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Feed the Musicians is an ongoing 5280.com series that explores the intersection of food and music.
Memphis’ six-man ensemble Lucero has eaten on the fly for more than a decade. Referred to as “one of the hardest working bands of the last 10 years” by Chicago’s Consequence of Sound, these road veterans loop through Denver and surrounding areas (most recently Boulder to play at Chautauqua Auditorium) at least three times a year. One would imagine a schedule that repetitive would provoke some culinary exploration, but guitarist and backup vocalist Brian Venable (pictured, front and left) claims just the opposite. “I know what I like,” Venable says. “When I’m here for such a brief trip I’m in the mood to get my favorite thing.”
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Venable’s loyalty belongs to vegetarian comfort-food specialists Dan and Michelle Landes, who own WaterCourse and City O’ City. He gets two orders of the seitan buffalo wings (wheat gluten dressed in fried chicken clothing) every time. Meat-free since the age of 17, the burly musician explains “I was a hardcore kid. The youth of today went vegetarian, and back then they did the same. I went vegan for a while too.”
But underneath the tough facade lies a family man and avid cook. Venable prepares a homemade breakfast for his children every morning he’s home. “My kids don’t eat cereal,” he says in his melodic southern drawl. “Food is how you express love in my family.”
WaterCourse, 837 E. 17th Ave, 303-832-7313
City O’ City, 13th Ave., 303-831-6443