Steal This Track: The Broken Spoke and the Legendary River DriftersBy Eryc Eyl | March 21st, 2011 | 2 comments
Is it Monday again already? Well, then, it’s time for Steal This Track, your weekly opportunity to snag great local music absolutely free. This week, the Colorado-made music has a certain twang to it, with broken-hearted country from the Broken Spoke and some banjo blues from Legendary River Drifters. What are you waiting for? Start stealing.
Making its Denver debut at 3 Kings Tavern this Thursday night, the Broken Spoke’s passion for twangy, authentic country comes through loud and proud on the quartet’s album, “Before There Were Easy Riders.” Josh DeSmidt, Tom Skora, Nathan Baker and Skye Lewis recorded the album live in their studio with nothing fancier than a reel-to-reel eight-track recorder.
The simple, old-fashioned approach is perfect for the simple, old-fashioned music of the Broken Spoke. DeSmidt — who can also be heard on Joe Johnson‘s debut album — has an honest affinity for heartbreaks, hometowns and traditional American music. “Before There Were Easy Riders” is filled with the kind of grit and sadness that’s hard to find in commercial country music. As evidence, we present “Here All Alone” for your stealing pleasure.
As long as we’re embracing our inner hayseeds, we can think of another fresh song that follows Broken Spoke as well as the latest single from a Denver institution, the Legendary River Drifters. From the band’s forthcoming album (we’re told it’s tentatively titled “Hellbound in the Eden Tornado,” but we never know when to believe those jokers), “Waiting on a Line” continues the continues the band’s love affair with the music of dirt roads and roadhouses. With guitars, bass, banjo, drums, harmonica, mandolin and the occasional saw, the Drifters know how to kick up dust.
“Waiting on a Line” — which the band claims is about Tetris, but we’re pretty sure is about drugs — is marked by Suzanne Magnuson’s soul-soaked vocals and Curtis Wallach’s no-nonsense banjo, and is the second song on Steal This Track this year with a rocking mandolin solo (this one by Joe Burkins). Like a drunk poet at the bar, there’s a looseness to the ensemble that occasionally detracts from the solid songwriting, and though “Waiting” might have to hold onto the bar to avoid meeting the floor, it’s still standing. Steal the song to whet your appetite for the Legendary River Drifters’ next show, Apr 21 at the Hi-Dive, with Thrift Store Cowboys and Hillstomp.
If you like Steal This Track, you’re gonna love Steal This Track: a Reverb Dance Party at the Hi-Dive. We’re taking over the South Broadway indie rock institution on the last Thursday of every month with special guests, giveaways, drink specials and more. This month, we’re thrilled to welcome Kitty Vincent of Le Divorce and the legendary Cacheflowe as guest DJs. In the later hours, DJ Savior Breath (a.k.a. Reverb’s own Eryc Eyl) will turn the shindig into a pants-dropping dance party. And just like Steal This Track, it’s absolutely free. You won’t want to miss it.
Please note that downloads offered via Steal This Track are intended to whet your appetite, and are NOT CD-quality recordings. If you want those, please support the artists by buying their music and/or seeing them live.
If you’re a band or musician ready to expose your fresh sounds to the readers of Reverb, email your tracks — along with any interesting facts about them, as well as a photo or album art — to Eryc Eyl for consideration.
Eryc Eyl is a veteran music journalist, critic and Colorado native who has been neck-deep in local music for many years. Check out Steal This Track every Monday for local music you can HEAR, and the Mile High Makeout every Friday. Against his mother’s advice, Eryc has also been known to tweet. You can also follow Steal This Track on Twitter. Sorry, Mom.