- Iggy Igloo
- Local multi-instrumentalist Iggy Igloo beams in sounds from another dimension.
The Craig Walter Band, an octet — yes, octet! — of veteran musicians from across the Pikes Peak region, will be gracing the Stargazers stage for its final performance in its current incarnation. Even if frontman Craig Walter doesn’t make good on his promise to set himself on fire after blowing up his guitar, the night will likely have plenty of fireworks.
Obviously a combination of any eight musicians will represent a few years onstage (I mean, they teach that in remedial musician arithmetic), but the group’s bona fides are impressive by any measure. The band has included, along with Walter, vocalists Maureen Greer, Susan Rissman and KJ Braithwaite, guitarist Dave Hemersbach, keyboardist Paul Haller, bassist Randy Block, drummer Randy Bowen and saxophonist Dwight Bement.
Many local music fans will find familiar faces among them, of course, but the group’s collective experience spreads nationally, with Bement, notably, performing with the likes of Frank Zappa, Gary Puckett & the Union Gap and Flash Cadillac. In late 2017, Walter released his third LP with the group, Driftwood Fires, a collection of soulful, acoustic-led rock.
Joining Walter and company for the evening is the Ragged Band of Angels, a trio featuring Cindy Greene, Lee Norgaard and Steve Foster, who last performed with the Craig Walter Band at the Stargazers tribute to singer-songwriter Gordon Lightfoot in November 2018. An equally venerable group of musicians, Greene and Norgaard performed locally in Fall River Road in the 1970s, and Greene, along with performing as a background vocalist with Tammy Wynette, has enjoyed a prolific and successful career as a songwriter in Muscle Shoals and Nashville, winning the prestigious Kerrville Folk Festival New Folk songwriting competition in 1998. (Incidentally, Greene also performs with the trio Anglum Mock & Greene, who are set to release an album in late spring.)
Elsewhere, when we last checked in with Rence Liam and Dear Rabbit in November, the band was celebrating the release of their impressive fourth album, Shy, at the Side Door. This weekend, Liam and company make their welcome return to the venue on Friday, March 1, this time playing with Denver shoegaze act Tyto Alba.
Tyto Alba is set to release a new LP this year, but in the meantime, you can familiarize yourself with the quartet’s ethereal sound by checking out their Bandcamp page. Their most recent effort is an appropriately dreamy take on the Cranberries’ “Dreams,” released in collaboration with like-minded Denver act Oxeye Daisy.
Finally, if you’ve heard the music of local fixture Iggy Igloo, you’ll know it’s a sound that can’t be easily categorized. The multi-instrumentalist’s material is as tonally eclectic as it is rich in mood. His songs often carry a playful quality, with their surreal loops and “everything-and-the-kitchen-sink” instrumentation, while his poetic lyrics frequently explore issues of social and spiritual concern, often augmented by samples from activists such as the late Russell Means.
If anything, his latest effort, Better Floatin’ Than Sinkin’, which is now available at iTunes and other major online retailers, is a deeper, more vivid trip into Igloo’s musical imagination. The sideways trip-hop of instrumental track “In a Nutshell” and the moody electronic excursion “Dark Readies” are easy for a listener to get lost in, while “Love Wins” and “Spiritual Gangster” are led by Igloo’s unique, layered vocals and somewhat approximate synth-pop that seems like it beams in from another dimension. Closing track “Common Dreams” is the strangest and most wondrous, achieving a truly dreamlike feel in its dissonant, bluesy textures.
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