Bad Licks is a new Denver band that includes members of Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats, Rootbeer & Mermentau and The Blue Rider. They've released just two songs but have gained attention through live shows in Denver and beyond -- including a stop at this weekend's Treefort Music Festival in Boise, Idaho. The garage rockers stopped into our CPR Performance Studio before heading up to Boise. They played some new music and spoke with Alicia Bruce Mitchell about the origin of Bad Licks, plans for a forthcoming EP and previous experiences at Treefort with their other bands.
CPR Performance Studio
The Colorado Pubic Radio Performance Studio provides a stage to showcase the depth and variety of both classical, and new and independent music coming to, and from, Colorado. CPR's OpenAir also offers a podcast of interviews and performances from select musicians, and additional performances from the archive available here.
John Craigie is a gifted storyteller whose lyrics range from humorous to melancholy. The singer-songwriter hails from California, but spends most of his time on the road and has performed in all 50 U.S. states. He released his 10th studio album, "No Rain, No Rose," earlier this year. Craigie plays a release show at Denver's Walnut Room Thursday night. Accompanied by violinist Bevin Foley of Colorado band Trout Steak Revival, Craigie performed four songs in our studio. He also spoke about playing the first-ever concert at the farm of Boulder artist Gregory Alan Isakov, the pros and cons of playing solo shows and blurring the line between humor and tragedy with his lyrics.
Ben Pisano started Corsicana as a one-man-band while in high school. The Denver musician has since explored ambient rock music characterized by soaring falsettos and dream-pop melodies. Pisano produced and played every instrument on his debut album, "Haven," which features songs that often hit the seven- or eight-minute mark. Pisano joined us in the CPR Performance Studio with a backing band to perform four songs from "Haven." He also spoke with Alisha Sweeney about spending years writing a single song, the concept behind "Haven" and some of his musical heroes like The Antlers and Bon Iver.
Jesse Manley spent the past few years collaborating with Denver dance troupe Wonderbound. The Denver musician wrote music for five performances including "Dust," a piece on the Dust Bowl era of the 1930s. His songs reflect the folk and Americana music of that time. Manley and his band went on to record the music of "Dust" as an album, which they released last week. Prior to the album release show, Manley performed three songs from the record in the CPR Performance Studio. He also spoke with Jeremy Petersen about his history with Wonderbound, playing the Weissenborn slide guitar and reading up on the Dust Bowl for his latest work.
Grayson Erhard visited our CPR Performance Studio a year ago as a member of Pandas & People. The Del Norte, Colo., native recently returned to perform as a solo artist. His music prominently features adroit guitar tapping mixed with pop and folk melodies. Erhard performed three solo songs and spoke with Alicia Bruce Mitchell about his recent writing sessions in New Mexico, receiving offers to perform around the world and the viral video of his surprise collaboration with music legend Stevie Wonder.
Rose Hill Drive had a fast rise after releasing its debut album in 2006. The Boulder rock trio went on tour with The Who and found a large international audience. However, the band split just four years later. But that's not the end of the story. Rose Hill Drive has reunited for some live shows in Colorado including a recent gig celebrating the Fox Theatre's 25th anniversary in the band's hometown. They've also released the new album "Mania." The band members stopped in to the CPR Performance Studio to play some music from the new record and chat with Alisha Sweeney about the decision to reunite, their musical endeavors during the hiatus and their excitement for upcoming live performances.
Middle Kids caught our attention late last year with a couple of memorably melodic rock singles. The Australian band has since released its debut self-titled EP, performed on NPR's World Cafe and embarked on a U.S. tour that included a stop at Denver's Lost Lake Lounge. Middle Kids stopped into our CPR Performance Studio before that show to play four songs from their debut record. The band members also spoke with Jeremy Petersen about their diverse musical backgrounds, the Australian music scene and plans for a full-length album.
Los Campesinos! is one of the most energetic indie-pop bands of the last decade. Since its 2008 debut, the Welsh seven-piece has crafted a signature sound out of sing-along melodies, reflective lyrics and noisy rock choruses. The band's sixth studio album "Sick Scenes" follows a short hiatus after its record contract had expired. The members performed three songs from the new album and spoke with Jeremy Petersen about self-financing the new album, selling Los Campesinos! soccer jerseys and seeing new fans on their current U.S. tour.
Fort Collins native William Knudsen performs as The Ugly Architect. Although his music career kicked off in Portland, Ore., his music has strong ties to Colorado and he is closely associated with the Downtown Artery venue in his hometown. The Ugly Architect's music has strong folk influences and Knudsen's lyrics have the quality of a world traveler. His debut album is out this spring. He and his band performed some songs from the record and spoke with Alisha Sweeney about establishing himself in the Fort Collins music scene after leaving Portland, writing the album in a secluded Wyoming apartment and his days as a performance poet.
Anthony Ruptak has been a regular visitor to the CPR Performance Studio. The Denver folk singer-songwriter has twice played with his backing band The Midnight Friends at CPR's OpenAir. We also filmed a concert with Ruptak at the Walnut Room last year. This time around Ruptak performed backed only by his brother Matt on percussion. His new EP "Don't Let It Kill You" is out later this year. He played some music from the forthcoming record and spoke with Alicia Bruce Mitchell about playing most of the instruments on the EP, headlining a recent benefit for the American Civil Liberties Union and his high hopes for 2017.