Westword Music Showcase 2004

Fifty bands. Ten stages. Five bucks. Be there.

Why music?
We had a choice?

If not music, what else?
Olympic synchronized swim team.

What band names were left on the cutting-room floor in favor of your current one?
The Love Children of Dave Herrera.

Love .45
Love .45
DJ Vajra
DJ Vajra

Funniest/strangest gig story -- local?
Playing to 2,000 screaming women at the Paramount when we opened for Rick Springfield.

Funniest/weirdest gig story -- on tour?
We had a streaker at an out-of-town college show once. Whitest buns we've ever seen.

Worst gig?
We'll get back to you on that one, as we're about to hit the road full-time in a thirty-foot RV. The worst is inevitably yet to come.

What do you love about the local scene?
It's an exciting time for the Denver's music scene. There is room for everyone here and an audience for every artist who wants to hit the stage, no matter what musical style.

What bugs you about the local scene?
The lack of realization by so many that there is room for everyone here and an audience for every artist who wants to hit the stage.

What's the biggest misconception about your band/act?
Hmm, don't know. We don't really listen much.

Any random facts we should know?
We collect string and we have a most stellar Street Team. Shout out to the paratroopers.

Avalanche or Broncos?
The Avs and your local synchronized swim team.

Parting shot/final comments?
"Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined." -- Thoreau

THE RAILBENDERS
NOMINATED IN COUNTRY/BLUEGRASS/ROOTS

And you are...?
The Railbenders: Jim Dalton, vocals, guitars; Tyson Murray, upright string bass; and Graham Haworth, drums and vocals.

Website?
www.railbenders.com

How long has your act been together?
Established in 2000.

What are some of your noteworthy recent feats?
We just got a gig opening for the Charlie Daniels Band on June 26 at the Budweiser Arena in Loveland. As a result, we won't be able to play this year's Westword Music Showcase as we have for the past two years. We're happy about the gig, but disappointed about missing the showcase.

Recent recordings of note?
Segundo was released this year on Big Bender Records. We also have a new split CD release with Eddie Spaghetti (of the Supersuckers), which is out on their Mid-Fi label.

How do you pay the bills? What are your day jobs?
Tyson owns and tends bar at Tavern 13. Graham is a fish salesman for the Seattle Fish Company. And Jim is a bartender at night and a real estate appraiser by day.

What's the biggest crowd you've ever played for?
Probably opening up for Willie Nelson at Jazz Aspen in 2002. We were on early so it was a light crowd compared to Willie's crowd but that was an exciting gig for us. We also played this year in front of about 1,200 people in Tempe, Arizona, opening up for Roger Clyne.

Favorite places to play?
Denver will always be our favorite. There are too many great Denver venues to list. We had a great time in Nashville and want to go back again. Nita's Hideaway in Arizona was a blast too.

Why music?
Pretty simple, really. We just love playing!

Funniest/strangest gig story -- local?
I have never laughed as hard as the time Tyson and I were driving up I-70 to a gig, trying to catch up to some of our friends who had driven ahead of us after a gas station stop. Tyson got the wild idea that he wanted to moon them. We eventually spotted their Jeep Cherokee up ahead. As I pulled even with their car, Tyson pressed his ham against the window. As I looked over to see their reaction, I suddenly realized we had the wrong car! It was an older couple -- probably retired and on vacation. I burst out laughing, Tyson turned to look and said, "Oh, shit!" and sat down as fast as he could. I had tears in my eyes from laughing so hard.

Funniest/weirdest gig story -- on tour?
That would have to be our buddy Matty flying all the way to Nashville to see us this past weekend and requesting "Piss Up a Rope," by Ween. The Nashville crowd was about the most conservative-looking crowd we'd ever played for. But we figured we had to play it for the one guy who flew all the way from Denver just to see us, so we did! The best thing is, they went crazy for it! A bunch of ladies who had to be in their sixties and seventies were laughing hysterically. Thanks, Matty!

Worst gig?
The ones where people ask you to play the "Boot Scootin' Boogie" -- or whatever the hell that line-dancing song is!

What do you love about the local scene?
The diversity of the music. There is a lot of great music, regardless of the style/genre. This is a very supportive scene among musicians.

What bugs you about the local scene?
Geographically, the venues are too spread out. It would be nice if there were one main part of town where everyone could go and have the luxury of walking to different venues and see many different bands (like Austin's 6th Street, and Nashville's Broadway) in a single night. It's difficult in Denver to see more than one show in a night.

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