We’re Still Here!

Hello again. Colin here. How are you? We hope you’re well.
I’ll wait for you to get settled…I’ve got a lot of information to share.
Comfy? Good.

So yes, we’re still here. And we’re working much, much harder than it looks around here. Our Alpha Issue (which came out in August) sold out. In a matter of days. 250 copies out the door. We don’t even own one! (So if you do, or you have an extra…could we uh…maybe treat you to a nice dinner for it? Thanks.)

That being said, we’re currently working on our first real issue. We currently have no publish date, as we’re working through logistics of everything from legal representation to design.

We have run into some speed-bumps, however. Jenny and Andrew have both landed jobs at wonderful magazines. While they will be finishing up a few things here with me, I will soon be hiring a few new staff members. I will be looking specifically for a photographer and designer, as well as one or two contributing writers. If you’re interested and live on the Front Range (preferably here in Denver) please email me at colinclarkmusic@gmail.com.

If you were one of the wonderful people who bought our Alpha issue, you should also send an email…we have gifts for you including:

-Our first “real” issue free.
-A free album from one of the artists featured in our Alpha Issue (yet to be announced).
-A special thank you by name in our first issue (exciting, I know).
-Exclusive online content only available to those who purchased the Alpha issue.
-Digital copy of both the Alpha issue and the First issue.
-Our undying love and gratitude.
-That warm fuzzy feeling you get knowing you’ve supported indie magazines, and the local folk artists you love.

Since we’re still a fair ways away from publication, I’ll be resuming my online articles right here on our blog. We’ll also soon be moving domains. We’ll still be running under WordPress, just with our own domain.

As far as design goes for the first issue, we’re playing around with ideas of minimalism and the beauty of white space. This doesn’t mean that the issues will have any less content, just that they will be easier to read than our Alpha issue, which we feel was much too cluttered in design (I bet most of you agree).

So again, thank you all so much for your support. We really…REALLY appreciate it.
Drop us a line and let us know what you think. We’re looking for a lot of feedback right now, positive or negative.


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First Print Issue this August!

Hey everyone!

The lack of blog content is unfortunate but necessary for one great reason: we’re working on our first print issue of the new 4to12 Quarterly Magazine!

Colin and I have been out interviewing all month getting ready for the August Issue, so the blog has fallen a bit behind. But never fear! We’re hiring for the position of Online Editor. So if you’d like to run our Online presence, shoot us an email at four2twelve@gmail.com and be sure to attach a quick resume. Mountain Region residence is a must.

So for now, just sit back and get ready for August, and we’ll have the blog up and running again in no time. Meanwhile check us out on Facebook where you can get the latest 4to12 happenings.


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All you have to do is ask!

Hey everyone,

It’s come to our attention that there are a few blogs re-posting our reviews, with or without citation! We love that people like our reviews, but we need to lay out some ground rules:

Without citation is certainly not OK, and if you would like to re-post with citation, all you have to do is ask us: you can find our contact info from our homepage.

We don’t want to have to ask people to take down our stuff from their page. We love sharing, but our work is copyrighted, and that’s just a nasty path to start walking down.

The kind of re-post we will not allow is blogs and sites that allow you to download an entire album – piracy style. We can see who posts what from our site, and 4to12 will not support music piracy, no matter our personal standing on the subject.

So please, before you re-post, take into consideration the hard work that the three of us do to bring you these fine artists here at 4to12.

Again, all you have to do is ask!


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Caitlin Rose Interview

So yes, our digital presence has been absent for a while, but we’re back so let’s start it off right.

I had the pleasure of meeting up with Caitlin Rose down in Austin this Spring and she was kind enough to sit down for a few minutes to answer some questions.

Caitlin Rose

4to12: So you just got back from a tour of Europe, how was the reception over seas?
Rose: It was great. It was a real long month but people really seemed to like us.

4to12: What kind of guitar do you play?
Rose: Well I got a Taylor  when I was nine and started taking lessons then, but I broke my arm a little while later and didn’t play much until I was about 14 when I got a little Mexican Strat and started to play a lot more. Then I got an acoustic and it was all downhill from there.  Now I play an Emmylou Gibson L185, a 1930’s Gibson, and some electric from around ’74 that we haven’t really figured out what it is.

4to12: What’s your drink of choice?
Rose: Most people think I’m a big whiskey drinker – which I do enjoy –  but really I enjoy a windy drink with flowers. We’ve been into a drink called Dead Flowers which is a whiskey on the rocks with juniper, St. Germane and water. I know it sounds terrible but it’s real good.

4to12: What are the plans from here?
Rose: Next we’re headed towards LA to play with Ron Sexsmith, and hopefully from there back home for a bit. It’s been a long year.

So Rose will continue to tour, boots and bandanna in tow. Her stage banter – including one story about how she’s worn red underwear since February to try to counteract the fact that 2011 (the year of the rabit) is an unlucky year for her, which she says hasn’t worked so well – goes hand in hand with a quirky stage presence and powerful performance.
Her new album’s great so run over to her site and get it, and be sure to keep an eye out for this rising Nashville artist!

Like I said, we’re back with a vengeance here on the blog, so stay tuned.


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Yup, we just got back from Austin’s annual SXSW! It was a blast and we’ve got some great things coming in the next week or so including interviews with Caitlin Rose, Star & Micey, and Glossary. Check back often for your digital updates.

Also, hard copies of our monthly publishing will soon be available at Black & Read, WAX TRAX, and hopefully The Leechpit down in the Springs, as well as through current subscription methods.

Jenny Larks has joined the 4to12 forces, you’ll start hearing a lot from her soon!


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Kevin Larkin: Chimney Choir, Pineross Mastermind

Kevin Larkin

On the surface, Denver is a city of 300 days of sunshine per year and a sense of goodhearted community. It can be hard to see the underlying tension from a dark past that lives in our subterranean subconscious. With a history of Heroes and Villains, Gunslingers and corrupt, racist politicians, the people who live here have a strange personal dichotomy which is most apparent in our local musicians. Kevin Larkin has tapped into this opposing life of Denver, and exhibits the city’s personality in his Pineross album: Detached.

I went to see The Tanukis a few weeks ago at my favorite venue, The Walnut Room and ended up discovering a beating heart of Denver I never knew was there. Opening act Chimney Choir blew the room apart and left a heavy impression on the headlining acts and audience alike. I don’t really know how many people were there to see Chimney Choir, but those that got the chance to see them play undoubtedly became instant fans.

After the show I got a chance to talk with Kevin Larkin, mastermind behind Pineross and Chimney Choir, who – fortunately – agreed to an interview for 4to12…with enthusiasm.

4to12: How did Pineross come about?
KL: Well when I first started writing songs I wanted to do an acoustic concept album of sorts. Over a few years of writing and re-writing it turned into a loose account of a modern day Don Quixote in some American desert. I was reading Cervantes constantly for a while and recording onto a laptop in a cabin in Lefthand Canyon – I’d also drive to friends houses and record other parts. When it was finally came time to release it the name Pineross seemed a good fit; Ross is a family name and I’ve always liked pine trees – and it sounded better than Rosspine.

4to12: What was the transition to Chimney Choir like? Are both projects simultaneous or is Pineross no more?
KL: Chimney Choir has been great – I just moved back to Colorado in December after about 5 years living in Mississippi to make music with them. I was touring with a bluegrass band down there (Mayhem String Band) and when we decided to go separate ways it seemed like a good idea to record Detached. I reconnected with David Rynhart in the process, he played some piano on the album and showed me some music he was working on, amazing stuff! We tried a week long tour down South and Kris just bought a ticket on a whim – it ended up being an incredible time and moving to Denver happened a few months later. The focus now is definitely with Chimeny Choir but Pineross will always be there – its more of an experimental outlet, something that happens when it needs to happen.

4to12: Where was Detached recorded, and by who?
KL: A lot of it was done in my kitchen in Taylor, Mississippi. Most of the basic tracking was done at Moja Magic in Boulder with Morgan Harris. I also recorded a lot of the horn parts and overdubs in different studios in North Mississippi; Tweed, Black Wing, Delta Recording Service (Jimbo Mathus’ studio). One of the fiddle parts was recorded in Brooklyn by a friend from Boulder, it was the only place I could track him down! It was all mixed at the Lip Studio in Oxford by Tom Queyja, who continued to make changes in California and Spain.

4to12: I like that you include a sheet with the musician lineup for the recording. What was it like organizing such an army of musicians for the album?
KL: Gotta give credit where its due! For most of the recording I had a pretty good idea of the instrumentation and feeling of the songs. Nothing was scored so I would just kind of pitch ideas to the musicians before the take. It ended up being really easy working with such great talent and I met a lot of musicians along the way. Morgan recommended Jon Gray (Supercollider) for the trumpet parts and David put me in touch with Tyson Bennet, who adapted a piano part to something completely new. In Oxford all you have to do is have a 12 pack of Budweiser and the local musicians will spend a couple of hours working up tunes.

4to12: Who plays with you at gigs?
KL: For the last year I have been traveling around as a solo act – sitting on a Sampsonite suitcase with a bass drum pedal and tambourine. For the CD release shows we rehearsed two different bands – one in Mississippi and one in Colorado. The Colorado band in December was David Rynhart (piano, flute, guitar, and vocal), Kris Drickey (vocal percussion), Fransisco Marques (percussion), Jon Gray (Trumpet, keyboard) and Kenny Martinez on upright bass.

4to12: Do you have a favorite venue here in Denver?
KL: The Walnut Room kicks ass. The sound is amazing, people listen, great bar staff, tasty pizza.

4to12: Drink of choice?
KL: Jamison. Although I’d like to think one day it will be rare Scotch.

4to12: What was your thought process for releasing a digital download, block print and deluxe issue of Detached, and your connection between your art and your music.
KL: No one really buys CDs anymore and I hate the fact that .mp3s are taking away the artwork of an album. I really wanted to do vinyl, its an ideal size and feel for great album art, but couldn’t really make that happen. But I still wanted to do something a little extra for people that bought the CD. It started with an idea much like the music, a combination of old and new where it looks familiar at first but there is a whole different thing going on underneath, which then turned into a Russian photo montage: a street shot of people walking around with TVs on their heads, Pepsi cans for buildings, kudzu covering skyscrapers, a record in the sky like the sun. It was too much to cram into a CD sleeve so it ended up being the album release poster. The cover got reduced down to a basic geometry – appealing ratios, shapes, and colors to grab the eye instead of the cluttered images. I ended up doing a linoleum block block carving and rolling 300 covers, each one is numbered and initialed.

4to12: Any shows coming up?
KL: We’ve got a Walnut Room show on May 6th with Chimney Choir, that is really the next big show in Denver – right before hitting the road for the summer! We’re also playing the Springs, Boulder and Nederland this month and I’m doing a few solo shows around town. But there will definitely be more things around Denver popping up that we’ll toss up on the ole’ webpage.

4to12: Any thoughts on the local Folk/Country etc. scene?
KL: I love that dark edge to Denver country – Slim Cessna, Munly, Red Cloud (RIP), etc. And Nathaniel Rateliff’s new album blew me away. Haven’t been to many Denver bluegrass picks yet but I know they are out there. The Irish sessions are always rocking, and the Samba is great too! The Tanukis are my new favorite Denver band though, everyone should go see them live.

I also got a chance to see Chimney Choir at The Oriental Theater this week, and snagged some photos.

Great band, Great shows, Great people.

Thanks again to Kevin Larkin and Chimney Choir.


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Cadillac Sky: Letters In The Deep

Cadillac Sky at the Cumberland Caverns

Cadillac Sky’s 2008 release “Gravity’s Our Enemy” left me overall unimpressed. With songs like “U Stay Gone” and “2 Good 2 Last” and a strongly modern country styling, the album was too…something…for me. But for some reason I decided to keep tabs on these guys, and I’m glad I did. I’ve finally gotten my mitts on their newest release “Letters In The Deep”, and I take back anything negative I’ve ever said…and that’s plenty.

Genre: Bluegrass, Acoustic Rock, “Screw You”

Lyric of the Album: “Bathsheeba, Bathsheeba you leave me a wreck: your tornado heartache, my trailer-park head. You put me on the ceiling, then plunge me back down to the floor…I hate who I am, girl when I’m with you. Yeah it might be me…but it’s prob’ly you!”

These guys have gone from somewhat whiny country singers to a blue jean wearing, art-grassing, anti crybaby, ass kicking bluegrassers who rival OCMS, Nickel Creek, and Mumford & Sons. They’ve been known to get in trouble back in the day, but they seem to have grown, most especially in their music. “Letters In The Deep” – produced by Dan Auerbach – is an incredible testament to the vitality of traditional country and progressive bluegrass. They’ve been described as “art folk” which doesn’t seem quite to fit, but there’s definitely something fresh and artful about them. As has been said of Nickel Creek: “It’s not that they’re the best at what they do, they’re the only ones doing it”. Cadillac Sky’s shows rival any metal show I’ve ever witnessed.

These guys seem bat-shit insane when they play. And they sound great live. The album starts out a little weak with “Trapped Under the Ice”, but the following “3rd Degree” murder ballad is as violently twisted lyrically as it is musically. The clear highlight is “Bathsheeba”. There’s just something about this track that screams “fuck you” to anyone who has screwed someone over.

The solos in each song are amazingly diverse and powerful. These guys certainly aren’t afraid to show off their chops and how they’ve changed since “Gravity Is Our Enemy”, and they’re doomed to go down in history along the likes of OCMS, Chatham County Line, and the Greats of olde.



Other Stuff in my Ears

Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros: Self Titled

Cab Calloway

Carrie Rodriguez: Love and Circumstance

Posted in Back Porch Bands, Bluegrass, Country, Folk Rock | Leave a comment