Make sure you catch these five acts coming to Colorado this autumn with new albums in tow.
Los Coast – New Album: “Samsara”
“(Everything But) The Kitchen Sink” is a zany, Parliament-minded funk tune from Los Coast’s debut album, “Samsara,” but it’s also an apt description of the group’s eclectic, inclusive sound. The emerging Texas band delivers a high-energy mix of old-school soul, R&B, hip-hop and rock, propelled by the hearty growling vocals of front man Trey Privott. Like the band’s electrifying live shows, Los Coast’s first LP does plenty of genre hopping: “Simplify” chugs along with anthemic Sly Stone swagger, while “The Morning Weight” revels in a shimmering, slow-burning groove. Most captivating is the acoustic-based, existential meditation “Chesapeake,” which features Privott conjuring up Otis Redding singing on a mountain summit.
Playing: September 4 at Red Rocks Amphitheatre with Gary Clark Jr.
Greensky Bluegrass – New Album: “All for Money”
Colorado has shown great affinity for jamgrass staple Greensky Bluegrass; so much so that the band is stepping it up to headline a whopping three nights at Red Rocks this month. The fast-picking, improv-minded quintet will showcase tunes from its latest studio effort, “All for Money,” which came out earlier this year. The record, co-produced by Jack White bassist Dominic John Davis, finds the Michigan-bred crew veering at points towards a full-fledged rock sound, highlighted by the windows-down anthem “Do It Alone” and the dark and distorted protest song “It’s Not Mine Anymore.” Another key track, “Courage for the Road,” hits nearly 10 minutes and features a jam-heavy mid-section that’s ripe and ready for the band’s dynamic live shows. The group is also bringing great opening acts to Red Rocks this year—the Lil Smokies on the first night, Rayland Baxter on the second and guitar wiz Billy Strings on the last.
Playing: September 13-15 at Red Rocks Amphitheatre
Tyler Childers – New Album: “Country Squire”
Tyler Childers became an Americana hero thanks to the success of his 2017 debut, “Purgatory,” a record that told seedy Southern tales through gritty country-rock and ragged shades of bluegrass. The Kentucky singer-songwriter picks up where he left off on the August-released follow-up, “Country Squire,” which, like its predecessor, was co-produced by Sturgill Simpson and Johnny Cash’s former engineer, David Ferguson. Throughout his latest, Childers reflects on the old days in his home state: “Bus Route” is a trip down memory lane delivered via a high-lonesome porch tune, while the title track is a fiddle-driven, honky-tonk ramble with personal lyrics about grinding through blue-collar jobs. The penultimate track, “All Your’n,” is a soulful love song that brings his thoughts to the present tense, with Childers lamenting distance from his wife during long touring cycles. The hard work has paid off, though, as Childers continues to move into bigger venues, like Red Rocks, which he headlines at the end of the month.
Playing: September 30 at Red Rocks Amphitheatre with Robert Earl Keen and Town Mountain
Todd Snider – New Album: “Cash Cabin Sessions Vol. 3”
Busy in recent years with his jam-heavy supergroup Hard Working Americans, Todd Snider has spent 2019 getting back to his folk roots. In the spring, the wry-witted troubadour released his latest solo effort, “Cash Cabin Sessions Vol. 3,” which predominantly features minimalist guitar-and-harmonica arrangements. The album, recorded at Johnny Cash’s Cash Cabin Studios in Tennessee, finds Snider channeling the powerful simplicity of early influences like Woody Guthrie, as he protests our troubled times with musings both comical (“Talking Reality Television Blues”) and acerbic (“The Blues on Banjo”). Jason Isbell shows up to sing with Snider on the standout “Like a Force of Nature,” which offers remorseful reflection on past mistakes.
Playing: October 10 at the Boulder Theatre, October 11 at Vilar Performing Arts Center in Beaver Creek and October 13 at Washington’s in Fort Collins
Shovels and Rope – New Album: “By Blood”
Fresh off a summer stint warming up amphitheaters for the Tedeschi Trucks Band, the husband-and-wife duo of Michael Trent and Cary Ann Hearst will keep touring into the fall behind their new album “By Blood.” On the group’s fifth studio effort, they are still making rowdy, punk-fueled roots rock that sounds much bigger than what’s usually coming from just two players, and after more than a decade of performing together, their sound has expanded beyond the acoustic leanings of their early years. The new album’s kick-off, “I’m Coming Out,” places the pair’s patented shout-out harmonies among a stomping beat and distorted fuzz, and “The Wire” is an intense retro rock song about caring for the ones you love when it counts. Another gem is a reworking of the old murder ballad “Pretty Polly,” which the couple offers as a jangly garage jam—soulful reinvention from a band that keeps things close to home.
Playing: October 22 at the Ogden Theatre in Denver