The story of Bison Bone begins in Oklahoma, where singer and guitarist Courtney Whitehead launched his music career playing at barnyard parties. Eventually Whitehead made his way to Denver, where he recruited singer Brianna Straut after watching her perform a Gillian Welch song at 3 Kings Tavern. Bison Bone recently released its debut album, "History Of Falling." The country-rock band stopped in for a studio session just before its release. The quintet performed four songs from the album and spoke with Jeremy Petersen about the band's origin, recording the album mostly live and the influence of artists like Woody Guthrie and JJ Cale.
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.
Shark Dreams first came to our attention when singer and guitarist Mike McGraw participated in our Fort Collins Super Session earlier this year at the Music District. McGraw fronts the Denver-based quartet, which last year released the EP "Deeep." It features breezy indie rock songs that often veer into intense crescendos. Shark Dreams joined us in the CPR Performance Studio to play a few songs from the EP as well as some new music. McGraw also spoke with Jeremy Petersen about the band's peculiar name, his time in Fort Collins band Mosey West and his recent move to Denver.
Flobots recently returned to the CPR Performance Studio to preview some new music from their forthcoming album "NOENEMIES." The Denver hip-hop band explores the power of protest music on the new record. It features call-and-response choruses written to empower protesters and performed by members of the Denver community. The band performed three songs in the studio, backed by Denver gospel group Spirit Of Grace. The members also spoke with Alisha Sweeney about recruiting people to sing on the album, their upcoming live shows in Colorado and the themes behind songs like "Sleeping Giant."
The Band Of Heathens celebrated its 10th anniversary last year and recently released its fifth studio album "Duende." The Austin, Texas, quintet incorporates elements of Americana, jam band music and country into a groovy style that's made them a live favorite in their hometown and beyond. The Band Of Heathens stopped by the CPR Performance Studio before a pair of Colorado concerts. They performed four songs from "Duende" and spoke with Jeremy Petersen about the new album's title, the evolution of the band across its first 10 years and some of the band's memorable Colorado shows.
The members of Denver band Get Along met as high school students in Monument, Colo. Nicholas and Cara Yañez -- who are now married -- have spent five years exploring genres from synth-pop to punk rock. Their live setup includes a collection of keyboards and synthesizers -- and an electric ukulele. Get Along will release a new EP this year. The duo previewed some songs from that release in the CPR Performance Studio and spoke with Alicia Bruce Mitchell about balancing music and family, writing within multiple genres and their love for artists like Bon Iver and David Bowie.
Natalie Tate has been busy in Denver's music scene in recent years. She's played lead guitar in Ark Life and received the "Best Singer-Songwriter" award from Westword last year. Tate recently released her second studio album, "Broken Open," which features more electronic instruments than her previous work. Tate visited the CPR Performance Studio to perform a few songs from the new album and speak with Alisha Sweeney about featuring notable musicians from Denver's music scene on the new album, integrating pop culture references into her music and her long musical partnership with filmmaker Shane Boris.
Tennis recently returned to the CPR Performance Studio a few days before the release of the album "Yours Conditionally." The Denver indie band has been on tour for much of 2017, and they head to California this month to play Coachella Music Festival. Tennis performed four songs from the new album and spoke with Alisha Sweeney about the feminist message behind "Ladies Don't Play Guitar," how their recent sailing trip inspired "Yours Conditionally" and getting "Girls" actress Zosia Mamet to star in the promotional videos for the album.
Overcoats are emerging as one of the most exciting young bands of 2017. The New York duo recently performed at South By Southwest, appeared at NPR headquarters for a Tiny Desk Concert and landed an opening spot for Maggie Rogers' North American tour -- including a stop at Denver's Larimer Lounge last week. Overcoats brought their dreamy harmonies and synth-pop to the CPR Performance Studio before that show to perform a few songs from the forthcoming debut LP "Young." They also spoke with Alicia Bruce Mitchell about the band's origin story as students at Wesleyan University, bonding over a love of the Dixie Chicks and experimenting with their sound on "Young."
Slothrust has drawn comparisons to guitar-driven alternative rock bands like Pixies and Dinosaur Jr. But the trio initially met as students at Sarah Lawrence College playing jazz and chamber music. That background adds an unpredictable element to their rock music. Slothrust released its third album, "Everyone Else," last fall. The band members performed a few standouts from that album in our CPR Performance Studio and spoke with Jeremy Petersen about their musical experiences at Sarah Lawrence, writing through improvisation and their recent move from Brooklyn to Los Angeles.
Strange Americans last joined us in the CPR Performance Studio in 2014. Since then the Denver roots-rockers have been at work on the follow-up to "That Kind Of Luster." We got a sneak preview of that album -- "Borrow You Brother" -- when the band returned to our studio this week. The band headlines Denver's Hi-Dive tomorrow night before a few tour dates in the Midwest. They played a few new songs in our studio and spoke with Alisha Sweeney about recording the new album in Denton, Texas, how a studio fire affected the recording process and their collaborative lyric writing.