With the release of their full-length debut, last year’s A Modern Man’s Way to Improve, Royal Horses — Shelby Kemp (vocals, guitar), Kenny Mann (bass) and Daniel Firth (drums) — firmly established a style that the band’s Shelby Kemp describes as “Mississippi Pine Stump Jangle,” and it draws from the genres that helped shaped the New South, including 70s rock, blues, rockabilly and folk but in a swaggering, genre-bending fashion, built around the trio’s deep and undeniable simpatico.
The trio’s Color Red debut “Time Wounds All Heals” is a dust kicking stomp that brings early electric Dylan and Creedence Clearwater Revival to mind — but with a friends bullshitting, jamming and sharing a bottle of cheap rotgut to pass the time sort of air. So it shouldn’t be surprising that the song’s lyrics describes spending a batch of nights with a dear friend, some wine and wild tales.
Initially started as a studio project tracked by Mike Tallman at Color Red Studios, Denver-based funk act Gold Leader — Zach Jackson (bass), Thomas Jennings (guitar), Eric Luba (electric organ), Will Trask (drums), Alex Cazet (tenor sax) and Carrie McCune (trumpet) — has evolved into a collective of Denver music scene vets and friends, who also play in local bands like Mama Magnolia, Analog Son, ManyColors and others.
The Denver-based sextet’s latest single “Creeper” is a cinematic, devil-may-care bit of funk featuring a strutting bass line, expressive horns, shimmering guitar and glistening organs seemingly inspired by The Pink Panther. You can almost picture the quirky,. cartoon sleuth following the criminal through a bunch of comic set ups.
Led by Jon Panic, the Sydney, Australia-based roots reggae and dub act Black Bird Hum have spent the past four years touring across the continent, becoming a rising name in the Aussie reggae and festival scene. And although “My Side” is their first single released through Denver-based funk and soul label Color Red, the Aussie band’s connection to the label runs very deep: Jeff Reis (drums) had spent 15 years playing in Denver‘s scene, performing with labelmates ATOMGA during that band’s formative years before relocating to Sydney.
Centered around fluttering flute, a sinuous and two-step inducing groove, twinkling keys and laid-back riddims, Little Green’s sultry vocals and an infectious horn line composed by Greg Chilcott (trumpet), “My Side” is the band’s homage to some of their favorite artists — Roots Radics, Gregory Isaacs, and Hollie Cook but with a modern take. Developed and honed over months of touring. “My Side” is a road tested song that feels both modern and timeless as it tells an age-old tale of good love gone horribly and confusingly wrong. Most of us have been there and have reflected on what was, what could have been and what happened with a vivid preciseness. The B side is a classic and very trippy dub mix that further emphasizes that deep and sinuous two-step groove with reverb-drenched everything. Listening to the dub mix is an enveloping trip into groove, if you dig what I’m saying?
“The groove got it all started, the horn line kept it going, and then Little Green (Amy) singing over the top was all we needed to know it was our next release.,” Black Bird Hum’s Jon Panic says of their latest single. “All our songs are fun live, but this pocket is probably the best to drop into. It’s a nod to all of our favorite reggae artists and the mad grooves they’ve given us.”
Color Red · Death by Dub – Kibosh | Color Red Music
Led by founding members and creative masterminds Dan Africano and Scott Flynn, the Denver-based act Death by Dub is a deeply collaborative effort between its founders and a collection of the Mile High City’s finest players, in which everyone equally contributes their input and talents — typically during the studio sessions, with the studio being an integral part of the project.
The Denver-based act’s latest single “Kibosh” derives its name from the death hood, a condemned prison would hear leading up to their beheading. Centered around a mournful and lyrical horn melody, shimmering Rhodes, stuttering riddims and reverb and delay-drenched dub effects, the track evokes the slow walk a condemned prisoner would take to the gallows, before ending with a slow fade out. The single will appear on the band’s forthcoming EP Resurrection, which is slated for an September 18, 2020 release through Color Red.