2013 Denver Post Underground Music Showcase
Rachel and the Kings
21 S Broadway
Denver, CO, 80203
This event is all ages
Rachel and the Kings
Singer-songwriter, Rachel James, a classically trained pianist and Denver based artist, began recording her first album solo. at the completion of the album, Rachel had emerged as a full-fledged bandleader and front woman for an explosive symphonic indie pop/rock ensemble she dubbed “The Kings” in deference to her cohorts as “kings of their craft.”
You’d think a band yet to celebrate its first birthday would be bickering over whose basement is best for practice sessions. at least that’s the visual a stereotypical inauguration tends to suggest. But there’s nothing conventional about Rachel and The Kings, and the dynamo-style start the band boasts is no exception. consider: with less than two months of official togetherdom, Rachel & The Kings won Ford’s national “Gimme the Gig II” competition, earning huge accolades from legendary producer (and head judge) Don Was. Not to mention becoming the de facto stars of “Gimme the Gig II,” which aired on KTla in late July, 2012.
What explains such immediate and extraordinary success is a confluence of talent culled from piles of musical endowment accumulating around Denver these days. Rachel James, already an established singer / songwriter, initially teamed up with friend and producer Joey Barba (lead guitarist of former band Tickle Me Pink). as production on her first full-length album progressed, the need for formidable players to complement the music’s intense construction became clear, and Barba called upon Stefan Runstrom, also of Tickle Me Pink fame, to track drums. With the eventual addition of three other notable colorado players – Ian Short, violin player and long-time collaborator alongside Rachel, with former status playing violin for hello Kavita, Noah Matthews, former bass player on the alan Baird Project and Steven Beck, former guitar player for Tickle Me Pink– the proverbial circle was complete.
and as often occurs in these charmed circumstances, the group chemistry was simply something too potent for anyone to ignore. James, a newly added Steven Beck (formerly of Tickle Me Pink), Runstrom, Short and Matthews all agreed that they had to take their talents outside the studio and due justice to the dynamic sound already found behind its walls. and thus began Rachel and The Kings, a young person’s super-group who proves worthy of that superlative moniker. Their live shows make fun feel justified, a sort of mature approach to having a rather rockin’ good time. Their songwriting finesse and musical artistry set the band on a playing field that’s really all their own. But what separates Rachel & The Kings the most from other bands is the real joy onstage they seem to experience themselves. It’s a relief to see the band is in on what you already know: that this is great stuff.