The Denver album release party for Whippoorwill was the last day of January at The Hi-Dive. The record has been out since November, but it’s never too late for a celebration. It felt like a reunion of sorts with family, friends, and fans that contributed to the cost of recording their first full length album entitled The Nature of Storms. The Fort Collins band captured some beautiful moments on the LP and recreated it for a crowd that loved every minute of it.
Singer Alysia Kraft made an impression the moment she stepped on stage in a vibrant red jumpsuit. She brought a sense of fun to the night that had the crowd literally jumping and singing along to Whippoorwill’s infectious sound. The other singer in the band Staci Foster, sporting her signature bandana, impressed the audience by playing the harmonica, banjo, and guitar throughout the night. Drummer Tobias Bank, who recently celebrated a birthday, added pleasant backing vocals completing their three part harmonies. Jesse Bates sat in on bass making their sound even more dynamic.
Besides the impressive selection of covers from The Cranberries, John Prine, and Fleetwood Mac, their original songs made the biggest impact. A song about a destructive relationship entitled I Got Drunk has a line that floors me – “I recall you calling me crazy. That’s not really me. It’s just the way you made me.” Kraft’s electric guitar accompaniment added an extra special component to the song while Banks drumming built up the suspense. California was a crowd favorite and a has been featured on the Colorado Sound local radio station (I am still humming the tune).
Opener Natalie Tate met Staci Foster at a songwriter retreat last fall. They bonded over their natural mutual respect of each other’s craft. Despite not performing before a crowd that size in many years, Tate’s sweet voice elevated above the venue’s ruckus. She sang songs about the joys of getting a new pair of glasses, birthdays, and heartbreak. Her childhood friend joined her on stage to accompany her on banjo borrowed from Whippoorwill. The banjo was custom built by a gentleman named Rooster (I assume all banjos are made by someone named Rooster).
See you at the next show. I’ll be the one in the red jump suit playing a borrowed banjo.