So, if you can still remember as far back as last week, I tried to warn you about the impending doom that was the Matterhorn apocalyptic album release party. And this week, I am pleased to report, should prove equally earthshaking.
This week's tremors come to us from Colorado Springs' own Broken Spoke, which will be saddling up this weekend for its first rodeo release, a 12-track beaut' by the name Before They Were Easy Riders. And don't you look this gift horse in the mouth, either. Especially if you're a fan of Lucero, Drag the River, Ryan Bingham or the Ghost of Michael Clark, I suggest you kick the dust off your spurs and pony up for this one.
Without a doubt my most anxiously awaited local album of 2010, Easy Riders features Tom Skora, easily one of the most captivating band leaders to hit the Front Range for quite some time, on guitar and lead vocals. (Sorry, Mike Clark, but you're just not as pretty!) He's joined by talented bandmates Josh DeSmidt (lap steel, guitar, banjo, harmonium), Nathanial Baker (bass), Matthew Campbell (drums) and Lance Jruhmz (fiddle), and they do not disappoint one bit.
Opening with a nice little up-tempo country banjo romp "Vamps in the Valley" (a timely tune about a small-town vampire invasion), the album at times reminds me of classic '70s country rock in the "veins" of The Band, Creedence Clearwater Revival or some Gram Parsons/Flying Burrito Brothers action. At other times, like during the infectious gypsy fiddle jam "Barbara Lasso," the desperate, snarled twang of the Violent Femmes' Gordon Gano blisters on the surface like a fresh sunburn.
Standing out from the pack are two tracks that evoke the Traveling Wilburys (Roy Orbison in particular) called "Talk of the Town" and "Twins." (I thought the latter was pretty damn awesome even before I knew it was written about a pair of promiscuous and, presumably gorgeous, twins who, rumor has it, actually exist.) I was told to ask Tom about it, but haven't yet had the chance.
Anywho, the album, available on CD and iTunes, was ably recorded, mixed and mastered by Erik Wild at The Alley/I'm Afraid of My Pants Studios (on reel-to-reel analog, no less!), and is set for an unofficial "teaser" release party tonight, Thursday, Nov. 18, at Trinity Brewing Company, and an official release Saturday, Nov. 20, at Manitou's Ancient Mariner, with the Big Valley String Band opening. For more information, be sure to visit thebrokenspoke.net.
Also tonight (the 18th), with apologies for the late notice, is a benefit show for Arc of the Pikes Peak Region, a group that works on behalf of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The event, from 7 to 10 at the Brewer's Republic (112 N. Nevada Ave.) will feature music and poetry from Samovar (aka Iggy "Mono-Clop" Igloo), Danny Pitcher, Dayak, Tall City, Midnight Poet, In a House by the Sea and Thea. Check it out, why don'tcha?
Smell you later!
Send news, pics and apocalyptic sightings to firstname.lastname@example.org.