Music News

Critic's Choice

Blending jazz, bluegrass, funk and even a little worldbeat, Matt Flinner -- mandolin virtuoso and former Leftover Salmon tour guest -- and company take dawg-style music (think David Grisman Quintet) to the next level. The ensemble, which appears at Quixote's True Blue on Friday, April 4, is composed of Flinner, drummer Aaron Johnston, electric-guitarist Gawain Mathews and bassist Sam Bevan; it's fueled by a pulsing low end, crack stick work, technologically enhanced axing and the signature crystalline mando picking of Flinner, who also established his acoustic-jam credentials as part of Phillips, Grier and Flinner. In its more serene places, the music evokes the Rocky Mountain springtime, rendering musical landscapes of melting snow, bright sunlight and gently budding plant life. On "Walking on the Moon," the group's instrumental cover of the Police classic (also the title of its latest disc, released by Compass Records), the groove goes heavenward. Making use of jazzy guitar figures, ambling bass lines and mandolin and guitar solos not afraid to stand up and say hello, the quartet swells into an electro-bluejazz meltdown that rates with the best jam, jazz and bluegrass out there.
KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Nick Hutchinson writes about music for Westword and enjoys playing his guitar when not on deadline.
Contact: Nick Hutchinson