The angelic voice of a Colorado choir girl turned earthy-roots songstress. The gritty stories of an intellectual outlaw who has found a home in folk music. The pulse and flow of a seasoned five-piece band that can turn from yearning country ballad to electrified rock soundscape to stomping bluegrass romp in the drop of a downbeat. This is the sound of Monocle Band.
Monocle Band was born when Monica Marie met Bill Huston in Boulder, Colorado. Marie’s heartfelt melody convened with Huston’s sepia-toned realism; a voice as pure as the mountain snow found it’s foil in plaintive tales of our quiet doubts and secret dreams. The two embraced their unique perspectives and, fired by a shared belief in the redeeming power of music, began writing songs together.
Flash forward to 2017, past a well-received debut CD and hundreds of performances around Colorado and beyond. Monocle Band headed into the studios of Boulder’s eTown Hall to begin work on their second full-length record. Joined by acclaimed producer John McVey, the band grew from their bluegrass and folk roots to embrace an approach to Americana that is as varied and striking as their Colorado home. The result, “The Clearing”, is an earnest collection of songs destined to enchant Monocle Band’s longtime fans and turn the ear of a new crop of listeners.
The characters who populate these songs are as evocative a cast as one will find in the world of contemporary music. Townspeople cling to hope as wildfire rages around them. Lovers’ prayers are answered on a rain-soaked creekside. A hapless romantic finds hard truth on the streets of the old west. Nameless figures meet with wonder in a moonlit clearing.
And through all these tales floats Monica Marie’s crystalline voice, soaring above the grounded upright bass of Dave Weinand, darting through the playful lines of violinist Emily Lewis, dancing with the crisp beats of drummer Todd May and Huston’s impassioned guitar.
What emerges is a glimpse of the depths and heights of the human spirit, a roots music portrait of our hardest struggles and our dearest hopes. And, in the unfiltered earnestness and shimmering arrangements of these tunes there is a glimmer of something else: the chance that pure melody, the ability to look to the sky and lend our voices to song, might yet lead us home.
Two opening acts: Lawrence Yoshito Shiroma and Vince Cain.
Coffee, tea, bottled water, and baked goods available for purchase.
$10 general admission, $5 members and students w/ID, free for ages 12 and younger.