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Local Denver Music Scene
The history of the Denver music scene has included John Denver, Jill Sobule, Sugarloaf and The Fray. It's also the hometown of Paul Whiteman, who was the leading big band recording artist of the 1920s. One of the first artists to bring national attention to the Denver music scene was folk artist Judy Collins in the 60s then John Denver in the 60s and 70s. In the 2000s the Colorado legislature approved his hit "Rocky Mountain High" as an official state song. The Denver Post covers the local music scene.
In 2013 Rolling Stone conducted a poll of among music industry professionals on the best outdoor concert venues in America. Red Rocks Amphitheatre was number one on the the list. It's a legendary venue that opened in 1941 and was the site of earlier shows dating back to 1906. The venue has a capacity of 9,450.
Denver Music Acts
A Fashioned Farewell * Alex G * Big Gigantic * Birdy * Boulder Acoustic Society * Camryn * Caroline Country * Cozmic Box * Dave Tamkin * Elise Lieberth * Emmitt-Nershi Band * Fatima Lily * Flash Mob * GG Tabor * Hillbilly Hellcats * Jeff Wirtzfeld * Jenn Cleary * Julia Sheer * Katey Laurel * Katy McAllister * Luna Trick * Manufactured Superstars * Mark Durant * Pnuma Trio * Slim Cessna's Auto Club * Something Underground * Sons of the Addicted * Stepanie Mabey * Tyler Ward * Vices I Admire * Wendy Clark * Wendy Woo Band * World Echo *
Denver Local Music Scene History
Rolling Stone featured Denver on January 23, 2020 in its series of local music scene hot spots. The article reviewed different local venues including Red Rocks Amphitheatre. Other venues mentioned included Mission Ballroom, Bluebird Theater and The Hi-Dive.
A new festival in Denver launched in September 2018 called Grandoozy, organized by Superfly. The festival was held September 14, 15 and 16 at the Overland Park Golf Course on three stages. The show featured international and regional musical talent, artists and chefs. The diverse lineup includes Stevie Wonder, Kendrick Lamar, Florence + The Machine, The Chainsmokers, Phoenix, De La Soul, Mavis Staples and more. Superfly is a concert organizer that has established major events in other cities such as Bonnaroo near Nashville and Outside Lands in San Francisco.
The 12th annual John Denver Tribute Concert presented by Brad Fitch and The TropiCowboy Band was held at Estes Park in the YMCA of the Rockies' Reusch Auditorium, September 5, 2015. The concert was a benefit for the Estes Park Lions Club charities for the sight and hearing impaired community. Musicians besides Fitch performing songs from the Johh Denver catalogue included fiddler Johnny Neill, lead guitarist Chris Kennison, who also played pedal steel, dobro, banjo and his brother drummer Jeff Kennison. Melinda Morris, Fitch's sister, joined him on vocals, while their son Eamonn Morris played bass and cello.
The 23rd annual Rocky Mountain Folks Festival in Lyons was a three day festival August 16-18. The show closed out with headliner John Prine. Other performers included Loreena McKennitt, Patty Griffin and the John Butler Trio. The show was organized by Planet Bluegrass and featured several other up and coming acts from other regions such as Ellis and Mary Gautier, Lucius, Seryn and Foy Vance. The festival was written about in this Robert Leja article 8/20/2013 on KUNC.org.
Jessica Cole is the founder and president of the successful independent company Lyric House Publishing, based in Denver. The company how has over 50 songwriters on its publishing roster. The company is building a string of success stories licensing this music to media for commercials, TV shows and films, as well as new media. They've even placed songs on VH1 and other television networks. Jessica was interviewed in this Dale Kawashima article 8/12/2013 in Songwriter Universe.
The Denver Post presented a four night festival called Underground Music Showcase (UMS) from July 18-21, 2013 as the city's version of the SXSW Festival in Austin, Texas. The showcase was held in the Baker district and is considered to be the largest music event of the year in Denver. Over 400 bands were featured, mostly originating from the region, on over 20 stages. Performers included The Epilogues, Bop Skizzum, Caramel Carmela, Petals of Spain, Rob Drabkin, MEDIC, Sarah and the Meanies, Born In the Flood and Navy. National bands on the bill included Mudhoney, Cults, Small Black and Lord Huron. The festival was previewed in this Jeff McQuilkin article 7/18/2013 in Examiner.com.