CD Reviews

Qbala – Dark Side of the Rain

Qbala – Dark Side of the Rain

Hip-hop emcee Qbala has released Dark Side of the Rain, the follow up EP to 2011’s My State of Dementia and the re-released Unfinished Business. The five-song EP is full of depth, hooks, fresh beats and a mastered flow and articulation that is signature Qbala, with cuts backed by DJ Dominic Deadbeat and DJ Sync3re. The delivery, lyrics and production are beyond anything we’ve heard from Qbala in years past, and matched with a live show that is energetic, the intensity Qbala is known for has gone up a notch. The standout track by far on this EP is “She Said.” Qbala’s guest, Michael Kirkpatrick (lead singer of The Holler!) offers rich falsetto hooks as the backing for a memorable track that freely moves from track one, “We Ride,” and is then followed by the fierce aggression and contemplative nature of “News.” Purists of Qbala’s freestyle and punctuated spoken word tracks may need to evolve into hearing actual singing at times on the tracks, but overall, the EP is a cutting-edge deliverable from NoCo’s fastest rising hip-hop star.

- By Silas Rowe

Lion_Drome – Curve Of The Earth

Yet another rock band from Fort Collins, it seems as though the tides are changing from more bluegrass bands here to more rock bands. From the cover, you definitely do not expect it to be more of a rock album. From the first song to the last, this record is very complex. It is a rock album first and foremost, but they toy with many different genres on this twelve-song CD. The first song is reminiscent of early 90’s whine rock to a more classic style of rock to a mix of rock and electronic. Although the album is forever changing style, it still keeps a consistent sound throughout with the vocals and certain queues in the music.

Steve Law Band – Old Oak Tree

Steve Law Band is a mixture of country rock and little blues. The first song on the album is more of a classic country sound and then the album gains complexity throughout. Steve is a dentist in Denver and “has had all this music stored up for years,” and is finally composing it and releasing it to the public. If you are not a country fan “Tom’s Burned Down Café” is a great song to start with. It has a little country twang but is more of a blues/rock song for the majority of the song; it is very catchy and easy to listen to. The song kind of reminds me of hanging out at a small town bar with your best friends. “Old Oak Tree” is another stand out track. There is a lot of soul packed into one song, with the soaring vocals and the soulful guitar riffs it definitely is a track that can’t be ignored.

Lanedecay – In Light // Remember

If noise rock is what you are into then this will be your new favorite local band. Their ep In Light // Remember is like a more chilled out Dinosaur Jr. There are only four songs on this album, but that is enough to know that these guys rock. These guys drew quite a crowd at Illegal Pete’s last month and there is a good reason. The album is full of gloomy vocals and catchy riffs that make for the perfect noise-rock experience. They definitely have an older sound, like the grunge/noise-rock bands in the 90’s. The stand out track on the album is Madison. It is more of an upbeat song that is easy to listen to if you are new to this genre but at the same time, if you are a fan of noise-rock you will be able to groove to it instantly and fall in love with this band.

Phil Turk Band- You and I are Brave

The music on this album is very beautiful and complex. It reminds you of walking in the woods of Colorado on a perfect spring day when all the flowers are blooming and colorful. The flute is a perfect whimsical instrument that takes you on this journey. True to Fort Collins form there is also a hint of country in the twang of the guitar. If that wasn’t Fort Collins enough for you, Phil Turk is a statistics professor at Colorado State when he is not making music. His vocals are not exactly what you would expect to go with the music. They seem like something from a gospel record, or something fit for a ballad. With that being said, it works in a new kind of way and creates a new kind of genre. Turk is very talented; he even sings the song “All There Is To Say” in Chinese on the last track of the CD.  “True Happiness Under the Autumn Leaves” is one of the best tracks on the album; it Is very relaxing and makes you feel the calm that comes with Autumn.

2.5 out of 5

Illegal Pete’s

Illegal Pete’s

After surviving the tremendous controversy over the name “illegal” in its name, Illegal Pete’s in Fort Collins is soaring into the hearts and stomachs of many. It’s here to stay with the original name intact and in a prime location at 320 Walnut Street. The vast interior and raised alcove help make it our town’s…Continue Reading

Indian Music

Indian Music

Om Ananda Yoga Studio in Old Town Fort Collins is hosting a very special and rare concert event with tabla master Ty Burhoe and grammy-winning flute master Steve Gorn! Mark your calendars for Friday, January 16, 8-10pm, admission is $16 in advance and $20 at the door; purchase at or call 970-488-9192. The venue…Continue Reading

Donoma Farms

Donoma means “sight of the sun.” It’s a place in Carr where plants and animals grow together year-round to create an ecosystem that provides food for the region. They focus on offering nutrient-dense foods that respects animal life and the environment. Their animals flourish and renew pasture soil on the 90-acre farm year-round, absorbing much…Continue Reading

William Oliver’s

William Oliver’s

That tiny pub in the strip mall on the east side of Fort Collins has now doubled in size and added a full kitchen! If you haven’t given William Oliver’s Publick House a visit yet, then “the best bacon in town” is reason enough to stop by. A spectacular whiskey selection, a full menu and…Continue Reading

Colorado Blues Society Champions

Local artists, Cary Morin and Eef & The Blues Express have earned the privilege of representing The Colorado Blues Society (CBS) at The International Blues Challenge (IBC) in Memphis, later this month. These two acts were winners of the Colorado Blues Society’s annual Colorado Blues Challenge. The IBC is an international competition of blues acts…Continue Reading

Cashing In On Success

Cashing In On Success

Last year was eventful for Rosanne Cash. The release of her much anticipated album in more than four years, The River and the Thread (January 2014, Blue Note Records) and the launch of that tour kept the artist performing, connecting with her fans and grounded to her roots in the American South. With a talented…Continue Reading

Best Breakout Bands of the Year

Deadwood Saints: I once wrote in an album review for The Deadwood Saints that “it feels like coming home,” and I stand by that statement completely. There are a lot of folk/bluegrass/Americana bands in Colorado, but The Deadwood Saints set themselves apart with an amazing sound that can only be described as “beard-folk.” Their music…Continue Reading

December Late Nights

November Late Nights