The best jam-band shows in Denver in February
Blues lead man JJ Grey headlines an all-star night at the Fillmore, and it's sure to be a bluesy, rocking showdown. With a Southern-tinged flavor that adds extra authenticity, Grey commands attention with his big voice, singing songs about cheating hearts and the usual blues fare. Nicki Bluhm and the Gramblers bring their own brand of soul-filled blues to the stage, and looping singer-songwriter Keller Williams rounds out the bill.
Taking rock music to the next level through sampled beats and electronic flourishes, Lotus consistently puts on a good, high energy show that inevitably turns into a non-stop dance party. After some reshuffling the last time the act was in town due to the floods, Lotus returns to Denver to bask in the warmth and glow of the purple chandeliers at the Fillmore. Poolside is slated to share the stage on the first night, and the outfit is fantastic live, so you'll want to make sure to get there early.
Based out of New York City, jazz/rock fusion band Tauk has made a name for itself quickly by opening for the likes of moe. and Robert Randolph, and playing well received sets at Hangout and Bonnaroo. With psychedelic guitar effects and jazzy keyboards, this quartet builds layered instrumental grooves that put you in a trance and send you dancing in a frenzy. Colorado's own Springdale Quartet opens with its own brand of jazzy acid rock.
The Quick and Easy Boys, a power trio out of Portland, plays catchy upbeat songs with great falsetto funk vocals and steady, hip-swaying beats. Live, the band is very interactive, trading off energy with the crowd and giving everything it's got. The garage-soul sound is complemented by psychedelic outbursts and highly proficient playing from all members. Talented local Bob Marley tribute band Wake Up and Live will be hosting the night's festivities to celebrate the reggae legend's birthday.
Kinetix, a high-energy local party band, is celebrating the release of One Life, its latest disc, with a show at 1 UP Colfax. Blending a variety of genres like rock, pop and electronic together, Kinetix is a standout act in the scene that has spent a fair amount of time touring around the country.
With a brand-new album (Let Me Shine) dropping this week, Cold River City will have an exciting night showing off new material. The seductive vocals of Emma Fields give an extra oomph to this spirited funk-rock band's sound, bringing a smoothness that works well with the dirty funk. West Water Outlaws and James and the Devil are slated to share this terrific triple bill.
Using unique songcraft to grab the audience's attention, legendary Minnesota band the Big Wu brings its brand of hard and loud Americana roots rock to Denver for a two-night run at Quixote's True Blue. In an era when jam bands are teased over the lack of good songwriting, this is a band that writes truly great songs, which is exactly why it has attracted a devout fan base that has kept it touring for almost twenty years.
Hot Tuna is aging gracefully and still in top-notch performance shape. Delighting crowds since 1969 with its highly proficient musical prowess and country blues tunes, the legendary band, propelled by ridiculously fast finger-picking from guitarist Jorma Kaukonen and sweet touches of gospel, brings its Acoustic Hot Tuna tour to Denver after finishing a string of dates with Leon Russell.
As one of the top acts from the bustling New Orleans scene, Dirty Dozen Brass Band throws down hard. The act's Dixieland brass-heavy jazz sound is infectiously joyful, with each horn player getting to shine on his own and as part of the collective. Opener Pimps of Joytime are also steeped in New Orleans influences, which gives its funk sound an extra sense of urgency and celebration.
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