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click to enlarge SCI are so successful and self-assured, their airplanes - dont even need an upper half.
  • SCI are so successful and self-assured, their airplanes dont even need an upper half.

Though they are two very different forms of entertainment, please note the following acronymic detail:

CSI: a hit television show (Crime Scene Investigation) following the forensic investigation findings of big-city cops.

SCI: a hit five-member band (String Cheese Incident) from Boulder, whose hippy-happy music has won over jammers everywhere.

String Cheese Incident tell a classic tale of local-boys-made-good, of five fellows who have sold nearly 600,000 albums worldwide. Their fifth studio release, One Step Closer, debuts just in time for a month-long headlining gig at the Big Summer Classic music festival, which counts other performers popular in Colorado, like Yonder Mountain String Band, Michael Franti and Spearhead, and Keller Williams.

SCI keyboardist Kyle Hollingsworth says the band is busy gearing up for the tour.

"It can be tricky, because what can be done in the studio can't always be done live," he says. "It's a matter of going through and relearning your songs."

Whereas their last album, Untying the Not, got knee-deep in way-out sonic landscapes and layered guitar, the rootsy One Step was recorded in a friend's house in Boulder. It enabled the band to take a more relaxed approach to their musical aesthetic and the recording process.

After 10-plus years together, SCI liken their chemistry to a "marriage" and discuss their "egalitarian nature" with ease. Finally, Hollingsworth says, SCI have realized they really enjoy making albums.

"When we were first started, we were freaked out, trying to make it perfect," he says. "You know, working with five very different personalities, and each of us had a different comfort level on how perfect it's supposed to be.

"Letting go has made it a lot more fun."

-- Kara Luger

capsule

Big Summer Classic tour featuring String Cheese Incident

Red Rocks Amphitheater, 2901 Ship Rock Road, Morrison

Saturday, July 2, 4 p.m.; Sunday, July 3, 2:45 p.m.

Tickets: $43.50-$50, all ages; visit bigsummerclassic.com.

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