Mon, Dec 30
Wed, Jan 1
2-DAY PASS - Tea Leaf Green - DEC 30th w/ Toubab Krewe & DEC 31st w/ Mountain Standard Time
2637 Welton St.,
Denver, CO, 80205
Doors 8:00 PM / Show 9:00 PM
This event is 16 and over
Watch & Listen
Tea Leaf Green
The longer one lives the greater the number of scars and scrapes one accumulates. It’s the same with a band, where the years build up layers one could never have expected when they set out in a van back in the day. So it is with San Francisco’s Tea Leaf Green, whose own journey began as a jam-minded party on legs in the late 1990s and now finds them some of the Bay Area’s most thoughtful, dedicated craftsmen. As sharply carved and musically robust as any rock unit today, TLG have harnessed their surefire live prowess and ability to seize an audience into a bustling, emotionally dense, ear-snagging studio form with In The Wake (in stores May 14), a complete vision that represents the great skill and open-minded invention in this quintet - Trevor Garrod (keys, vocals), Josh Clark (guitar, vocals), Scott Rager (drums), Reed Mathis (bass, vocals) and Cochrane McMillan (percussion) – placing them alongside contemporaries like Delta Spirit, Everest and Dr. Dog in marrying honesty, artistry and grit in music that hums with bruised but unbowed life.
“The title In The Wake has multiple meanings for us,” explains Mathis. “First, these songs came in the wake of our own personal tragedies. Second, the album comes in the wake of our previous album Radio Tragedy (2011). Third, it’s a wake where we’re mourning some things, and celebrating the departed. And last, it’s a sign that we’re in the process of waking up. But, the song ‘In The Wake’ isn’t about any of this [laughs].”
Coyote Hearing Studio, an up & coming Oakland, CA recording space co-run by TLG’s McMillan and In The Wake co-producer Jeremy Black (Apollo Sunshine), contributed to the flow and ease of making this album.
“It’s really helped to have an impeccable environment to record in with multiple people capable of engineering, producing, and creating together. It’s really been a laboratory for us. The ideas were continually stringing together between us. It’s definitely the most collaborative record we’ve ever made,” says McMillan, who spent many mornings alone in the studio tinkering and fine tuning tracks, a sign of the warm push-me-pull-me creative relationship he shares with Black.
“We’ve been building towards this sound and recording style for a while,” says Clark. “It’s a matter of trust to come in and know what the other guys have laid down is good and you can build on it. We trust each other to make the sounds that need to be made. It’s also nice when you bring in a song with some words and a melody but you don’t have a preconceived idea of how it sounds. We let each song takes its course.”
More so than anything in their earlier catalog, In The Wake presents what the blend of the considerable collective talents in Tea Leaf Green are capable of, letting solo spotlights dim in order to illuminate the greater being that emerges when their arms are linked.
Listening to the new album, it’s clear today’s Tea Leaf Green is a far cry from the young men that wrote “Sex In The 70s” and other easygoing vehicles. That strain remains in TLG’s substrata, particularly in their always-invigorating concerts, but creatively and emotionally there’s just more heft to them now.
“We love our fans and are very fan-centric, but at a certain point we have to move on and explore new sounds,” says Clark. “It’s not going to sound like it used to, but we’re really not in any kind of control over this. We don’t sit down and discuss how we’d like to sound. It just happens. This time we got to explore some softer elements, and to move outside our comfort zones. Who knows where it’s going from here.”
Some music cannot be found on a map or within iTunes categories. Some music is so original it seems snatched from the great, invisible substrata that runs below all human activity, a sound aching to be born without a flag or fixed allegiance – free, questing, overflowing with immediate, tangible life. This is the music of Toubab Krewe, the vibrant Asheville, NC-based instrumental powerhouse that creates a sonic Pangaea that lustily swirls together rock, African traditions, jam sensibilities, international folk strains and more. While nearly impossible to put into any box, it takes only a few moments to realize in a very palpable way that one is face-to-face with a true original who recognizes no borders in a march towards a muscular, original, globally switched-on sound.
Formed in 2005, Toubab Krewe has tenaciously honed their craft through relentless touring and a fierce dedication to carving out something they can truly call their own. The fruits of this hard work can be heard on their latest release, TK2, (September 7, 2010 on Nat Geo Music). What Justin Perkins (Kora, Kamelngoni, guitar, percussion), Vic Stafford (drums, congas), Drew Heller (guitar, piano, fiddle), David Pransky (bass, guitar), and Luke Quaranta (Djembe, percussion) have wrought on TK2 reflects the many miles and musical journeys that have transpired since their studio debut.
This is a band that actively draws inspiration from whatever source floats into their purview, something they’ve exhibited in their half decade of heavy gigging, including regular appearances at major U.S. festivals like Bonnaroo, High Sierra, Rothbury and Wakarusa, and abroad at such legendary gatherings as Festival In The Desert in Mali. Their globe-hopping propensity has made them an emerging headliner at their hometown’s famous Orange Peel and a familiar face as similar venues throughout the country. Whether on their own or collaborating with luminaries like the Last Poets’ Umar Bin Hassan or Uncle Earl’s Rayna Gellert, Toubab Krewe has already earned the attention and respect of a broad musical community.
Toubab carries echoes of African greats like Ali Farka Toure, Orchestra Baobab and Salif Keita, no doubt picked up during the group’s travels to study and live in Guinea, Ivory Coast and Mali. But what truly differentiates Toubab Krewe from other Statesiders inspired by African music is how they innovate on what they’ve learned instead of simply recreating tradition. Toubab Krewe carves out a new trail honoring the African originators they admire by making something alive and contemporary.
Mountain Standard Time
“[MST has]…captured a classic sound, fiddled with their filters until just the right level of light shines through, and layered their work for the discerning ear.” (Daily Camera – Boulder, CO).
For Mountain Standard Time, there is one focus: making good, honest music. The organic process of expression—from heart to hands to ears—preserves the integrity of the finished product. While the band spends an exhaustive amount of time crafting and perfecting their material, they don’t pay any mind to the rules and confines of genre. With elements of Bluegrass, Prog Rock, Latin and Americana, attempting to categorize the band can be challenging. MST coined the term “free grass” so that they could stop focusing on labeling their music and stick to what they do best: playing it.
MST brands its own style of "Rocky Mountain FreeGrass," blending acoustic guitar and mandolin with keyboards, electric bass, and drums. The members of MST migrated to Colorado from different regions of the country, bringing wildly diverse musical backgrounds and influences along with them. Their paths eventually crossed in Nederland - a small, Colorado mountain town steeped in bluegrass music. Musical relationships were forged through the camaraderie of late-night jam sessions that characterize the music scene of the Front Range. Shortly after meeting, MST grew quickly and performed all over Colorado and across the country, with appearances at Wakarusa Music Festival, 10,000 Lakes Festival, Summer Camp Music Festival, and NedFest, among many others.
After some time away from the road, MST returned back to the live music scene in 2012. The band’s sound adds new dimension as Zack Scott (drums), Nick Dunbar (mandolin, guitar) and Stanton Sutton (guitar, mandolin) are joined by Otis Lande on bass and Ryan Ebarb on keyboards. Solid vocal harmonies and genuine lyrics interplay with well-crafted melodies over a soundscape that varies from lush and delicate to lively and complex—often within the same song. Plenty of room for improvisation keeps everything exciting, while unique transitions stitch it all together. They released their first EP, Sunny, in early 2013, which captures the spirit of the band’s live energy.
$50 Day Of Show
Tickets Available at the Door
*** PURCHASE 2-DAY PASSES FROM THIS PAGE ***
Purchase a 2-Day Pass and receive tickets to both nights of Tea Leaf Green, December 30th and 31st. Both tickets will be available at Will Call on December 30th from the Cervantes' Box Office after 7 PM.
Cervantes' Other Side
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