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.
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.
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.
We've had the pleasure of recording the music of Patrick Dethlefs several times in the past five years. The Denver singer-songwriter has played for us in our studio, at Denver's Art District and at last year's Underground Music Showcase. We welcomed Dethlefs back into the CPR Performance Studio this month just before the release of his new album, "Beauty In The Unknown." He performed some new music from the LP and spoke with Alisha Sweeney about recording the album live to tape, incorporating his band into his writing sessions and the themes of personal reflection in his new songs.
Jux County has a long history in Denver: Frontman Andy Monley formed the country-punk band in 1986. Since then the band opened for acts like Nirvana, X and The Dandy Warhols while establishing itself as a longstanding force in the Colorado music scene. Jux County's current lineup -- a trio rounded out by bassist Chris Pearson and drummer Ron Smith -- has played together since 1992. The band last year released "Coral," its first new full-length in 15 years. We welcomed the band into the CPR Performance Studio to play some new music from "Coral." The members spoke with Alisha Sweeney about the decision to make an album after more than a decade, the band's long history in Denver and some notable tour stories throughout the years.
Pueblo musician Mike Clark plays in several Colorado bands, including The Sugar Sounds amd The Haunted Windchimes. Lately though, his focus is on country-folk band The River Arkansas. The band is set to release the new album "You Animal" next month. The River Arkansas returned to our studio for the first time since 2015 to share some new music from the forthcoming LP. Clark and the other members also chatted with Alisha Sweeney about recording the album in Houston, the album's title and how a birthday party gig funded their new record.
Dragondeer has spent the last three years thrilling audiences with a mix of electric blues, rock and bluegrass. It's safe to say the Denver band has left an impression on Colorado music fans: Westword readers selected Dragondeer as Colorado's "Best Blues Rock Band" two years in a row. Dragondeer has just one EP to its name so far, but that will change when the band releases its debut full-length later this year. The quartet recorded the album in California with producer Mark Howard, who has worked with Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson and Tom Waits. The band members stopped into the CPR Performance Studio to play some new music and chat with Alicia 'Bruce' Mitchell about recording their first LP, the reaction they get from electric mandolin solos and what they're looking forward to in 2017.
Denver's The Baltic has been on our radar since the members started making music together as teenagers. The quartet had a big 2016: They signed a new record deal and performed at Red Rocks for the "Film On The Rocks" concert series. The band members -- now all attending different colleges -- returned to the CPR Performance Studio for the first time since 2014. They played some new unreleased music and spoke with Alisha Sweeney about signing to Misra Records, writing music via email and their first ever live performance in sixth grade.