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Our music guru, Bill Forman, has spent years watching talented individuals and bands rise and fall in a business that has no mercy. He knows first-hand that someone can be great and never make it, or just decent and become a star, thanks to a lucky break and a song.

As longtime music fanatics, we often share old stories that intrigue each other — if nobody else on staff. And both of us have been lucky enough to see some superstars along the way, back when they were playing small venues. (Like the time when I paid $10 to see Jimi Hendrix from a few feet away.)

Another example: I remember stepping into a nondescript club in downtown Seattle late in 1990 and being blown away by a new local band with great material and a distinctive lead singer named Eddie Vedder. That means the group was Pearl Jam. They turned out OK, with future hits like "Alive" that they were playing that night.

So while Bill and I have both been around the block a few times, we're still open and vulnerable to surprises — like Molly Boyles, who knocked us nearly out of our chairs when we first heard her last November.

Bill and I shared the same instantaneous reaction: "Are we really seeing this in Colorado Springs?" She's that good.

Bill has learned more about Boyles in the months since, and the result is his cover story starting here. Safe to say, that first impression hasn't worn off.

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