Northwest Denver Folk Festival
w/ THE HAUNTED WINDCHIMES / JOE SAMPSON / ARK LIFE / CHIMNEY CHOIR / CHANGING COLORS / MARTIN GILMORE & PATRICK DETHLEFS
also: Dr. Harlans Amazing Bluegrass Tonic / Gora Gora Orkestar / Brian Molnar (from Austin Texas) / Grant Sabin / Poet’s Row / Al Trout / Natalie Tate
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ALL SET TIMES SUBJECT TO CHANGE!
Chimney Choir's new album, (compass), is music played on banjo, fiddle, guitar, and piano and sung in three part harmony. It is layered with electronic drones, field recordings, and conversational rhythms played on junk percussion. The songs were born on the road - it was sketched out, improvised, jammed, performed, scrapped, and reinvented over months of touring in the US, Germany, Holland, and Belgium. They were hashed out around campfires in between gigs, sung in the van during long stretches of driving, and tested in front of a new audience every night.
When the recording process started, the band wanted to capture a unique sonic character. The drums were tracked in an historic 1920's theater, they sang in a makeshift vocal booth in an urban carriage house, and retreated to the mountains for the finishing touches. They incorporated field recordings from Belgian train stations, Kris picked back up her childhood fiddle, and a new dimension was layered with the bass of Tom Plassmeyer. Their vision of bringing together acoustic and electronic sounds was developed while mixing with co-producer Jeremy Averitt (Princess Music, Clouds and Mountains.
(compass) was released over four months in a series of semi-theatrical performances at Leon Gallery in Denver, CO. Each monthly performance investigated a cardinal direction in hope to 'find the compass.' The performances were inspired by minimalist Fringe theater, where production was suggested or even imaginary. The shows experimented with sound collage, storytelling, puppetry, dance, and ritual. They lit candles, burned incense, and painted their faces. "We're establishing dreamlike environments where the audience can't really tell the show from reality after a certain point." Rynhart said of the performances. The final episode took place on June 23rd with the full release of (compass). The album was 'found' during a mock game show within a show at an antique warehouse near Denver's Valverde neighborhood, built on an old farm site that was once known for producing the world's best celery.
Comparisons have been as far flung as Harry Nilson, The Fleet Foxes, Sufjan Stevens, Incredible String Band, Kurt Weill, and David Bowie. The band is currently working on a multi-media performance art show centered around the discovery of an inter-dimensional communication device. There are also plans to release an acoustic folk album and rumors of a collaboration with Wonderbound, the experimental ballet company based in Denver. One thing is for certain - Chimney Choir squints into the future because it is so bright.
"Denver-based Chimney Choir is more than just a group of talented multi-instrumentalists looking to evoke an old-timey sound. They are an artistic oddity; a unique homemade collage of sound. Yes, they have the usual roots laced deep in the soil of Americana and folk, though, the character of their melodic folk sound hinges largely on a skillful balancing of freaky vocal interplay with computer synths, traditional acoustics and kitchen sink percussion. Original, catchy and ripe with a strangely warm and welcoming aesthetic"
- Flagstaff LIVE (March, 2013)
Kevin Larkin - mandolin, samples, percussion, harmonica, accordion, synth, vocals
Kris Drickey - banjo, keyboards, guitar, violin, percussion, vocals
David Rynhart - guitar, flute, piano, percussion, vocals
Carl Sorensen - shakers, bottles, cans, random metal objects
Tom Plassmeyer - bass
The Haunted Windchimes sound draws from traditional folk and American roots music. The songs have a vintage quality, as if they might have been written yesterday or 75 years ago. Grounded in honeyed harmonies and spirited pickin’, it lies in a nowhere land between distinct styles: It’s not quite bluegrass or blues or country. Still, there are elements of all those in songs that paint pictures of empty train stations and nights of passing a jug of moonshine around. It’s the vocal harmonies that really set them apart, a three-headed juggernaut of Desirae Garcia (ukulele), Chela Lujan (banjo) and Inaiah Lujan (guitar). “When their voices blend, it is nothing short of beautiful,” writes Bill Reed of The Colorado Springs Gazette. The sound is often moody and melancholy, but it is always deeply affecting. That sound is embroidered by the instrumental mastery of Mike Clark (harmonica, guitar and mandolin) and the standup bass foundation of Sean Fanning.
On the group’s 2006 debut EP “Verse/Visa”, The Haunted Windchimes presented what Denver Post journalist, Eryc Eyl, called “a beautiful chamber pop sound.” However, with 2010’s “Honey Moonshine,” the band “perfected an old-timey hoedown sound, executed with passion and precision.” Last May, the band released “Live at the Western Jubilee,” a celebration of its career so far. Recorded in December 2010 at the Western Jubilee Warehouse, a legendary Colorado Springs venue, the record’s 13 tracks capture the five musicians in peak form in front of an appreciative audience.
Known locally as an exceptional singer-songwriter, Joe has been playing bass with Bad Weather California while working on his solo music.
From the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, Gora Gora Orkestar brings an eclectic mix of gypsy roma and american brass band music. Our sound ranges from traditional folk dances to powerful vocal ballads.
The tiny hamlet of Manitou Springs, Colorado sits just below the soaring heights of Pikes Peak. A place frequented by thousands of tourists each year, it is a mecca for flatlanders and southerners longing for the cool mountain air and the remarkable views. It is also a haven for gifted songwriters and musicians. Among the most capable of these writers is Conor Bourgal, who along with his twin brother, Ian, and an interchangeable ensemble of musicians, form a group called the Changing Colors.They are a band that sings of longing and beauty, hope and regret. Their latest album, Ghost of Red Mountain takes its entire theme from the legendary story of Manitou resident Emma Crawford. Sometime in the early 1900's Crawford’s coffin was washed down onto Main Street from it’s perch above town on Red Mountain. The story is the source of Manitou’s biggest festival – the internationally renowned Emma Crawford Coffin Races held each Halloween. Bourgal chose to look beyond the gothic story and to bring a hardscrabble pioneer woman’s life to light.
"Grant Sabin is unquestionably one of the hardest working musicians around, playing with abandon at large and small venues throughout Colorado and beyond. As a solo artist Grant has captivated audiences for years with his raw voice, intense stage presence, and one-man band approach to creating music with slide guitar, harmonica, and stomp box. As a band leader, Grant turns the volume up to 11. The Grant Sabin Band includes, Alex Koshak (Flumps, Sugar Sounds, Briffaut) on Drums, and Sam Erickson (We Are Not A Glum Lot, Briffaut) on 2nd Guitar. Grant Sabin's Musical delivery comes from the heart and has earned him the respect of fans and fellow musicians alike."
- Steve Harris (KRCC)
With each of Brian Molnar & the Naked Heart's last 3 albums peaking out over fixtures of their genre on radio play charts all around the country, it would not be surprising to have an overwhelming feeling of comfort and familiarity when experiencing their music for the first time. For nearly a decade Brian Molnar has been carrying his acoustic guitar and wrought melodies back and forth across the United States connecting audiences with a feeling of American tradition and unique thoughtfulness that has been too often diluted in recent memory. Now with a full supporting band behind him, sharing the stage with contemporaries such as Ralph Stanley, Chris Hillman, Bernie Worrell, Garth Hudson, and Neal Cassal, it seems that a genuine Americana resurgence is upon us, with each new Naked Hearts' release setting its tone.
Brian Molnar's newest release "Of the Fall" spent 4 weeks standing strong at #1 on the World Wide Roots 66 chart, and remains in the top 10 nearly 4 months after it’s release. The band's prior live record "Miss You" hit #7 on the Roots Music Report chart in NY, and #36 country-wide, while the band's previous studio work "Temperance & the Devil" peaked at #27 on AMA (Americana) chart, and #9 on the FAR radio chart in Europe and USA. With such a promising track record and constant live appearances by Molnar with and without the Naked Hearts, the sky is the limit, and makes Brian Molnar a name to remember in the coming years
"...they continue to push the boundaries of Americana in sound and spirit beyond what has become an ossification too frequent in the form."
-Chris Spectre, Midwest Record, on "Of the Fall"
“The Naked Hearts play Roots Country with conviction… the band demonstrates a thorough understanding of what it takes to make authentic music.”
-Steven Stone Vintage Guitar Magazine on "Of the Fall"
"Treading the midnight highway dividing line between country and the Ash Grove, he evokes a turning point just before everything changed and too much got lost."
-Mark S. Tucker, Fame, on "Of the Fall"
"Just when you have had your fill of artists who can obtain a great studio-produced sound, but lack luster onstage (or downright "suck, live"), or in a parallel universe deliver showmanship and power in concert whilst never being able to focus and produce a decent studio record, here is a band that thankfully can capture both."
-Torchy Blaine, WDVR FM, on "Miss You"
"Molnar and The Naked Hearts show enough talent to suggest they can, and will I am sure, go on from here —since the core of the music (ever tastefully produced) and Molnar’s story-telling vocal style is compelling."
-Maurice Hope, Americana UK, on "Temperance.."
Only in his early 20s, Patrick Dethlefs is one of folk music's rising stars. in 2009, Patrick won the Best Teen Songwriter Award from the Swallow Hill Music association and has been gathering accolades ever since. In 2012 he released his full length album "Fall and Rise".
There are many sides to Martin Gilmore. His bluegrass band Long Road Home is a mainstay in the Rocky Mountain region and has toured Nationally and internationally. The Bimarinal, brings rock and roll to stages along Colorado's front range, and Martin's solo projects are both moving and informative. As a teacher, Martin has given seminars and workshops at bluegrass festivals, public schools and colleges, as well as presentations for the National Park Service. He is amongst the faculty at Swallow Hill Music Association's music school and teaches privately as well. His self titled solo record was released in 2009.
Martin and Patrick met at the Olde Town Pickn' Parlor in 2008.
Dr. Harlan's Amazing Bluegrass Tonic provides a mixture of classic, contemporary, and original bluegrass music that is specially formulated to cure all your ailments! In just a couple short years, the band has developed a strong following across Colorado with creative arrangements, sharp vocal harmonies, and solid original songwriting. When you need a quick pick-me-up, come try a taste of the good doctor's tonic!
Mickey Bakas and Emily Hobbs met living in the same apartment building on Capitol Hill, in Denver. Their building can be found on a block, known famously as "Poet's Row;" all of the buildings are named after authors. It only seemed natural to name their harmony-laden, simplistic acoustic indie-folk after where they met and started what has now become a successful project for the both of them.
Heavily influenced by an extremely wide array of musical styles, Poet's Row has carved a unique place for themselves in the Denver music scene.
Kansas City born singer-songwriter Al Trout has worn a number of different hats over the course of his colorful music career. He's been a rock-a-billy crooner, a jugband jazzbo, a bawdy blues busker, and a gothic western balladeer. On his current endeavor, he dumps his entire musical past into one pot, letting all the flavors mingle, and then serves it up lone-wolf-style as a bona fide one-man-band. Armed with a resonator guitar, a unique, foot-powered drum kit, and a sonorous baritone, Al Trout belts out his own authentic brand of mongrel Americana with vigor and aplomb.