Denver is home to some of the most talented musicians around. The local music scene is very supportive as there are many music lovers in the beautiful mile-high city. Whether you are into rock, jazz, metal, electronica or country, you will find it in Denver, plus much more. Below are five of the best breakout music acts in Denver for 2012.
SHEL is a local band that consists of four sisters. The members include Hannah Holbrook (vocals, piano, keyboards), Sarah Holbrook (vocals, violin, bass), Liza Holbrook (drums, percussion, djembe) and Eva Holbrook (lead vocals, mandolin). The talented siblings have recently released their self-titled, full-length album which has received wonderful reviews. Their music is eclectic and Eva describes it as “energetic folk music with different genres mixed in.” You can see their new video, “Freckles” on their website, which they produced themselves.
Red Light Symphony
Red Light Symphony is a project created by Jason Humphrey, a professional bassist and composer. His passion and love for music has evolved into a sound that’s all his own, mixing various genres into each song including jazz, rock, fusion and blues. His first single, “Searching for the Sky,” was a huge success and both critics and fans praised it. The recently released second single, “Perpetual Motion,” features Humphrey, superb drummer Kenny Aronoff and Los Angeles-based guitarist Hovak Alaverdyan. Humphrey said, “I think Denver has an open music scene because of all the different genres. It’s definitely a music-loving town!”
Manuel Lopez Trio with Maria D. Lopez
The Manuel Lopez Trio performs Latin jazz focusing on afro-Cuban rhythms for the music lovers in Denver. The musical group has its own unique sound. With the recent addition of vocalist Maria D. Lopez to the group, they are breaking new ground with their music. Lopez said, “Denver has a lot to offer musicians. We have amazing players and places to play.” The band performs regularly at Dazzle and features Manuel Lopez (drums), Maria D. Lopez (vocals), Peter Ellingson (piano) and Charlie Mertens (bass).
Lola Black is one of the best Denver-based bands on the musical circuit. The group’s music is a mix of punk and metal, and 2012 has been the band’s best year yet. Lola Black released its debut album, “Dia De Los Borrachos,” at the beginning of the year and has received much praise for it. The band formed in 2008 and over the last four years, it has risen to the top of the rock charts in Denver.
Colorado-native Matt Buckstein probably sounds familiar because he was on season five of “American Idol.” With his deep bass voice, he has a perfect sound for the country music genre. His band in Denver consists of Buckstein (lead vocals, rhythm guitar), Mark Mauldin (pedal steel, rhythm guitar), Eddie Garcia (bass), Brett Walston (lead guitar) and Liza Lu Thomas (fiddle, backup vocals). “I have been beyond fortunate to team up with a group of musicians who are this talented,” says Matt of his local band.
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Michelle Humphrey is a freelance writer living in Denver. Her work can be found here.