I’m using this first column of the new year to give a collective pat on the back to our local musicians, producers, engineers and studio owners.
As much as I look forward to a large output of records by national artists in 2014, our local musicians also will help crowd my record shelves and fill my iPod.
The tail end of 2013 was littered with local recording sessions and plans to get into the studio. In 2014, Southwest Colorado will boast dozens of releases recorded in local basements, rehearsal spaces and studios. I wish I had space to list them all, but I don’t. This list scratches the surface.
The Crags will record in February with engineer and producer Dan Szabo. Crags frontwoman Tracy Ford says it will get your blood boiling.
Funk band Bacon, led by Travis Dalenberg, will be in Doug Eagle’s studio later this month; the band plans to produce either a demo or full length.
Country-rock outfit Farmington Hill spent a weekend on Durango’s south side in October recording its sophomore effort. The band will toil patiently over this production, although Erik Nordstrom assures a 2014 release. Nordstrom’s Lawn Chair Kings also will record an acoustic record in March in that same space.
Garage rockers Papa Otis’ only recording plans for 2014 are for two or three songs, which will find their way onto the comeback medium of vinyl in the 7-inch form. Others refer to that size as a “45.”
Jazz musician Jeff Solon will record an album’s worth of new material in April with engineer Scott Smith at his “Scooters Place” studio.
Jonas Grushkin has been writing and recording original music in his home studio. Heavy on the New Orleans funk, Grushkin also is forming a band to play his original compositions. A CD will follow.
Cortez rock band the Moetones recently recorded their second effort with Doug Eagle, titled “I Wouldn’t Want to Say Goodbye (without leaving.)” It should be out in February.
Pagosa Springs guitar player Chris Rapp records regularly with writing partner and vocalist Chris Haas as Ragwater, as well as with an additional project called Dag Nabbit. These songs get uploaded to Bandcamp sites and are available for free; a proper CD from Ragwater could come out in 2014.
The High Rollers continue toward their domination overseas, having dances written for their songs in France and being hired for a festival in Spain. They’ll also play Country Jam this year, and their third record will be out in April.
Rock band Little Wilderness has some kind of recording plans for 2014. And Aftergrass drummer Eric Kiefer, performing as Oblee, constantly records in his home. He has plans to release a full-length, in addition to a couple of songs being released on 7-inch vinyl, featuring vocalist Kim Manning, who also sings with George Clinton.
Country musician Tyller Gummersall is working with Bar-D Wrangler Gary Cook on a new traditional country record and also will release a duo project under the name The Wrecking Balls.
Ed “The Fifth Ramone” Stasium remains busy at his studio outside of Bayfield. He recently engineered and produced a recording session in Rochester, N.Y, then mixed the product at home. Just who the musicians are is being kept under wraps, but Stasium said they are household names in the rock industry. “It was a lot of fun recording this,” Stasium said. “It was like the old days.”
My apologies if I’ve left projects out. A great resolution for 2014, if you believe in that sort of thing, would be to support local music.
Liggett_b@fortlewis.edu. Bryant Liggett is a freelance writer and KDUR station manager.