CP “Best” Albums of 2020

During the week Dec 26 2020 – Jan 02 2021 I’ll feature a playlist generated by Colorado Playlist listeners and fans who voted for their favorite songs and videos from 2020. You have until December 20th to vote.  Today I’m reflecting on a handful of albums (well, two handfuls).

The Colorado Playlist, Expressly & Explicitly Colorado from the 60s to Today: the biggest hits from the biggest hitmakers and award winners to some of the freshest new talent emerging from around the Centennial state.

Following that dictate, here are my picks for “Best” albums (LP/EP) of 2020.  Each album link goes to the full length album on YouTube.

We can dispense with the suspense of counting down from #10 to #1.  The first album off my lips when someone asks me what’s the best Colorado album of 2020 is Nathaniel RateliffAnd It’s Still Alright.  It’s been #1 for me since the day I first heard it.

Nathaniel writes and sings through the prism of his pain; whether from the pain of his personal struggles with alcohol, or his divorce, or the death of his friend and record producer Richard Swift who passed away from alcoholism. This record is about “…acknowledging the heaviness of all of that and moving forward and still finding joy,” according to Rateliff.

And It’s Still Alright as well as the title track were nominated for “Album of the Year” and “Song of the Year” at the 2020 Americana Awards in September.


The biggest hits from the biggest hitmakers and award winners to some of the freshest new talent emerging from the Centennial State – in no particular order.

Superstars and hitmakers are sometimes from right next door and we don’t find out until they’re in the hitmaker / major award discussion.  It seems like every year we have at least one Colorado entry in the Grammy Awards and other major music award programs.

Highlands Ranch native / Rock Canyon High School graduate Ingrid Andress is this year’s entry with several major award nominations, including Grammy nominations for Best New Artist, Best Country Song (More Hearts Than Mine) and Best Country Album for her debut, Lady Like.

2020 Nominations: 

      • Academy of Country Music AwardsNew Female Vocalist of the Year.
      • Country Music Association AwardsNew Artist of the Year
      • Country Music Association Awards – Song of the Year – “More Hearts Than Mine”
      • CMT Music Awards – Breakthrough Video of the Year“More Hearts Than Mine”

The music scene in Colorado may be focused on Denver/Boulder and Fort Collins areas, but Paonia and Cedaredge artists produced two of the “best” Americana singer-songwriter albums of 2020, The Unending Alteration of the Human Heart from Gabrielle Louise and David Starr‘s Beauty and Ruin respectively.

A graduate of the Berklee School of Music, like Ingrid Andress, Gabrielle’s 9th album since 2006 further solidifies her quiet folk credentials. The album, best suited for quiet snowy nights by a fire, easily falls into the hallowed ground furrowed by fellow Colorado native female songwriters like Jill Sobule, Laura Veirs and Sera Cahoone. *This record was serviced to Colorado radio stations and djs by Rocky Mountain Music Network, LLC which I own and operate*

Thirty-three miles further west,  Cedaredge multi-instrumentalist singer-songwriter David Starr, (Starr’s Guitars) once again enlisted part-time Colorado resident musician and friend John Oates to arrange and produce his 8th album, a collection of songs inspired by Of What Was, Nothing Is Left, a novel written by his grandfather in 1972. The album features guest appearances by John Oates and award winning Americana singer-songwriter Jim Lauderdale.

Heading east back into the metro, Americana-country fans will find plenty to love on the rough hewn twang of Same Shirt, Different Day, the sophomore effort from Littleton resident Rodney RiceSame Shirt got enough national airplay to hit top-forty on the Americana Music Association radio airplay charts and #1 on the RootsMusicReport Colorado album chart. *This record was serviced to Colorado radio stations and djs by Rocky Mountain Music Network, LLC which I own and operate*


If you listen to my show (and you do, right?) you know I close out nearly every (99%) hour with an instrumental jazz track.  My jazz album of the year nod goes to Ron Miles‘ Blue Note debut, Rainbow Sign.  The album features fellow Colorado native musician, guitarist Bill Frisell, who was directly responsible for introducing the original recordings for this album to Blue Note Records President Don Was.


My dj roots, spinning dance music in clubs and on TOP 40 radio in NoCO from the 1970s through the early 90s, informs my long lasting love and appreciation for modern EDM and R&B albums like the epic Brain Chemistry, the Right Brain, Left Brain dual EP release from pop singer-songwriter Kayla Marque, and the more R&B/Soul oriented EDM release Free Your Mind from Big Gigantic, their first studio album in over three years.

Listen to Kayla’s Right Brain first if you want to listen in the order each EP came out. Right Brain is “…the lighter half of Brain Chemistry. This is my dreamy side.” Marque explainsLeft Brain showcases Kayla’s “…darker space…”

If you preconceive what you think you’ll hear, Brain Chemistry should dispel your preconceptions of what a modern R&B based pop album can sound like.  Kayla’s got mad musical DNA.  Her uncle is Denver native and EWF alum Larry Dunn.

Big Gigantic‘s R&B/soul oriented Free Your Mind succeeds due to the steady EDM, funk, soul and jazz arrangements by founders Dominic Lalli and Jeremy Salken with emotionally uplifting soul vocals from artists like Pell, Felly, TOBi, Jennifer Hartswick, Louis Futon and The Funk Hunters.

Had they been able to tour there’s no telling just how popular this album would have become.  The album has amassed over 20MILLION plays on Spotify (as of Dec 10, 2020). #roadtripmusic


Over 160,000 plays on Spotify, along with favorable reviews and online debuts from Billboard, American Songwriter, Glide Magazine and other national and local publications set up Whitacre‘s debut album Seasons for national success.

Produced by Denver’s Joe Richmond (Tennis, Churchill), four of the album’s first five songs are radio friendly anthems that fit comfortably alongside contemporaries like the Lumineers and Avett Brothers.

Speaking of Tennis.  Patrick and Alaina formed their own label, Mutually Detrimental, in 2018, and their Five-Points Denver based recording studio where they  produced three outstanding female voiced albums for 2020, including their latest, Swimmer.

Instead of relying on outside producers for their 5th release, they self-produced, moving their retro sixties influenced pop into richer and more expansive production elements and arrangements and moving the duo forward as credible national level producers in their own right.


That’s it … I could of course pick more than 10 to share with you, but these are the ones that rose to the top of the list.  I hope you enjoy each one of these exceptional “Best Of” Colorado albums from 2020.

Happy HOLLYDAZE.
Chris “K” Kresge
aka goat
Founder/President
Rocky Mountain Music Network, LLC
The Colorado Playlist

Colorado Playlist – S11 EP40

ROCKY MOUNTAIN MUSIC RELIEF mobilizes the Colorado music and media communities to raise funds to assist musicians throughout the U.S. affected by natural disasters.

Rocky Mountain Music Relief

HURRICANE RELIEF BENEFIT CONCERT

Feat. Richie Furay w/Tori Pater and Friends, Bobby Messano, and Perpetual Motion

7:30-8:30 = Richie Furay
8:45-9:15 = Perpetual Motion
9:30-10PM = Bobby Messano
10:15-11PM = Tori Pater

Friday, October 27, 2017 – 7:30 PM – doors open at 6:30 pm

Swallow Hill – Daniels Hall – 71 E. Yale Ave., Denver, CO 80210

BUY TICKETS


NEWS, NOTES AND MUSIC

There are 10 episodes of the show left this year, including the BEST OF – which will air the last weekend of the year, and the first weekend of January as I take my final vacation of the year.

It was a hellova week for new music and video adds.  That’s sure to carryover into the first week of November as bands and artists get their end of year releases out.

Not only did I receive the new releases I broke in this week’s show but others I couldn’t get to, and I’m still expecting the new album from Big Head Todd & The Monsters, Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats (Live at Red Rocks) and others due out in early November.

Every week I get exposed to some new Colorado music I’ve never heard before.  This week it came by way a couple of friends on FB.

One band is Sunsquabi, out of Boulder.  They’re headlining the region’s largest non-arena venue, and no doubt one of the most prestigious, the Fillmore Auditorium on Nov 11.  Here’s their latest .. it’ll show up in the Playlist this coming week.

I don’t get to play much from the loud rock styles on my program, or rap or most of what’s considered modern hip-hop.  That doesn’t mean there are not some incredible acts in those genres.

A friend turned me onto modern metal band Random Hero this weekend.  Their single “”Impossible” hit #33 this week! Up three spots on Billboard’s Main Stream Rock Chart.  That’s one hell of an accomplishment, so can’t help but share it with you.  



VIDEO PICK OF THE WEEK

The Burroughs have been considered one of the region’s most explosive live music shows since they debute on the scene about four years ago now.  Their newest single amplifies the energy they are know for onstage.



MONDAY MORNING MUSIC MEETING

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 available on SoundCloudBandCampReverbnation or YouTube.

PLAYLIST S11 EP40

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

Rick Roberts “Two Lovely Women” from Windmills / She is a Song (2010)
(D) The Burroughs “Touch the Sky” from Got To Feel (2017)


Hello Dollface “Face it” from Warrior of Light (2016)
Churchill “Lock Your Heart Down” from War Within EP (2013)
(D) Pandas & People “Bourbon” from Out to Sea EP (2017)
A.J. Fullerton “Oh, Frustration” from Kalamath (2017)
Big Gigantic “The Night Is Young (feat. Cherub)” from The Night Is Young (2014)
Andy Palmer “the Monk” from Hazard of the Die (2013)
(D) Patrick Dune “Pleasure Row” (2017)


Gabrielle Louise “If the Static Clears” from If The Static Clears (2016)
Halden Wofford & the Hi Beams “Fire & Brimstone” from Missing Link (2017)
(N) Paa Kow “Cookpot” from Cookpot (2017)

Flash Cadillac & the Continental Kids “Brown Water (Apocalypse Blues)” from Best of Flash Cadillac and The Continental Kids (2010)
(D) Strawberry Runners “Garden Hose” from In the Garden, In the Night (2017) 


Darryl Purpose “The Meaning Of My Love” from Still The Birds (2016)
Safe Boating is No Accident “Dye My Love” from Bonus Features (2014)
(D) Tennis “No Exit” from We Can Die Happy (2017)


Na’an Stop “Lazy Susan” from Na’an Stop (2017)
Juno What?! “Take Control of Your Body” from Shameless (2011)
OneRepublic “Counting Stars” from Native (2013)
(D) Katie Herzig “Strangers” (2017)


Paper Bird “To the Light” from Paper Bird (2016)
Brent Cowles “Cold Times” from Cold Times (2017)
Tia Fuller “Ode To Be ~ So In Love W/ All Of You” from Angelic Warrior (2012)



NOV 25 = GOATZ + the Grant Farm at Avogadro’s Number(Fort Collins)

Colorado TOP 20 Titles Jan, Feb, March 2014

About this time of year I begin pulling together all the spins data, so I don’t get too far behind by year’s end.  I also publish a mid-year report every July.  Here are the TOP 20 from Jan-March / Q1 2014

1. Big Head Todd & the Monsters – Black Beehive
2. Elephant Revival – These Changing Skies
3. Mollie O’Brien & Rich Moore – Love Runner
4. Gregory Alan Isakov – The Weatherman
5. Pretty Lights – A Color Map of the Sun
6. Eurforquestra – Fire
7. The Railsplitters – The Railsplitters
8. Honey Don’t – Heart Like A Wheel
9. DeVotchKa – Live with the Colorado Symphony
10. The Motet – The Motet
11. Tennis – Small Sound
12. Mosey West – Bermuda
13. Paper Bird – Rooms
14. Mike Clark & the Sugar Sounds – Round and Round
14. Tallgrass – Better Than Medicine
15. 3 Twins – De Nada
16. Rob Drabkin – Little Steps EP
17. Dianne Reeves – Beautiful Life
18. Changing Colors – Joan & the King
19. Various – SpokesBUZZ Vol. IV Band Together

News, Notes & Spins – FEB 1 2014

boninwf back stage nite 1 2012WOW … it’s Feb 5 and I am easily ten days behind schedule on everything.  That’s not good when you’re self employed LOL.  Hi guys … so, January was an explosive month – what with the weather, a family (I would say reunion, but we’ve never had a full family get-together before) Super Bowl party complete with new smart-tv … and grand-kids and grampa (new spelling courtesy of grand-kids) coming down with the “flu” (whatever that means today).  It was a pretty solid month musically speaking, as evidenced by the chart action below.   I don’t have much else to share really – I am accepting underwriting/advertising support, so if you or your business is statewide and would like to get some exposure around the state, hit me up.  Equally if you’re in an act that would like your record serviced to media and talent buyers around the state. That’s it … next month there should be plenty more news from around the state .. til then… welcome to the show 🙂

Video Picks of the Month  

TOP 40 SPINS – January 2014

1. Elephant RevivalThese Changing Skies (Its Evolving Records) Folk [August 1, 2013]
2. Mollie O’Brien & Rich MooreLove Runner (Remington Road Records) Americana [December 21, 2013]
3. Gregory Alan IsakovThe Weatherman (Suitcase Town Music) Folk [June 22, 2013]
4. Big Head Todd & the Monsters Black Beehive (Shout! Factory) Rock [January 25, 2014]
5. Honey Don’tHeart Like A Wheel (self) Americana [November 1, 2013]
6. TennisSmall Sound (Communion Records) Indie/New Alternative pop [November 1, 2013]
7. Mosey WestBermuda (self) Rock [November 2, 2013]
8. Rob Drabkin Little Steps EP (self) AAA [August 1, 2013]
9. Changing ColorsJoan & the King (Blank Tape) Folk [April 27, 2013]
10. Josh DillardThe Bright Light of Shipwreck (self) Folk [June 1, 2013]
11. VariousSpokesBUZZ Compilation IV (SpokesBUZZ) Rock/various [December 14, 2013]
12. The RailsplittersThe Railsplitters (self) Americana [October 1, 2013]
13. Joe JohnsonNew West Sound (Blank Tape) Americana/country-folk [August 1, 2013]
14. DeVotchKaLive with the Colorado Symphony (Cicero Recordings) Indie/New Alternative [November 1, 2012]
15. Austin Young & No DifferenceBlue As Can Be (Vizztone) Blues [March 23, 2013]
16. Monocle BandMonocle Band (self) Folk/folk-rock [September 1, 2013]
17. Nathaniel RateliffFalling Faster Than You Can Run (Mod y Vi Records) Folk [September 1, 2013]
18. Drag The RiverDrag the River (Xtra Mile Records) Rock [October 1, 2013]
19. MotetThe Motet (self) Urban Contemporary/funk [January 4, 2014]
19. The Wild AfterLesson Learned EP (self) Rock [January 4, 2014]
20. Soul SchoolChapter One (self) Urban Contemporary/soul [November 30, 2013]
20. The Patti FiascoSmall Town Lights (self) Rock [July 23, 2013]
21. Pretty LightsA Color Map of the World (8 Minutes 20 Seconds) Urban Contemporary/EDM [July 2, 2013]
22. Trout Steak RevivalFlight (self) Bluegrass [November 22, 2012]
23. Finnders & YoungbergI Don’t Want Love You Won’t Give Until I Cry (Swingfingers Records) Bluegrass [August 1, 2013]
24. Mike Clark & the Sugar SoundsRound and Round (Blank Tape) Indie/New Alternative [January 19, 2013]
25. Mama Lenny & the RemedyTime (You’re Doing Fine) (self) Blues/rhythm and blues [December 7, 2013]
26. 3 TwinsDe Nada (Sleeping Elephant Music) Americana/N’Orleans funk [June 20, 2013]
27. Head for the HillsBlue Ruin (self) Bluegrass [June 1, 2013]
28. Otis TaylorMy World Is Gone (Telarc) Blues [January 20, 2013]
29. Matt Skinner BandNative Stranger (Tapedero Productions) Americana/country [November 9, 2013]
30. Jeff Brinkman BandStrange (self) Rock/AAA [December 1, 2012]
31. Grant SabinAnthromusicology (Blank Tape) Rock/blues-rock [January 10, 2013]
31. Megan Burtt & Friends In Good Company: Vol I: The Colorado Sessions (N/A) POP/various [November 1, 2013]
32. Halden Wofford & the Hi*BeamsRocky Mountain Honky Tonk (self) Americana/alt-country-rock [July 7, 2013]
33. Katey LaurelPeriscope (self) POP/adult contemporary [August 1, 2013]
34. Chimney Choir(compass) (self) Folk/indie [June 1, 2013]
35. Arthur Lee LandCracked Open (self) Rock/AAA [November 1, 2012]
35. Katie Glassman & SnapshotDream A Little Dream (self) Americana/western swing [November 30, 2013]
35. Land Lines Land Lines (self) Indie/New Alternative [November 24, 2012]

ADDED DEC ’13/JAN ’14

Aspen Hourglass – S/T [EP]
Bad Brad & the Fat Cats – Take A Walk With Me
Big Head Todd & the Monsters – Black Beehive
Brad Fitch – Columbine Blue
David Wiatrolik – Dave and The Gin Mill Gipsies
Fierce Bad Rabbit – Do You Want Me Now? [single]
Five Iron Frenzy – Engine of a Million Plots
Jane Thatcher Band – Hunter’s Lonlieness Fool [EP]
John Runnels – Echoes
Katie Glassman & Snapshot – Dream A Little Dream
Knocean – S/T
Lissa Hanner – My Colorado
Madam Sin – Madam Sin
Mama Lenny & the Remedy – Time (You’re Doing Fine)
Medic – Wake Me Up [single]
Mollie O’Brien & Rich Moore – Love Runner
The Motet – The Motet
The Samples – America
Shatterproof – Discord Harmony
Soul School – Chapter One
Sound|Studies – Smoke and Mirrors [single]
Swim Through Frequencies – Rhythm of Complacency
Various – SpokesBUZZ Compilation IV
Vinnie Maniscalco – TaKillYa [single]
Walker Shellist – Readyset
The Wild After – Lesson Learned EP

STATION BY STATION

Honey Don't - Heart Like A WheelKAFM (Grand Junction) [21]
1. Honey Don’t – Heart Like a Wheel
2. Elephant Revival – These Changing Skies
3. Dan Treanor’s Afrosippi Band f/Erica Brown – Tangled Road Again
4. Monocle Band – Monocle Band
5. Kristina Murray – Unravelin’

pretty lights_color map of the sunKBUT (Crested Butte) [14]
1. Pretty Lights – A Color Map of the World
2. Head for the Hills – Blue Ruin
2. The Railsplitters – The Railsplitters
3. Chimney Choir – (compass)
3. Elephant Revival – These Changing Skies

BHTM Black BeehiveKDNK (Carbondale) [27]
1. Big Head Todd & the Monsters – Black Beehive
1. DeVotchKa – Live with the Colorado Symphony
1. Honey Don’t – Heart Like A Wheel
1. Pretty Lights – A Color Map of the World
2. Aakash Mittal Quartet – Ocean

RailsplittersKDUR (Durango) [n/a]
1. The Railsplitters – S/T
2. Thee Dang Dangs – For the People
3. Mosy West – Bermuda
4. The Hollyfelds – Title Stealers
5. Confluence – I Haven’t Really Been Living

Mollie O'Brien and Rich Moore - Love RunnerKGNU (Boulder) [22]
1. Mollie O’Brien & Rich Moore – Love Runner
2. Elephant Revival – These Changing Skies
3. 3 Twins – De Nada
4. Blue Canyon Boys – Next Go Round
5. Finnders & Youngberg – I Don’t Want Love You Won’t Give Until I Cry

Elephant Revival_these changing skiesKRCC (Colorado Springs) [14]
1. Elephant Revival – These Changing Skies
2. Austin Young & No Difference – Blue As Can Be
2. Changing Colors – Joan & the King
2. Joe Johnson – New West Sound
2. Josh Dillard – The Bright Light of Shipwreck

Mollie O'Brien and Rich Moore - Love RunnerKRFC (Fort Collins) [>100]
1. Mollie O’Brien and Rich Moore – Love Runner
2. Mama Lenny and the Remedy – Time (You’re Doing Fine)
2. Various artists – Spokesbuzz Volume 4
3. Megan Burtt & Friends – In Good Company
4. Big Head Todd & The Monsters – Black Beehive

finders and youngberg_I don't wantKRZA (Alamosa) [10]
1. Finnders & Youngberg – I Don’t Want Love You Won’t Give Until I Cry
1. The Railsplitters – The Railsplitters
2. Cassie Taylor – Out of My Mind
2. Dr. Izzy Band – Blind and Blues Bound
2. Gabrielle Louise – The Bird in My Chest

BHTM Black BeehiveKSUT (Ignacio) [10]
1. Big Head Todd & the Monsters – Black Beehive
1. Mollie O’Brien & Rich Moore – Love Runner
2. Elephant Revival – These Changing Skies
2. Lawn Chair Kings – Zombies Wake!
2. Yonder Mountain String Band – EP13

Gregory Alan Isakov_the weathermanKUNC (Greeley) [12]
1. Gregory Alan Isakov – The Weatherman
1. Mollie O’Brien & Rich Moore – Love Runner
2. Big Head Todd & the Monsters – Black Beehive
3. Rob Drabkin – Little Steps EP
4. Elephant Revival – These Changing Skies

Honey Don't - Heart Like A WheelKVNF (Paonia) [15]
1. Honey Don’t – Heart Like A Wheel
2. Big Head Todd & the Monsters – Black Beehive
3. Mollie O’Brien & Rich Moore – Love Runner
4. Paper Bird – Rooms
4. Rob Drabkin – Little Steps EP

Nathaniel Rateliff - Falling Faster Than You Can RunOPEN AIR 1340 (Denver) [14]
1. Nathaniel Ratefliff – Falling Faster Than You Can Run
2. Gregory Alan Isakov – The Weatherman
3. Chimney Choir – (compass)
3. Elephant Revival – These Changing Skies
4. DeVotchKa – Live with the Colorado Symphony

MotetThe Colorado Sound [42]
1. Motet – The Motet
1. The Wild After – Lesson Learned EP
2. Mollie O’Brien & Rich Moore – Love Runner
3. Drag The River – Drag the River
3. Mosey West – Bermuda

GENRE/PROGRAM FORMAT

Mollie O'Brien and Rich Moore - Love RunnerAmericana / Alt-country / Bluegrass
1. Mollie O’Brien & Rich Moore – Love Runner
2. Honey Don’t – Heart Like A Wheel
3. The Railsplitters – The Railsplitters
4. Joe Johnson – New West Sound
5. Trout Steak Revival – Flight

austin youngBlues / Rhythm & Blues
1. Austin Young & No Difference – Blue As Can Be
2. Mama Lenny & the Remedy – Time (You’re Doing Fine)
3. Otis Taylor – My World Is Gone
4. Walker Shellist – Readyset
5. Dan Treanor’s Afrosippi Band f/Erica Brown – Tangled Road Again

Elephant Revival_these changing skiesFolk / folk-rock / singer-songwriter
1. Elephant Revival – These Changing Skies
2. Gregory Alan Isakov – The Weatherman
3. Changing Colors – Joan & the King
3. Josh Dillard – The Bright Light of Shipwreck
4. Monocle Band – Monocle Band

Tennis_Small SoundIndie / New Alternative
1. Tennis – Small Sound
2. DeVotchKa – Live with the Colorado Symphony
3. Mike Clark & the Sugar Sounds – Round and Round
4. Land Lines – Land Lines
5. Paper Bird – Rooms

Maxwell HughesJazz / Instrumental
1. Maxwell Hughes – Only in Dreams
2. Jon Wirtz – Tourist
3. David Wiatrolik – Dave and The Gin Mill Gipsies
4. Josh Quinlan Quartet – Open Space
5. Square Peg – Searching

Megan Burtt_In Good CompanyPop / Adult Contemporary / Crossover
1. Megan Burtt & Friends – In Good Company: Vol I: The Colorado Sessions
2. Katey Laurel – Periscope
3. Andy Hackbarth – Treadmill Horses EP
4. Justin Roth – Rise [single]
5. Katie Herzig – Secret Road As Heard On TV, Volume 1 [comp]

BHTM Black BeehiveRock / AAA / ALT / AOR
1. Big Head Todd & the Monsters – Black Beehive
2. Mosey West – Bermuda
3. Rob Drabkin – Little Steps EP
4. Various – SpokesBUZZ Compilation IV
5. Drag The River – Drag the River

MotetUrban Contemporary / EDM / Hip Hop / Soul
1. Motet – The Motet
2. Soul School – Chapter One
3. Pretty Lights – A Color Map of the World
4. Bop Skizzum – Say Something [single]
5. Whiskey Blanket – From the Dead of Dark

News Notes and Spins – Nov. 1, 2012

Tia Fuller, Katie Herzig, Sera Cahoone, Corey Harris, Jill Sobule, Phillip Bailey, and India.Arie, among others, all have one thing in common… they are all original Colorado natives who moved to other places… Sera to Seattle.  Tia to NYC.  Katie to Nashville.  India.Arie to Atlanta, Philip and Jill to Los Angeles… Corey first to Maine and then to Virginia.  They’re not the only ones — artists move to or move from here all the time.  Dan Fogelberg, Joe Cocker, John Denver, Glenn Frey, John Oates, Richie Furay, Stephen Stills, the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Tommy Bolin, and countless others have lived here… some for a couple of years, others longer; some are still here.

No one has told the story better than legendary former local rock critic, radio dj, local music historian and author, and current Colorado Music Hall of fame director G. Brown, whose book “Colorado Rocks!: A Half-Century of Music in Colorado” is a must have for anyone even casually interested in what’s gone on here musically much of the past 60 years now.  Expect to pay a few times what it originally sold for however.  The book has been out of print for at least a few years now and very good to excellent condition editions can run you $50-75 +/- …I’ve seen wrapped editions listed for upwards of $125.

Occasionally, an album from one of these artists shows up on our monthly charts.  Most recently it’s been Tia Fuller’s wonderful new album “Angelic Warrior,” which features resident and native jazz great Dianne Reeves on one vocal track, “Body and Soul.”  Katie Herzig’s latest has shown up here and there as well the past year, as has the O’Brien Party of Seven release that features former Colorado resident Tim O’Brien with sister and current Colorado residents Mollie O’Brien and Rich Moore and their kids.

Columbine High School (Littleton) graduate Sera Cahoone is an accomplished singer-songwriter on the Sub Pop label out of Seattle, where she moved when she was 21.   Her latest, “Deer Creek Canyonhas been picking up some spins at KUNC and KRCC and I have no doubt will continue to pick up spins throughout the state in the coming couple of months.

The question is always, do we include those who grew up here as kids, went to our local schools, and maybe our colleges and universities, and then moved on to other places?  KUNC’s music director, Benji McPhail, made it a point – when he emailed me that they had put Sera’s new album in rotation as a Colorado artist release.   Sera’s new album, “Deer Creek Canyon” is all about the place she grew up, and where her mom still lives.  Sera may have moved to Seattle years ago, as a young woman seeking her own life and stories, but has remained a much loved native Coloradoan with a great musical story of her own to tell – largely influenced by her life and experiences here.

Still, some folks contend that unless an artist is actually living here and contributing to the live music scene they cannot justifiably be considered a “local” artist.  IF that’s the case there are a lot of acts we would have to consider as long gone and no longer local… including the likes of the Apples in Stereo (Kentucky) or Slim Cessna (Rhode Island) or Todd Park Mohr (Chicago) … hmmmm … yeah, no.  😉

Speaking of Coloradoans who were not born here, but were raised here, went to school here, and are as much as part of who we are as anyone – legendary jazz guitarist, Denver East High School grad, and University of Northern Colorado alum Bill Frisell (born in Baltimore) has teamed up with local jazz trumpeter and Denver University alum Ron Miles (born in Indianapolis) for an exquisite album called “Quiver.”  As adventurous as it is, I expect it will do well with jazz djs around the state in November and December – watch for it.

STATION NEWS:

OpenAir 1340 on air personality and web director Brandee Castle has left her post at Colorado Public Radio.  CPR will be listing her open position on their employment page within the next couple weeks.  However, she will still be involved with OpenAir in some capacity in the future so it’s not a true goodbye.

OpenAir’s First Birthday Bash will take place at the Hi-Dive in Denver on November 9th at 9pm.  Meet the OpenAir hosts and catch live performances from A. Tom Collins, Flashbulb Fires, and Bonnie and the Beard.  Since OpenAir launched on Oct. 31, 2011, more than 80 bands, most of which have Colorado ties, have visited CPR’s Performance Studio to record their music and talk with OpenAir hosts, making them a leader in promoting music from here in Colorado on broadcast radio.

KBUT (Crested Butte) has hired a new general manager/executive director.

Okay — Time for an experiment.  I got served notice recently that it would be nice if I linked each entry to a website where folks could check out the music … that’d be a bit more time consuming than I’d prefer, so here’s a link to a playlist I have up on Spotify that features a lot of this month’s Top 40 most spun titles.  You will need a Spotify account for this to work.

VIDEO PLAYLIST This month’s video playlist begins with a classic from Victoria Woodworth, recorded at Caribou Ranch in 1980.  It also includes a new video and song from Jeff Finlin, a new video from Chris Daniels, along with Flobots, The Yawpers, The Epilogues, Churchill, SHEL, Sofie Reed, a live performance video from Leftover Salmon, Achille Lauro, and Petals of Spain.

TOP 40 TITLES OCTOBER 2012

(278 titles tracked / 159 titles reported as played)
(LM) TM Genre/format [added]
(D) = debut, first time on chart
(R) = re-entered chart

(2) 1. The Lumineers – The Lumineers (Dualtone) Indie/New Alternative [Mar-12]
(13) 2. Bop Skizzum – Coloradical (self) Urban Contemporary / Modern Rock [Sep-12]
(D) 3. Esme Patterson – All Princes, I (Greater Than Collective) Indie/New Alternative [Sep-12]
(4) 4. Chris Daniels – Better Days (self) Americana / AAA  [Jul-12] *
(12) 5. Chris Thompson & Coral Creek String Band – Forty Years (self) Americana / bluegrass [Sep-12] *
(14) 6. The Knew – Man Monster (self) Alternative Rock / AOR [Jun-12]
(3) 7. Leftover Salmon – Aquatic Hitchhiker (LoS Records) Americana/AAA [Apr-12]
(R) 8. Strange Americans – A Royal Battle (self) AOR / AAA [Jun-12]
(1) 9. The Yawpers – Capon Crusade (self) AOR / AAA / Alternative Rock [Sep-12]
(D) 10. The Epilogues – Cinematics (Greater Than Collective) Indie/New Alternative [Oct-12]
(22) 11. Achille Lauro – Flight or Flight (Hot Congress Records) Indie/New Alternative [Mar-12]
(16) 12. Churchill – The Change EP (A&M/Octone) AAA/adult alternative  [Mar-12]
(5) 13. Grant Farm – The Grant Farm (self) Americana/alt-country-rock [Mar-12]
(18) 13. Katie Glassman – Snapshot (self) Americana /country-swing [Jan-12] *
(15) 14. The Haunted Windchimes – Out with the Crow (Blank Tape) Folk/Americana [Apr-12]
(8) 15. The Swayback – Double Four Time (self) Alternative/Modern Rock [Mar-12]
(7) 16. Danielle Ate The Sandwich – {like a king} ( Youngest Daughter Records) Folk/Americana [May-12]
(27) 17. Tennis – Young & Old (Fat Possum) Indie/New Alternative [Feb-12]
(D) 18. Wovenhand – The Laughing Stalk (Sound Familyre) Indie/New Alternative [Sep-12]
(D) 19. I’m With Her – Songs We Said Goodbye To (Boss Koala Records) Americana/AAA [Oct-12]
(D) 20. Beats Noir! – Where the Sun Goes Down (self) Urban Contemporary / Modern Rock [Oct-12]
(25) 21. Flobots – The Circle In the Square (self) Urban Contemporary / Modern Rock [Aug-12]
(9) 22. Sofie Reed – Simplicity Chased Trouble Away (self) Blues [Aug-12] *
(D) 23. Tia Fuller – Angelic Warrior (Mack Avenue) Jazz [Sep-12]
(10) 24. Ending People – Fill Your Lungs (Cash Cow Productions) Indie/New Alternative [Aug-12]
(R) 25. Robert Cline, Jr. – All the Right Reasons (Mockingbird Records) Americana/country-folk [May-12] *
(R) 26. Longest Day of the Year – Turn Into the Ground (self) Americana/alt-country-rock [Nov-11]
(R) 27. The Congress – Whatever You Want (self) AAA/AOR [Apr-12]
(D) 28. Chris Malley and Bob Schlesinger – Split Shot (self) Jazz [Oct-12]
(21) 28. Jeff Brinkman – Strange (self) AAA/AOR [Aug-12]
(20) 29. Chimney Choir – (ladder) (self) AAA/Adult Alternative [Mar-12]
(6) 29. O’Brien Party of 7 – Reincarnation, The Songs of Roger Miller (Howdy Skies Music) AAA/Americana [Jun-12]
(22) 29. Raincheck – Raincheck (Dazzle Recordings) Jazz [May-12]
(31) 30. Petals of Spain – Late Night Visitor (self) AAA [Sep-11]
(R) 31. Flashbulb Fires – Gasconader (self) Indie/New Alternative [May-12]
(11) 31. Halden Wofford & the Hi*Beams – Live at Hodi’s (self) Americana/alt-country [Jan-12]
(23) 31. SHEL – SHEL (Moraine Records / Mad King Records) Folk/AAA [Aug-12]
(R) 32. Mama Lenny & the Remedy – Punches and Hugs (self) Rhythm and Blues (Apr-12)
(D) 33. Science Partner – Rocky Mountain News (Hot Congress Records) Indie/New Alternative [Sep-12]
(R) 34. Head for the Hills – Live (self) Americana/bluegrass [May-12]

ADDED: OCTOBER 2012
Beats Noir! – Where the Sun Goes Down
Boa & the Constrictors – Married to the Blues
Bonnie and the Beard – Cascavel
Bronze – Snake Oil
Calder’s Revolvers – Steady By Your Side
Chris Malley and Bob Schlesinger – Split Shot
Elephant Revival – It’s Alive
Gasoline Lollipops – Dawn
Greyweather – Greyweather
I’m With Her – Songs We Said Goodbye To
Jill Brzezicki – The Horizon
Jonny Barber & the Rhythm Razors – Golden Plates
Leslie Brown – Tenderly
Meet the Giant – The Polymer EP
Polarity – King of Hearts
Prettymouth – Satan in Clothes
Rich With Friends – One Step Closer
School Knights – FRE​(​EP)
Shawn Waggoner – Goodbye Raven
Stray Grass – Written in the Stars
String Cheese Incident – Can’t Wait Another Day [single]
Ten Pound Elephant – Ten Pound Elephant EP
The Babysitters – Have A Seat
The Epilogues – Cinematics
Trichome – Trichome EP

FELL OUT OF TOP 40 OCTOBER 2012
7. Bad Weather California – Sunkissed
13. Coles Whalen – I Wrote this for You
17. El Toro De La Muerte – Dancer These Days
19. Otis Taylor – Otis Taylor’s Contraband
20. The Moetones – Lowbrow
24. The Royal – Forever
26. Mosey West – Merica
28. John Oates Band – The Bluesville Sessions
29. Bonnie & The Clydes – Wrong Side Up
30. Katie Herzig – The Waking Sleep
30. Susannah Thompson – Watch Me Fly
31. Great American Taxi – Paradise Lost
32. Carbon Choir – Sakhalin
32. Fred Hess Big Band – Speak
32. Lindsay & the Lost Caravan – You Don’t Know Me

STATION BY STATION

KAFM (Grand Junction)
1. Leftover Salmon – Aquatic Hitchhiker
1. The Lumineers – The Lumineers
2. Grant Farm – The Grant Farm
3. Chris Thompson & Coral Creek String Band – Forty Years *
4. 4H Royalty – Where UFOs Go To Die

KBUT (Crested Butte)
1. Chris Daniels – Better Days *
2. The Lumineers – The Lumineers
3. Halden Wofford & the HI Beams – Live at Hodi’s
4. Katie Glassman – Snapshot *
5. Grant Farm – The Grant Farm

KDNK (Carbondale) HOT SPINS
Grant Farm – The Grant Farm
Leftover Salmon – Aquatic Hitchhiker
O’Brien Party of 7 – Reincarnation, The Songs of Roger Miller
The Haunted Windchimes – Out with the Crow
The Lumineers – The Lumineers

KDUR (Durango) HOT SPINS
A Shoreline Dream – “333”
Air Dubai – Be Calm
Euforquestra – Let Us In
Halden Wofford & the Hi*Beams – Live at Hodi’s
The Moetones – Lowbrow

KGNU (Boulder)
1. O’Brien Party of 7 – Reincarnation, The Songs of Roger Miller
1. The Lumineers – The Lumineers
2. Grant Farm – The Grant Farm
3. Chris Daniels – Better Days *
3. Danielle Ate The Sandwich – {like a king}

KRCC (Colorado Springs)
1. Leftover Salmon – Aquatic Hitchhiker
2. Mango fan Django – Indigo Dreams
2. The Haunted Windchimes – Out with the Crow
2. The Yawpers – Capon Crusade
3. Chris Daniels – Better Days *

KRFC (Fort Collins)
1. Esme Patterson – All Princes, I
2. The Lumineers – The Lumineers
3. The Yawpers – Capon Crusade
4. Bonnie & The Clydes – Wrong Side Up
4. Robert Cline, Jr. – All the Right Reasons *

KUNC (Greeley)
1. The Lumineers –    The Lumineers
2. Danielle Ate The Sandwich – {like a king}
2. Zach Heckendorf – The Cool Down
3. Catch Bees – Newman’s Open Choir
3. Churchill – The Change EP

KUVO (Denver)
1. Tia Fuller – Angelic Warrior
2. Fred Hess Big Band – Speak
3. Eric Gunnison – Trios
3. Polarity – King of Hearts
4. Raincheck – Raincheck

KVNF (Paonia)
1. The Haunted Windchimes – Out with the Crow
2. Grant Farm – The Grant Farm
2. The Swayback – Double Four Time
3. Andy Thorn – Fire In The Sky
3. The Lumineers – The Lumineers

OPEN AIR 1340 (Denver)
1. Esme Patterson – All Princes, I
2. Wovenhand – The Laughing Stalk
3. Flobots – The Circle In the Square
4. The Yawpers – Capon Crusade
5. The Lumineers – The Lumineers

The Colorado Sound
1. Bop Skizzum – Coloradical
2. Strange Americans – A Royal Battle
3. Chris Thompson & Coral Creek String Band – Forty Years *
3. I’m With Her – Songs We Said Goodbye To
4. Beats Noir! – Where the Sun Goes Down

BY GENRE/PROGRAM FORMAT

Americana/Alt.country/Alt.country-rock
1. Chris Daniels – Better Days *
2. Chris Thompson & Coral Creek String Band – Forty Years *
3. Leftover Salmon – Aquatic Hitchhiker
4. Grant Farm – The Grant Farm
4. Katie Glassman – Snapshot *

Blues/Rhythm & Blues
1. Sofie Reed – Simplicity Chased Trouble Away *
2. Mama Lenny & the Remedy – Punches and Hugs
3. Eef – Bluesalicious
4. Otis Taylor – Otis Taylor’s Contraband
5. John Oates Band – The Bluesville Sessions

Dance/Funk/Hip-Hop/Urban Contemporary
1. Bop Skizzum – Coloradical
2. Flobots – The Circle In the Square
3. Rebel Tongue – Movin’ On
3. Ten Pound Elephant – Ten Pound Elephant EP
4. Air Dubai – Be Calm

Folk/folk-rock/singer-songwriter
1. The Haunted Windchimes – Out with the Crow
2. Danielle Ate The Sandwich – {like a king}
3. I’m With Her – Songs We Said Goodbye To
4. Chimney Choir – (ladder)
5. O’Brien Party of 7 – Reincarnation, The Songs of Roger Miller

Indie/New Alternative
1. The Lumineers – The Lumineers
2. Esme Patterson – All Princes, I
3. Achille Lauro – Flight or Flight
4. Tennis – Young & Old
5. Ending People – Fill Your Lungs

Jazz
1. Tia Fuller – Angelic Warrior
2. Chris Malley and Bob Schlesinger – Split Shot
3. Raincheck – Raincheck
4. After Midnight – Hit the Jive Jack
5. Fred Hess Big Band – Speak

Pop/Adult Contemporary
1. Petals of Spain – Late Night Visitor
2. Coles Whalen – I Wrote this for You
3. Places – No More Wasted Days
4. Petals of Spain – Lady Luck [single]
5. The Royal – Forever

Rock/AAA/AOR/Modern Rock
1. The Knew – Man Monster
2. Strange Americans – A Royal Battle
3. The Yawpers – Capon Crusade
4. The Epilogues – Cinematics
5. Churchill – The Change EP

* = serviced to radio by Rocky Mountain Music Network