—Photo Credit: Pete Tschudy / Flickr
Phish was founded in 1985, and I was born shortly thereafter. Growing up abroad as the child of two diplomats, most facets of contemporary pop culture came my way late. I had never heard of Phish when I moved to the U.S., never even tasted Ben and Jerry’s Phish Food. A few months into high school,...
September 2 2015, 10:40 AM
An eerie ghost light presides over Boettcher Concert Hall. —Photo courtesy of Nathan Hall
Nathan Hall remembers what it was like to sit in his room as a teenager, eyes closed, letting the music of his current favorite band wash over him. The Denver composer hopes to replicate that immersive experience for music lovers of all ages with his latest work, Ghost Light.
August 20 2015, 10:40 AM
Originally created in early 19th century Europe, the harmonica was quickly adopted into the American musical canon, particularly in the West. —Courtesy of Shutterstock
(But first: Open this YouTube video of legendary harmonica player George "Harmonica" Smith playing "Leaving Chicago" to set the mood.)
When Winslow Yerxa was 15 years old, he wanted to be a rock star. As front man of his teenage garage band, Yerxa and his friends played classics of the British...
August 12 2015, 4:10 PM
The Night Sweats; Courtesy of NathanielRateliff.com
Update, August 13: The Night Sweats' debut album is now streaming on NPR's First Listen.
We at 5280 have been tracking the rise of Nathaniel Rateliff for years. We even named him Denver's best musical act in our 2014 Top of the Town issue.
Our admiration for...
August 11 2015, 8:30 AM
The foursome behind Amzy; photo courtesy of Peter M. Hodge
In a time of choose-your-own-adventure music (think: Spotify's shuffle option or Pandora's next button), people are constantly hopping from one song or genre to the next. The four guys behind Denver-based Amzy see that as a coup for musicians: "Why limit yourself?" asks frontman Brennan...
August 6 2015, 9:20 AM
Esperanza Spalding was the first jazz musician to win the Grammy Award for best new artist (her first of three Grammys). (Photo Credit: Johann Sauty)
Truly gifted performers tend to have a couple things going on, all of which combine to make their work on stage appear effortless. First, they must be talented and confident. They also work hard and put in the practice time required to be truly great. The best of the best, however, also possess an...
August 3 2015, 11:00 AM
—Courtesy of Steve Stanton
If you know Joel Van Horne, you know Covenhoven. The singer-songwriter has been delighting local-music lovers for several years with his rootsy, Americana-influenced ballads, most of them inspired by Van Horne’s isolated musings.
The “isolated” part refers to his songwriting process:...
July 28 2015, 8:18 AM
—Courtesy Bill Gardner
In 1965, Denver’s AM-950 and its rock ‘n’ roll ruled the ratings, with AM-560 a few points behind. So 560 hatched an unthinkable but brilliant plan: Put rock ‘n’ roll on FM. Back then, no one believed you needed the quality of FM for anything other than classical. But 560 figured if its new, better...