Neyla Pekarek has been the cellist for Denver folk-rock group The Lumineers since 2010. Despite that band's demanding touring schedule, the Colorado native found time to write and record the original folk opera "Rattlesnake," which she'll release as an album later this year. It's based on the life of Northern Colorado pioneer "Rattlesnake" Kate McHale, who in 1925 allegedly killed 140 snakes to save her life and that of her three-year-old son. Pekarek and her band visited the CPR Performance Studio to play four songs from "Rattlesnake." She also spoke with Alisha Sweeney about how she discovered the story of Rattlesnake Kate as a student at the University of Northern Colorado, recording the album with M. Ward in Portland, Ore., and going on tour with U2 last year.
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Hear Dan Bejar's music picks for his Guest DJ session.
Denver keyboardists Sean Culliton and Xavier Provencher released their debut EP as Retrofette in 2016. They've since expanded the band's futuristic pop sound by adding two more members. The quartet's multiple-synthesizer attack has won over plenty of Colorado music fans: Westword readers named the quartet "Best Pop Act" of 2017. Retrofette visited the CPR Performance Studio to play four songs. The members also spoke with Jeremy Petersen about meeting as saxophone students at the University of Denver, their reputation for high-spirited live shows and getting fellow Colorado musicians to remix songs from "I Don't Mind."
Jessica Lea Mayfield released her fourth album, "Sorry Is Gone," last fall. The Nashville-based singer-songwriter continues to push her music toward an alternative rock sound while maintaining the country influences of her early work. It's also a deeply personal record for Mayfield, who addresses her experience as a domestic violence survivor on several of the album's tracks. Mayfield, who previously visited CPR's OpenAir in 2014, returned to the CPR Performance Studio to play three stripped-down versions of songs from "Sorry Is Gone." She also spoke with Bruce Trujillo about viewing her lyrics as a conversation with herself, her decision to be candid about her experience with domestic violence and how her music has gotten heavier in recent years.
Watch: 'OpenAir Live & Local' Featuring Brent Cowles, Esmé Patterson, The Still Tide: Season 4, Episode 12
The performances featured on the season 4 finale were filmed at the 2017 Underground Music Showcase.
The Australian rocker's 2017 LP was one of the most exciting debut records of the year.
We filmed and recorded a performance of "Aphrodite's Switchboard" with Rocky Mountain PBS and Colorado Public Television. Hear the concert March 10.
Last Of The Easy Riders released their new LP "Unto The Earth" with a concert last Saturday at Hi-Dive. The members of the Denver band met through Craigslist and bonded over a love for classic country-rock. They blend that genre with modern psychedelic rock influences on songs like "It Won't Be Long" -- which is featured on our latest Colorado Music Sampler. Last Of The Easy Riders stopped into the CPR Performance Studio to play some songs from the new record. The members also spoke with Jeremy Petersen about their collaborative songwriting process and the significance of their band name.
Boulder rockers The Velveteers released their self-titled debut EP this week. The sibling duo of singer/guitarist Demi and drummer John Demitro gained a large following last year: They played to packed houses at the 2017 Westword Music Showcase and Underground Music Showcase, and Westword readers voted them Colorado's "Best Rock Band" for their high-octane blend of punk and garage rock. The Velveteers stopped into the CPR Performance Studio to play four songs with additional drumming from Noah Shomberg of The Yawpers. They also spoke with Alisha Sweeney about their first international tour, the challenges of being a young rock band in Boulder and how the film "Edward Scissorhands" influenced the new EP.
Watch: 'OpenAir Live & Local' Featuring Other Black, SHEL, Wheelchair Sports Camp: Season 4, Episode 11
The episode also features music from The Blue Rider, Sawmill Joe and The River Arkansas.