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Tab Benoit to headline Blues Under the Bridge, more from local music scene 

While there’s still a ways to go until this year’s installment of 91.5 KRCC’s annual Blues Under the Bridge, tickets for the popular summer festival are now on sale. Likewise, the headliner for the July 13 installment has been announced — the highly acclaimed, Louisiana-based guitarist/vocalist Tab Benoit.

Benoit, who draws from Delta blues and Cajun traditions, released his debut album Nice & Warm in 1992, quickly gathering comparisons to the likes of Albert King, Albert Collins and Jimi Hendrix — obviously no faint praise for his talents. Twenty albums and nearly three decades into his career, Benoit remains a vibrant figure in the modern blues landscape, garnering three Grammy nominations, an induction into the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame, and multiple accolades from the Blues Music Awards, including the prestigious B.B. King Entertainer of the Year award. In addition to his musical acclaim, Benoit is highly active in wildlife conservation efforts, founding the nonprofit Voice of the Wetlands Foundation.

Also appearing at this year’s Blues Under the Bridge are Crystal and the Curious, Hector Anchondo Band, Selwyn Birchwood Band and Nikki Hall, whose 2018 tour included appearances at the Montreux Jazz Festival and Monterey Jazz Festival.

Meanwhile, the springtime flurry of new local music continues unabated, with a wide variety of artists releasing new material over the past few weeks.

It’s seemed like far too long since we’ve heard from local emcee Stoney Bertz, so the new single “On Me,” which dropped on Bertz’s Bandcamp page on April 21, serves as a welcome sound. Produced by DJ 4THEYE and featuring an impeccable guest appearance from Teqnik G, the track’s rubbery, somewhat woozy production contrasts nicely with Bertz’s always-smooth lyrical flow and sung hooks.

Teqnik G also released a new single of his own, “Thursday Evening,” on April 13. The song, produced by frequent collaborator Aatma, is nothing less than an aural feast, pairing Aatma’s lush, jazzy soundscapes with Teqnik G’s clever and precise wordplay on the mic.

Aatma also handles production quality on the new single from G-Stylez, “Opiate,” where the production once again shines quite brilliantly, acting as the perfect backdrop for G-Stylez’s laid-back vocal delivery. (And as far as musical odes to coffee go, I’d be hard-pressed to think of a better specimen than this.)

click to enlarge Colorado Springs may miss Cocordion, the noise-pop outfit that now calls Philly home, but we can still enjoy its evolving sound. - KAYLA THORNTON
  • Kayla Thornton
  • Colorado Springs may miss Cocordion, the noise-pop outfit that now calls Philly home, but we can still enjoy its evolving sound.

On the indie-rock side of things, Cocordion should be a familiar name to locals, even though brothers Mitchell and Mason Macura relocated their noise-pop act to Philadelphia in the interim since their first LP, 2017’s Expectations.

Cocordion’s sophomore LP tv.ant.race was tracked partially at Right Heel Music in Colorado Springs and it’s a highly recommended listen, building upon their dreamy sound and delving into new sonic territories, particularly synth-pop.

“Big,” the album’s third single (and second music video), immediately makes an impression with its eminently hummable melodies, which rest on a bed of sonic textures that veer from acoustic to electronic, hooky to noisy. “Bells” is another great example of this “sweet and sour” musical approach, while “Damp” cranks up the band’s guitar noise quotient to powerful effect.

These syntheses between consciously artificial and more naturalistic sounds have always been a key element in Cocordion’s music, and tv.ant.race executes these contrasts exquisitely. Pop songs constructed with such prominent retro-synthesizer arpeggios, electronic drums, and even vocoders rarely sound so affecting, but Mitchell Macura’s wistful, soulful vocals provide an instant emotional resonance with the listener.

Another standout track, the lilting, hazy “Party,” features guest vocals and songwriting from another figure who needs little introduction to locals, singer-songwriter Miette Hope. Hope, it should be noted, released the single “On Repeat” with trumpeter Philip Lassiter in December 2018, and was recently profiled by guitar.com, who described her sound as an “intoxicating brew” of jazz, R&B and neo-soul. A new EP, Pendulum, and an associated short film project from Hope are due for release later this year.

Send news, photos, and music to collin@csindy.com.

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