Reader: Country Will Always Be Cool...If You Can Find It

Reader: Country Will Always Be Cool...If You Can Find It
Jason Bye
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One of Denver's most legendary country-Western bars was the Zanzibar on East Colfax. So it's fitting that Curtis Wallach, who wants to see country music find its audience in Denver, is setting up Queen City County & Western, a new musician-run promotions collective that will launch on Friday, March 1, at Lost Lake Lounge, 3602 East Colfax Avenue.

“I’m from Denver, and I think country-Western is something that Denver’s lost a little bit,” says Wallach. “Denver used to have honky-tonks. It was a bigger scene than it is now, and we’re trying to bring it back.”

And many readers will be happy to welcome it. Says David: 

Great!! Finally a bar that features both types of music.

Recalls Jim:

When Zanzibar closed, it was the end of live country music. There were three or four other bars on East Colfax that played live music.  

Comments Joe: 

The country-Western bars out here are little hellholes for Anglo Saxons. Usually dress codes so strict they keep out anyone who isn’t a white, MAGA freak. Last time I went to one, they wouldn’t let me wear my beanie (in Colorado?) and the security team stared at me the whole time like I was about to commit gang violence.

Says Daniel: 

There has never been country-Western music in Denver...

Responds Jay: 

What about the Grizzly Rose? That place is always kicking with country. And there are a couple places close to Denver. Country will always be cool; you just have to know where to find it.

And then there's this from Klay:

There aren't any real country people in Denver. If you believe there is, I got a ranch down on Colfax I wanna sell you, homie. Only country that exists in Denver is folks that got $300 boots that never touched dirt, $150 jeans, $100 shirt. Haha, that ain't country, bud.

The Queen City County & Western will start off representing six acts, all included on an eighteen-track sampler available for purchase at the kick-off party: Casey James Prestwood & the Burning Angels, Extra Gold, Grayson County Burn Ban, High Plains Honky, Jennifer Jane Niceley, and Wallach’s own Hang Rounders.

The idea for the collective started roughly six months ago, after Wallach, co-owner and talent buyer at the hi-dive, found himself wondering how record labels could better promote Denver artists. “After I started to look into launching this, I thought, well, there is stuff that actually sort of exists in Denver already — like Grouphug records, and Mountain to Sound is a good example of it — where they’re kind of communities of artists working together to build awareness for their own little scenes. I think that’s awesome.”

Now he's building the community for country. “You should be able to find a good country show most every weekend, just by following these bands," he adds. "And not just these six bands; these bands play with so many cool and varied acts as well. You’ll get turned on to other bands that way.”

Do you know of any good country bars around Denver? What do you think about country music in general? Post a comment or share your thoughts at editorial@westword.com.

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