Paper Bird Returns to the Western Slope
Paper Bird have a number of good things going for them. That's probably why they once again stole the show at the Westword Music Showcase, winning the award for Best Folk Group, further cementing themselves as one of the very best Colorado groups. Thanks to the Cavalcade, we get to experience first-hand the excellence of this group.
On Wednesday, July 2 Paper Bird finally return to the western slope playing a small show at the Cavalcade in Fruita. It's been nearly a year since the band made their debut in Grand Junction, playing the Palisade Bluegrass Festival. After a stand out performance at the Palisade Bluegrass Festival it is safe to say the anticipation for Paper Bird to play again in the area is palpable.
To get you pumped for their show on Wednesday, here is a past review I wrote about the group. Keep in mind, this show will most likely sell out, so get your tickets early if you'd like to see Paper BIrd.
Excerpt originally published June 14, 2013
I first heard Paper Bird at last year’s Underground Music Showcase in Denver and have been a fan since. Listening to the live stream over Colorado Public Radio’s Open Air 1340, Paper Bird’s blend of indie folk rock Americana easily cut through 243 miles of spruce, pine, and aspen and into my little living room stereo. Even on two five-inch Panasonic speakers, the strength of the seven-piece Denver outfit was obvious.
Paper Bird sounds a bit like Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros or the Head and the Heart. Because the band is so large, it is able to do things harmonically and dynamically that other bands simple can’t pull off.
Seven members, seven songwriters, each bringing their own flavor to the group. Sometimes they sound like a gospel jazz band, other times they are a rock band jamming on African rhythms.
The band is so musical, they are an absolute joy to listen to. I love hearing new music from groups that are fearless and free. Paper Bird is such a band. It is not caged in by a particular genre or sound. It is a band of explorers, discovering new sounds without limitation. Paper Bird ascends to levels of creativity rarely seen by other roots-based musicians.
“As I Am,” the opening track off Paper Bird’s 2013 album “Rooms,” is a perfect example of what Paper Bird is capable of.
“As I Am” starts off with an atmospheric and chordal guitar riff that wouldn’t be out of place on Jeff Buckley’s mid-‘90s rock standard “Grace.” A foot-stomping bass line leads the way to a bevy of beautiful birds — Sarah Anderson, Esme Patterson, and Genevieve Patterson, to be specific — collectively singing “these arms of mine/ were made for lifting up/ and when I set things down again/ I hope they are better than they were.”
A sweet acoustic guitar riff joins in, and, at this point, Paper Bird is soaring.
“These eyes of mine/ like what they see when they’re looking at you/ If ever I can’t see you anymore, I hope you’re more beautiful than before.”
As a listener and fan of what this band is doing, I humbly suggest my own lyrics: “These ears of mine/ like what they are hearing when they are listening to you.” That’s how I feel listening to the new album, anyhow.
Including “Rooms,” Paper Bird has produced three excellent studio albums and one live album collaboration with the Ballet Nouveau Colorado. They’ve been named one of the Top 10 Best Underground Bands in Denver three consecutive years and named the Top Local Band by 5280 Magazine in 2009.
It’s an impressive list of accomplishments for a band formed out of boredom on a vacation to Breckenridge.
Writing songs to pass the time, Paper Bird tested out its early material on street corners busking for cash. Apparently, they made enough money to keep this whole thing going, and I sure am grateful.
Paper Bird is such a nice addition to the Colorado music scene and my music collection.