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Westword Music Showcase 2004

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

Recent recordings of note?
We are actually going into the studio to record our next album in mid-July; it should be released this fall! We're really excited to head into the studio to record!

How do you pay the bills? What is your day job?
I'll do most anything to get the bills paid, but playing side gigs and painting houses is mostly what I do at this point.

What's the biggest crowd you've ever played for?
Hmm, probably the grand opening of Invesco Field. And we've had some really big crowds at a couple of the LoDo Fests. The gig at the Jim Beam Distillery in Kentucky was great, as well. The thing is, as long as you're having a great time on stage, it truly does not matter if there are fifty people in the crowd or 5,000. You've just gotta play your best at each gig.

Favorite places to play?
Elbo Room in San Francisco; Herman's Hideaway, Soiled Dove and Round Midnight in Colorado! Oh, and the Lion's Den in NYC was really dope!

Why music?
Because it is universal and expressive. It's a fun, positive way to express yourself to others. Music is freedom!

If not music, what else?
Geez, I have no idea... Maybe teaching kids. The transference of knowledge is so important, and if I could not do it through music, teaching would be another option. But it would need to be some sort of artistic endeavor -- maybe art, creative writing, something along those lines.

What band names were left on the cutting-room floor in favor of your current one?
The Lusty Janitor and Backstage Suasion, to name a couple.

Funniest/strangest gig story -- local?
There was a crazy transient wielding a spoon at us while we were on stage at the Boulder Creek Fest a couple of years ago. He acted like he wanted to kill us, but then he started dancing and enjoying himself. It was bizarre!

Funniest/weirdest gig story -- on tour?
Um, let's not go there. Suffice it to say, what happens in Austin stays in Austin! Enough said.

Worst gig?
The dreaded Zodiac Club! (I think it's closed now): minimal audience, no pay, and fists were flying. It was awful -- and yet a strange bonding experience for us all.

What do you love about the local scene?
The support and incredible interest from music lovers in town, especially since we are so far away from the coasts. It's like we're our own self-supported "music entity" out here in Colorado.

What bugs you about the local scene?
The "outside opinion" from those on the coasts is that Denver is simply a cowtown, when in reality, it is a very learned, cultured, artistic community that is gaining notoriety.

What's the biggest misconception about your band/act?
Because of some of the successes -- minimal or otherwise -- we've had, many have this "ill vision" that we are like rock stars, have a huge record deal, are bored in Denver, etc., and that's not true at all. As with most bands, we play music because we love it. We love the expression; we love connecting with the audience. We adore all the amazing people in Colorado and around the country who have shown all their support over the years. If it was not for the folks coming out to our shows, there would be no Yo, Flaco! We know this. We appreciate all the support and every opportunity that comes our way.

Any random facts we should know?
Our van smells really bad!

Avalanche or Broncos?
Oh, man, don't make us choose! We're Colorado fans, whatever the team!

Parting shot/final comments?
On behalf of the band, we'd just like to thank everyone on the nominating committee for including Yo, Flaco! in the Funk/Soul category this year. And a huge thank-you to everyone who takes the time to vote for your favorite bands. And most of all, for everyone involved in the local scene: Your support makes all of this possible -- not only for us, but for all the bands in Colorado! You are why we play!

YONDER MOUNTAIN STRING BAND
NOMINATED IN JAM

And you are...?
Ben Kaufmann of the Yonder Mountain String Band.

Website?
www.yondermountain.com

How long has your act been together?
Five and a half years.

What are some of your noteworthy recent feats?
CNN appearance; Bonnaroo 2004; playing at Telluride's Bluegrass Festival consecutively for the past four years; gearing up to release our third live album.

Recent recordings of note?
Old Hands, our third studio album to date.

How do you pay the bills? What are your day jobs?
Being in Yonder Mountain String Band.

What's the biggest crowd you've ever played for?
In front of 35,000 at Bonnaroo.

Favorite places to play?
Acoustic Coffeehouse in Nederland.

Why music?
We took a chance at living the dream, and it happened.

If not music, what else?
I'd be a crooked cop.

What band names were left on the cutting-room floor in favor of your current one?
Uncle Creepish and the Grumpy Thumpers, and the Sam Bush Band.

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