Music News

This "Colorado" Song Is a Welcome Break From Odes to Cannabis

The Brothers Brothers have released a new video with Sarah Jarosz called "Colorado."
Morten Fog
The Brothers Brothers have released a new video with Sarah Jarosz called "Colorado."
When Florida Georgia Line's radio-friendly albeit corny "Colorado" came out in 2018, it was hard not to wish people who aren't from Colorado would shut their traps about Colorado — because these days, all they seem to notice about this state is weed.

Weed. Weed. Weed.

It hasn't always been this way. Colorado has been the subject of plenty of earnest songs over the years, from Townes Van Zandt's "Colorado Girl" to Merle Haggard's "Colorado" to Linda Ronstadt's "Colorado."

While there have always been some goofy songs about the state, like Johnny Paycheck's ode to Coors, "Colorado Kool-Aid," other artists have found more pathos here.

Maybe with cannabis laws loosening up nationwide, songwriters are once again noticing what makes this place great: stunning landscapes and beautiful skies worthy of the most achy hearts.

One of the most recent entries into the Colorado-inspired earnest-song canon first dropped last year: the Brothers Brothers' "Colorado." It's a moody love song that taps into the melancholy of the state's sunsets, with lyrics worthy of Gregory Alan Isakov.

The original version of the song off the band's Some People I Know is good, but a new version the duo released as a music video, with singing from folkie Sarah Jarosz and bassist Jeff Picker, is even better.

Watch it here:

Instead of just obsessing over the landscape or Denver, it uses the state's entire geography, from the Front Range to the high peaks to the often ignored eastern plains, as a backdrop for a story about a guy thinking of breaking up with his partner.

The video, which was recorded in a house in Nashville, is a well-crafted song for sad times.

More important, at least if you live in Colorado, is that the song does something that those of us who live here need: It reminds us that our home is more than just a haven for stoners and yuppies trying to capitalize on cannabis. We're in a soulful state that's worthy of brooding folk music.

The Brothers Brothers, October 18, Chautauqua Community House, 900 Baseline Road, Boulder, $18; October 19, Tuft Theatre, Swallow Hill Music, 71 East Yale Avenue, $16 to $18.