Ring in your week with sad-screamo folk, spend Valentine's Day with soul-melting R&B, tip your hat to the classic rock era with an early-twenties blues rocker's old-soul music, and wrap up your weekend contemplating daily life. Here are four of our picks for the best concerts this week.
Thursday, February 13, Broadway Roxy, broadwayroxy.com.
Maya Bennett perfected her sound — "sad-screamo folk," in her words — on the streets and at open mics in her hometown of Loveland. She would go on to build a career gigging around Colorado, despite having an on-and-off-again relationship with playing her music live, stopping for periods as she suffered through mental health crises. But she has fully re-entered the music world, she says, ready to bring her autobiographical songs back to audiences. In late 2019, she re-released her soulful 2018 album, As the Pink Fades, which nods to the likes of Neko Case and traverses folk, punk, blues, country and soul with lyrics that touch on struggle.
Lee Clark Allen
Friday, February 14, Broadway Roxy, broadwayroxy.com.
Lee Clark Allen’s voice melts away the worries of life. The thirty-something Arkansas-raised, Denver-based teacher, songwriter and singer dropped his debut EP, Little Rock, almost a year ago. Straight from the artistic lineage of Sam Cooke, Allen mixes traditional soul and R&B with spoken word, poetry, jazz and gospel. In the past year, his music has begun to take off in the local scene. “I'm humbled to be having some success and to be able to impact people,” he told Westword last March. “I'm comfortable with who I am, and people are watching and being inspired.”
The Marcus King Band
Saturday, February 15, Ogden Theater, ogdentheatre.com.
Classic-rock fans bemoaning how new musicians have jumped the shark with computer-made bleeps and bloops could stand to open their minds a bit, especially when they gripe that there’s no good music being made anymore. Because even if they want to make the mistake of getting stuck in the past and cleaving to classic taste, they have no excuse not to listen to some of the up-and-coming artists honoring — and advancing — rock history. Take Allman Brothers heir-apparent Marcus King, a twenty-something with an old man's voice who serves up classic Southern-boiled rock, seasoned with funk, soul and wide-open-road country. On albums like Carolina Confessions, he treads familiar themes, like leaving home and being in love. His latest, El Dorado, rivals anything in the canon of ’70s rock. Accompanied by Hammond organs, hip-shaking grooves and wah-wah guitar, it’s music for cross-country road trips with the windows rolled down.
Sunday, February 16, Gothic Theatre.
Pinegrove, a band known for its confessional lyrics led by singer Evan Stephens Hall and drummer Zack Levine, was born from the DIY scene in Montclair, New Jersey, back in 2010. The group sings plainspoken indie rock and merges folk and country with a scrappy punk sensibility in the tradition of Bright Eyes, the Mountain Goats and Bonnie "Prince” Billy. While most Americana has veered toward shiny pretty people with shiny pretty voices, Levine offers something rawer, smarter and more heartfelt. The band has put out three studio albums: Cardinal in 2016, Skylight in 2018, and this year's Marigold, a collection of nostalgic, story-driven songs. While the lyrics come off as vulnerable and at times melancholy, they are rarely despairing.