(credit: TOSHIFUMI KITAMURA/AFP/Getty Images)
The local music scene in Denver is huge, with so many different types of bands and acts to check out. No matter what your preference, there is a venue in town that caters to your taste in music. If you happen to be a fan of folk music, there is a lot to enjoy. Today the genre of folk music has morphed and tends to include a lot of acoustic and singer/songwriter-style musicians, which tend to be very popular and prevalent in the Mile High City. The next time you find yourself without plans on a weekend night, grab a few buddies and head out to any of these great local venues for some great folk-style music.
Swallow Hill Music
71 E. Yale Ave.
Denver, CO 80210
Since 1979, Swallow Hill Music has been the center of the music scene in Denver with a strong following for folk and the singer-songwriter style. In fact, Swallow Hill is known nationally as one of the largest organizations of its kind with a focus specifically on roots, folk and acoustic music. Due to this great reputation, a variety of both local and national acts perform at Swallow Hill plus you can catch a lot of student shows and performances from its many music classes. The facility has three different concert venues, bringing in more than 200 live music performances every year. If you are looking for the very best in folk music in Colorado, Swallow Hill is the place to start.
2721 Larimer St.
Denver, CO 80205
Just about every local band in town has played a gig or two at the Larimer Lounge. This local institution is a wonderful place for new bands to get their following, practice their live show skills and show off their chops. You’ll see just about everything here, from rock to metal to rap, plus plenty of local folk and acoustic musicians. The calendar is so varied that you can catch a different type of act almost any day of the week. Larimer Lounge is especially great in the summer with its large patio and inexpensive drinks. When it comes to discovering some new talent and checking out hidden gems, a visit to the Larimer Lounge will help.
Summit Music Hall
1902 Blake St.
Denver, CO 80202
Summit Music Hall is another wonderful place to catch some great folk and acoustic music. One of the best things about this venue is, unlike most other venues in town, almost all shows are all-ages. So you can bring your son or daughter to a concert at Summit Music Hall to help him or her develop their own love of live music performance. Summit also offers an extensive menu so you can enjoy a bite to eat during the show, though be aware seating can be a little limited, as much of the venue is standing room.
Paris on the Platte
1553 Platte St.
Denver, CO 80202
Paris on the Platte is one of the most established venues in town. What started as just a coffee house has transformed into a coffee house/bar/music venue, bringing artists of many types to the eager patrons at this warm and welcoming venue. You’ll find that most singer-songwriter and acoustic musicians love playing at Paris on the Platte, which offers live music every Friday and Saturday night, plus there is never a cover charge. While you are there, be sure to check out the rotating art on the walls of the venue, which always feature local up-and-coming artists. Then just grab a glass of wine, enjoy the patio and listen to some great local tunes.
1578 S. Broadway
Denver, CO 80210
Herman’s Hideaway is another one of those great local venues that feature every possible style and just about every local up-and-coming artist in town. Depending on the night, you could see some great folk music or you can catch rock, punk, country and more. There are usually three to five different bands playing every Wednesday through Saturday night, with Wednesday being the weekly showcase for new talent. Herman’s has lots of seating, great drinks and a huge dance floor, should you get the urge to get up and move to the music. Or just sit and relax, enjoy your cocktail and listen to some great acoustic and folk music.
Deborah Flomberg is a theater professional, freelance writer and Denver native. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.