FORT COLLINS IS IN LOVE WITH THE PATTI FIASCO

On February 13, The
Patti Fiasco is musically
“marrying”
Mama Lenny and
the Remedy at Hodi’s Half
Note in Old Town. “Our
bands have been in love
with one another for some
time, so in the Valentine’s
spirit, we’re hosting a very
romantic and collaborative
performance between our
two bands at Hodi’s,” lead
singer Alysia Kraft says.
Kraft knows about the
love and support available
in Fort Collins and the
Front Range music scene.
“I spent the last year going
back and forth between
Austin, TX (live music capital
of the world), and Fort
Collins. The experience
made me infinitely grateful
to have rooted my music
career here. The fan support
in Fort Collins is unique.
There are so many people
enthusiastic about the scene
here, so many folks who
appreciate live shows and
will seek them out. Austin
is completely inundated by
talent. You can go to mind
blowing shows every night
of the week. But, it might be you and the bartender
watching the best singer/songwriter in Texas play
for a pitcher of PBR. Fort Collins musicians have it
good and it’s thanks largely to local support.”
Peter Knudson, a Northern Colorado staple who
offers incredible support on the drums, is the latest
addition to the talented band that backs Kraft as
The Patti Fiasco. Lead guitarist, Dee Tyler, and Kraft
found each other at an open mic in Laramie and
conceived the band in 2008. A couple years later
they added bassist Niles Mischke and Dee’s high
school buddy Ansel Foxley, who was the winner
of the 2007 RockyGrass dobro competition and
according to Kraft, “frankensteined an electric
dobro … I’m pretty sure they all fell straight from
heaven. These guys are beyond family to me. I feel
so fortunate to make music with such a talented,
sweet-hearted crew.”
With all those nice, romantic words, one would
think that Kraft is enjoying the fruits of the labor of
love in every area of her life. But when asked about
her love life, she admits it’s “difficult. Don’t fall in
love with someone from Texas if you have a band
you love in Colorado.”
When Kraft isn’t traveling between the two
states that hold the things she loves, she says,
“I cook and paint and spend time outdoors. But
mostly, I play and write music and hustle to make it
work financially.”
She can be self-deprecating when talking about
her early life in music. “I picked up a pawn shop
guitar when I was 21 and started writing really bad
songs immediately.” But then the bold, fiery, enigmatic
side comes out. “I played my first open mic
night several months after teaching myself a few
chords on the guitar. It was scary and exhilarating.
Prior to music, I sort of felt like I was watching my
life from a distance—but performing put me solidly
in my own skin. I used to get nervous in the open
mic days, but not with The Patti Fiasco.”
She might take some of that boldness from the
musical influences she has that she says are “all over
the place,” and include: “The Riot grrrl movement.
Beautiful, empty, weird, radical Wyoming. Neil
Young doing whatever
he wants whenever he
wants. Beck doing everything
he does. Annie
Lennox, Tina Tuner,
Joan Jett, Mary Chapin
Carpenter, Alynda Lee
Seguerra (Hurray for
the Riff Raff), and Cary
Ann Hearst (Shovels
and Rope) to name a
few badass ladies. Collaborating
with Staci
Foster (Texas singer/
songwriter) has been
hugely influential. She
has such a wild and
beautiful and transcendental
sound. Being
around that has fundamentally
changed the
way I write songs.”
These influences
also keep her highly
interested in the integrity
of the music
she’s making. “I don’t
want anything to get in
the way of the energy
behind the songs and
the playing. I want everybody
in the crowd to
feel free for an hour, and
I want to feel free too.
It’s inevitable that you’ll
make mistakes, it’s inevitable that some people
won’t like it, but I’ll never let that concern me.”
The Patti Fiasco is currently about halfway done
with their third full-length album. “We’re set to
finish tracking during our next session at Denver’s
Mighty Fine Productions, February 6-9.” Kraft says,
“It’s easily our most rock and roll release to date,
and we’re looking forward to releasing it with a
bang and a full summer of touring. In late 2014,
we joined Denver’s Vinefield Agency (Shel, The
Yawpers), and thanks to help from new manager,
Jen Korte, we’ve been exposed to bigger and bigger
national audiences, and bigger and bigger stages.
There’s a momentum behind the band now unlike
anytime before. I’ve never been more excited about
the music we were making or the prospects on the
horizon.”

Check out The Patti Fiasco & Mama Lenny and the
Remedy Love Fest at Hodi’s Half Note on Friday,
February 13 at 8:00pm, and catch up with them on
their website pattifiasco.net or on Facebook.

by REBECCA LAPOLE

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