Colorado’s WhiteWater Ramble hosted a bluegrass throwdown at Denver’s Cervantes’ Other Side Thursday night for a special album pre-release party for their new album, Pseudonymous.
Having recorded the bulk of the new album’s tracks nearly two years ago, the Fort Collins-based Rocky Mountain dancegrass five-piece pre-released their new 14-track album ahead of the album’s full release on streaming platforms in February in front of their most beloved fans for a Thursday night bluegrass pickin’ party.
Starting up the evening’s bluegrass roundabout was Denver’s The Acoustic Mining Company for a 45-minute set of classic jamgrass melodies. Touring four-piece Front Country got the crowd warmed up with a 75-minute string-pickin’ set, gracing the venue with sultry traditional folk vocals and by frontwoman Melody Walker and jazzy roots-rock ballads.
Striding onstage just past 10:30 p.m., WhiteWater Ramble greeted the night with a new lineup of musicians, fitting to the band’s newly released music. The five-piece — comprised of mandolinist and vocalist Patrick Sites, guitarist Matt Flaherty, fiddler Andy Reiner, drummer Alana Dym, and bassist Juri Freeman — wasted no time getting the Thursday night bluegrass throwdown started. Joining them for their set was Colorado local Michael Chevalier for some added fiddlin’ fun.
Kicking off with their award-winning “Hollow”, Reiner jumped right into a fiddle throwdown for some fast, boot-stompin’ jams before Sites transitioned the group into their first debut of the night of “Broken Rocks”. Dym showed off her tight percussion leads and powerful new addition to the group with the ignition of the second debut “This Ol’ Guitar”, keeping up the bluegrass swingin’ dance party with some deep bass grooves by Freeman. Flaherty busted out his electric guitar for a third debut of the grungy “Kentucky Windage”, spicing up the mood in the room with some edgy voxed vocals from Sites. A progressive rock opening lead into the fourth debut of the night “3 Minutes 2 Spare”, Flaherty taking a hearty electric solo that was dazzled up with some scratchy funky violin flares by Reiner. A heavy bass and percussion intro lead the way into a brief interlude debut of “Collusion”, before a play through “It Don’t Matter” marked the final debut of the night.
[Video: Live For Live Music]
The second half of the set saw a cover-filled jam set, starting with a WhiteWater Ramble classic “Pack Mule Blues”. Dym broke down the rhythm to lead the group into a cover of Louise’s “Stuck In The Middle With You”, allowing Sites to go full force on the mandolin and flawlessly transition into Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean”. Chevalier took over lead vocals on the bluegrass-pop cover before he and Reiner took the melody on a bluegrass rundown, even leading Reiner to fiddle away on the floor, Sites taking the melody back into “Stuck In The Middle With You” to complete the sequence jam. Front Country’s Melody Walker and Jacob Groopman were invited onstage for an eight-piece roundabout of Doc Watson‘s “Sittin’ On Top Of The World” and “Walls Of Time”, all members bouncing off of each other in a powerhouse bluegrass jam. Paul Simon’s “50 Ways To Leave Your Lover” saw its time in the set backed by the original five-piece, before a finishing violin strum-off in “Shape I’m In” and a “Hollow-Ramble” remix closed out the night.
“Sittin’ On Top Of The World” ft. Front Country’s Melody Walker & Jacob Groopman
[Video: Live For Live Music]
WhiteWater Ramble will finish off January with a headlining show at Steamboat Springs’ Schmiggity’s on January 31st. For a full list of upcoming tour dates, visit the band’s website.
Below, you can view a full gallery of WhiteWater Ramble’s CD release party courtesy of photographer Colin McKinley (Alpine Music Photo).
Setlist: WhiteWater Ramble | Cervantes’ Other Side | Denver, CO | 1/16/2020 | Photos: Colin McKinley
Set: Hollow > Broken Rocks*, This Ol’ Guitar*, Kentucky Windage*, 3 Minutes 2 Spare*, Collusion*, It Don’t Matter*, Pack Mule Blues > Stuck In The Middle > Billie Jean > Stuck In The Middle, Sittin’ On Top Of The Word%, Walls Of Time%, 50 Ways To Leave Your Lover, Shape I’m In, Hollow-Ramble Remix*
*First time played
% with Front Country’s Melody Walker and Jacob Groopman