Volume 2-2012



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THIS WEEK'S RAR TUNES:  Listen by clicking on the links or covers below.

Yours truly is offering up a little Jazz-Pop confection, with all admiration for the ancient Greeks, who knew a thing or two about winging it philosophically. Use this link or click on poor Democritus below to hear "A Simple Explanation".

Oh perversity at the county fair! I'm sure involvement with the Future Farmers of America has ruined more than a few young boys, what with all the glamour and all, and the exposure to breeding stock... Use this link or click on the good people below to hear another in a nauseating string of RAR originals - "(You Do) That Thing That Sets Me Free".

Yours truly has been all about myself of late, which is why I am behind on record reviews and most everything else, but I do have a new batch of recordings, starting with "Betty from Memphis", a tribute to stable types such as my actual Aunt Betty (Olita) in Memphis (not shown here), as well as to all those weary road warriors out there playing the soundtracks to everybody else's movies.

Call it "creative destruction", like Mitt Romney does. "Until Sam Walty's Dead" is a cowboy yarn about a villain - personified by the late and wonderful Warren Oates (below) - who has left an unfortunate legacy for himself (see chorus...). Walty is my metaphor for early 21st Century predatory capitalism, a force that must be dealt with so that honest souls can carry on.

Glory be unto Angie Omaha, whoever she is, pictured below on the cover to my next- generation version of "The Glow of Your Dark Eyes",  introduced several years back as a tune about "the dark side of loving a dark soul". Our girl Angie may not let me exploit her in this way for long, but as long as she does isn't she perfect? I mean, for this song?

"Just Eleven Minutes"  comes from a few years back, and from the same box as "The Glow of Your Dark Eyes", but the versions provided below come much closer to my ambitions for this story of a booze-fueled cuckold speeding toward a crime of passion and revenge. The song is almost entirely played around the single chord of E, with occasional transitions through A-B, for those keeping score. The "psycho" version was the original inspiration, but the Nashville chicken-pickin' version has some nice qualities. Unfortunately it also shows that as a guitar player I am no Randy Barker, though I hope to be when I grow up. (Randy Barker played with Michael Woody and the Too High Band, which in the end gave him way too little exposure, but those who heard him play remember it even 30 years later as something special.)




(Click here)

New Releases on RARadio: "Darkness" by Leonard Cohen; "Sweetbread" by Simian Mobile Disco and "Keep You" from Actress off the Chronicle movie soundtrack; "Goodbye to Love" from October Dawn; Trouble in Mind 2011 label sampler; Black Box Revelation Live on Minnesota Public Radio; Apteka "Striking Violet"; Mikal Cronin's "Apathy" and "Get Along"; Dana deChaby's progressive rock




"The Musical Meccas of the World"








Original Musical Compositions and Select Covers

Fiction and Non-Fiction

Special Projects







COLORADO ARCHIVES: has been undergoing on audit and one of the initiatives has been to move articles and profiles of people of historic interest, particularly to the Boulder, Colorado music scene, to their own archives page. Click on the Colorado Archives link to view this new section.


From June 20 Edition

The Ignelzi Response: YouTube from Herman's Hideaway

I thought that you might find it interesting to hear what my Big Funky Dance Band has been up to recently. Here are some crude one-camera videos from Herman's Hedeaway last week (notice Chris - Pedestrians on backing vocals and yours truly on bass):

Our web-site has some higher fidelity postings - check out Down to The Nightclub and Voodee - I felt that these recordings came our pretty nice!


Creative Carte Blanche

Ash Ganley's Sweet Deal

Lyons, Colorado Ash Ganley, the multi-faceted singer-songwriter-musician from Colorado, seems to have captured the kind of backing and support dreamed of by writers from the heart to the hinterlands (L.A. to Kansas).

"I have been fortunate to strike up a deal with Summit Road Studios in Parker (Colorado) where through publishing/sales revenue, I am able to do 4-5 full records there over the next several years, with a more than generous budget for each, including living expenses for me," reports Ash. "Our mission is: The best songs win, without regard o style/genre."

Now that is the kind of deal that comes only to talent someone believes in deeply enough to risk for at the forefront of capital, or to someone with a wonderfully benevolent friend with a trust fund. Whatever the springboard for Ash Ganley's deal, he has a setup to savor. And in the high risk/low return world of songwriter promotion, Summit Road has a real racehorse in Ganley, whose only musical shortcoming may be unlimited focus. Ash can do anything, from Delta blues Robert Johnson style, to blistering blues-rock ala Kenny Wayne Shepherd, to heartbreak country that could land him comfortably on stage at the Grand Ole Opry. 

It is his range that got him his deal, his open oeuvre wetting the appetites of the Summit Road impresarios.

Ash describes it this way: "So first, I bring in 20-25 songs and do an acoustic guitar/vocal demo and Ed Edwards (producer/engineer), Don Debey ( Studio owner) and I sit with them for a while and cast our votes for the best 10-12.

"At first, Don - since he is invested over a course of years - wanted to make sure that the album was produced for a standpoint of commercial viability and the requisite 'streamlining' associated with developing a product that didn't run such a wide gauntlet of styles and would not raise any flags when shopping for a deal. But at some point early on, we thought: 'What are doing, trying to make a record to sell to people who sell records, or to people that buy them?' Given that the 'getting signed' myth is no longer the only game in town - or even the most viable, long-term self-sustaining route to take - it as easy to say 'art first' and just go for it. So basically, I am lucky to have partnered with someone who believes in the music and does not cling to the old models of dumbing-down, taming or streamlining a record.

"Aside from that; I continue to gig heavily in Colorado and prepare for the release of Cruel Waters. I just tore a tendon in my left hand so I am on the sidelines for a month or so, which sucks, but it could be worse. Some things we have planned include a full cyber-publicity campaign with Ariel Publicity, which is very cool. Ariel is clearly on the cutting edge of you know her? Of her? If not:

"Also, we are getting ready to shop Cruel Water, and 'me', to publishing and a handful of forward-thinking indie labels. I am getting better and better response form radio here in Colorado, so my regional buzz is smoldering nicely."

Listen to tracks from Ash Ganley's LP Cruel Water:

Lonely World

Only In Our Dreams

I Walk Alone

Trees and Powerlines

Cruel Waters


Ash Ganley and the Lyons Rock Council in concert (right)




I may be the last to know, but Colorado has a star in its firmament in ASH GANLEY. I recently received a package from Colorado and within it I discovered one of the best-sounding songwriters I have heard to come out of the state in a long time. Check out the MP3s below (and on his myspace site), which may at times bring Dave Matthews to mind in terms of vocal stylings, but this isn't copycat stuff. Ash has a clearly authentic quality to his commercial sound.

Ash is a Lyons, Colorado resident, which is where he takes the name for his band, The Lyons Rock Council. He has a resume that includes extensive touring in the U.S. and Canada over the last 10 years, sharing stages with Little Feat, Derek Trucks, William Topley, B.B. King, The String Cheese Incident, Maceo Parker, Jimmy Cliff, and others. He has performed at numerous high profile venues in the Denver/Boulder area, including Red Rocks Amphitheater, the Fox Theater, and the Boulder Theater.

You would classify Ash a "Roots" or "Americana" rocker based on a lot of his catalog - folksy, bluegrass, country-rock offerings that have the timber of Mark Knopfler's acoustic offerings - but he has a blues-rock side to him too, which brings Eric Clapton to mind. He, like Clapton, has even dabbled in reggae.

Ash has that assured virility in his sound that you hear in guys who have achieved a certain level of professionalism. There is a quality in his sound that says he has arrived at his musical destination, which is powerful stuff.


ABOVE: Ash Ganley in the recording sessions for Dark Fuel. LEFT: Ash Ganley and the Lyons Rock Council in concert.


These Ash Ganley tunes are really good listening and it occurs to one right away that a principle reason is the background vocals of Andria Ganley, which are spot on perfect! She sounds, to me at least, like one of my favorite singers, Margo Timmons. The quality she brings to the sound of this band really elevates it to a higher level.


Ash Ganley and The Lyons Rock Council are Eben Grace on Pedal Steel, Brian Schey on Electric Guitar, Brian McRae on Bass, Percussion and Drums, and Andria Ganley, Harmony vocals.


Ash Ganley MP3s can be heard at his myspace website at

Ash Ganley and the Lyons Rock Council recently released Dark Fuel, a 13-song LP of roots rock. Ash Ganley released a previous LP, Rainshadow, in 2002.


ASH GANLEY & The Lyons Rock Council and six other Big Bender Records acts contributed tracks to a country-rock compilation, Seven Dead Roses Vol. 1. (2006). Click on the links of the artists below to go their sites:

Ash Ganley & The Lyons Rock Council - "Elysian Fields"

Clint Clymer - "It's All About the Ride"

Brendan McKinney and The 99 Brown Dogs - "Just Like Z's Blues"

Oakhurst - "Arkansas River"

Shitkickers - "Burn It Down"

Spiv - "Not Worth Repeatin'"

The Munks - "Believe"



From Big Bender's website - "Big Bender Records is proud to present pure, true-grit, rootsy, twang- infused music that has an edge, some flavor, and real meaning. Its not about sellout, its not about slick and perfect production, its about what really matters music, energy, passion, and tellin the story the way its supposed to be told."

Click on a link below to go to that artist's website:

Buckskin Stallion
Dalhart Imperials
Honky Tonk Hangovers
Marty Jones
The Earps
The Hideaways



Boulder Bohemia

Paper Birds - Melodic Origami Has Wings

BOULDER, COLORADO - Colorado readers will remember Links friend Keith Murdock, formerly of the New Wave band The Transistors, who in the early '80s were a Blue Note staple. Keith contacted recently to call our attention to a band he feels may be on to something. The Paper Birds, pictured above playing an informal in Monkeywrench Books in Austin, Texas, aren't quite like anything else you are likely to hear. (Click here to listen to "Paper Bird.") Keith writes - "Paper Bird is a young upcoming Boulder band with (I think) big time potential -- playing frequently around Boulder and Denver, doing national act openings at Gothic, Boulder Theatre, etc. plus lots of bar gigs (of course) even though one is still 20. In fact, I have it on good authority they are close to signing a tour deal with a nearby major brewery (you know who)." The really cool (seriously) Onion A.V. Club says of them - "With guitar, banjo, and trombone backing joyous harmonies, the folk orchestra cuts softly but surely through indie-rock coolness. Paper Bird's debut CD Anything Nameless and Joymaking, came out last year, and it deftly captures the warmth and wonder of the band's stage presence." RAR completely agrees, Paper Bird is cool in a way that radiates a positive musicality. They are doing something really pure in a really interesting way, wrapping melodic harmonies around a spare acoustic bed of banjo, guitar and trombone. They get huge lift from a hip sense of minimalist composition where the weight is primarily on the vocals, and what vocals they are! Esme, Sarah and Genny are crystal clear and they nail a certain sweet female sound currently hot on the charts in Colby Caillet and Ingrid Michaelson, though either of those girls would represent no more than a small piece of Paper Bird. That's Paul on guitar, Caleb on banjo and harmonica, and Tyler on trombone. In the minimalist tradition they don't have last names. thanks Keith Murdock for turning us on to Paper Bird. Click here to go to the Paper Bird MySpace to hear more.


Paper Birds piece first ran in the April 15, 2008 edition, Artist News page




REBECCA FOLSOM is a native "Boulderite," which makes her rare and right at the heart of things in this site that developed out of Boulder music community connections. She does some swampy and muscular blues-rock that bespeaks a kind of a rebel life experience that includes taking an alternative route to basic education and a lot of travel. Here is how she tells it:


From her myspace - "I was born and raised in the foothills of Boulder, Colorado with the Rocky Mountains in my backyard, and a big city out front. I still love the mountains and I enjoy visiting cities. My number one passion since Elementary School has been music and singing; although I thought about writing and illustrating children's books for a while. I used to sing my sister to sleep every night from the bottom bunk.

"Carol King was one of my first influences. My parents listened to a lot of James Taylor and Elton John. My very first album was the Beatles "Revolver". I liked the artwork on the cover as well as the music. My first concert was Earth, Wind, and Fire. I started my own music collection with Janis Joplin, Joni Mitchell, The Band, etc....I liked the older, more acoustic stuff. The best concert I ever went to, hands down, was Bob Marley’s "Babylon By Bus" Tour.

"I started writing my own music at age 13 and began performing my songs at school events and talent contests. After a few twists and turns I dropped out of high school, and put music on the back burner. I got my GED early and went on to art school with a focus in painting and drawing. I graduated with a mixed focus of painting and performance art. My BFA was done swinging from the rafters of the University Gallery in a graduation gown made of bright blue and purple feathers, while singing a song about being a Phi Beta Kappa. I believe "Gold Star Girl" was the name of the song.

"I returned to singing after a month long trip to Egypt where I experienced toning and chanting in the temples and great pyramids. I was deeply moved by that part of the world and I came home with a renewed desire to sing through everything..."

Go to Rebecca's MySpace site for more information each her recordings.


Because of You


I Will Love You


Mimi's Boots

Copyright © 2006-2007 Rebecca Folsom, All Rights Reserved


You can also hear Rebecca Folsom's MP3s at her website and her myspace site at  



Where It Is Happening - In Frisco

Colorado No Longer "Home" for Jello Biafra

San Francisco, California - Jello Biafra (real name Eric Reed Boucher) has never really stopped being out of the news since leaving his native Boulder, Colorado and showing up in San Francisco in 1977 to become the front man for the seminal punk band the Dead Kennedys. (1978 was a big year for Jello. He not only founded a band that would become legend, but also ran for mayor of the City of San Francisco, finishing fourth in a race won by now U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein.) Jello and his cohorts immediately achieved legend and a measure of ignominy by virtue of being charged with distribution of matter harmful to minors, this regarding the band's 1985 LP Frankenchrist, which featured as insert, a posterized version of H.R. Giger's painting "Penis Landscape". A trial ended with a "hung jury" - and there must have been a million puns to be pardoned there - and Jello and the Kennedys became icons of free speech. Thereafter, Jello became more and more politically oriented while band members East Bay Ray (Raymond Pepperell), Klaus Flouride (Geoffrey Lyall), 6025 (Carlos Cadona), and Ted (Bruce Slesinger) became less interested in the direction things were heading. The band had arced from fast, hard Punk to something more nuanced and sophisticated, and in some ways less interesting.

Jello Biafra has been the guiding force of Alternative Tentacles record company (Emeryville, California), which he founded with Raymond Pepperell, since the mid-1980s. He has released numerous spoken word albums and fronted the L.A. Metal band The Melvins. The "Dead Kennedys" re-formed in 2001 and toured with various lineups into 2008, but there remains acrimony between their former leader and the rest, who won a law suit against Biafra for steering Dead Kennedy royalties from Alternative Tentacles into his accounts in disproportionate amounts. The suits were over songwriter royalties, with Jello Biafra losing his claim to the lion's share of the credit. It was a tarnish to the image of Jello and his connection to the Dead Kennedys, whose entire purpose had been to trash the ethics of corporate leaders and their unholy alliance with the greenback. The band made its name by disrupting a music industry event (Bay Area Music Awards, i.e., "The Bammys") by dressing as a despised "New Wave" band with "S" painted in black on their white dress shirts so that when their skinny black ties hung straight in front it looked like a dollar sign. (That's "$" for those of you who haven't seen one in awhile.)

Robert Hurwitt of the San Francisco Chronicle did a piece on Jello Biafra this past week, and for reasons I am curious about asked Jello if he ever considered moving back to his hometown, Boulder, Colorado. As has a direct connection to the Boulder, Colorado creative community, which provided the initial inspiration for this site, readers might be interested in this exchange:

Hurwitt: What do you do to relax?

Biafra: I guess it's a good thing that all the stuff most people would normally consider hobbies I do for a living. I like listening to and collecting a lot of music. I like the open road and the outdoors from time to time, but I rarely have time to relax. It's a different lifestyle when you don't go to the office and then come home and there's no homework. I had to look at that recently when the old hometown newspaper asked me if I'd ever move back to Boulder when I retire, but I'm in the kind of work where you never retire. Art and activism goes on your whole life.

Hurwitt: What do you like most about living in San Francisco?

Biafra: I'm originally from Colorado. I grew up right up against the Rocky Mountains and the forest started a hundred yards beyond our backyard. But I've learned that I have to live in a big city where there's a lot of cool things going on and people making art and cultures rubbing up against each other, and in that regard, San Francisco is where it's at. It's not what it once was, before dot-com boom drove so many artists and working people and people of color out.

Hurwitt: Any plans to run for public office again?

Biafra: Plans? No. The other two times were done on a dare. So, no. I have no plans. But it could happen. I avoid planning my life like the plague. Otherwise, where's the adventure?





DAVE BEEGLE has been a fixture on the Colorado music scene for something like 25 years, since his electric guitar band The Fourth Estate emerged in the 1980s and stayed hot into the 90s.

Fourth Estate produced three LPs, with their recording See What I See, available on CD as a reissue, considered an electric masterpiece in some guitar circles.

Besides working regularly with the Dave Beegle Acoustic Band and occasionally with a reformed Fourth Estate (with Mike Olson and Matt Henderson), Dave reps at trade shows for the "Transperformance Automatic Tuning Guitar, featuring the innovative Digital Tuning System. The device allows guitarists to access thousands of tunings at the touch of a finger" - from Dave's website.

ABOVE: Dave Beegle joined Ian Anderson, of Jethro Tull fame, for two dates on the Colorado leg of Anderson's The Rubbing Elbows tour. Dave played sold out shows with Ian at The Lincoln Center in Fort Collins and the Boulder Theater in Boulder, prompting Anderson to comment of Dave - "Great to hear someone bringing together so many varied influences and with such precise and fluid execution.”

The Dave Beegle Acoustic Band includes bassist Mike Olson, drummer Matt Henderson, percussionist Erik Meyer and guitarist Aaron Lee, and are sometimes augmented by percussionist Christian Teele. The band plays "world and ethno-alternative fusion with a hearty kick of rock-n-roll inspired energy, leaving this progressive acoustic contribution in a unique musical atmosphere sure to interest those with exotic and sophisticated tastes. From Spanish and Flamenco melodies to Middle Eastern and Balkan flavored arrangements, the Dave Beegle Acoustic Band will take you on a journey 'Beyond the Desert' to a place of tuneful bliss." - from Dave's website.

BELOW: 1995's See What I See (left) is available as a reissue on CD. Acoustic Mayhem (center) was just issued in 2006 with the Dave Beegle Acoustic Band.  Beyond the Desert, a Dave Beegle solo release, was issued in 2003. Dave has numerous other LPs available through his website and other music outlets.

PRODUCER/ENGINEER/STUDIO MUSICIAN - Dave Beegle is currently working on several full-length CD projects as a producer, guitar-player, bass player, keyboard player and programmer.

"Like Jimmy Page, Brian May and Tom Scholtz, Dave Beegle is a one-man guitar army. A very clever player."...GUITAR MAGAZINE


NICK FORSTER is another of the mega-talented Hot Rize crew who has gone on to subsequent success. He was recently nominated for a Grammy as a producer, and has worked as a sideman to pop artists David Wilcox and Michelle Shocked.

Nick was (is) the stage spokesman for the quartet, which speaks to his talent for easy repartee and witty rejoinder. In 1990, about the time that individuals in Hot Rize were starting to go their separate ways, Nick came up with the idea for "etown." 

Nick did have some broadcast experience. As a member of Hot Rize he had appeared on Garrison Keillor's A Prairie Home Companion, as well as on Austin City Limits and The Grand Old Opry broadcasts. It was Nick's wife Helen Forster, who serves as co-host and co-executive producer of etown, who brought the production know-how to get the enterprise off the ground.

Helen was former co-owner and co-producer of the annual, and very successful, Telluride Bluegrass Festival. She also had  experience producing and directing stage productions and live "on-the-air" radio theater pieces. She had worked in improvisational comedy and formal theatre, and she, too, had performed on Prairie Home Companion

In production since 1990, etown has been an extraordinary succes and is heard on more than 100 radio stations - probably many over 100, I started to count and became confused - throughout North America, including a Winnipeg, Canada station.

Besides co-hosting the show, Nick and Helen both perform with the house band, "the etones" who have supported scores of top name artists. (The list of musicians who have appeared on etown over the years is on the program website and well worth checking.) Nick plays guitar and both sing.

Helen is the skilled editor who pares the two-hour live recording down to "the 59-minute version heard each week on the air...

"In addition to etown, Nick remains an active player in the music world, performing at major festivals and playing recording sessions for various artists like Big Head Todd and the Monsters and Kathy Mattea. He also is an accomplished record producer whose most recent project was nominated for a Grammy." - from the etown website.


"etown is an exciting weekly radio broadcast
We're heard from coast to coast on NPR®, commercial, and community stations. Like old-time radio variety shows, every etown show is taped in front of a live audience and features performances from many of today's top musical artists as well as conversation and information about our communities and our environment." - from the etown website

PODCASTS - etown is offered in numerous pod cast editions available for download from the program website.

This photograph of Helen and Nick came from an article on the Forsters at


OF INTEREST: The Beirut-born Nick Forster is the son of a former State Department worker. Nick came up with the idea of "etown" while on a State Department sponsored concert tour of eastern Europe.

Helen Forster has co-authored three children's musicals.

e-chievement awards

One of the show's most popular segments is the e-chievement award. Listeners from around the country send in tales of remarkable individuals who are working hard to make a positive difference in their communities and beyond. From massive river clean-ups to programs that help the homeless, from neighborhood environmental activists to national social and environmental organizations, we take pride in celebrating the success stories of ordinary citizens accomplishing extraordinary things. - from the etown website

The etones
The etones, etown's house band, features Chris Engleman on bass, Christian Teele on drums, Ron Jolly on piano, and host Nick Forster on guitar and mandolin, with Helen Forster on vocals. To quote Shawn Colvin, "The etones kick ass!"


DR. WERNICK – Pete holds a Ph.D. in Sociology from Columbia University – has been a leading innovator in the bluegrass field (and beyond) since the early 1970s. Before moving to Boulder, Colorado in 1976 and founding Hot Rize (with Tim O’Brien, Nick Forster, and the late Charles Sawtelle) in 1978, Pete was a faculty member at Cornell University, host of the only bluegrass radio show in the New York City area, and founder of Country Cooking, which ushered in “bluegrass new wave.”

Pete is President of the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA). He has been a successful author of bluegrass instructional books, CDs and videos, including the best sellers Bluegrass Banjo, Bluegrass Songbook, and How to Make a Band Work. (Anyone who has ever spent any time around musicians might find some humor, or some hope, in that last title.) He has also inspired numerous students through his banjo camps, bluegrass jam camps, and clinics.

Pete recorded a solo LP, Dr. Banjo Steps Out (Flying Fish Records) just before launching Hot Rize. The group had several #1 bluegrass radio hits, including Pete’s "Just Like You." Pete portrayed steel guitarist Waldo Otto as part of the Hot Rize alter ego band Red Knuckles and the Trailblazers. (Waldo was the band’s “donut impresario.”) Hot Rize was the first recipient of the IBMA's coveted "Entertainer of the Year" award in 1990 – this before Pete took over as the organization’s President – and the band has been nominated for Grammy awards.

Hot Rize does not perform regularly any longer, making only select appearances, but Pete has continued his innovative bluegrass ways with stalwarts Jody Stecher and Kate Brislin, Jeff White, Chris Thile, Peter Rowan, and Jerry Douglas.  He released another solo album On a Roll (Sugar Hill Records) in 1993. Pete founded another cutting edge bluegrass unit called The Live Five, which eventually morphed into Flexigrass, a hybrid bluegrass/dixieland unit. From his website – “The Live Five's album (now Flexigrass), I Tell You What!, (Sugar Hill) was released in 1996, hitting the top 40 of the national Gavin Americana Radio Chart. Their 2002 follow-up, "Up All Night", also garnered widespread acclaim and airplay. The band's unique combination of banjo with clarinet, vibraphone, bass, and drums continues to forge new pathways combining traditional and modern elements in American roots music.” Flexigrass scored a #1 bluegrass hit with another Pete Wernick original tune, "Ruthie."

Pete also performs with his singer/guitarist wife Joan as a duet called "Dr. and Nurse Banjo.” 
FROM LEFT: Earl Scruggs, Pete Wernick, Steve Martin at the New Yorker Festival; Hot Rize at Historic Ryman Auditorium, Nashville, TN,
July '96
(Photo: Bill Smith); Hot Rize at Louisville’s KFC Bluegrass Festival, about 1981; Pete and Joan jamming with Leftover Salmon's Noam Pikelny and Vince Herman at the inaugural benefit event for the Mark Vann Foundation at the Trilogy in Boulder.



THE SUBDUDES did the unthinkable after coming together in New Orleans at Tipitina's. They moved to Colorado to further their music career. You don't get that many successful band who have fashioned their sound around a tambourine. On their website the subdudes offer a timeline of their band's history similar to that provided for Firefall on this page, and they explain their name. Turns out they needed to be a little more subdued than their naturally brassy selves.



From Jock Bartley - " 1st-ever solo CD is finally finished & out, yea!  It's been getting rave reviews (thank god) and is starting to sell.  It's available at 6-8 local Colo. retail outlets currently, more as the week progresses.. And selling on-line.  You can hear clips of all 13 songs on line at"

As you can see from the design of the CD cover to the right and the examples of his work below, Jock is an accomplished painter. Check his LP out to hear his accomplished guitar work. Former Firefall Producer Jim Mason has an interesting story on his website about Eric Clapton commenting on young Jock Bartley's guitar playing at the dawn of Firefall's recording career.


Hutchinson, Kansas-born Jock Bartley had a lot going for him as a kid, with talent in music, fine art, and writing. He went to the University of Colorado as an Art Major before dropping out to play rock guitar. He feels playing guitar is what he does best, but look around. Jock does a lot of things really well. His paintings are done in series that range from photo realism to children's and cover art. Josh is a big Beatles fan and has several paintings in a new art book out focused on the Fab Four (see below).

All paintings © JJB Art Enterprises


JOCK BARTLEY has four pieces in "BEATLES ART - Fantastic New Artwork of The Fab Four," edited by Linda and Jeff Webb for Boxigami Books, released nationally in August 2006. On top of that, Jock wrote the book's Foreward, which begins..."It’s no secret. The Beatles are the best rock & roll band ever. They were back then, they are today and will always be. Paul, John, George and Ringo changed the entire world and human experience like no other group could ever hope to."


Chris Daniels
Chris Daniels has been a happening act so long that he qualifies as a historic figure in Colorado music. Pretty impressive for a guy who really isn't that old. Sort of a legend in his own time. Following early exposure in New York City backing future-Doll David Johanssen, Chris was part of the seminal band Magic Music, which lit up the early/mid 1970s Colorado music scene, providing an area soundtrack to the post-hippie era. It is the band that brought the great slide guitarist Sonny Landreth to Boulder. Sonny has gone on to become an internationally renowned player, and Chris has just gone from one successful project to the next. He fronted Spoons throughout the later 1970s and into the '80s, then toured with former Amazing Rhythm Aces front-man Russell Smith. In 1984 he put together a big band for a one-off Blue Note show and it has never ended. Chris and the Kings are flat-out great and have entered a pantheon of big horn bands that includes Blood, Sweat & Tears and Chicago, though I think Chris has better songs. He is also a superior showman, a guy who seems in the moment with an audience. And he is a wonderful singer and guitarist. Stop me! Is there anything this guy can't do? 

Chris Daniels, rhythm guitar, vocals
Colin "Bones" Jones, lead guitar
Chris Stongle, drums, vocals
Kevin "Bro" Lege, bass, vocals
Dean LeDoux, keys, vocals
Darryl "Doody" Abrahamson, trumpet, vocals
Jim Waddell, alto, tenor sax, flute, vocals

UPDATE: Chris wrote recently, having returned from his 15th annual European tour: "It's been 22 years and we (The Kings) are, truly, still having a blast doing it." He was in San Francisco a few weeks back and I'm sorry to have missed him.

Chris is very good about keeping in touch with people and he has contributed significantly to the development of the Links at Check out his great MP3s below. 

Chris Daniels & The Kings MP3s:


50/50 - features Sonny Landreth on slide guitar, Steve Conn on B3, Sam Bush on mandolin, and Richie Furay (Buffalo Springfield, Furay-Hillman-Souther) on back up vocals

Howlin' At The Moon - features a horn arrangement by horns arranged by Tony Klatka (Blood, Sweat & Tears) and represents Chris Daniels & the Kings at their best

Copyright © Chris Daniels, All Rights Reserved

CHRIS DANIELS AND THE KINGS NEWS: Chris Daniels wrote recently, incented by my plea to speak out against the escalation of troop levels in Iraq. "In our tours in Europe I am asked almost everywhere I go why Americans reelected Bush in 2004 and I cannot explain it. No matter how bad Rove made Kerry look, nothing was as ugly as what Bush has done to America and America's position in the world. To take the good will after 911 and piss it away by launching a totally uncalled for, illegal and truly disastrous war in Iraq, he single handedly destabilized the region and mortgaged our future. Worse, he may try and "resolve" this mess and "save his legacy" by going after Iran. Sadly, all his moves in the past month seem to be lining up towards what my be the biggest disaster in modern world history an unprovoked air strike on Iran. Guess I am not very optimistic that Bush will bring anything but sorrow and horror to our country. So I go to the rallies, contribute to the Democratic party, do what I can to support our troops, and am hoping to go to New Orleans for a week to work for Habitat For Humanity with my wife Kelly in the next few months. God save us from our leaders.

"As for the Kings, we are moving into 2007 with some new songs and looking at studio sometime in May for a 2007 CD. Working title is They Call Me Naughty Lola -- but it will probably change. We may be going back to Europe for our 16th tour. This spring we will play for the 75th Anniversary of one of the oldest and best Steeple Chase Horse Races in the country, the Carolina Cup in Camden, South Carolina. Also slated to be doing a series of festivals this summer."

Chris has been mentoring young songwriters, some of whom are probably encouraged by the huge success of one of their own. Explains Chris - "I am teaching at two colleges, Arapahoe Community College and CU Denver. Lots of budding new songwriters and fun new music. It is the school that brought you Isaac and his band The Fray which is up for a Grammy and lots and lots of sales!"

THE LEGENDARY 4-NIKATORS have long existed in a theatrical terrain of bizzarro subtlety, youthful silliness, intelligence and rock'n roll, where people enjoy shaking a tail feather and spotlighting soul and R&B bellweathers. Bandleader Harold Fielden's venture into this great beyond began in 1958... That's right, around the year of that Impala pictured there to the right, that came with girl legs. (And damned fine girl legs, too, I might add.)  Then the band finally came into existence in 1979, after its playlist had finally been written, recorded, and seared into the minds of debauched people of a certain age (my age).

On some levels, the 4-Nikators were what Flash Cadillac and the Continental Kids and Zephyr became in their next lifetimes. Besides Harold, from FCCK, the 4-Nikators had the Givens, Candy and David. I saw the original 4-Nikators many times and they brought as much, if not more, electricity to the stage as any Boulder band of the era. For one thing, people knew their show and had a pretty good idea what they were going to do, which was going to be silly, a little naughty, and a lot like we all must have thought those '50s caravan tours of early rockers must have looked like. The 4-Nikators had all that going for them, plus an element of nervous tension because one felt absolutely anything could happen at their show. They were live theater on the burlesque side. Audiences knew the music was going to be good, because the 4- Nikators were always an experienced professional act.





RAR NOTE: Okay, call me juvenile and worse, but this logo exercises a certain control over me.

The band, with Harold Fielden at the wheel, has just continued on in the tradition. The personnel keeps changing and yet seems remarkably stable if viewed over the entire 27-year history of the band. Harold always pulls from the best available talent, which these days includes guitarist Chip McCarthy, keyboardist Joey Conway, and multi-instrumentalist Ron Aguiar.

Rock'n Roll Timeline

There is a site I like at that provides a really entertaining timeline of rock'n roll history.





You can read more about Chip McCarthy and his company Accentual Audio Productions on this page.

4-Nikators of Cuba - Chip McCarthy

LEFT: You have to admire a guy (Chip McCarthy in this case) whose creative life so completely merges with his everyday existence. Chip - who has been a 4-Nikator for quite some time now -  took this photograph on one of his many travels to Cuba, where he goes to study Cuban music. (That's what this picture says to me, complete immersion in the culture of a people.)

Here's Chip - "Well, I have been traveling to Cuba under a general license researching  Afro-Cuban music, teaching "folk" and "rock" guitar, and studying congas along with an indigenous guitar-like instrument called "el trés", which I am in love with (you know me and those chimey sounding instruments). Last February, whilst studying, teaching and performing there, I had an epiphany, if you will (my mom says "mid-life crisis"). In teaching music and giving away everything I brought with me, I saw that I was having a profound  effect on people's lives. I suddenly felt, for the first time, that I actually had a heart and a soul, and that if I were to die tomorrow, I would not be happy with my legacy as a good salesman for corporate America. Upon my return, I gave notice and threw in the towel, giving up a very comfortable package of salary and benefits. Hey, I held a job with the same company for 34 years, and they had got me everything I needed. Since March, I have been immersing myself in music and working extremely hard to build my music business (click to go to Accentual Audio below) from a "paid hobby" to something that will support me for the rest of my wretched life. And, more importantly, get my own music immortalized on CD (now that I have the facility). But, it's scary to be self-employed...wondering if I'm gonna be able to pay the bills. So, I'm livin' lean.

"The other part of my fascination with the island is a medical student named Eliza, who is studying to become a nurse and took care of me last July when I got destroyed by giardia and couldn't finish my program. I'm going back down to spend Christmas with her and her family, and see how they celebrate the holiday and with what kinds of music. It'll be my first Christmas outside of the USA in my life, and I will be living in extreme poverty, but I'm looking forward to it. I will also be continuing with private instruction on the trés and have been asked to "sit in" with my instructor's group at the Hotel Vedado en La Habana. Cool, eh?"



Wild Game is Boulder keyboardist/drummer Steve Sirockin's new metal fusion unit. The band uses ideas from multiple genres to perform otherworldly instrumental music. Wild Game alternates between free improvisation and intricate written parts without resorting to conventional fusion tropes.

Joe Johnson brings a hyper technical post-shred guitar sensibility to Wild Game. A transplant from the Philadelphia metal scene, his previous credits include Wastoid, Shadowdance, and The Great Kat. His use of the guitar has been compared to Gallagher's use of the watermelon. "It was going very fast, but I'm still not sure whether it's funny."

Forest Lauck lays down the five-string funk that keeps Wild Game catchy. Equally at home in gypsy modes or afro-cuban rhythms, his unique perspective keeps the bass in the forefront where it belongs. Lauck's technical prowess allows him to execute runs that would ordinarily be the province of lead guitar, providing the band with enormous arranging flexibility.

Steve Sirockin's energetic drum style drives Wild Game, setting the mood in the tradition of Elvin Jones, Billy Cobham, and Terry Bozzio. He has performed or recorded with Carole King's band Navarro, Robin Crow, folk rocker Buzzy Linhardt, Acoustic Junction, and members of the Rippingtons, Michael Murphy Band, Jerry Jeff Walker Band, and Firefall.

In the 35 years since "Bitches Brew," fusion has given rise to its own genre conventions, often obscuring the goal of bringing together divergent styles of music. Wild Game returns to the fusion concept in its original, literal sense. Each player is responsible for his own instrument. Aside from being highly schooled, their musical backgrounds are vastly different. The resultant sound is distinct, expansive, challenging, and playful.

ABOVE: Joe Johnson (left) and Forest Lauck. LEFT: Steve Sirockin.

Wild Game has four MP3s playing on their myspace site that you should check out. Wild stuff from Wild Game.



ABOVE: Otis Taylor on stage with daughter Cassie Taylor playing "trance blues"

OTIS TAYLOR, the banjo-harmonic-guitarist-mandolin-ukelele playing singer-songwriter, has a resume that includes work with  Zephyr and the Legendary 4-Nikators. In the 1980s, Otis like his friend Eddie Turner (profiled below) dropped out of the music business and stayed out for two decades. Then around 1995, Otis got together with Kenny Passarelli and Eddie to do a low profile show in Boulder and he (and Turner) have been back ever since. In fact, Otis Taylor has released five LPs since then and written a song - "If The Devil Ain’t Right" - for the film, Skin Deep (2003).

Since his reemergence, Otis, doing what he calls "trance blues," has won a W. C. Handy Award for Best New Artist Debut. Taylor teaches in the National Blues Foundation’s "Blues in the Schools" program and continues to play with Passarelli and Turner, as well as cellists Ben Sollee and Zachary Miski, bassist John Paul Grigsby, drummer Josh Kelly, and backup vocalist/bassist Cassie Taylor, his eldest daughter. John Richardson is an occasional guitarist with the band. As you can tell from that instrumentation, Otis has another idea. His music tends toward the candid and the political.



Rosa, Rosa - a reverential ode to Rosa Parks and the cause of freedom


Copyright © Otis Taylor, All Rights Reserved


Eddie devil boy? I met EDDIE TURNER one day in the office of Audience Magazine many years ago. He came in with Candy and David Givens and I was thrilled to meet him because I had just seen him on stage and thought he was just coolest. He had real star power - something about the way he held the guitar, moved and looked. There was that quality about him that you saw in Jimi Hendrix, a kind of other worldliness, and he played that way too, emitting strange sonic expressions that were beyond the usual tray. I recall Candy Givens, that day in the office, seeming very thrilled to be associated with him - her bands had always been built around flashy guitarists (Tommy Bolin, Jock Bartley). Eddie seemed like an extension of the line, and Eddie himself seemed like a sweet, humble guy. Then tragedy befell the music community when Candy Givens died, and apparently among those crushed by the news was Eddie Turner. Rather like Otis Taylor (profiled above), another former 4-Nikator band member, Eddie dropped out of music. Like Otis Taylor, he resurfaced two decades later and has issued CDs that have been lauded by the critics in the music reviews.

RAR NOTE: I love Eddie Turner's approach to guitar and marvel at his ability. His electric guitar sound is the instrument as I love it best - wild, experimental, moaning, feeding back, a lot of instruments in one. 
LEFT: Devil Boy Eddie Turner. BELOW LEFT: The Turner Diaries CD. BELOW RIGHT: Eddie also appears on The Future of the Blues compilation CD.



Risedeep groove blues-rock anthem for freedom with that trippy Eddie Turner guitar (live)


It's Meuptempo instrumental psychedilia (live)

Copyright © Eddie Turner, All Rights Reserved





The Latitude Experience is a Denver-based Jazz vocal band that has shared the same stage with Artist’s as; Kenny Loggins, Boney James, Jeffrey Osbourne and Patti Austin to name a few.

Known for their Jazz Genre versatility they can be seen performing throughout the country at large Jazz venues lighting up the stage with Jazz Fusion, Contemporary Jazz and Neo-Soul. Also, you may see them dressed in evening wear performing for the NBA All-Star game (Club NBA) or for large corporate conventions playing Straight-ahead Jazz for the “Corporate types”.


Stonewall Napier



Left: Jinx Jones, who added guitar to The Latitude Experience's first CD, on stage with the Latitude at the Soiled Dove. 



Wendy Woo

Wendy Woo has been big on the Colorado music scene for much of the last 10 years, and she is flat-out good. She has made her reputation as an energetic performer and an attention-getting songwriter. The Boulder media has loved her, with the Boulder Daily Camera naming her Best Singer/Songwriter, the Boulder Weekly naming her the Best Boulder Musician in 2004, and the Colorado Daily calling her Best Local Artist. She won the 1999 Colorado Lilith Fair Talent Search. She comes from interesting stock, her parents being founding faculty members of Boulder’s legendary Naropa Institute, a school that has had a considerable impact on Boulder/Denver area musicians, particularly of the jazz persuasion. 


Wendy's repertoire is rich and she has a bunch of really wonderful songs you can listen to from her website. 

Photo by Lisa Siciliano


OurStage - How It Works

Martian Acres #1 on Internet Play Competition

Boulder, Colorado Martian Acres, currently featured on, reports that their song "Missing You" reached the top spot on the innovative OurStage site, where bands place tunes to be judged by listeners. The song was at #7 in the acoustic category when the Dennis Wanebo/Martian Acres feature was published. When Dennis contacted with the update, he also provided a little information on how the site works.

"'Missing You' actually ended up at number one in the acoustic category on OurStage. Blew me away," writes Dennis. "In total, there were nearly nine hundred songs entered from all over the country; and 'Missing You' was played more than ten thousand times en route to winning that category. Please see: . 

"As you may know, OurStage has become something a 'player' in its own right. The site seems to be filling some of the niche created by the utter failure of the top-down music and radio industries to give people new music. The judging capabilities give interested listeners the kind of direct voice that seems only 'proper,' given the types of democratization compelled by the Internet. But, a word to the wise: If you haven't tried an OurStage judging session, you ought to watch out. It is not just unique, it is every bit as addictive as a high-pay slot machine. 

"The second a vote is cast between two competing songs, two new songs are presented immediately to the judge. The individual judges are treated over and over to fresh, innovative, music. However, the nicest thing is that the judging mechanism is a 'blind' voting system, which means that people with lots of influence can't just get in there and stack the decks. This tends to balance the playing field for projects such as ours, which don't have big electronic megaphones. We weren't hurt by the fact that a lot of our friends and fans can't afford to sit on a computer 24/7 in the usually vain hope that their 'chosen' song would sometime be presented to them for a vote. 

The sweetest piece of the whole OurStage experience, though, arises from the fact that we had originally submitted 'Missing You' as an afterthought. We were dead set on the Bonnaroo rocker, and all of our emotional and psychic energies were wrapped up in that song . . . so much so that, when we were first apprized of the rising fortunes of 'Missing You,' I even got a weird sense of childhood guilt. Yeah, guilt. it almost seemed that we had turned our little orphan loose on the mean streets while we focused our selfish attentions on something with perhaps a bit more flash. It's weird to feel guilty about an unintended diss of your own song, I admit. but, by the same token, I always feel more like a midwife to our music than anything else, so in that sense there is the notion that these pieces of work actually do have 'lives of their own.'
Which brings me back to the place I frequently return to: the more you try to engineer something, the less attuned you seem to become."

RAR can't help but notice that the Martian Acres guys are tough to deny. It seems that if they get a listen, listeners give them the thumbs up.

You can explore OurStage by visiting .

MARTIAN ACRES is a Boulder-based band that takes its name from "Martin Acres," an unextraordinary and therefore affordable '50s-era subdivision of South Boulder that over the years has been a local joke for its blend of denizens. (RAR Note: I used to be one of them.) Actually, calling Martian Acres a "band" may be overstating, because they are really a songwriting team - one that has been a surprising success on Colorado radio.

Chalk the mere existence of this duo as a win for the power of the void. Ten years ago Wanebo became stricken with a life threatening disease and beat the odds to recover. But it changed him. A baby boomer, he returned to a passion for music, which led him to take guitar lessons from Story, another boomer. The two clicked, started writing together, and now focus on writing sophisticated, satirical pop. They bring in musicians and singers, including Wanebo's 19-year old daughter, to record the songs and perform them live.

Their first CD, Middle of the Night, 2004, included two songs - the rocker "Middle of the Night" and country-rocker "Dan's Place" - found regular rotation on 99.5, The Mountain, one of Denver's premiere rock stations. Prior to the release of the CD, another song,, "Diamond in the Rough," was entered in the John Lennon International Songwriting Competition and was selected as one of the top 10 country songs of 2003. A fourth song off the CD, "Water Under the Bridge," was recently included in The Essential JAZZ Collection issued by Oasis Records in Atlanta. The title cut, "Middle of the Night," was also included in the best-of CD from VS Planet Radio, where the song reached Number One on VS PLANET CHARTS several times during 2004, and was the far-and-away winner on VS Planet's Power Chart. Successful songs in country, rock,

Dennis Wanebo and Bob Story

"Alt-Boulder" band Martian Acres is Denver trial attorney/ songwriter Dennis Wanebo (left) and country songwriter Bob Story

was an auspicious debut CD for a couple guys in their fifties who were just rolling the creative dice.

So what of the sophomore jinx? Martian Acres released From Waltz to War in June, and it had some momentum at birth. One track, "Road To Hell," was picked as one of three finalists in the 2005 John Lennon Songwriting Contest - in the Gospel/Inspirational category! There is the fourth genre in which they have shown strength. You think it's possible that these guys can just plain write?

Cover artwork by  Steve Bell



War - from the Martian Acres website, an off-kilter anti-war statement that sounds like music from an Off Broadway production; Dexter Payne doing some nice clarinet work

Copyright © Martian Acres, All Rights Reserved


album cover



In the early 1980s there was no cooler band on the Boulder scene than Pearl. With Craig Skinner on lead vocals and guitar, Chip McCarthy and Jim Manire on guitar and vocals, Roger Casey on bass, and Dott Cabrera on drums, Pearl was one of Boulder's first New Wave bands. Wearing skinny ties and Capezio shoes, trademarks of the era, Pearl played original songs and cover material of Dire Straits, Talking Heads and the 1960s British Invasion.  Their assets were many, including great guitar work and Craig Skinner's wonderful voice supported by Manire's and McCarthy's splendid vocal harmonies. Pearl had something else that set them apart: charisma in spades! They played regularly to sold-out rooms at The Blue Note, Molly’s Back Room, The Boulder Theater, The Boulderado, Tulagi’s and venues all over Colorado and seemed like a unit that could break out and go national, but things happen in the music business. As Chip McCarthy recently wrote - "Well, maybe it might have happened had we not been caught up in a gigantic management mess, lawsuits, etc. In our last months as a band in 1982, we recorded 'an LP's worth of tunes' with Jeffrey Wood producing, but it never got shopped/released on accountacuz (sic) we broke up shortly thereafter!" 

ABOVE: Jim Manire with a classic Ric and Vox rig - Pearl reunited in August at Nissi's in Lafayette. LEFT: Chip McCarthy on the white Strat, on stage at Nissi's

Pearl MP3s:

Cruisin' the Streets - A classic Pearl track from 1982, written by McCarthy - a great example of the sound of an era

Now I Know - This is a new track, written by McCarthy and provided as a work in development that will be issued on an upcoming Pearl CD

I Need You Here - Written by Skinner with contributions from McCarthy -  inspired by the Columbine shootings - featuring Joey Conway (organ), Lorrie Singer and Liz Tuzzolino ( female vox), and a choir of high school-aged singers 

These songs are Copyright © Craig Skinner, Chip McCarthy and may not be reproduced for sale without the expressed written consent of Craig Skinner and Chip McCarthy


Pearl reunited in August for one night at Nissis in Lafayette. Minus the original rhythm section, the reunited band included Michael Wooten on drums and Ron Aguiar on bass and vocals (see bios below).


Another of the assets of this band were their brains - they are all really smart guys. Craig Skinner and Jim Manire both earned B.A.s in English Literature (from the University of Colorado and Yale, respectively) and Chip McCarthy is a graduate of the Berkley School of Music who worked for over 30 years in chemical engineering. Craig went on to earn a law degree and is now a criminal defense lawyer in Denver.  Jim Manire earned a MBA from CU and is now an independent financial advisor in Parker, Colorado and the owner of James Capital Advisors. Chip McCarthy owns and operates Accentual Audio ( recording studio in Louisville, Colorado, where he conceives and produces music and he is lead guitarist for The Legendary 4-Nikators. Chip also travels extensively to research music of other countries and spends a great deal of time in Cuba, where he studies and teaches at the National School of Arts (Habana).


Good News for Pearl Fans: Mssrs. Skinner, Manire and McCarthy continue to write together and are putting together material for a new CD of original tunes.

Michael Wooten: Michael Wooten, drummer of the re-formed band Pearl, has been prominent in music circles since the early 1970s when he played on an album with the legendary Colorado band Zephyr, which included a very young Jock Bartley. He also played with Slumgullian and worked with Chris Hillman, Jock Bartley, Mark Andes, Larry Burnett and Rick Roberts in a band that was soon to be known as Firefall.  Michael then joined Navarro, which eventually played on three of Carol King’s albums.  Michael also played drums on an album with Richard Torrence, Rosemary Butler and Mark Andes and when in Austin, Texas, did studio work with Al Cooper, the guitarist who will be forever legendary for his style-defining organ work on Bob Dylan's classic "Like A Rolling Stone," which really redefined "folk rock" in the mid-1960s. Michael writes: "Soon the realization dawned that I needed a real job in the real world. Enter Leftover Salmon - 'Polyethnic Cajun Slamgrass.' You might say this was not the real world but it was one wild and strange trip (at least for five years or so). 300+ one-nighters a year, three CD's ( they were not called albums any more but we signed a deal with Hollywood records, part of Disney Corp.) and a lot of bus driving contributed to a very burned out cowboy. Someday a memoir of those hilarious, unbelievable adventures may surface; that is if all the thunderheads of piquant smoke that billowed forth each time the bus doors were opened hasn't adversely affected my memory. Leftover Salmon was the last serious and on-going gig I had before deciding to follow a dream from my boyhood of driving an 18 wheeler, which has been my occupation for going on six years now and I absolutely love it! However I have just recently come back around to playing music again with a fresh attitude and new found enthusiasm. Keep your fingers crossed."

PEARL NEWS: Pearl has released a new tune called "Innocent Skin." It can be heard at Pearl's MySpace site.  The track, which decries skin tatooing, was recorded at Coupe Studios in Boulder, Colorado,  and was engineered and mixed by Greg McRae.

New Wave Faves

Pearl Releases New Single 

Boulder, Colorado - Colorado's "veteran New Wavers" (I just love the way that oxymoron jangles the brain)  Pearl has released a new tune called "Innocent Skin." It can be heard at Pearl's MySpace site.  The track, which decries skin tatooing, was recorded at Coupe Studios in Boulder, Colorado,  and was engineered and mixed by Greg McRae.

Maybe it's a generational thing. The guys in Pearl, featured on the Colorado Links, came up in the '70s, and the band's three writers - Craig Skinner, Chip McCarthy, and Jim Manire - triumphed as Pearl in the New Wave '80s, becoming a popular Boulder attraction. The only people in their day who were getting tatooed were Navy men and bikers. The thing where the gorgeous chick gets tatooed with barbed wire girdling her triceps came later, and now that affectation seems a little quaint in itself. Certainly it clashes with a prom dress, which I think is something like the point. It detracts.

Anyway, the boys cut back on their musical aspirations 20 years ago - except for Chip, who continued as guitarist for The Legendary 4-Nikators, and I think got some tatoos - and they established other professional careers. Then, at the time of the Columbine shootings, they were inspired to work together again and produced the beautiful "I Need You Here," which landed on a few playlists in Colorado and offered ample testimony to the ongoing power of Craig Skinner's writing skills and vocal talents. Pearl was back, as they have been on and off ever since. The trio is now amply supported by a couple other real music pros: drummer Michael Wooten (Leftover Salmon) and bassist Bill Hopkins (Firefall).

Pearl has a show scheduled at Nissi's in Lafayette, Colorado in June.

Reprinted from March 2008 Artist News page






CHIP MCCARTHY is the proprietor of Accentual Audio, in Louisville, Colorado, an analog/digital studio that provides original music composition and sound production services. In Chip's studio sound production includes the technical aspects of sound recording, as well as the provision of specialized voiceover and instrumental talent. He offers "multimedia sound editing, mixing, audio sweetening, sound effects, sound creation, narration and voice-overs..." - from his website. Chip's turnkey approach positions Accentual for commercial services in marketing and advertising. That has been a big part of his clientele. He also provides the full range of services for the production of automated telephone answering systems for the corporate market.

Chip, from his website - "We specialize in original music composition, songs, and scores that are tailored to fit your project needs. We'll write the music, assemble the musicians and deliver a high quality, finished piece produced specifically for you. We just love writing creative music beds and commercial jingles that you just can't get out of your head! We also specialize in simple to complex music and vocal arrangements, as well as "knock-offs" of prerecorded music, and provide transcriptions in standard music notation."

The studio isn't divorced from the production of hit-oriented pop songs. New Pearl tracks are being developed at Accentual Audio. Chip has also worked on soundtracks. He was at work on "a 75 min. indie film soundtrack...I gotta compose a Sicilian folk music theme..."

Chip offers a range of audio/video demo clips, including music, soundtracks, commercials, voiceovers, telephone on-hold, and much more on his site. 


RAR NOTE - Chip's site is currently going through a redesign and expansion.  ABOVE: Chip McCarthy at the helm of Accentual Audio, and a couple clients in seesion (from his website).



From time to time, the Links on RARWRITER will feature venues that are of particular importance to the creative community. One such venue is NISSI's in Lafayette, Colorado, which was established by Teresa Taylor, a long-time friend of music in Colorado. You see Teresa's name all over the Colorado Links. She was a former associate of Jim Guercio's and his Caribou Ranch recording facility. Now, with Nissi's, she is hostess to the best musical talent from Colorado and across the nation.






NISSI'S FOUNDER TERESA TAYLOR: Teresa's dream was to have a place where people of all ages could enjoy quality music and entertainment in a fun, artistic, comfortable, and intimate environment.


Nissi's offers dancing

"Playing at Nissi's is an affirming experience for the musicians and audience alike. The Club is light and comfortable with a positive vibe."
- Nelson Rangell


Nissi's™ is home to some of the best local, national, and emerging musical acts around. Unlike any other musical venue in Northern Colorado, our quality sound system and intimate setting attract musicians from a variety of genres. From classical and jazz to rock and acoustic, Nissi’s truly has something to fit any musical taste.

"Built from the ground up to be a world-class music venue, Nissi’s is about as good as it gets. With classy interiors, atmosphere, and art work, great food and drink, and a close-up look at top local and national talent, what else could you ask for?"
- Jock Bartley, Firefall
Go to to check the event calendars for upcoming musical acts and purchase tickets. 

If seating is available, tickets will also be sold at the door. We recommend you buy tickets well in advance and arrive early for dinner to ensure a good seat or table.

Nissi's™ Bistro serves espresso and coffee drinks, sodas, smoothies, breakfast, and lunch during the day, and wine, beer, chef-prepared small plates cuisine, and decadent desserts in the evening. 

Several nights a week, Nissi's features musical acts in the main room, which seats up to 120. Musicians take the stage around 7:30 p.m. and wrap up around 9:30 - 10:00 p.m.






Here is a sampler of the kinds of acts that appear at Nissi's. That gentleman in the orange shirt on stage with Richie Furay (left), and in the green shirt (below) on stage with Todd Park Mohr, is pop culture journalist and radio personality G. Brown. G. Brown hosts a series at Nissi's that features interviews done with the performers before Nissi's live audience. Conversation is interspersed with music.








ROGUE SOUND is a live Colorado hip-hop band out of Boulder who was brought to my attention by my friend Steve Ignelzi, who recently engineered the recordings featured below. These guys have a better idea. From their website - "... influences of Reggae, Funk, Hip-Hop, Jazz and Latin music provide a good vibe and atmosphere... The combination of both English and Spanish lyrics, along with the smooth blend of various music styles spread the message of unity that the band strives to convey. The Rogue Sound experience is a celebration of the interconnectivity of life through music."


I liked their attitude up front but was blown away when I heard their stuff.

Band leader Mingus Fine - now is that a great name? - was born in 1976 in historic Willits, California - the "Gateway to the Redwoods in the Heart of Mendocino County," eastern terminus for the famous "Skunk Train." His family moved to Boulder in 1980 and Mingus writes - "I remember my dad going to The Blue Note quite often..."

Rogue Sound is: Nick Odell (aka St. Nick, Hodge Podge, SofaT) - MC, Instrumentalist, D.J., Posters and Art; Matt Smart (aka MC SmarT) - Drums, Vocals, Assistant Booking Manager; Mingus Fine (aka MadROne) - Guitar, Vocals, Booking and Management; Shawn Briardy (aka BriarDRabbit) - Bass; Andrew McNew (aka Chachi Marone) - Guest appearances on the Trombone.

Rogue Sound MP3s:


Stay Humble


Copyright © Rogue Sound 

These performances are copyrighted and cannot be reproduced or distributed without the expressed written consent of Rogue Sound.

 "Pimpin' Ain't Indy"

G.O.T. is a party band out of Boulder comprised of three classically trained, highly theatrical girl singers backed by a four-piece funk, blues and Motown unit. The group's website describes the band as "a funny, smart and sexy, dance cover band playing Funk, R&B, 60's, Motown, and the occasional original tune in any venue (clubs, festivals, weddings, private parties, corporate functions) that needs a kick in the pants and several hours of unabashed “hair letting down.”

Our good friend Steve Ignelzi plays bass in this unit. He was a co-founder of The Pedestrians, a piece on which can be found on this page. 

Steve was a guitarist then. This is Steve today - Mr. Funk.

Steve seems happy in his present role. (Cialis ad?)



Drummer Gregg Wilkins and Keyboardist Trent Hines

Guitarist Alec Sims and flutist Karen LaMoureaux

Dawn Beck

Karen LaMoureaux

Kristin Henry

THE INDULGERS (with mike nile)
Here's one that will mean nothing to anyone other than those readers who happened to live in Boulder, Colorado in the '70s and early '80s, but I ran into The Indulgers by accident while looking for Judy Rudin. For the uninitiated, Judy Rudin is this harmonica playing blues singer who had a club band that was big on the Boulder circuit in those days. She is in Southern California, I think, has worked with go-to San Francisco producer Linda Perry (Pink, Christina Aguilera, James Blunt) was great, I can't find her, but in looking I found Mike Nile.

Mike is one interesting dude. He is a Colorado native, a musician-engineer-producer- composer type who had been a big fan of the band Spirit - guitarist Randy California, drummer Ed Cassidy, vocalist Jay Ferguson, keyboard player John Locke, and bassist Mark Andes. Mike met Randy California and Ed Cassidy when each moved to the Boulder area in the late 70s and in 1978 engineered Spirit's Potatoland LP at Northstar Studio in Boulder, even contributing the opening track. 

In 1979, Mike Nile got a development deal that put him in Malibou with a recording studio and instructions to write songs. He worked on others' projects, established his band Nile, which worked as a house band at a Malibou venue, and toured in Mick Fleetwood's Speed of Light Band. And, he stayed in touch with Randy California, so when Randy got a contract to do a solo LP Mike Nile and his band were there to help him pull it together. The story winds on until finally Mike Nile becomes the bassist for a reunited Spirit, a gig that lasts for years. It is all richly detailed by Mike Nile at and is well worth reading. It is another "link" in the Boulder chain.

Fast forward to today and Mike Nile has returned to Colorado (in 1998 - I'm a little behind) and, after years of playing tour dates with Spirit, has dedicated himself to family - and a new band. And what a band it is!

The Indulgers is the brainchild of Dublin, Ireland-born singer/songwriter Damien McCarron, who with multi-instrumentalist Nile, fiddler Renee Fine, drummer Pat Murphy and bassist Chris Murtaugh has forged a fusion of traditional Irish folk and rock that is absolutely infectious.

Certainly in large part it is due to the very Irishness of the singer. That accent is bedrock to this music and gives the whole affair authenticity. And Damien can write a hook - or at the very least use what's his wherever he finds it - because this music is delightful in the way that Irish jigs are delightful. Add the power of a well-polished rock unit and you've got moving stuff, as in make you dance around with a grin. It's good for your ears. It's like ginger after sushi;  cleansing somehow, even revivifying.

I'm a little late to learn of The Indulgers, but...(From their website) - "The Indulgers have been featured at nearly all of the major Irish festivals in the U.S. and are the resident, premier Celtic band of Colorado and Las Vegas...  The Indulgers were recognized as Colorado’s 'Independent Band of the Year' in 2003 and won Westword’s World Music Award and’s 'Denver’s Best Band Award.' Their first release, In Like Flynn, garnered numerous awards including Ethnic CD of the Year 2000 and Celtic Song of the Year for its title track. The CD also peaked at number two on’s International Independent Chart. The Indulgers have rapidly gained a reputation as one of the top Celtic bands in North America and have appeared with numerous nationally and internationally known artists. The Indulger’s Celtic Rock band played on U.S. College Radio, NPR affiliates, Web and Satellite radio stations, Radio Scotland, Australian, Brazilian, Irish, French, Portuguese, German, Canadian, and Russian Radio Stations."


TOP: Damien McCarron and Mike Nile. 

ABOVE: Boulder Philharmonic veteran Renee Fine on violin. 

FAR LEFT: Damien McCarron in kilt. 

NEAR LEFT: The Indulgers - backstage view. BELOW FAR LEFT: Mike Nile. 

BELOW MIDDLE: Bassist Chris Murtaugh.  BELOW RIGHT: Mike Nile device.


Check out these MP3s - these folks are a delight


In Like Flynn

Saving Grace

Mystery Angel

I Must Go


The Other Side

Sail Away

Copyright © The Indulgers, All Rights Reserved


lannie garrett

There are obviously a lot of people who make their livings performing music, but far fewer are those who are making their livings as entertainers. What a hurdle, when you think about it. You have the whole musical performance, plus all this other stuff - the acting, the comic timing. Well, enter LANNIE GARRETT.

Lannie is a member in good standing of the "Bohemians of the Moulin Rouge elite," a rare league of entertainers that has almost ceased to exist outside of a few progressive locations. Lannie in Denver is a perennial who just keeps morphing. This makes her a difficult subject for music journalists to cover because she no longer fits into any commercial niche outside of "cabaret entertainer," and in that mode she is a woman of many personas. I don't think there are many pop culture journalists out there who are equipped to deal with it. I've spent a little time searching the Internet for information on Lannie, and what is out there is just the canned promo text that comes nowhere near to describing the Lannie Garrett Colorado music fans have known for so long. 

Back in the golden age of Colorado music (1970s and early '80s) Lannie was blowing the back walls off the Blue Note in Boulder with her Latin-flavored rock'n blues act. Even then she was chameleon-like - and she could deliver. Lannie could roar like a lion and purr like a...well, a lioness. (Lannie's a lion - there, I've said it!) She was professional ahead of the rest, a little more basted in theatrical sauce. That she has just remained a presence in the Denver area and grown her act along the way is really old school, like something from the clubby days of old Hollywood. Lannie even has her own restaurant/show case - Lannie's Clocktower Cabaret! Along those lines, I wonder how well Lannie would do in my part of the country, in San Francisco - a city that has a rich cabaret tradition and a hungry clientele. San Francisco would love Lannie.

Then again, Denver loves her too, and if you are Lannie Garrett, why would you leave? She gets high profile gigs and travels her act, hangs out in swanky places, and plays with top players. Most musicians just wish that somehow they could establish a loyal local following that they could always count on to show up for the gig.  Drawing steadily from that reservoir of appreciation is a great way to drain the lake. There again the path less traveled belongs to Lannie, the entertainer, who is glamorous plush room material and big band, and fun, and funny, and danceable, and someone who evaporates that fourth wall and pulls the audience with her into her very special place.

This is a nature of a very special force.



Clockwise from top left: Glamorous Lannie, Plush Room, Big Band, Athletic, Patsy Decline, Disco Lannie

Lannie performs with T-Byrd Gorden's R&B Band in 

Monte Carlo, Monaco at the Hotel de Paris during 

Monaco's 700th anniversary


Bie Mir Bist du Schoen - from Under Paris Skies

You Belong to Me - from Just For A Thrill

Carumba, it's the Samba - from Slick Chick on the Mellow Side LIVE

Tonight the Bottle Let me Down - from Patsy DeCline: Horsin' Around LIVE

Copyright © Lannie Garrett, All Rights Reserved

Under Paris Skies

Slick Chick on the Mellow Side LIVE

Patsy DeCline: Horsin' Around LIVE

Lannie is so great. Listen to "You Belong to Me," which is in no way cabaret, just cool - and you get a sense of her extraordinary depth as an interpreter of songs - RAR

Under Paris Skies

Kick It!






With the best in live entertainment, a visually sumptuous decor, a tantalizing array of appetizers, desserts, spirits & wine, and a smoke-free environment, Lannie's Clocktower Cabaret is Denver's perfect choice for a magical night on the town.

Home to Lannie Garrett, Colorado's most versatile chanteuse, this intimate nightclub showcases all of her diverse shows, from her swinging Big Band to her hilarious country-western spoof, "The Patsy DeCline Show".

In addition to Lannie's sparkling sets, the Cabaret features an eclectic mix of high-profile National Acts, weekly Variety Vaudeville, Comedy, Burlesque, Wednesday Soul/Latin Nights, VIP concerts, Monday Night Piano Bar, and plenty of private booking possibilities.


Located in the historic D&F Clocktower on the 16th Street Mall, Lannie's is easy to reach by car, mall shuttle or lightrail... and guests staying in any of downtown Denver's hotels will find this classy little nightclub just a short walk away.


"A precious jewel of a nightclub."
- Maria Muldaur, Singer

"You walk down the stairs and the rest of the world disappears."
- Mark Brown, Rocky Mountain News


At 375 feet tall, the Daniels and Fisher Tower was a perfect match for William Cooke Daniels's ego-and Denver's ambition. At the time of its completion in 1910, it was the third-highest building in the nation, topped only by two Manhattan skyscrapers. Its design borrowed from Venice's famous Campanile di San Marco, while the sixteen-foot-high clock-alleged to be the largest in the world-used the same mechanism that powered London's Big Ben. The symbolism could not be missed: Denver, the tower declared, is ready to rise into the ranks of the world's great cities.

Nothing less than that would satisfy Daniels, whose five-story department store stood adjacent to the tower. He conceived of the structure as a way to raise his business's (and his city's) national profile. Standing hundreds of feet above the surrounding rooftops, the tower was visible from all over Denver. Visitors came from across the country, often shopping the Daniels store before riding up to the tower's observation deck. From that perch, they could see 200 miles in every direction and gaze at the Rocky Mountains from a sensational new perspective. A few floors below, people of business and high society enjoyed a similar view from the gourmet dining room. The building even had an appropriately scaled doorman: seven-foot, five-inch-tall Carl Sandell.

The Daniels and Fisher department store was razed during an urban renewal project in the 1970s. The tower nearly met the same fate, but the public outcry led Denver officials to reconsider. Renovated in the late 1970s, it reopened in 1981 as an office building and tourist attraction. As an early example of successful historic preservation, the tower did what it has always done best

It expanded the view and broadened the horizon, helping people see the vast potential for saving Colorado's historic landmarks. -

Denver's unique attractions . . . should be advertised throughout the length and the breadth of the whole country.
-William Cooke Daniels







©Rick Alan Rice (RAR), March, 2012