Acoustic Junction, Thursday, February 17, at the Gothic Theatre, with the Yonder Mountain String Band and Fox Trot Zulu, returns after a hiatus from live performances. But the popular Boulder-based band hasn't spent its time away from area stages gingerly: After finding itself freed from a recording contract with Capricorn Records in 1998, when that label was acquired by Universal Music Group, the five-piece, led by vocalist/songwriter/acoustic guitarist Reed Foehl, went looking for a new label...and found one. Its second offering, Strange Days, will be released on the New York indie Omad Records in early March. And while at first glance the move away from a major label to a minor one may seem like a demotion, Strange Days provides plenty of evidence that the band is doing just fine. The fourteen tracks find Foehl and company summoning everything from blues riffs to country to the kind of lilting harmonic melodies that helped establish the Jayhawks. The album also features an impressive host of musical luminaries, including former Morphine drummer Billy Conway, ex-SNL bandmember T-Bone Wolf, and Graham Nash (yes, that Graham Nash), who lends vocals to "Dancin' for You." Welcome back. -- Laura Bond
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