Monthly Archives: January 2017

Jazz: “The Savory Collection” a genuine treasure trove

The result is intoxicating: Dexter Gordon, Stan Getz, Jay Jay (later J.J.) Johnson, Fats Navarro, Milt Jackson and Kenny Dorham are all at the peak of their powers here. This is an essential history lesson, and deserves a place on the shelf next to those lauded Parker recordings. * * *
In the 1960s, the soul jazz group The Three Sounds enjoyed an admirable run of success. There’s been a lot of significant news for jazz history buffs in recent months. The Resonance label, which has been doing excellent reclamation work in the past few years, has unearthed a live collection, “Groovin’ Hard,” which collects live performances from a Seattle club called The Penthouse. History should be kinder to the smoldering intensity of his approach. * * *
While Savory is an obscure name, Savoy is not. Here are some shining excavations. 29, and Colorado piano master Purnell Steen and his band Le Jazz Machine performs two sets there to celebrate Black History Month on Feb. Follow him on Twitter: @Bretontheradio This is the kind of recording you put on for a nice dinner gathering or to introduce someone to piano jazz. Hopefully the powers that be will make more volumes soon. 25 … Bassists Christian McBride and Edgar Myer team up at the Newman Center For The Performing Arts on Jan. The painstaking (technical and legal) process of making some of these tapes available to the public has resulted in the iTunes-only release of two volumes from “The Savory Collection.” The music that has been released so far is a genuine treasure trove. Volume 2 features 70-plus minutes of broadcasts from pianist Count Basie’s band featuring tenor Lester Young, and it’s as exciting and revelatory a discovery as the first set. But now, the forever-meticulous compilers at the mail order Mosaic Records label have just assembled another mammoth box set, “Classic Savoy Be-Bop Sessions 1945-49.”
The set includes 10 CDs, yet still omits the earthshaking records that saxophonist Charlie Parker made for the label, because Mosiac is likely assuming anyone interested in taking this sort of deep dive has those Parker titles already. Beginning with a devastating extended rendition of tenor saxophonist Coleman Hawkins‘ “Body And Soul” and running through gifts from Ella Fitzgerald, Fats Waller and Lionel Hampton, the first volume serves as a sampler of music that very few knew existed. Photo by Michael McGrath, The Know. 26 … Pianist Bill Charlap brings his trio to Dazzle Jazz on Jan. 4. The rights to the label’s catalogue has been in the hands of numerous owners in recent decades, and many of them haven’t necessarily done a sterling job of keeping such vital art in print. This music has been available before, but never in one place and put together with such care. Get more information at weekday mornings at KBCO 97.3 FM. Bret Saunders ( can be heard from 6 to 11 a.m. In the 1930s and ’40s, New York radio engineer Bill Savory amassed a small mountain of live broadcast recordings from numerous swing stars and apparently hoarded them until his death in 2004. * * *
The Eric Gunnison Trio appears at Nocturne on Jan. Fronted by beloved pianist Gene Harris, the trio could bend pop hits of the day to sound like they were written to be jazz standards. FILE: A painting from the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival on April 28, 2016. There’s a rotating cast of drummers over the years represented here (1964-68) but the trio clicks and enthralls the audience, and Harris is a marvel, always the showman but never showing off. There’s no information regarding a possible physical release of this music on LP or CD, so the best thing to do at this point is to support this project through iTunes. Savoy was a premier record label, releasing a great number of historic performances, particularly in the bop genre.

Train to play Fourth of July show in Colorado

Tickets are $30.00 – $99.50 and go on sale Jan. 27. 27 via Acoustic jam outfit O.A.R. Train will chug through Colorado for an Independence Day concert. and Natasha Bedingfield will open. Do you still have “Drops of Jupiter” in your hair from the last time Train stopped by Fiddler’s Green Amphitheater? The band is touring in support of its new album, “a girl a bottle a boat,” which also hits shelves on Jan. Don’t bother washing it now: The San Francisco band is prepping for its brand new, 45-show Play That Song Tour, including yet another date at Greenwood Village’s massive outdoor music venue. Train plays Fiddler’s Green on July 4. Photo courtesy of PMK*BMC. Listen to its first single, “Play That Song,” here.

Roy Halee, the legend behind Paul Simon, keeps hidden in Boulder

His influence on albums like “Paul Simon” and “Graceland” alone — the former one of Simon’s best, the latter one of pop music’s in general — positions him as one of modern music’s great architects, even if no one knows it. “He knew if anybody was going to be able to record that, it was me,” Halee said, raising a hand to his head. There are also plans for Halee to record Simon’s next album, likely early this year. Halee’s derring-do, storied industry knowledge and knack for orchestral arrangements became the building blocks for one of Simon’s most masterful and beloved albums: “Graceland.” At 16 million copies sold, it proved an immensely popular, boundary-breaking effort unlike anything the pop world had heard before. “I studied to be a classical trumpet player and didn’t make it,” Halee said. The process, which allowed artists to better perfect their recordings or work on one song from different studios, would become an industry standard. “I knew what George Martin did with The Beatles and I looked at my father that way,” said Halee’s second son, Walter, 55, who lives near his dad in Boulder and teaches skiing at Eldora Mountain Resort. A well-placed flute on “Duncan” or a West African talking drum in “Me and Julio Down by the School Yard” gave Simon’s solo work an eclectic sound unmatched by other songwriters. As the world rallied against the nation’s apartheid government with a cultural boycott, Simon and Halee skirted the black community’s defacto African National Congress leaders, meaning the session had to be done in secret. (And aside from the occasional honk and squeak of his thick New York accent, you can hear his voice clearly.)
Halee’s classical ear helped engender good faith early in his career at Columbia, where he started working with rock ‘n’ roll acts like The Lovin’ Spoonful and The Byrds. Aside from the musicians being bused in and the bass player saying ‘Yes, sir,’ the band was used to playing close together, live.”
Culling all of his past experience, Halee strategically positioned the musicians in different areas of the unfamiliar studio and, by placing his microphones just right, figured out a way to record them. (AAron Ontiveroz, The Denver Post)
“If you could have been in the control room and heard what I heard,” Halee said, leaning over the edge of his armchair. Humility, if not shyness, holds him back when talking about his partnership with Simon. This is where he goes to get away and, when he has to, reflect on his work. “The creative process between the two of us is really something to see. Then everything moved to Los Angeles and I was laid off. “And I think he’s enjoys his freedom.”
And, at 82, some would say it’s time to relax. A commemoration of the more than 5 million copies sold of Paul Simon’s “Graceland” at the home of the record’s co-producer Roy Halee. “I have turned down lots of well-known artists when I’m busy with Paul, because he’s the best to work with.”
Walter Halee, who gets new music tips from his college-aged children, wishes his dad would record more modern artists. “(Digital) takes all of the creativity away from anybody who wants to paint colors. Halee produced for Simon and Garfunkel and won multiple Grammy Awards for songs including “Bridge Over Troubled Water” and “Mrs. (AAron Ontiveroz, The Denver Post)
Simon told Halee that he wanted to record South African music for that new album, specifically in Johannesburg using a group of black musicians he’d never met before. Though Simon would never affix another ampersand to his name, Halee is a collaborator as much as a producer. Needless to say, he’s OK with that. Then Simon added his lyrics and vocal melodies on top. “If Paul retires, I’m retired,” he said. While memories are known to fade, Halee’s glow. He even sat in during the recording of Bob Dylan’s “Like a Rolling Stone,” though he doesn’t remember much of that chaotic session. For 1970’s “The Boxer,” he layered each instrument and vocal harmony on top of each other, instead of recording the whole song live, as was common practice then. He was even an early adapter of multi-tracking, a recording technique pioneered by The Beach Boys and The Beatles. I get in his head, he gets in my head, and I don’t think that exists anywhere else,” Halee said. Lucky again, I walked across the street and got a job with Columbia Records.”
BOULDER, CO. Down in his man cave, adjacent to that row of gilded LPs (which have all gone multi-platinum at this point), a vinyl-encumbered shelf harbors Halee’s hard-to-spot Grammy awards. Halee produced for Simon and Garfunkel and won multiple Grammy Awards for songs including “Bridge Over Troubled Water” and “Mrs. It’s all just a part of their chemistry. 29. It’s in stark contrast to the stories he has from his early career, working and cavorting with the likes of Simon & Garfunkel, who’d become good family friends. “I always looked at it as painting pictures,” he said. They added drums, electric guitar and bass to the gripping harmonies of the duo’s now famous song “The Sound of Silence,” shooting it to the top spot of Billboard’s Hot 100 chart for two weeks in January 1966. Instead, he said, a few vintage mics and a tape machine might do the trick. But some memories are too important to keep a secret. I got a job at CBS Television. It’s hindered his ability to play trumpet, a talent he’s recently recouped. “But I was lucky. Record producer Roy Halee at his Boulder home on Dec. Back in New York, he spent countless hours splicing together the carefree jams into fluid songs. Although Halee is hesitant to say there would be no “Graceland” without him, he knows Simon feels that way. That classical ear is also one of his sonic hallmarks, a rare sensibility that informs the expansive landscapes of his work with Simon & Garfunkel all the way through “Stranger to Stranger,” Paul Simon’s latest. Robinson.” (Photo By AAron Ontiveroz/The Denver Post)
Seven years ago, Halee suffered a stroke, which impacted his speech and dexterity. Music is still his passion and pastime. Halee, along with fellow behind-the-scenes legend Tom Wilson, proved to be just that. Even the sound digitally — no comparison.”
With that thought, Halee’s eyes light up as he glances toward the sound system occupying a good portion of his basement. Sometimes, the difference between a commercial flop — which is how “Wednesday Morning 3 A.M” first turned out — and a No. “It was obvious there was tremendous talent going on there.”
Yet sometimes, as Halee knows, raw talent isn’t enough. But first came the hard part. Robinson.” (AAron Ontiveroz, The Denver Post)
In the basement of his east Boulder home, Roy Halee pulls an ornate version of Paul Simon’s debut self-titled album from a wall of gold records. Tuesday marks the 45th anniversary of the record’s release, but Halee had no idea of the importance of the date. At 82 years old, the fine details of his long career have blurred. Some gold records from the Simon & Garfunkel years hang on Roy Halee’s wall in his Boulder home. As Simon’s first solo effort after the dissolution of Simon & Garfunkel, the album represents a career crossroads — both for Simon, who used it to prove his solo genius, and for Halee, who produced it along with a handful of Simon’s other classic albums. But when Simon calls, he’ll always answer. Like the time he first met Simon, recording Simon & Garfunkel demos that became the folk duo’s debut album, “Wednesday Morning 3 A.M,” at Columbia Records more than 50 years ago. After another intense session with Simon, there’s nothing he’d rather do than come back down to his humble cavern, curl up in his chair and listen to the budding tunes they’ve crafted together. Similarly, Simon’s self-titled debut was defined by Halee’s “anything goes” mentality. Halee is equally known as an industry trailblazer. “I’d love to see him work with Mumford and Sons or some of these folksy bands now, but he’s gotten good recognition through Paul,” Walter said. 1 hit is the right producer. “But he definitely plays it down.”
Halee’s unassuming residence in Boulder, where he moved from Long Island a decade ago after visiting his daughter Laurie, who attended the University of Colorado, evinces that austerity. Before we knew it, there were hundreds of people showing up for autographs.”
The public has never clamored for Halee in the same way. While he can’t say much about the record’s concept, he definitely wants to limit his use of computer programs and digital interfaces. “We’d play pickup basketball with them,” Walter said, with a laugh. For Simon’s upcoming, as-yet-untitled album, Halee would like to get back to his old-school roots. “It was one of the hardest jobs I’ve ever done in my life. With Simon & Garfunkel, he became more hands-on through experimentation. To make things more complicated, Simon didn’t bring pre-written music to the session, but wanted the musicians to improvise what would become the basis for the whole album. Nor is he necessarily eager to revisit them. – DECEMBER 29: Grammy Awards at the home of record producer Roy Halee on Thursday, December 29, 2016. In the next room, a pair of massive speakers and a state-of-the-art turntable sit in front of his favorite recliner. When he’s not with his wife or spoiling his three brown-and-white pointers — each rescued from a North Carolina shelter — he’s here, listening to the New York Philharmonic on vinyl or playing his trumpet. The way only a hidden genius can hear them. “One time, they came over to our house (in New York) and the neighborhood got wind.

Download “Iris B” by Sean Renner via Steal This Track

But more than just “nature,” as in the great outdoors, Renner’s soulful vocals and R&B sense impart the music with a human quality not often found in looped, electronic-sounding music. While looped samples may not immediately sound like the music of nature, Renner’s music has a certain organic, natural quality to it. Photo by Erin Graboski
Denver musician Sean Renner recently released a new collection of music that commemorates the years he’s spent in Colorado. Nature has its rhythms, and it’s as if Renner is trying to mimic the organized, dynamic heartbeat of the natural world. Please note that downloads offered via Steal This Track are intended to whet your appetite, and are NOT CD-quality recordings. But we’re grateful he left this musical impression of the state for us to remember him by. For now, Renner has given up Colorado to study music composition in Los Angeles. If you want those, please support the artists by buying their music and/or seeing them live. If you’re a Colorado band or musician ready to expose your fresh sounds to the readers of Reverb, email your tracks — along with any interesting facts about them, as well as a photo or album art — to Steal This Track for consideration. Download “Plume B” below. Though it’d be fine to call it an “album,” it’s actually a collection of four double-sided singles, each representing a period of time in the Centennial State and named after a native Colorado plant. We only feature tracks not available for free elsewhere. It’s telling that he chose to name these singles after foliage.

Photos: August Burns Red fêtes “Messengers” at Ogden Theatre

In Hearts Wake, ’68 and Protest the Hero opened the show. DENVER, CO – JANUARY 17: Protest The Hero performs at the Ogden Theatre in Denver, Colorado on January 17, 2017. (Photo by Seth McConnell/The Denver Post)

Pennsylvania metal-core stalwarts August Burns Red marked the 10th anniversary of their breakthrough album, “Messengers,” by playing it in its entirety on Tuesday night to a packed house at Denver’s Ogden Theatre. Check out our photos of the evening above.

Repaired and ready: New York venue where a young Bob Dylan played reopens

But just about everything else about a venue that bills itself as the nation’s oldest continuously operating coffeehouse has undergone some major upgrades as part of a $2 million renovation project bankrolled in part by folk music performers themselves. Under a philanthropic partnership with a local developer, the organization turned over its adjacent small parking lot to the builder, who’s constructing a four-story building that will house condos and retail businesses. Among the folk musicians contributing funds: Arlo Guthrie, honorary chairman of the coffeehouse’s fundraising campaign. Locally and regionally known musicians have also pitched in, while other performers — including Peter Yarrow and Noel Paul Stookey of Peter, Paul and Mary fame — contributed vocals for a fundraising video. Yet when the newly installed lighting dims and the night’s performer hits the first chord, Caffe Lena still has the intimate setting that generations of musicians and folk music fans have come to revere. A campaign has raised another $1 million. “It so far it feels really good.” “Now we have a place in line with our reputation for the type of music that happens here,” she said. In return, Bonacio Construction has put $500,000 into the renovation project, including installing an elevator that will make Caffe Lena fully accessible to the disabled. The narrow staircase leading to the second-floor venue also has been replaced, as has the small stage, sound system, kitchen and restrooms. But the old plank floor worn smooth by countless tapping feet is gone, replaced by a new hardwood version. In this 1962 file photo provided by the Joe Alper Photo Collection LLC, Bob Dylan, left, his girlfriend Suze Rotollo center and Lena Spencer gather around a table at her coffeehouse, Caffe Lena in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. Performances were moved to other nearby venues in Saratoga Springs, the famous resort and thoroughbred racing town 165 miles north of New York City. Volunteers and later the nonprofit group formed in the 1990s have kept her place open for new generations of folk music fans. He left not long after Dylan’s performances, but Lena stayed on, gradually attracting a dedicated following and booking an ever-growing roster of folk music stalwarts, including Dave Van Ronk, Joan Baez, Don McClean and Guthrie. Caffe Lena is still raising the final $500,000 for the upgrades, scheduled to be completed this spring. For George Ward, a folk musician and longtime Caffe Lena performer and supporter, the face-lift hasn’t erased the venue’s downhome vibe. The same brown wooden shutters bracket the windows and the same exposed brick wall provides background for the corner where he sang and played acoustic guitar during weekend performances in 1961 and ’62. SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. “It had to change just in order to be safe and comfortable,” said Ward, 78. — Bob Dylan would surely still recognize the low-ceilinged room in Caffe Lena where he played a couple of gigs almost 60 years ago. “It’s a legendary place,” said Jeff Place, archivist for Smithsonian Folkways, the nonprofit record label of the Smithsonian Institution. The lean years tended to outnumber the flush ones, and by the late 1980s, Spencer was living in a back room at her coffeehouse, displaced from her Saratoga apartment by rising rent. “For singer-songwriters, playing there is like playing Carnegie Hall for classical musicians.”
Caffe Lena recently reopened after being closed for six months for the renovations. Sarah Craig, the coffeehouse’s executive director, said Dylan has been approached for a contribution but “has not yet committed specific support.”
Caffe Lena first opened in May 1960, by Lena Spencer and her husband, Bill, bohemian artists from Massachusetts. Dylan performed twice there early in his career, when the young singer born in Minnesota as Robert Zimmerman was just making his way onto New York City’s folk scene. She died at age 66 in 1989. Seating has been boosted from 85 to about 105, and wine and beer are being served for the first time in the venerable coffeehouse’s history. The renovations were long overdue in a 120-year-old building that wasn’t up to code, Craig said.

Denver’s Gin Doctors announce final show

Catching Weezer, Sum 41, the Cranberries and the Spice Girls under one roof in one night in Denver seems like a ’90s mall rat’s dream. Watching this band grow from a tiny first show house party of 20 people to a 1500-person raging Halloween show a few months ago, we are absolutely humbled by the love and support you have given us over the years. The band will play its farewell show this winter. From massive Halloween shows to rowdy, drink-sloshing UMS sets, the Denver cover band has let our city’s millennials rock out to the music of their teens in public, well beyond their awkward years (for most of us, anyway). But the band was dealt a crushing blow late last year when its co-founder, local singer-songwriter Tyler Depres, died of an aortic aneurysm at the age of 34. And for those reasons, among so many others, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts for making this band one of the most fun and rewarding experiences of the 4 of our lives. Both a farewell to the band and Despres, the show will feature special guest performances (including Jen Korte, who will fill in as the band’s fourth member) and looks to fill out a total of four hours with the rose-tinted mixtape jams of your yesteryear. The band has stayed quiet until today, when it took to Facebook to announce its final farewell: a show at Stoney’s Bar and Grill on March 4 at 8 p.m. The band accompanied the announcement with a message to its fans, excerpted below. James Morrison of Denver’s Gin Doctors playing the 21st Westword Music Showcase Saturday, June 20 2015. It would be, if not for the Gin Doctors. You’ve asked us to play your wedding, you voted us Best Tribute Band 2 years in a row, you’ve stood out in the cold waiting on line for 45 minutes to watch us play. Photo by Evan Semón for The Know. Read the whole thing and get more info on the show via the event’s Facebook page.

Trev Rich announces first Denver concert since releasing Cash Money debut

Trev Rich will see you now. via 23. Check out our feature on Trev Rich’s rise to become Denver’s first marquee rapper here. Tickets are $12-$20 and go on sale Jan. 18 at 10 a.m. Rich will headline Englewood’s Gothic Theatre on Feb. Trev Rich has announced his first show since his Cash Money debut mixtape, “To Make A Long Story Short.” Photo by Helen Richardson for The Denver Post. Nearly a month on from the release of “To Make A Long Story Short,” his Cash Money Records debut mixtape, the Denver rapper has announced a headlining show for his hometown.

Lost Lake, Larimer Lounge owner to take over Globe Hall

Related: Six new Colorado music venues to check out in 2017
“If you’re going to run a venue, you have to pay them properly and that necessitates bringing in some good music,” Cornelius said. “I’m definitely excited about it.”
In the year since he opened the space, Cornelius’ Globe Hall was a champion of the Denver music scene, featuring a healthy amount of local bills. Globe Hall is under new management. “You can’t survive on bringing in local bands where, four nights a week, only 20 people come.”
“Scott has more quality bands contacting him to play than he has venues to fill,” he added. “He knows how difficult this is.”
While local music will still have a place at the venue under its new management, Campbell plans to bring more tours through the room. Campbell and his team of four booking agents have already begun to bring splashier names to the venue’s marquee. Campbell said he attracted by the local charm of the 200-person hall, which is located in Denver’s Globeville neighborhood. Aside from an upgraded sound system and “stronger” shows, Campbell said he isn’t planning major changes. Popular alt-country band Split Lip Rayfield and lively string band the Brothers Comatose have been confirmed to play the venue in the coming months. While the margins on bar-sized music venues aren’t huge, Campbell, who’s booked shows at Denver venues big and small over the last two decades, said he’s more interested in the scene itself. “In Denver, with the momentum you have here and the community’s support for the music and the arts,” he said, “it’s a great time to (work in the industry).” “It’s a beautiful room and a great area,” he said. Globe Hall founder Jeff Cornelius confirmed the deal on Friday. 1, the venue will be owned and operated independently by Scott Campbell, a promoter for AEG Live Rocky Mountains and independent owner of Denver clubs Larimer Lounge and Lost Lake Lounge. “By the end, what we both wanted was an outright sale.”
Both Cornelius and Campbell declined to disclose the details of the deal. As of Feb. Denver music venue and barbecue joint Globe Hall is changing hands. “We started the conversation figuring out how a partnership might work,” Cornelius said. Globe Hall’s staff will be retained, including head chef Orlando Navarro, who handles its barbecue. Ultimately, the approach didn’t pan out, as the bands failed to generate enough business to keep pace with the venue’s overhead costs. Photo by Jeff Davis, JWD Imagery. The venue also plans to host more “rock, indie rock and hip-hop shows,” Campbell added.

Six new Colorado music venues to check out in 2017

To that end, the two-room, 250-person venue features a formidable custom sound system (designed by Fort Collins audio engineers Basscouch) that manifests itself in two towering stacks of subs, mid-bass and high frequency speakers that flank the stage of its main room. Amenities: Food truck pad, “affordable” drinks, free shows
Can’t-miss shows: All concerts are TBA. Opened last November in what was previously Quixote’s True Blue, the space has been all-but scrubbed clean of its colorful Grateful Dead trappings in favor of a monochromatic color scheme. Telluride’s Club Red is a lesser-known music venue you should check out this year. For barbecue and string bands, Globe Hall is one of Denver’s best-kept secrets. The other big difference? But down-home string music — be it western, bluegrass, honky-tonky or country rock — is its bread and butter. (Photo by Dylan Owens/The Denver Post)
Be On Key Psychedelic Ripple 
Quixote’s True Blue may have faded away, but the art of the Grateful Dead hangout is still alive and well in Denver. The Black Box; 314 E. Can’t-miss shows: Tim O’Brien on Feb. Image courtesy of Chris Zacher. Globe Hall
Despite opening way back in Nov. The Black Box 
“New” Denver’s love affair with electronic music has made it a hot bed for DJs and producers near and far. With a scalable capacity of 2,500 to 7,500, it’ll be one of the city’s biggest music venues when it opens for its first show on July 14. Bellying up the venue’s adjacent bar, you can taste it. 720-668-8833 or The String Cheese Incident plays intimate Nederland venue the Caribou Room on June 5, 2016. That might come as a surprise if you’ve only been to the handful of venues that house the lion’s share of Denver’s biggest shows. Sound easy? It isn’t Colorado’s first outdoor amphitheater by a long shot, but Levitt hopes to set itself apart from Colorado’s other massive music meccas with its booking. It opened back in 2014, but the club has shown new life this year, ramping up the caliber of talent for its 15-show season, most of which falls in winter and summer. But if you can’t make it to every one of Colorado’s venues, consider checking out these newer, under-the-radar concert epicenters. Jay Bianchi’s Be On Key Psychedelic Ripple (1700 Logan St.) is Denver’s latest — and largest — Grateful Dead bar and music venue, seen here Jan. Photo by Ryan Bonneau, courtesy of Telluride Conference Center. Globe Hall; 4483 Logan St. Photo courtesy of the venue. Amenities: Upscale bar food, high-end sound system and a big parking lot. Telluride is a several-podcast drive from Denver, but if you’re planning a special weekend, you can regularly score a round-trip plane from DIA for less than $100. A play on owner Jay Bianchi’s last name, Be On Key Psychedelic Ripple has risen as the new holy home for Colorado’s fans of the California-via-the-cosmos jam band. The Black Box gives Denver’s swelling electronic music community an underground home. That makes a full-fledged rock club like The Caribou Room, whose 500-person capacity is a third of Nederland’s total population, unparalleled. Can’t-miss shows: Devendra Banhart on Feb. “We want to be a launching pad for artists, not a graveyard,” said Levitt Pavilion Denver’s executive director Chris Zacher, who helped grow City Park’s wildly popular free summer jazz series. 12, 2017. According to Pollstar and our own research, there are at least 135 live music venues in Colorado, with 53 of them set in Denver. In Denver, there’s no den more ideal for popping open a Lone Star and paying respect to a tray of its house-smoked barbecue that’s good enough to chew the wax paper its served on after its gone. Club Red 
Housed in Mountain Village’s Telluride Conference Center, the 400-person Club Red is the rare mountain-town music venue that’s a few ski-boot hops away from the slopes. Factor in ticket cost, gas money — especially if you want to swing by Durango’s Animas City Theatre, one of the farthest-reaching stages from Denver — and some pocket change for a T-shirt at the merch table, and you’re looking at a pricey 2017 bucket list. The Telluride venue offers up top-tier shows just a few hops away from the slope. Community is one of the venue’s raisons d’être, according to owner Nicole Cacciavillano, who envisions the club, which favors underground artists, as the electronic community’s CBGB. Here’s our challenge for 2017: Catch a show at each of Colorado’s music venues in just one year. Launched in 2016, the club mingles a plush decor with the loose-suspender sound of Colorado mountain music. The majority of Levitt’s concerts — 30 in 2017 and 50 each year thereafter — will be free. (Aside from co-founding Cervantes’ Masterpiece Ballroom, Bianchi owns fellow Dead clubs Sancho’s Broken Arrow and Owlsey’s Golden Road in Boulder.) The historic photos and posters that crowd the walls impart an archival air, but it’s far from stuffy: The space inherited the high ceilings of its former tenant, The Wrangler, not to mention the biggest footprint of Bianchi’s three rooms, including a sizable arcade that offers ping-pong, pool, foosball, four video game cabinets and one of Denver’s precious few air hockey tables. It caters to plenty of our music scene’s homegrown weird, like the Rocky Mountain Synthesizer Meet Up and Denver Noise Fest, both of which recently set up shop between the pew-lined walls of its concert space. 2015, Globeville’s Globe Hall has remained one of Denver’s best-kept live music secrets. We promise, Red Rocks will still be there come summer. 31 ($15-$20) and Addison Groove on Jan. Amenities: Barbecue — ’nuff said
Can’t-miss show: Split Lip Rayfield on March 10-11 ($20-$25) and Brothers Comatose on April 29 ($15-$18). While outsized venues typically demand outsized names, Levitt’s meat and potatoes will be fledging artists from the local and national music scene who are ready for the demands of a huge, headlining set. 970-369-8030 or
A rendering of the Denver Levitt Pavilion, Ruby Hill’s 7,500 person venue set to open in July 2017. 303-578-0488 or Not so fast. From the paint coated over the Jerry Garcia mural below its marquee to its inky interior, black dominates the venue, an effort to cut down on anything that might distract from the music. Be On Key Psychedelic Ripple; 1700 Logan St., 303-861-7070 or With Capitol Hill’s The Black Box, Denver now has a dedicated home for these bass mavens. Or even just Denver, for that matter. 13th St. If you feel like you aren’t in Colorado anymore when you mosey between the neon signs on the building’s facade, that’s the idea. Levitt Pavilion Denver
Perhaps no new Colorado venue is as promising as Denver’s $4.8 million Levitt Pavilion amphitheater. Dwight Yoakam, Devandra Banhart and a double-bill featuring Anders Osborne and Jackie Greene are a sampling of the wide swath of artists scheduled to play the intimate room in 2017. Owner Jeff Cornelius hails from Texas, and his 200-person bar-and-venue wears the state proudly. 24-25 ($15). 4 ($25-$45) and the String Cheese Incident March 11-12 ($75)
Club Red; 580 Mountain Village Blvd., Telluride. 28 ($15-$20). Zero-waste and solar powered, it’s also an ideal neighbor, right down to its plus-sized parking lot. Florida. 303-831-6207 or
The Wailers performing at Club Red on Feb 8, 2015. Photo by Sam Joos courtesy of the venue. Photo by Jeff Cornelius. Amenities: High-end soundsystem, two rooms, full bar
Must-see shows: Joker on Jan. The Caribou Room; 55 Indian Peaks Dr., Nederland. Photo by Aurelie Slegers courtesy of Telluride Ski Resort. Premier string bands like the Travelin’ McCourys and Jeff Austin Band have made the 25-minute drive north from Boulder to play through the venue’s top-of-the-line Meyer sound system. 17 ($25) and Todd Snider on March 17 ($20). 303-258-3637 or (Many of the staff are self-proclaimed “audio nerds.”) And unlike most music venues, The Caribou Room serves more than just peanut shells with its beer, featuring up-scale bar food like lamb belly pita and salmon sliders. Amenities: Full bar, VIP area, slope-side access. The Caribou Room 
Not counting the circus songs that stir its Carousel of Happiness, there aren’t many places worthy of your music money in Nederland. Levitt Pavilion Denver; 1200 W. Photo by Lauren Krieger. But its marquee booking is two shows with rustic jam outfit String Cheese Incident, which just wrapped three near-capacity nights at the 6,500-person FirstBank Center for New Year’s Eve. Amenities: An arcade, full bar, good vibes
Must-see show: Pink Talking Fish, a Pink Floyd-Talking Heads-Phish cover band that played Quixote’s last show, on Feb.

Best shows: BadBadNotGood and John Paul White

“IV,” its latest album, is as thrilling as jazz once was, smashing discordant genres and ideas together like a sandbox full of unruly kids. 19, Bluebird Theater

Considering the name, maybe John Paul White’s acoustic duo The Civil Wars was fated to tear apart. BadBadNotGood and John Paul White are our picks for the best shows around Denver this week. 13, Gothic Theatre

There’s a motif in the new, Oscar-buzzing musical blockbuster “La La Land” that jazz is dead to kids these days, killed off by clunky electronic dance music and interlopers like Kenny G, who laid it to rest in the waiting room at the dentist’s office.   Catch White at the Bluebird Theater on Jan. “Beulah” is White’s first solo album since the break, a testament to what he brought to his last project, and through its alternating crumble and swagger, evidence of all he still has to offer as a sole musical head-of-household. Catch them on Jan. In 2014, the singer-songwriter’s relationship with Joy Williams, his musical counterpart, mysteriously soured as the project was just starting to reach its potential, and group dissolved soon after. If that’s where you stand, BadBadNotGood would like an evening of your week. John Paul White, Jan. Tickets: $25-$30 via 19. 19. BadBadNotGood, Jan. John Paul White plays the Bluebird Theater on Jan. If you do, mind your jacket. Tickets are $15-$17 via The twenty-something Canadian quartet bobbed above the surface with a cover of a song by oddball rapper Tyler, The Creator, a paragon of one of today’s zillion fringe youth cultures. See you there, and if you don’t make it out, follow our music musings on Twitter and our selfies on Instagram. Photo by Allister Ann via Sacks and Co. 13 at the Gothic Theatre.

Photos: Waka Flocka Flame at Cervantes’ Masterpiece Ballroom

Photos by Nathan James, The Know. wade out into the crowd and soak them down with the flick of a water bottle. “Hard in the Paint” rapper Waka Flocka Flame performed at Cervantes’ Masterpiece Ballroom on Tuesday night. Waka Flocka Flame performs at Cervantes Masterpiece Ballroom on Jan 10, 2017. The Know’s Nathan James was there to catch the Atlanta M.C. Check out our photos above.

Your band could open for Bon Jovi’s next Denver show

Photo by Evan Semon, The Know. See the official rules to the contest here. FILE: Jon Bon Jovi led his six-piece band through covers and favorites, often joking with the crowd, at the Colorado Convention Center’s Korbel Ballroom in 2011 to benefit the Center for Dependency, Addiction and Rehabilitation. If one of the winners selected is picked to play its Pepsi Center gig, their name will be announced on or before Feb. Each of the ten bands that duly impress Jon Bon Jovi will play before his beloved 90s rock band on one of its This House Is Not for Sale Tour’s 30 dates, including its March 14 show at Denver’s Pepsi Center. Promoter LiveNation will choose 10 finalists, each of whom will be assigned to a different arena show by Bon Jovi’s management. To enter, film a video of your band and submit it here. How many gigs at the Walnut Room does it take to open for Bon Jovi at the Pepsi Center? On Tuesday, the band announced an open contest for bands who think they have what it takes to open a show on its upcoming arena tour. 26. You tell us. Get shredding: The deadline for submissions is Jan. 18 at 1 p.m. The band is holding a call for submissions to open for its upcoming arena tour.

Download “Adelaide” from Matt Rouch & The Noise Upstairs, only in Steal This Track

Anyone who has lived in Colorado for some time must have noticed some changes in recent years. We only feature tracks not available for free elsewhere. Download “Adelaide” below. And since arriving, he has really made a mark. Along with traffic and spikes in rent, there are positives. The first single on the release adds Rouch to a list of artists from Frank Sinatra to Anberlin, Ben Folds to Beethoven who have sung songs about an Adelaide. Rouch won The Vertex Musical Championships in the strings class in August, and his first release with the Noise Upstairs, “The Beautiful and the Damned,” has been well received. 19 and will headline Larimer Lounge on Feb. He also has a show at the Lion’s Lair on Jan. If you’re a Colorado band or musician ready to expose your fresh sounds to the readers of Reverb, email your tracks — along with any interesting facts about them, as well as a photo or album art — to Steal This Track for consideration. Then, look for a performance from Matt Rouch & The Noise Upstairs on Open Music Sessions at Denver Open Media on Feb. His music rests on solid performance and adept songwriting. 3. 8. Unlike the others, Matt Rouch treats the name with his hallmark folk-rock string sound that takes inspiration from country music. For one, there are some pretty talented people moving here, and the Colorado music scene is only benefiting. Please note that downloads offered via Steal This Track are intended to whet your appetite, and are NOT CD-quality recordings. One such transplant is Virginia native Matt Rouch, who moved here recently and formed a band, the Noise Upstairs. Yes, our love of the sweet leaf is no longer a private affair, and perhaps as a result, it’s getting crowded with transplants from less desirable places to live. If you want those, please support the artists by buying their music and/or seeing them live. It must be the poetic quality of the name that gets it musical attention disproportionate to the actual popularity of the moniker.

Tonight: The Know at Syntax’s Colorado Music Collective

For more info on the event, check out its Facebook page here. Read a bunch of Dylan’s writing here. Interested in how music journalism works in a post-Lil Peep world? You can join in on the fun tonight from 6-8 p.m. at Syntax Physic Opera. Image courtesy of the Colorado Music Industry’s Facebook page. We’ve got just the thing. Expect questions, answers and if you’re lucky, our comments section come to life.   Tonight, Dylan Owens (that’s me), co-editor of The Know and music editor of the Denver Post, will talk about the wild world of music writing at Syntax’s 12th Colorado Music Collective gathering.