Welcom reveals a different stage in the band's development, they say. Each original tune was more of an individual statement by different bandmembers, resulting in more of a combination of different voices than a collaborative chorus. "It's very reflective of what we were doing," Huvard explains. "We had to fill a full show, so we were still learning all this music. If we spent six months doing hard funk, we'd have funk original tunes. If we learned a bunch of country, we'd have country shuffles," he offers, adding, "I think it's just a symbol of us working it out."

Tough Talk, they insist, offers a more unified sound, as well as a dynamic that's less informed by the latest string of gigs. The band's continued affinity for cover songs is evident from the two that are on here, a version of Stevie Wonder's "Living for the City" and a take on the Band's "W.S. Walcott Medicine Show."

But the record also offers decidedly singular tunes, like "Too Good," "What I Know" and "If I'm Wrong," bluesy, driving numbers that incorporate hints of country and R&B. A full roster of guest players including McKay, Joe Tatton, John Macy and the Black Swan Singers help round out that rich sound. Such songs speak of a rich palette, a musical vocabulary built up from plenty of live shows and talented friends.

 "I like the idea of creating a sound that runs with the New Orleans funk thing, but with a Denver side to it," Low states. "We put some rock and roll, we put some country into it."

The Fox Street All Stars no longer don the suits and play the same cover tunes that they did five years ago, and there have been too many changes to count, too many adjustments and evolutions that came from untold days, weeks and months on the road. Still, the bandmembers are able to point to constants that have remained through the band's various lineups and myriad friendships. "The way that you keep moving forward is if you love what you do," Dumm concludes. "You start to learn that it takes work and smart decisions."

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