Music News

Various Artists

KBCO gets plenty of attention for its Studio C discs, largely because they feature national touring acts in off-the-cuff settings. In contrast, the Mountain's Homegrown series focuses on local performers who aspire to the bigtime but haven't experienced it yet. Although V.02 doesn't give a real sense of this area's music-scene variety -- the selections are limited to acts whose work won't startle listeners tuning in to hear "Tiny Dancer" -- it introduces novices to the current crop of Coloradans looking to slip into the mainstream.

Arguably the biggest name on hand is the Fray, a recent Epic Records signee whose entry, "Some Trust," does absolutely zip for me. The song comes across as commercial in an extremely generic way, as do efforts by familiar performers such as Nina Storey. Fortunately, Elizabeth Rose's deft "Mercy on Me," the Erika Brown Band's vibrant "Dynamite," the Byron Shaw Projex's slinky "Every Kiss" and the Railbenders' potent "Whiskey Rain" more than pick up the slack. These artists may not be destined for stardom, but their music feels distinctively Homegrown.

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts