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.
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.
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.
The Boulder band -- which was voted "Best Country Band" in Colorado by Westword readers last year -- performed music from the new album in our studio.
iZCALLi cut its teeth playing for solely Spanish-speaking audiences: The band's brother-sister combo of Miguel and Brenda Aviña originally hail from Mexico City. But over the past five years the members of the Denver band have expanded into what they call the "American scene" by playing shows with Colorado bands like Petals Of Spain and The Photo Atlas. iZCALLi visited our CPR Performance Studio to play some music from the album "III" -- in both English and Spanish. The quartet also spoke with Alisha Sweeney about expanding to an English-speaking audience, the family dynamic of the band and recording a public service announcement for the Colorado Department of Transportation.
Shady Elders have released over the past four years a string of EPs and singles that feature melodic pop hooks backed by shoegaze-inspired rock. The Denver band is well-established in the Colorado music scene, and performed last summer at Red Rocks Amphitheatre before a screening of Prince's "Purple Rain." Shady Elders release the debut LP "Inside Voices" on Friday with a show at Denver's Syntax Physic Opera. The band members visited the CPR Performance Studio beforehand to play some songs from the album. They talked with Alisha Sweeney about recording in California, their collaborative writing process and performing music by their late musical heroes Prince and David Bowie.