Music » Interviews

Trace Bundy wrangles guitars with grace




Trace Bundy is very clear that he is not a singer. But if you head to his well-stocked YouTube channel (which he's proud to note has racked up more than 29 million views), you'll find one instance of the Boulder acoustic guitarist rapping Eminem's "Lose Yourself."

"I haven't pulled that one out in a while," he says, laughing. "But it's funny, when I was out in Washington, I played a church. I just played three songs, I think, at their service. And before the service, this younger guy came up to me and said, 'Hey I don't know if you take requests, but could you play the Eminem song this morning?' And I was like, that's pretty cool that he wants me to play Eminem at his church. I didn't end up doing it, but it was a fun idea."

Also at that YouTube page is Bundy's very first official, and just two-week-old, music video for "Overtime," an original piece from his 2012 album Elephant King.

The clip finds the musician playing his acoustic guitar while seated in a chair that transports him to the top of Mount Evans, to the woods on the west side of Echo Lake, to an abandoned prospector's cabin north of Idaho Springs, and finally to the middle of a river in Clear Creek Canyon. It also showcases the musical intricacy and technical skills that inspired one Fort Collins newspaper to nickname him the Acoustic Ninja.

Perhaps the name also sticks because of the way Bundy pushes himself to innovate, whether it's through the use of multiple capos, looping, or playing with room acoustics, as he does on one of his favorite songs to cover, U2's "Where the Streets Have No Name."

"It's hard to get the grasp of it on YouTube, but when I do it at a concert, I'm doing something called stereo delay. And what that means is everything coming out of the speakers on one side of the room [is] gonna give me [something] a little bit different from what's coming from the other side of the room.

"So when you're sitting there in the concert, you're hearing these echoes that are different on the left side from the right side, and those two echoes are gonna interact with each other in the middle of the room, and it sounds really, really cool."

He'll bring that, and more, to his third annual Acoustic Holiday Show at Stargazers this weekend. There'll be lots of storytelling — Bundy says people tell him that they often come back to his shows "half to hear the songs, and half to hear the banter that happens in between the songs" — as well as this year's special guest, Denver's Rob Drabkin.

"He's kind of a Colorado staple," Bundy says. "Just one of the hardest-working musicians out there. Good groove with music. Great singer. Great songwriter. And the coolest hair that you'd ever, ever see."

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