Robert Cline Jr. Robert Cline Jr.
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A sort of homecoming

  Robert Cline Jr. returns to Fort Collins steeped in Muscle Shoals sound By Steve Graham Robert Cline Jr. has a knack for working with major musicians and not even knowing it. When he was living in Fort Collins, the Texas-born Americana singer-songwriter fell in with the Subdudes and starting gigging with them before he realized how large and passionate their fan base was. Similarly, he found himself in Muscle […]

Motet cover art
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“Death or Devotion”

  CD Review “Death or Devotion” The Motet The opening notes of the first track on the new Motet album drop you straight into a classic blaxploitation film with a bass line reminiscent of “Shaft.” Take a look at the psychedelic rainbow of curves on the album cover. The 1970s vibe is no accident. Denver’s Motet has been funking up its home state since 1998, but the group has rarely […]

My Dog Ate Chad releases first EP
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My Dog Ate Chad releases first EP

By Steve Graham Pianist Matan Birnbaum and rhythm guitarist Goose Seifert might have to choose between playing “a dream gig” at Mishawaka Amphitheatre and learning about music production at Berklee College of Music this summer.     You’re probably doing something right as high school juniors if the nation’s most prestigious music school and the area’s best music venue are competing for your time, and your band is generating local […]

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Building a greener tour bus

Biodiesel group crowd-funding a sustainable alternative for traveling bands By Steve Graham Eric Skjerseth and Jennifer Zidon are building what they call the nation’s most sustainable tour bus to help get touring bands off of fossil fuels. And they could use your help. They are crowd-funding a project to upgrade and remodel a former city bus into a cushy traveling home for touring bands, and the bus will run on […]

Steve brings a career-spanning set of solo spontaneity to the Armory at 7 p.m. Friday, March 8 (visit armoryfoco.com for tickets and details), and to Swallow Hill in Denver on Saturday, March 9.
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Steve Forbert still spontaneous after all these years

By Steve Graham It has been more than forty years since Steve Forbert rode “Romeo’s Tune” onto the pop charts. He was dubbed “the next Bob Dylan,” and sharing famous New York City stage with the Talking Heads and John Cale. He’s never reached the chart peak of “Romeo’s Tune” again, but neither is he a nostalgia act, riding on his former glory. Last year, he wrote a memoir about […]

Sugar Britches
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“Don’t Make Her a Mixtape Yet You Idiot”

Listen while you read — Sugar Britches “Don’t Make Her a Mixtape Yet You Idiot” on Spotify   Brian Johanson and Josh Long perform as Sugar Britches, northern Colorado’s answer to the Old 97’s. Both groups take roots music far more seriously than they take themselves. Both groups can write hooks that stick like flypaper. And both groups benefit from versatile guitarists and clever songwriters. The Old 97’s named its […]

Courtney Whitehead (Vocals, Guitar) of Bison Bone
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“Take up the Trouble”

  Album Review “Take up the Trouble” Bison Bone By Steve Graham I miss the golden era of alt-country, after Uncle Tupelo started playing punk rock on the back porch. And when the Jayhawks threw Big Star and the Byrds in a blender. And when Ryan Adams first started breaking hearts on Whiskeytown duets with Caitlin Cary. I know I’m not alone because Colorado’s own Bison Bone draws on the […]

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Grace-ful blues: Young Fort Collins teen brings new life to old-style music

By Steve Graham One of the most respected blues musicians in Colorado is Grace Kuch, a 15-year-old homeschooled Fort Collins girl. This year, the Mile High Blues Society sent Kuch to the International Blues Challenge, the world’s largest blues conference, which takes place over a week in January with workshops and, of course, plenty of live jams and showcases on Memphis’ legendary Beale Street. “It’s all of your best music […]

Leftover Salmon
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Thirty years of Leftover Salmon stories

 Boulder band’s musical book tour coming to Washington’s By Steve Graham A good road trip is more about the journey than the destination. Likewise, a music festival is more about the experience than the performance. Something special and memorable happens almost every time bands and fans hang out for a few days to jam and bond. Sure, there are unexpected collaborations and transcendental tunes. But nearly everyone who has traveled […]

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Shaun Boothe performance: A kid’s view

By Steve Graham The Taliban tried to keep Malala Yousafzai from going to school, but they couldn’t keep her down. My 8-year-old, Finn, had never heard of Yousafzai until we saw Shaun Boothe rap about the young Pakistani activist. He was inspired by her story, and by Boothe’s tales of other heroes. Boothe performed his series of rap-style biographical songs and videos at the Lincoln Center on Saturday night to […]