It’s no surprise that Colorado Springs is home to some incredible folk and Americana acts. Something about that crisp mountain air makes for some great tunes.
Roma Ransom is a world-folk duo that has been very busy this year, in spite of it being the year of no shows. In August, they released a three-song collaborative EP with percussionist Dennis Sanderson titled Isolation. It’s an entrancing journey with flutes, violin, viola, saxophone and guitar. They are currently working on writing and recording a full-length album that will be out in 2021. The duo also just released a music video with Taylor Rask of Exit West Productions. The video is for the song “Salsa Lindo” and it has a very Tarantino-esque Western theme that is sure to amuse the audience.
When they aren’t making videos and recording, Roma Ransom’s Grace Easley and Gordon Lewis have been composing songs/scores for local filmmakers. “Luckily it has kept us busy for the most part, despite the fact that we are now unable to perform full time like we had been doing,” says Lewis.
You can also catch the band performing a weekly livestream for Distillery 291 Sundays at 5:15 p.m. “We are extremely grateful for the support of a local business during these unprecedented and uncertain times,” continues Lewis. “We are also so thankful to have a community that appreciates what we do creatively. We feel super blessed and grateful to have the friends and fans who keep us going!”
If you live in this town and you follow country and Americana, surely you know Joe Johnson. He has been releasing singles every season this year: “Hold On” in the spring, “The Year of the Horse” this summer, and he just released his fall single, “On & On It Goes.” The single was recorded locally with Ian Bourgal and features Jeff Daugherty and Jon Murphy of The Red Mountain Boys. The way this song came together was actually a joke, and then it made its way into an observational song about loving each other.
“It started as a Facebook comment,” says Johnson. “A songwriter friend was talking about difficult words to rhyme in songs, specifically mentioning the word ‘udder.’ I commented ‘Sometimes strikes, sometimes gutters, sometimes you eat the cow, sometimes you squeeze the udders.’” As he explains it, “The more I thought about it, the more it made me laugh, so I decided to see how far I could go.”
The song then takes on a different tone about his thoughts on entertainment culture, politics and conspiracies, religious dogmatism and science. Johnson is going to release one more single, “The Death of Mary & St. Peter,” by the end of the year with a B-side of Local Bluesman Grant Sabin performing the same song, but re-imagined in his style.
Johnson recorded an EP in March during quarantine that will come out digitally this winter called Dark Horse, Pale Rider.
“It’s basically the saddest collection of songs I’ve ever forced upon my friends and fans, so I’m really excited to get it out,” explains Johnson. “I have a set of songs that go in a totally different direction that I’ll begin work on once the pandemic stops pandemicking.”
“That one will feature a full band again and will be very much more rooted in rock ’n’ roll and blues than a lot of my past releases,” he says.
If you find yourself looking for something to do on Fridays, Joe is currently doing a livestream called Happy Hour From the Home Base every Friday at 7 p.m. You can find the livestream and more info on the singles on Facebook at