The Band of Heathens w/ Blake Brown & The American Dust Choir

The Band of Heathens w/ Blake Brown & The American Dust Choir

Fri · November 30, 2018

Doors: 8:00 pm / Show: 9:00 pm (event ends at 1:00 am)

$12 Advance / $15 Day Of Show

This event is 16 and over

The Band of Heathens
The Band of Heathens
Duende, the title of The Band of Heathens’ fifth studio album (and eighth overall), marks their tenth anniversary as a group, and it certainly applies to its overall theme about the collective search for connection and communion in a technology-fueled world increasingly splintered, distracted and lonely. As band co-founder Ed Jurdi, who first learned of the term, explains, “It’s the essence of the artist,” or as partner Gordy Quist says, “It’s a word we don’t have an equivalent for in English, Artistically, that’s where we tried to set the bar, to do what this band does best.”

Indeed, Duende lives up to those high ideals, a stylistically diverse effort that takes a leap beyond their last, more acoustic, introspective effort, 2013’s Sunday Morning Record, with an eclectic batch of material that shows where The Band of Heathens has been, but more importantly, where they are going.

There are high-energy rockers like the Keith Richards-Chuck Berry guitars and barrelhouse piano in “Trouble Came Early” as well as the Grateful Dead-by-way-of J.J. Cale Oklahoma boogie in “Keys to the Kingdom,” and the New Riders pedal steel country twang of “Green Grass of California,” an ode to the more potent strains of sensimilla on the dispensary shelf and a fervent plea to “legalize it.”

Duende also touches on some of The Band of Heathens’ favorite topics, from the sacrifices of a life lived on the road (“All I’m Asking”) to the limits of materialism (“Keys to the Kingdom”), social media absorption (“Cracking the Code”), and a moving depiction of Mexican immigration in an age of increased discrimination (“Road Dust Wheels”).

Thematically, Quist’s “Cracking the Code” comes closest to reiterating the album’s desire to reconsider the value of relationships and priorities in a world of virtual reality and social media. “While modern technology has certainly allowed us to stay in touch over vast distances – something a band that lives on the road certainly appreciates – it doesn’t really provide the authentic connection we crave,” says Gordy. “We’ve created a portal through which we lose ourselves and miss what’s really going on right in front of us, hiding the fact our supposed connected culture can be a really lonely place.”

“I feel the album brings together all our influences, everything we’ve done over the years as a band,” explains Jurdi. “We’ve touched on every part of our career… our roots, some singer/songwriter contemplative stuff, some high-energy rock ‘n’ roll. It’s all us, the record we were supposed to make. Ten years later, that’s what keeps us coming back.”

Engineer/co-producer Jim Vollentine (Spoon, White Rabbits, …And You’ll Know Us by the Trail of Dead) helped the album’s diversity sound coherent, adding unique touches such as mellotron and drum machines to the loping rockabilly of tracks like “All I’m Asking.”

The term “Americana” was practically invented to describe The Band of Heathens’ approach, which has mutated almost as much as the genre to which they’re identified. And while the Rolling Stones and The Beatles remain touchstones on songs like “Sugar Queen” and “Deep Is Love,” respectively, influences as diverse as Sly and the Family Stone (in the psychedelic fuzz-tones of “Daddy Long Legs”) and Latin music (“Road Dust Wheels”) also rear their heads. Literary inspirations also come into play, ranging from a character in Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar depicted in as a strutting cougar in “Sugar Queen” (“She even talks dirty/When she’s on her knees to pray”) to Tom Standage’s A History of the World in Six Glasses, which recounts how beer, wine, spirits, coffee, tea and Coca-Cola have shaped culture and civilization to modern times (“Trouble Came Early”).

Duende is The Band of Heathens playing to their strengths, unapologetically constructed as an old-school 10-track, two-sided vinyl album (which it will be released as, with a second disc encompassing four songs from their Green Grass EP released earlier this year).

With Duende, the proof is in the results. Let them change your mind.
Duende is The Band of Heathens playing to their strengths, unapologetically constructed as an old-school 10-track, two-sided vinyl album (which it will be released as, with a second disc encompassing four songs from their Green Grass EP released earlier this year).

With Duende, the proof is in the results. Let them change your mind.
Blake Brown & The American Dust Choir
Blake Brown & The American Dust Choir
Blake Brown is an American singer-songwriter from Denver, Colorado.

After participating in many collaborative projects, Blake Brown formed The American Dust Choir. His idea was to have the flexibility of playing solo, as a duo (with his wife Tiffany, keyboard/vocals), and in various incarnations including a revolving cast of musician friends when they were able to join him. The American Dust Choir includes friends and musicians of some well-known groups such as The Fray, The Films, and Tennis. The line-up has since galvanized and includes mainstays Tiffany Brown (keyboard/vocals), Adam ­­­­­­­Blake (drums), bass player Jason Legler, and guitarist Trent Nelson. The band released its debut full length LONG WAY HOME in March 2018 and have playing shows in support since. Brown’s music is rooted in acoustic sounds, and characterized by his seemingly simple, but nuanced, melodies and heartfelt lyrics. Marked by a surprisingly captivating subtleness, Brown’s music and stage presence leave audiences with something to think about and always wanting more.

Following the release of Long Way Home, the band performed multiple official showcases at the SXSW 2018 in Austin, Texas, including a spot at the legendary Waller Creek Amphitheater (Stubb's) supporting Keith Urban. Following SXSW, Brown went on the road supporting Justin Townes Earle in May as an acoustic duo.

Blake Brown & the American Dust Choir will be performing for the summer festival season while preparing for dates in the Fall, including festival appearances, a support slot with ZZ Ward, and more dates in the Midwest. Blake and band will also be returning to the studio with drummer of The Fray, Ben Wysocki as Producer in preparation for new music to be released in early 2019.
Venue Information:
Aggie Theatre
204 South College Avenue
Fort Collins, CO, 80524
http://www.aggietheatre.com/