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With more bands now than ever, the Durango music scene is a sight of progression and variety, creating a community of musicians connected through conviviality. From jazz and blues to funk and reggae, there is a wide range of music being played in the Durango area for everyone’s enjoyment.

“There is a camaraderie among other bands, it is a collaboration which is really great,” Dave Mensch, a singer, songwriter and guitarist for local band, Formula 151, said. “There have been musicians in the area that were really helpful geing me started in my solo career as far as geing to know different venues in the area, really helping me kick start my career.” With such a large quantity of local bands, it would be easy for them to become cuhroat for gigs. “It’s not a competitive scene, I would

say,” Mensch said. “In these hard economic times, there is enough work out there for all of us musicians to perform.” The music scene is progressing and there are more venues to play at, and the existing ones have really stepped up, he said. “Local musicians respect venues in the area, because it is so key in creating a name for your band,” Josh Bensik, the manager for the Abbey Theatre said. “But I love working with small time, local bands.” A large part of gaining respect from local venues, for a group, is displaying the ability to play for hours on end, Mensch said. “Usually, in order to play that long, you need more than four hours of material while maintaining a crowd in the venue,” he said. For bands new to the scene, trying to get their name out can be difficult. “A lot of it is just self promotion, you have to go talk to people and usually the people won’t call you back unless you’ve came and harassed them six or seven times or dropped in on them at whatever bar they own and ask them if they’ve listened to the CD yet,” Emily Wilson, Wild Mountain mandolin player, said. Consistency in the quality of music is important in obtaining a reputation in the music scene too, she said. Along with that, never turning down

opportunities to perform is important, as well as playing as much as possible when starting off and not being known very well, Nick Ebel, of The Good Neighbors, said. “I pay the most aention to bands that impress me time and time again, that’s how I’ve become a fan of some of my favorite local bands,” David Williams, a music fanatic and sophomore at Fort Lewis College said. The talent has upped the ante so that patrons have come to expect a lot out of musicians, Mensch said. “Don’t be afraid to play your own music,” Ebel said. “If you have a unique idea, people in this town will accept it.” It is important to find that weird balance of not taking it too seriously and having a dedication to what is being done, Erik Nordstrom, the leading man of Lawn Chair Kings, said. For a lot of bands, the aspect of fun is what their passion is centered around; several agree that it keeps them together. “Performing music, listening to music, watching local bands perform, anyway that you can be a part of it is great, it’s fun,” Mensch said. “Go out and support local music, because it’s never been beer,” Kelly Rogers, Lawn Chair Kings instrumentals, said.

For more information please contact Paige Blankenbeuhler at

BAND PROFILES: The Good Neighbors

Lawn Chair Kings

Formula 151

Wild Mountain

Genre: Blues based rock and roll Chris Parker: Lead vocals, songwriter Nick Ebel: Guitar Kevin Good: Bass John Michael Peck: Drummer Song you have to hear: “Mistakes” Upcoming Shows: Every other Friday at Moe’s Starlite Lounge and will be playing in Skyfest April 11.

Genre: Western Basement Music/ Suburban Rock Steve Mendias: Drummer Erik Nordstrom: Main vocals, songwriter and guitar Dan Leek: Bass Kelly Rogers: Instrumental Variety Song you have to hear: “Trailer Park” Upcoming Shows: March 21 at The Summit, April 1 at Cuckoo’s.

Genre: Acoustic rock Dave Mensch: Main vocals, songwriter and guitar Mike Kornelson: Bass Ben Simpson: Drummer Song you have to hear: “Biersweet” Upcoming Shows: Blondie’s Pub and Grub every other Tuesday, Derailed Saloon every other Wednesday.

Genre: Folk/Bluegrass Brad: Vocals, guitar, piano, mandolin Emily Wilson: Mandolin Rusty Charpenter: Bass Tommy Frederico: Banjo Estella Moore: Fiddle Song you have to hear: “Stella’s Breakdown” Upcoming Shows: March 15 at the Irish Embassy, March 17 at the Derailed Saloon, March 22 at The Summit.

PETER WOLF | Photo Editor Local Durango band, “The Good Neighbors,” rock out Moe’s Starlight Lounge during Happy Hour last Friday. (Left) Guitar Player, Nick Ebel. (Middle) Drummer, John Micheal Peck. (Right) Guitar and vocalist Chris Parker and Bass, Kevin Good.

The Independent Newspaper © 2009


Genre: Folk/Bluegrass Brad: Vocals, guitar, piano, mandolin Emily Wilson: Mandolin Rusty Charpenter: Bass Tommy Frederico: Banjo Estella Moo...

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