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
Bruce Hoppe- Nobody’s Angel
Fort Collins is famous for its high concentration of bluegrass bands. Bruce Hoppe may be grouped into that category, however Bruce is more of a honky-tonk old style country. This six-track album is perfect for line dancing at Sundance on a Saturday night. If you are a country fan, this is a great album for you. The title track is full of energy and will make you want to get up and dance. “This Song’s For You” is more of a slower and beachy tune that is perfect for relaxing on the beach (or relaxing by the fire wishing you were on the beach.) The entire album definitely has a more classic country sound that would catch any country lover’s ear.
3 out of 5
Reed Foehl- Lost in the West
Reed Foehl is no stranger to the music scene in Colorado. Fohel has been playing here since the ‘90s when he formed the band Acoustic Junction after moving here from New England. Foehl is now on his own, pursuing an acoustic folk career. His voice is so beautiful and makes for an amazing folk sound. “Caroline” is one of the best tracks on the album. It makes me think of what it would be like to leave it all and hitchhike across America, walking along a dirt road waiting to be picked up by a stranger, much like Kerouac in On the Road. There are so many elements to each song that sets them apart from each other. They all have a similar sound, but there is a little surprise in each song that keeps you interested and ties them all together perfectly.
4 out of 5
Whisper Wolf- Death
This album definitely takes me back to my punk days… not that they ever really ended. The album is fun for everyone and easy to listen to. There is definitely a “Brand Newish” sound. The album blends indie rock with punk perfectly, and the melodies remind me of Brand New in their early years. Elliot Gacke’s voice is very unique, and when you first see him, you would never expect such a high-pitched voice to come out of such a tall man, but it sounds perfect for the music. There is occasional screaming, but it isn’t distracting and works for the genre that they are trying to fit into. The stand out songs on this album definitely include “1976,” which is perfect for singing along in the car, the oohs and ahhs and the upbeat tune make it so catchy and perfect for a broad audience. “In Limbo” is also a good one; similar to “1976,” it is very catchy and easy to listen to.
4.5 out of 5
RYAN SHUPE AND THE RUBBERBAND – WE RODE ON
This band is not quite local, but they are honorary residents with their frequent visits to Telluride, Pueblo, Grand Junction and Denver. They have gained a fairly large following in Colorado within the country scene. The album is all very upbeat and uplifting, sounding similar to something closer to the genre of pop-country rather than bluegrass or raw country. They blend pop and country with a little Spanish flair in some songs. Each track is very easy to listen to and simple to sing along with. Although each song is so easy to listen to, the similar sound does get a little repetitive. However, the album is all very positive and uplifting, and very easy to dance to.