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According to Beck, the band has already come up with a system of interpreting James's tunes. "We do our thing pretty well, but we listen," he insists. "When she has a vision, we don't just write a shit-ass '80s guitar solo over it. All of us are sensitive to the actual vibe and feel and original direction of the song."

But recording Tonic also brought out a degree of collaboration between the players. Both "Fall Down" and "Let Yourself Go" are songs co-written by the entire band. "Fall Down," with its seamless blend of virtuoso violin, driving drums and James's falsetto, shows powerful signs of that new partnership. "I think those are the best two songs," James offers without pause. "There's a vibe that's different than what happened before. It's because these guys were contributing parts."

Kings and queen: Joey Barba (from left), Noah Matthews, Rachel James, Ian Short and Stefan Runstrom are Rachel & the Kings.
Chris Kuehl
Kings and queen: Joey Barba (from left), Noah Matthews, Rachel James, Ian Short and Stefan Runstrom are Rachel & the Kings.

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Bluebird Theater

3317 E. Colfax Ave.
Denver, CO 80218

Category: Music Venues

Region: Central Denver

Details

Rachel & the Kings, CD-release show, with Eldren, PrettyMouth and Post Paradise, 8 p.m. Friday, January 25, Bluebird Theater, 3317 East Colfax Avenue, $10, 888-929-7849.

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That's the latest adjustment of many by this longtime performer, who's earned praise from local musicians as well as producers in L.A. One of her tunes had even garnered interest from Cher. "That anonymity thing," she says, "that was absolutely a factor in why I was a songwriter. But there's something really cool happening here; there's something really good happening with this group. I can't take credit for it. I'm kind of along for the ride, along with everybody else."

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