Illegal Pete's & G to C Magazine Present
Strange Americans CD Release
Lee Avenue, Jesse Manley, Sawmill Joe
7 S. Broadway
Denver, CO, 80209
Doors 8:00PM / Show 9:00PM
This event is 21 and over
“Strange Americans are Denver’s up and coming Americana rock band. Part folk rock, part classic rock. Its like Dawes made sweet, sweet love to My Morning Jacket on a writhing pile of your dad’s favorite bands. As appetizing as that sounds, the energy and pure musicianship of Strange Americans will blow you away. Matt Hoffman’s golden voice forges a path through huge slices of electric sound. Strange Americans just keep getting better. Their new songs fill a void in their live show I didn’t even know existed. G to C is of the opinion that there is no better rock band in Denver right now. Take notice, rest of the world. Strange Americans are coming for you.” – www.GtoCMagazine.com
Scott McCormick's solo project featuring all original music. If you'd like Randy Newman to be a lot more aggressive and Tom Waits to chill the hell out, you'd like this.
Jesse Manley was born in Montana and spent his early childhood on an expansive ranch just north of Yellowstone National Park. The history and raw folklore of the area continue to influence his music to this day. Jesse's musical style was shaped by listening to his father both play traditional folk music and recite verse from Robert Service's epic poetry. While Jesse had dabbled in playing music, it wasn't until his senior year of college that he discovered his passion for songwriting.
Since moving to the Denver area in 2001, Jesse has honed his musical and compositional skills into those of a "mature songwriter with a well-developed style (Eric Eyl, Westword)." He is currently working on his first album (collaborating with Dave Willey), and has recently begun playing out. Eric Eyl of the Westword says, "I was instantly captivated by Manley's songs and sounds" and his "…earnest lyrics, dreamy melodies, and a truly unique voice."
Joe “Sawmill Joe” Cheves is the stuff of country-blues legend. When not recording music and playing in dive bars, Cheves works at Olde Tyme Lumber, six miles south of Boulder, where he lost a finger [in May of '12]. Originally from Frederick, Maryland, before moving out to Minnesota to get a job in the iron mines (as mentioned at the beginning of “The Trade”), Sawmill Joe has lived in Colorado for about five years now. With the release of this new album, he may have found a home for good. This debut sounds like a humble beginning for a man with obvious talents.
Sawmill Joe’s story isn’t the only thing that sounds like it came straight out of the Mississippi Delta—the songs on his self-titled album sound like they could have been recorded by Alan Lomax himself. They’re simple, heartfelt, and at times angry or sorrowful. This is the stuff that comes from the roots of the roots; it’s not imitation and it’s not affectation. Vocally, Joe can go from gravelly growl to cracking high-pitch country twang in one song. When most the songs consist of a simple blues guitar line and vocals, the feeling and passion in Joe’s voice comes through clearly, and it’s one of the highlights of the music.
“American Dream” is a love song that takes aim at money and religion, with the chorus, “If love don’t count for somethin’ won’t you please tell me what does?” On a song like “Destitute Blues,” you can easily peg some of Joe’s influences, like Mississippi John Hurt or Blind Lemon Jefferson. But where some artists would go over the top and just record a cover song, Sawmill Joe remains original. Listening to Joe’s songs, it’s hard to believe music like this is still being made in the 21st century. These songs about struggle and love are a soundtrack to one man’s life, but they are relatable and memorable regardless of where you come from.
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