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Sunday, June 30, 2013

featuring the very best of americana, and roots music   
June 29, 2013
Scott Foley

KRFC airs a locally syndicated program called "The Colorado Sound".  It's quite a wide-ranging show, reaching from old and forgotten rock acts to current EDM and hip-hop hailing from Our Faire State.  No matter how wide a swath host Chris K cuts, for my part "the Colorado sound" sounds like Halden Wofford & the Hi Beams.  And it won't be too much longer before the rest of the nation gets a good strong taste of their Rocky Mountain Honky Tonk

The group's third studio album is a spot-on blend of all the elements that make their music so perfect for Routes & Branches: Impressive playing that's just this side of a mess; vocals that sound vaguely threatening; a sharp and irreverent sense of humor that skillfully treads the line between smart self-parody and stereotype.  Wofford & co. can launch a near-novelty romp like "Beaver Hat Boogie", then present a tight, classic honky tonk piece about an unrepentant gambler in "Loser".  There's an ode to "Pretty Boy Floyd" and a beautifully unhinged "Brown Mountain Slave" that rages from throat-shredding vocals to sweet yodeling on a tune seemingly about ... well, an appeal to marital incarceration in the sticks. 

I play my fare share of Colorado music on R&B.  Heck, Fort Collins' Arliss Nancy produced my very favorite album from 2012.  Even if Mr K does a wonderful job in demonstrating the diversity of Square State music, I think we'd all agree that "the Colorado sound" probably doesn't sound much like the "electrohiphopsoul" of Pretty Lights, or even the "folk/rock/alternative" of Churchill.  No, our sound is heard in the unabashed backwoods blues 'n boogie of Musketeer Gripweed.  Or the gloriously unhinged gospel of Slim Cessna's Auto Club.  And especially the Rocky Mountain Honky Tonk of Halden Wofford & the Hi Beams. 

*  Johnny Cash, "Moving On"  Unearthed  (American, 03)
*  Whiskey Bottles, "Nothin' I Can Do"  Grandville  (Self, 13)   C
*  Builders & the Butchers, "Blood Runs Cold"  Western Medicine  (Barman, 13)
*  Devil Makes Three, "Help Yourself"  Do Wrong Right  (Milan, 09)
^  Halden Wofford & the Hi Beams, "Rocky Mt Honky Tonk"  Rocky Mt Honky Tonk  (Self, 13)  C,D
*  Houndmouth, "Casino (Bad Things)"  From the Hills Below the City  (Rough Trade, 13)
*  Vince Gill & Paul Franklin, "Fightin' Side of Me"  Bakersfield  (MCA Nashville, 13)  D
*  Earl Poole Ball, "Say You Love Me"  Pianography  (Tin Tube Tunes, 13)  D
*  Old 97s, "Lonely Holiday"  Fight Songs  (Elektra, 99)
*  Bonnie Whitmore, "Heartbreaker"  There I Go Again  (This Is Amer Music, 13)
*  Larry & His Flask, "Pandemonium"  By the Lamplight  (Xtra Mile, 13)  D
*  Hezekiah Goode, "Go Easy On the Ethanol"  Two Billion Acres of Salt  (Self, 13)  C
*  Lucinda Williams, "If Wishes Were Horses"  Little Honey  (Mercury, 08)
*  Richard Buckner, "When You Tell Me How It Is"  Surrounded  (Merge, 13)  D
*  Pistol Annies, "Damn Thing"  Annie Up  (RCA, 13)
*  Mando Saenz, "Hard Time Tennessee"  Studebaker  (Carnival, 13)
*  Kill County, "Maggie"  Dust In Wire  (Self, 13)
*  JD McPherson & Pokey LaFarge, "Good Old Oklahoma"  single  (Self, 13)  D
*  Pokey LaFarge, "Won'tcha Please Don't Do It"  Pokey LaFarge  (Third Man, 13)
*  Bill Frisell, "End of the World"  Nashville  (Nonesuch, 97)
*  Robby Peoples, "River Girl"  Love Don't Love Me No More  (Self, 13)
*  Deadly Gentlemen, "Fall Back"  Roll Me Tumble Me  (Rounder, 13)
*  Statesboro Revue, "Half Mile to Lincoln"  Ramble On Privilege Creek  (30 Tigers, 13)
*  Guy Clark, "Hell Bent On a Heartache"  My Favorite Picture of You  (Dualtone, 13)
*  Chris Knight, "Rural Route"  Enough Rope  (Drifter's Church, 06)
*  Emily Barker & Red Clay Halo, "Dear River"  Dear River  (Linn, 13)
*  Delbert & Glen, "Peace In the Valley"  Blind Crippled & Crazy  (New West, 13)
*  Emily Herring, "Austin (Ain't Got No) City Limits"  Your Mistake  (Self, 13)

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