Kyle Donovan – Then and Now


Kyle Donovan is a rare and beautiful talent … with a voice that lifts, he sings notes that feel like fire flies on a moist summer evening alongside a deep and slow moving river … this isn’t mundane … it’s invigorating. Few voices are as pure and unwavering in tone and pitch, or as sweet and sensitive in emotion.

Kyle’s quietly expressive stories of life are reminiscent of the best storytellers … none less than Paul Simon, Kyle’s strongest and most obvious muse. “Then and Now” is a love album – the best kind; it’s inspirational. That the album is self produced, self recorded, self mixed and mastered is testament to Kyle’s unrelenting faith and courage in his immense talent. It simply sounds fabulous.

This is an album for the end of the night – at the quietest possible time of day, and mind and body. It ends with the sweetest lullaby, “No Matter the Distance,” a “honey dipped melody” to the love of his parents, knowing “we will always be here, in your heart.”

Kyle spent three years engineering what really is a masterpiece of a solo debut .. and a strong contender for ALBUM of the YEAR on the Colorado Playlist.



Catching Fire” is the new 2019 Americana soul, blues, jazz, funk inflected release from Northern Colorado trio The Symbols, with husband and wife duo Jasco (guitar and producer) and Mer Sal (bass and lead vocals) standing front and center.  I’ve been waiting for this record since I first privately suggested to Mer Sal some seven or eight years ago that she hadn’t quite found the music that fit her then unaccomplished voice. She has now. “Catching Fire” is the record that sets Mer Sal up among the premier female blue-eyed soul singers in Colorado today.

Jasco and I have known each other since the early 90s when he was in Blind Dog Smokin’ and we played shows together. I’ve always been impressed with Jason’s highly unique voicings and guitar tones. On this album, Jasco’s sparse and inventive lead lines and personally unique guitar tones perfectly complement Mer Sal’s brightly sparkling vocals.

There is exceptional stylistic diversity on this album. “Let’s Be Love” immediately sets the tone with Mer Sal singing “leave your judgement at the door … let’s be love,” hinting at her blues and soul influences. “Shake It,” featuring Alvino Bennett (Stevie Wonder, Kenny Loggins, Robin Trower) as producer and drummer, is an insanely sparse pocket dance floor party with Mer Sal flashing her skills as bassist and singing simply about shaking butt on the dance floor. “Walk Beside Me” lays out a beautiful southern blues-jazz groove that slides into the scat filled mid-century “Soon,” both of which give up ghosts of the great Satchmo (check out the intro guitar line in “Walk Beside Me” that damned near sounds like a muted trumpet).

Produced and recorded by Jasco at his Fort Collins studio The Recordium,”Catching Fire” sets the standard against which all other female fronted Americana blues oriented recordings will be measured in the coming year in Colorado.


Oh boy. #fullboxofKleenex #joyfultearjerker = new album from Tempa & Naor Project … Ember’s Fire.

Highly recommended if you like: Nancy Griffith, Roseanne Cash, Brandi Carlile

Tempa is a former Denver blues singer of the highest regard. From 2000-2012, Tempa and the Tantrums was nominated for 5 Westword Music Showcase Awards, winning Best Blues Band in 2006. Tempa hosted an award winning (Best Allcomers Jam, WestWord Awards 2007) open mic and jam session for 8 years – one of which is where we first met Rob Drabkin.

Tempa fell in love and moved to Hawaii, but has always remembered those she was close to in our region. I’m honored to be among those folks – so much love and thank you Tempa ❤

Well, after all these years we have a new album from our friend – and it’s NOT what I would have expected. What any of us who frequented her jams might have reasonably been inclined to expect was a blues album, since that’s what Tempa & the Tantrums were – a blues band. Not so this album. Tempa & Naor seem to have mastered the Americana / country-folk-rock style with Ember’s Fire, their debut.

“Never Meant to Be A Love Song,” is the first radio “hit” on the album, a country song full of claps and folky rap with tasty use of dobro, fiddle, and a stompin’ singalong chorus.  It wouldn’t surprise me in the least if I heard this on KYGO (Denver) or KUAD (Northern Colorado) let alone any of the excellent Americana music shows throughout the state.

The rest of the album is a finely detailed and produced arrangement of love songs and ballads – including a very western sounding “Wyoming Highway” that could have come from Nancy Griffith.

There’s a beautifully restrained subtlety of passion and togetherness in Naor’s fine acoustic guitar work and Tempa’s boldly measured vocals throughout the album.  It’s an album of love songs with Tempa displaying a voice perhaps we could not have imagined a decade ago, nor fully realized if she hadn’t fallen in love and moved to Hawaii.

“Never Meant to Be A Love Song” – shared with permission from Tempa & Naor


CP S12 EP40 2018

 Monday Oct 22 2018 … Here in about another two weeks we enter the 2019 release year – which will include any NEW releases submitted for airplay after Nov 1.

2018 has been a rather amazing year.  Currently in the CP song catalog for 2018 there are over 390 song titles … from over 100 LPs alone – not including EPs and single releases.

So far this year I’ve seen more singles released than at any time I’ve done this show over the paste 12 years.  This weekend I spoke with the owners of one of our prestigious studios.  They affirmed they’ve seen more singles being produced than at any time they could recall.

Basically, it’s going to make for an interesting end of year “Best Of.”

Congratulations to Randall Frazier and Elisa Canali.  Randall is the long time production manager and talent buyer for Ophelia’s Electric Soapbox as well as a longtime label owner (Helmut Room), sound and recording engineer, producer, tour manager and musician in the scene.  Randall and Elisa met when Randall took her on as an intern learning sound.  She is now Randall’s assistant and soon to be legally married life partner.  Much love to both …

Ophelia’s has also announced they’re launching a new label based on live recordings that Randall will produce at the venue.  The launch is set for early 2019.

The Colorado Music Hall of Fame class for 2018 has been announced.  It’s a night dedicated to AEG’s Chuck Morris, who got started promoting shows in Boulder in the late 60s.  Also being inducted – 97.3FM KBCO, a pioneering station with air talent that reaches back into the 70s and 80s.

The show will include performances by Amos Lee, Leo KottkeTodd Park Mohr & Brian Nevin (Big Head Todd & the Monsters), Isaac Slade & Ben Wysocki (the Fray), Bill Nershi and members of the String Cheese Incident, Drew Emmit & Vince Herman (Leftover Salmon) and the Lumineers.  The house backing band for the show is Chris Daniels & the Kings.  Governor Hickenlooper will be hosting the roast of Chuck Morris.  Dec 3 2018 – The Paramount Theater.  

105.5 The Colorado Sound & the Colorado Playlist Present:

Brent Cowles w/ special guests Strange Americans at the Bluebird Theater (Denver) Fri, Dec 14

Covenhoven  at Swallow Hill Music (Denver) Fri, Nov 9

Gasoline Lollipops with The Grant Farm at The Fox Theatre (Boulder) New Years Eve, Monday, Dec 31

Trout Steak Revival 2 shows…
Fri, Nov 30 at Cervantes Masterpiece Ballroom (Denver)
Sat, Dec 1 at the Aggie Theatre (Fort Collins)

The Railbenders at The Bluebird Theater (Denver), Friday, Dec 21

Wildermiss with Silver & Gold and Ivory Circle at the Downtown Artery (Fort Collins) Friday, November 9

At Bohemian Foundation, our focus is on building community …by coming together to create and enjoy music.


It shouldn’t be a secret and there’s little doubt that Gregory Alan Isakov is a perennial BEST OF Colorado artist – with a string of exceptional releases, and headlining slots at Red Rocks.  Gregory is in a class of his own in our scene.  This is from his new album Evening Machines.


What you’ll find below are new songs on the show this week … listen  and let me know which ones you think I should keep in the Colorado Playlist, and which I should delete.

NOTE:  In order to be included in the MMMM poll, the band/artist must have an embeddable file on Soundcloud, BandCamp, Reverbnation, Spotify or YouTube.


(D) = debut of lp, ep or single
(N) = new cut from previously debuted lp or ep


The Astronauts “Competition Couple” from Competition Coupe/Astronauts Orbit Kampus (1997)
The Moonrakers “Trip and Fall” from Anthology (2007)
(D) Hunter Burnette “At Ease” from The Good Life EP (2018)

Coral Creek “Cryin’ Bout My Baby” from Coral Creek (2015)
Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats “Look It Here” from Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats (2015)
(N) The SIR Band “So Cold” from So Cold (2018)

Leftover Salmon “House of Cards” from Something Higher (2018)
Wendy Woo Band “Walk Along the Water” from austerity (2011)
My Body Sings Electric “Step Into the Light” from Changing Color (2011)
(N) Plutinos “Falling Away” from Plutinos EP (2018)

Wildermiss “Carry Your Heart” from Lost With You (2017)
Wonderlic “Moses” from Wunderpus Photogenicus (2016)
Walter Gorra “’til Next Time” from In Due Time (2018)


Big Head Todd & The Monsters “Broken Hearted Savior” from Sister Sweetly (1993)
(D) Elyse Miller “Quicksand” (2018)

Paper Bird “Don’t Want Half” from Paper Bird (2016)
You Me and Apollo “Don’t Sleep for Free” from Sweet Honey (2014)
(D) SYCDVK “Oasis In Space” from Lurking Earthlings EP (2018)

Slow Caves “Poser” (2018)
Slim Cessna’s Auto Club “No Doubt About It” from Unentitled (2011)
The Apples in Stereo “Signal In The Sky (Let’s Go)” from Let’s Go (2001)
Edison “Take Me Home” from Lion’s Heart EP (2018)
(N) Magnolia North “Just Like You” from Magnolia North (2018)
Richard Dean “Wild Night On the Bayou” from Vignettes (2017)
Greensky Bluegrass “Miss September” from Shouted, Written Down & Quoted (2016)
Analog Son “CTI” from Funky Mother (2018)



CP S12 EP27 2018

Another week and another weekend of live music in Northern Colorado.  The main event this weekend was a benefit for Women In Blues held at the Armory Event Center in Brighton.

Event organizer Kyle Deibler (Memphis West Music) filled me in that W.I.B. is an aspiring national level non-profit (501C3) organization. Colorado women in blues owned the sparsely attended event from the first act on.

Unfortunately, I was not able to stay to see the non-Colorado talent headlining the bill, due to a scheduled show with my own band.

The biggest surprise of the day was a revamped Kerry Pastine & the Crime Scene.  Gone are Lance “Romance” Bakermeyer (bass) and Mad Dog Minnick (drums/vocals), who have gone back to the Hillbilly Hellcats with Chuch Hughes.

Lance and Mad Dog provided equal parts of the look, vibe and style to the original Crime Scene lineup – giving the band a unified and uniformed look and sound on stage – matching Kerry AND Pauly Six in performance intensity and style.  Wearing beards, caps, dark glasses and black shirts, the matching colorful fashion statement gone, a potentially darker and deadlier groove may be what we’ll get moving forward from the new rhythm section.

KPCS has a new album dropping very soon – I premiered a new track from the album (a Nancy Sinatra/Lee Hazelwood cover featuring Jim Dalton of the Railbenders) in the show this week .. it’s below in the MMMM.

Fresh off her album release show at the Walnut Room in Denver, Cass Clayton opened the show.  She and her airtight band showed considered homage to her obvious influences, that include Susan Tedeschi and Bonnie Raitt.

The Crime Scene and Cass Clayton Band were not the only ones appearing with new releases in hand.  Colorado Blues Society 2018 Band Champion, Mojomama, recently released their latest called Red, White and Blues.  Happily for me they included my favorite track on the album, Lazy RiverEef & the Blues Express rounded out the show, showcasing her formidable guitar chops, alongside the Colorado Blues Society 2018 solo/duo Champion Scott Hackler on keys.

The Brighton Armory is an exquisite small venue in our region capable of seating 300, or providing standing room only for 500.  They’ve been adding more and more shows there, produced either by the city of Brighton under the management of Gary Montoya or by independent promoters.

The sound system is more than adequate for the room, and stands out as among the best in the region – equaling those at venues such as the Armory in Fort Collins or the Boulder Theater or the Mishawaka Amphitheatre.  One criticism from me is that the room clearly needs additional baffling and sound absorption panels to knock down the boominess of a near empty room.

In a city that lacks even ONE non-public venue dedicated to live music, the Armory is a wonderful place to catch upcoming shows from the likes of popular regional acts like FACE Vocal Band, or national country acts like John Anderson (coming Oct 28) … and is EASILY accessible to Denver, Thornton, and other north metro communities.


Every once in a while a new artist appears, seemingly out of nowhere.  I cannot even begin to say where or how I heard of Jackson Emmer from Carbondale.  He’s been getting mad praise from the likes of No Depression, POPMATTERS and Rolling Stone, which wrote “Americana songwriters are a dime a dozen these days, but few are writing songs like Jackson Emmer.”

At Bohemian Foundation, our focus is on building community …by coming together to create and enjoy music.


What you’ll find below are new songs on the show this week … listen  and let me know which ones you think I should keep in the Colorado Playlist, and which I should delete.

NOTE:  In order to be included in the MMMM poll, the band/artist must have an embeddable file on Soundcloud, BandCamp, Reverbnation or YouTube.


(D) = debut of lp, ep or single
(N) = new cut from previously debuted lp or ep


The Moonrakers “I’m All Right” from Anthology (2007)
Astronauts “Little Ford Ragtop” from Competition Coupe/Astronauts Orbit Kampus (1964)
(D) Jackson Emmer “Don’t Leave Me Blue” from Jukebox (2018)

Monocle Band “Sad-Eyed Girl” from The Clearing (2017)
Chris Daniels & the Kings “Joy” from Funky To the Bone (2015)
(D) Darren Garvey “First of the Year” from Heart Attack Sleeves EP (2018) 
Voodoo Kings “Eyes on You” from Faith & Whiskey (2018)
Churchill “Made a List” from Change EP (2012)
Fierce Bad Rabbit “Time Machine” from Maestro & the Elephant (2013)
The SIR Band “Wading” from So Cold (2018)
(D) Kerry Pastine & the Crime Scene “Summer Wine (feat. Jim Dalton)” from I Make My Own Luck (2018)  
Patti Fiasco “Blue Eyed West” from Saved By Rock And Roll (2016)
Big Head Todd & The Monsters “Glow” from New World Arisin’ (2017)
Paa Kow “African lady” from Cookpot (2017)


Poco “You Better Think Twice” from Deliverin’ (1971)
Rick Roberts “She Made Me Lose My Blues” from Windmills / She is a Song (2010)
(D) Gregory Alan Isakov “Chemicals” from Evening Machines (2018)

Kyle Emerson “Post-Egomania” from Dorothy Alice (2017)
Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats “Thank you” from Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats (2015)
(D) Dierks Bentley “The Mountain” from The Mountain (2018)

The Railbenders “Hard Road” from The Medicine Show (2018)
SHEL “The Latest And Greatest Blueberry Rubberband” from SHEL (2012)
Paul Galaxy & the Galatix “White Train” from Slingshot (2004)
Francis and the Wolf “Call of the Wild” from Ladies & Gentlemen (2017)
(N) Blake Brown & American Dust Choir “Up In Arms” from Long Way Home (2018) 
Pan Astral “Gulf of Mexico” from Suburban Blues (2016)
Rose Hill Drive “Broken by the Storm” from Mania (2017)
Paul Mullikin Quintet “Minor Profits” from TIME IS NOW (2014)

CP S12 EP26 2018

June, July and August are the three HOTTEST months – musically.  There are more outdoor events – ticketed and free – in our region today than is even possible to chronicle, let alone attend.

Saturday night my girlfriend and I attended a sold out Mishawaka show – Trout Steak Revival with Gasoline Lollipops and Canyon Collected.  It was the last possible Saturday night I had available this summer to get to the Mishawaka for a show, and the overall experience did not disappoint.  A special surprise that night was the acoustic version of Gasoline Lollipops – the first for the band.

It was pretty evident that the sold out audience was there for the two jamgrass bands.  The Gas Pops met reserved appreciation from a polite audience until they revved up the tempos, allowing Don to demonstrate his formidable lead guitar skills and Clay to demonstrate his ability to own any audience I’ve ever seen him in front of.

By the end of the set, with Clay raging vocally, the audience was sold.  When the band came back on for a quick set of pics by the house photog, the audience thought maybe they were getting an encore …

Lead guitarist Don Ambory broke out a mandolin, the first time I’ve seen that happen – and he played his 1940’s Gibson acoustic for the Gas Pops set.  He also sat in on three songs with Trout Steak, and played electric guitar – his solos in the Trout Steak set were fan favorites as were the ukulele solos taken by Canyon Collected’s Tia Martini. 

Some of us standing in the “VIP” viewing area commented on the presence of the ukulele in the lineup until Tia demonstrably shredded every jam in the band’s 45 minute crowd pleasing set.

Because of the hour forty minute drive home to the Denver metro we didn’t stay for the entire set by Trout Steak Revival, but based on the overall feel of the night, and the thunderous applause during the first half of their set, I have no doubt that the show didn’t end by midnight.  Trout Steak does stand out as one of the best acoustic jamgrass Americana-folk bands in the region today.


At Bohemian Foundation, our focus is on building community …by coming together to create and enjoy music.

Last week I posted the The Best of 2018 So Far.  Beyond the top 5 albums posted, there are some others that stand up well as we’re now beyond mid point of the year.  The new album by Brent Cowles on Dine Alone Records, as well as Covenhoven’s A Kind of Revelation are going to be strong contenders by mid-December when the best of lists for the year come out around the region.


What you’ll find below are new songs on the show this week … listen  and let me know which ones you think I should keep in the Colorado Playlist, and which I should delete.

NOTE:  In order to be included in the MMMM poll, the band/artist must have an embeddable file on Soundcloud, BandCamp, Reverbnation or YouTube.


(D) = debut of lp, ep or single
(N) = new cut from previously debuted lp or ep


Sugarloaf “Green Eyed Lady” from Don’t Call Us, We’ll Call You (1975)
(D) Paul DeHaven “No Gold” from King of Gold (2018) 

Big Head Todd & The Monsters “Wipeout Turn” from New World Arisin’ (2017)
(D) Joe Johnson “Snakeskin Dress” from Morgantown (2018)
Slopeside “Prove Me Wrong” from Shoot the Moon (2018)
Elephant Revival “Rhythm of the Road” from Break in the Clouds (2010)
Monocle Band “Can’t Get By” from Monocle Band (2013)
Rusty Young “Down Home” from Waitin’ For the Sun (2017)
(N) Oxeye Daisy “Darling Boy” from Oxeye Daisy (2018) 

The Yawpers “American Man” from American Man (2015)
The Wood Brothers “River Takes the Town” from One Drop of Truth (2018)
Keith Oxman “Brothers, Michael and Jean-Marc” from East of the Village (2017)


Joe Walsh “Rocky Mountain Way” from The Smoker You Drink, The Player You Get (1973)
(D) In The Whale “Highways” from Dopamine (2018)

The Railbenders “Bourbon County” from The Medicine Show (2018)
Katie Glassman & Snapshot “Liza Jane” from Dream A Little Dream (2014)
(N) Covenhoven “Stone and Clay” from A Kind of Revelation (2018)
Strangebyrds “Star Crossed Lovers” from Star Crossed Lovers (2018)
Motet “123” from The Motet (2014)
The Apples in Stereo “Dance Floor” from Travellers in Space and Time (2010)
Wood Belly “Solid Ground” from Solid Ground (2018)
A.J. Fullerton “Smoke & Mirrors” from Kalamath (2017)
iZCALLI “A New Lie” from IV (2018)
Peter Sommer “Upper Manhattan Medical Group” from Happy-Go-Lucky Locals (2017)

Best of 2018 – So Far

This subject has been on my mind for like a month now.  There have been some really excellent albums, EPs and singles put out since December 1 2017.  Here are the top  album picks of the year so far, based on regional non-comm / public radio airplay and my own thoughts on the subject.

Anyone looking for rock or pop will be disappointed – roots, blues, old school rhythm and blues and Americana (alt-country) are the name of the game this year around the state.

I embedded song files.  Go to their youtube channels or other streaming service to checkout full albums.  Better yet – support the band with a purchase.

much love,

Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats Tearing at the Seams — no doubt that this album will finish the year at #1 with a strong national showing, and ubiquitous CO airplay.

Leftover SalmonSomething Higher! — scan the non-comm/public radio dial statewide and this album, while not even nearly as popular as Tearing at the Seams, is crazy popular – as it should be since it’s one of the best the band has turned in over the past 25 years.

Wood BrosOne Drop of Truth —many people don’t realize that Chris and Oliver Wood are Boulder natives, and still claim it as home – even when they’re performing elsewhere.  Another HIGHLY played Colorado album around the state.

Reverend FreakchildDial It In! — the “reverend” is a traveler.  He was born in Hawaii and has been in bands in Boston, including an early version of Soul Coughing with Mike Doughty.  Today he’s living in Boulder and attending Naropa University.  For all my blues fans, this one is at the top of the pile. #highlyrecommended

Gasoline LollipopsSoul Mine — Clay Rose is known for being pensive and deliberate – living at the edge of damnation and redemption.  The band is enjoying a banner year in terms of bookings and regional radio airplay.