economies.  See event calendar for Spokesbuzz band shows.

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Please visit my friends’ sites.  They keep this thing going.  Much appreciated.


For all intent and purposes, November concludes the year.  Any music that gets released in November is labeled as the following year, so we’re already into the 2015 season.  The big music news this month was the release of the new Leftover Salmon album “High Country,” featuring new permanent member Bill Payne (Little Feat).  I can’t recall off the top of my head what the last album was that debuted at #2.  The album was released on November 28, but the band made sure that djs around the state were serviced early enough to share the love pre-Thanksgiving. Outside of that one album the top 18 spots remained about as it was last month.

The biggest news of the month came from G. Brown at the Colorado Music Hall of Fame.  Richie Furay let us in on part of the secret in October, during Offstage …Beyond the Music, when he let us know that Poco and he would be inducted into the hall this year.  G finally released the rest of the lineup for the Jan 9 gala:  Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Firefall, Manassas, Poco … with special nods to Richie Furay and Steve Martin among others.  G. Brown will be my guest on Offstage …Beyond the Music in January – no doubt we’ll be talking a lot about the Hall of Fame.


I don’t watch very much television.  Most of what I watch is late night stuff like the local news, a half hour of Jimmy  Kimmel, and about twenty minutes of the Daily Show, before I fall asleep.  Sometimes I watch on demand episodes of shows like Gotham — but almost never do I watch talent shows – so I had no idea this summer that a local kid was on America’s Got Talent, nor did I know he made it to the TOP 5 finalists in September, before being eliminated. That’s okay; TOP 5 is enough to propel the take off of a career if played right.  With that, here’s a video playlist of Miquel Dakota, from Monument, Colorado … enjoy

 TOP 40 Spins November 2014

270 titles tracked
125 (46%) titles identified as played at least once in the reporting period
Stations/shows surveyed: 15
(CC) = Colorado Connection
(D) = album/ep/single debut on chart
(R) = re-enter
[date] = Date added to reporting list

Hot Rize_When I'm Free(1) 1. Hot RizeWhen I’m Free (Thirty Tigers) Bluegrass [Sept 6, 2014]
(D) 2. Leftover Salmon - High Country (LoS) Americana/jamband [Nov 8, 2014]
(3) 3. TennisRitual in Repeat (Communion Records) Indie/New Alternative [Aug 14, 2014]
(5) 4. Ark Life- The Dream of You & Me (Greater Than Collective) Rock/AAA [June 28, 2014]
(10) 5. Reed FoehlLost in the West (NeverFoehl Records) Folk/singer-songwriter [Sept 13, 2014]
(9) 6.Gregory Alan Isakov – The Weatherman(Suitcase Town Music) Folk/singer-songwriter [June 22, 2013]
(6) 7. Big Head Todd & the Monsters –Black Beehive (Shout! Factory) Rock/AAA [Jan 25, 2014]
(14) 8. Elephant Revival- These Changing Skies (Its Evolving Records) Folk [Aug 1, 2013]
(7) 9. Nathaniel Ratefliff – Falling Faster Than You Can Run (Mod y Vi Records) Folk [Sept 1, 2013]
(2) 9. The String Cheese Incident – Song in My Head(SCI Fidelity) Rock/AAA [April 12, 2014]
(30) 10. Young Ancients – Y/A (self) Americana [Feb 22, 2014]
(11) 11. You, Me and Apollo – Sweet Honey (self) Indie/alternative [April 26, 2014]
(29) 12. Mollie O’Brien & Rich Moore-Love Runner (Remington Road Records) Folk [Dec 21, 2013]
(22) 13. The Motet- The Motet (self) Urban Contemporary/funk [Jan 4, 2014]
(R) 14. Esme PattersonWoman to Woman (Greater Than Collective) Indie/New Alternative [April 5, 2014]
(26) 15. Musketeer GripweedFloods and Fires(self) Rock/jamband [March 29, 2014]
(12) 16. A Shoreline DreamThe Silent Sunrise (self) Rock/alternative [Sept 6, 2014]
(8) 17. Euforquestra – Fire  (self) Rock/funk [Feb 22, 2014]
(D) 18. Dana Landry Trio – Memphis Skyline (Artist Alliance) Jazz/Instrumental [Oct 1, 2014]
(19) 19.  John OatesGood Road to Follow (PS Records) Pop/AAA [March 18, 2014]
(30) 20. Katie HerzigWalk Through Walls (Marion-Lorraine) Pop/adult contemporary [April 26, 2014]
(D) 21. The Longest Day of the Year – Carapace (self) Rock/AAA [Nov 1, 2014]
(16) 22. Chimney Choir(compass) (self) Folk [June 1, 2013]
(D) 22. Fruition & Grant FarmMeeting On the Mountain (Grant Central Records) Rock/jamband [Oct 1, 2014]
(D) 23. Snake Rattle Rattle SnakeTotem (self) Indie/New Alternative [Nov 8, 2014]
(R) 24. Strange AmericansThat Kind of Luster (self) Rock [Aug 23, 2014]
(D) 25. Ark LifeVery Fine Friends (single) (Greater Than Collective) Rock/AAA [Nov 8, 2014]
(R) 26. Drag The RiverDrag the River (Xtra Mile Records) Rock [Oct 1, 2013]
(R) 27. Josh DillardThe Bright Light of Shipwreck (self) Folk [June 1, 2013]
(4) 28. Kyle HollingsworthSpeed of Life (SCI Fidelity) Rock [Sept 6, 2014]
(D) 29. Chimney Choir – Motion (single) (self) Indie/New Alternative [Nov 8, 2014]
(32) 30. Fierce Bad Rabbit - Living Asleep (self) Rock/AAA [July 19, 2014]
(R) 31. Moors & McCumberAgainst the Grain (self) Americana/folk [Aug 1, 2013]
(36) 32. 3 TwinsDe Nada (Sleeping Elephant Music) Americana [June 20, 2013]
(D) 33. Ben Markley-Clint Ashlock Quintet - The Return (Dazzle Jazz) Jazz/Instrumental [Nov 22, 2014]
(34) 33. Chain StationDancin’ With the Law (self) Bluegrass [March 14, 2014]
(R) 34. Drew Schofield150 Million (-1) EP (self) Adult Contemporary/pop [Sept 6, 2014]
(21) 34. Pretty LightsA Color Map of the World (8 Minutes 20 Seconds) Urban Contemporary/EDM [July 2, 2013]
(D) 35. Lauren BrombertLove’s Carousel (single) (self) Adult Contemporary/pop [Nov 8. 2014]
(R) 35. Sofie ReedRed Hen (self) Blues [June 20, 2014]


15. Analog Son – S/T
17. Richie Furay – Hand in Hand
18. Born to Wander – S/T
20. Quemando – Paradise
23. Halden Wofford & the Hi*Beams – Rocky Mountain Honky Tonk
24. Pandas & People – S/T
25. Jeff Finlin – My Moby Dick
27. Head for the Hills – Blue Ruin
28. Wendy Woo Band – Live
31. Katie Glassman & Snapshot – Dream A Little Dream
31. Matt Skinner Band – Native Stranger
33. Andy Palmer – Storm’s Not Coming (single)
33. Paa Kow – Ask
35. Maxwell Hughes – Only in Dreams
36. The Railsplitters – The Railsplitters


Annie Booth – Wanderlust
Ark Life – Very Fine Friends (single)
Ben Markley/Clint Ashlock Quintet – The Return
Brad Goode – Montezuma
Chimney Choir – Motion (single)
Danielle Ate the Sandwich – Dream A Little Dream of Me (single)
Danielle Ate the Sandwich – Someone Like You (single)
Jack Hadley – Jack Hadley: The St. Louis Sessions
John Statz – Tulsa
Lauren Brombert – Love’s Carousel (single)
Leftover Salmon – High Country
Parlor Pickers – Joliet Street Shakedown
Silver & Gold – Compression
Snake Rattle Rattle Snake – Totem
The Echo Chamber – Synesthesia
Zach Heckendorf – Speed Checked by Aircraft


[XX] = number of reported current year (2013-2014) titles

Stations monitored for spins = KAFM, KBUT, KDUR, KGNU, KOTO, KRCC, KRFC, KRZA, KSJD, KSUT, KUNC, KVNF, OPENAIR 1340, The Colorado Sound radio show and The Colorado Sound LIVE365

Hot Rize_When I'm FreeKAFM (Grand Junction) [20]
1. Hot Rize – When I’m Free
2. Big Head Todd & the Monsters – Black Beehive
3. Jack Hadley – Jack Hadley: The St. Louis Sessions
3. Reed Foehl – Lost in the West
4. The Longest Day of the Year – Carapace

Hot Rize_When I'm FreeKDUR (Durango) [12]
1. Hot Rize – When I’m Free
2. Born to Wander – S/T
2. Reed Foehl – Lost in the West
3. Ark Life – The Dream of You and Me
3. Chain Station – Dancin’ With the Law

Hot Rize_When I'm FreeKGNU (Boulder) [21]
1. Hot Rize – When I’m Free
2. Ron Miles, Bill Frisell & Brian Blade – Circuit Rider
2. Snake Rattle Rattle Snake – Totem
3. Gasoline Lollipops – Death
3. Gregory Alan Isakov – The Weatherman

Tennis_ritual in repeatKRCC (Colorado Springs) [11]
1. Tennis – Ritual in Repeat
2. A Shoreline Dream – The Silent Sunrise
3. Ark Life – The Dream of You and Me
3. Chimney Choir – (compass)
4. Elephant Revival – These Changing Skies

leftover salmon_high countryKRFC (Fort Collins) [100]
1. Leftover Salmon – High Country
2. Hot Rize – When I’m Free
3. Reed Foehl – Lost in the West
4. Tennis – Ritual in Repeat
5. Fruition & Grant Farm – Meeting On the Mountain

Hot Rize_When I'm FreeKRZA (Alamosa) [10]
1. Hot Rize – When I’m Free
1. You, Me and Apollo – Sweet Honey
2. Ark Life – The Dream of You and Me
2. Chain Station – Dancin’ With the Law
2. Steve Law Band – Old Oak Tree

Hot Rize_When I'm FreeKUNC (Greeley) [17]
1. Hot Rize – When I’m Free
2. Ark Life – The Dream of You and Me
2. Mollie O’Brien & Rich Moore – Love Runner
3. Gregory Alan Isakov – The Weatherman
4. Elephant Revival – These Changing Skies

Tennis_ritual in repeatOPEN AIR 1340 (Denver) [25]
1. Tennis – Ritual in Repeat
2. Snake Rattle Rattle Snake – Totem
3. Gregory Alan Isakov – The Weatherman
3. Montropo – Follow Me
3. The Outfit – Station Wagon Apocalypse

leftover salmon_high countryThe Colorado Sound [35]
1. Leftover Salmon – High Country
2. Reed Foehl – Lost in the West
3. Musketeer Gripweed – Floods and Fires
4. Ark Life – The Dream of You and Me
4. Big Head Todd & the Monsters – Black Beehive

rob drabkin_little stepsTHE COLORADO SOUND LIVE365
1. Rob Drabkin – Little Steps
1. Nathaniel Rateliff – Nothing to Show For
1. Good Gravy – Isn’t It Funny
2. Big Head Todd & the Monsters – Josephina
3. Justin Roth – Rise





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Goat’s Thanksgiving

Goat_Logo_color_on_whiteAre we thankful for the music that has fueled our lives?  Are we thankful for those who possess the gift that illuminates the love we feel, the pains we struggle with, the memories that bind us to our pasts and keep us moving towards our unknown future?  Are we?  If we’re thankful, how do we honor those whose gifts bless us?

There are those for whom music is a hobby – something to do with family and friends in thousands of garages and basements across our country, around the world.  There are those for whom making music is a part-time job, something to do on weekends in any public space imaginable – for tips or for guarantees that help sustain the love of making music, or to feed families.  And for others it is an occupation, a full time job, a career that pays the bills and allows for a secure future in retirement.

Music is as natural and essential as the air we breath or the water we drink.  Music is part of our spiritual lives as Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Voodoo, Native American Indian, and countless other faiths employ music in praise and worship ceremonies.  We have sung to the gods of our lives, and raised the specter of desire and sexuality in the humpity-hump rhythms that permeate dance clubs internationally.  It tells us stories that become part of the history and heritage of our land.  It speaks in languages unique to the diverse culture of cities and towns, bayous, deserts, and mountains across the land.

We, two generations now, have bemoaned the loss of art in our schools, the loss of music programs.  We spend billions on music instruments and private lessons so that our children and grandchildren might appreciate the innate joy that comes from discovering that they possess the ability to sing or play a melody.  We attend school concerts and recitals and cheer on our kids, praising them for the talent they display – regardless of any demonstrated skill; every child’s performance the right of passage to a future filled with stardom, fame, and monetary riches.

In eras past, from our first job in high school through graduation from college, we built and maintained large collections of albums worth of music – some that would become insanely popular globally – and some that only we and a few close friends would ever really know about.  We attended bars where cover bands played the hits of the day, to concert venues of every size to enjoy our favorite bands play their biggest hits, and newest songs.  And then time changed. promised the adventure of as yet broadly unknown songs from around the world – both great and abysmally bad – from gloriously magnificent works of pure art to gloriously bad dog farts and noise …all for free, with the promise that those who owned the work would get paid based on the number of plays – at a penny a pop.  And from there, the gaming was on. died and Napster emerged – another promise of free music to be had and another disaster that couldn’t be sustained, both financially and legally. File sharing became a major criminal offense, as everyone from grandmothers to college kids and even universities struggled with the emergence of new tech. Congress stepped in and established a minimum standard of pay for those who owned the recording as well as the performers on the recording, but only for music “broadcast” on the Internet, not for music aired on terrestrial airwaves.  The minimum far less than a penny per listen.

And then, Steve Jobs and Apple introduced us to iPods and iTunes, and physical cd sales began to decline precipitously.  Pandora introduced us to free Internet radio without commercial interruption … and record sales imploded, in a relentless dive.  Lastly, streaming arrived full blown via Spotify and other sources, and even download sales have felt the impact as people are inclined to stream their favorite records at far less than a penny a listen as it is no longer necessary to actually possess either a physical copy of a recording or a digital version.

The MP3 format and the Internet changed the world – and today the question has to be asked – how do we honor those whose music is so invaluable to our everyday lives?

Today anyone can play.  Here in Colorado alone there are a few thousand acts – from baby bands to solo singer songwriters to hitmakers and award winners. There are several hundred recordings released a year, from singles to eps and lps – in digital, cd, and vinyl.  We have hundreds of rooms for us to see live music, from DIY spaces to coffee shops, from small cap rooms to Mile High Stadium, from the world renown to the barely known about.

Music is not free.  It is not free to learn.  It is not free to perform.  It is not free to present.  It is not free to record.  It is not free to distribute.   Teachers need to earn a living.  Instrument makers need to earn a living.  Stage owners and those who own and run p.a. equipment need to earn a living.  Recording studio owners, and the engineers at the studios need to earn a living.  And countless thousands of our friends and family, who have spent years to perfect their talents, buy the equipment, record the songs, and present themselves on stages need to earn a living.  Music is not free.

Are we thankful for the music that has fueled our lives?  Are we thankful for those who possess the gift that illuminates the love we feel, the pains we struggle with, the memories that bind us to our pasts and keep us moving towards our unknown future?  Are we?  If we’re thankful, how do we honor those whose gifts bless us?

This season I’d like to ask a favor.  Please support the local music scene, the local music industry, the local music teachers, and sound engineers, and stage owners, the instrument makers, and record makers, and the musicians without whom none of this would be possible.

Set aside a little to see a couple of shows and take a few friends with you.   It doesn’t matter if you know the band – just go. Go to Albums on the Hill (Boulder) or Twist and Shout (Denver) or any other location where you can find Colorado music on sale.  Don’t buy one – buy ten and spread the love.

If you need help deciding on what show to see, or what record to buy, read and support our local publications like Westword (Denver), Colorado Music Buzz (Denver), the Marquee Magazine (Boulder), Scene Magazine (Fort Collins), or Bandwagon (Greeley).

Music isn’t free.  We shouldn’t treat it as if it is.

Happy Thanksgiving,

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Guest Post: “Taylor Swift, Spotify and the Musical Food Chain Myth” by @DoriaRoberts #irespectmusic


While not expressly Colorado, this is worth reblogging for the sake of all my family and friends who are trying to make a living creating music professionally.

Originally posted on MUSIC • TECHNOLOGY • POLICY:

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[Ed. Note: Chris Castle says:  We are so lucky to have the opportunity to publish this illuminating post by Doria Roberts, an outstanding discussion that shines a light on the issues facing all professional artists. I’m sure we’ll hear Doria’s strong voice many times in the future and will be the better for her.] 

“The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any.” –Alice Walker

I cannot tell you how happy I am that the conversation about Taylor Swift and Spotify is happening. Maybe people will start listening to what independent artists like me and my peers have been saying for years now.

A little background for those who don’t know me: I’ve been a indie musician by choice for 22 years. In 1999, I was chosen to perform at Lilith Fair and quit my day job the following Monday…

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