Live music: Wasabi spices things up at Buckets |

Live music: Wasabi spices things up at Buckets

Buckets Saloon is hosting several events to celebrate Halloween, including a costume party and live music by band Wasabi, starting at 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 27, next to the movie theatre in Winter Park.

Wasabi, a rock, funk and jam band, starts playing at 9:30 p.m. The Fort-Collins-based band is said to play blues-infused dance rock and was the winner of the 2007 Westword Music Showcase award for Colorado’s best jam/improv band. Its members have been performing regionally for almost five years and Wasabi is currently promoting its May 2007 release of “The Border,” the second full-length studio album.

The new offering shows off Wasabi’s refinement and maturity developed in the last two years of ceaseless writing, practicing, and performing, highlighting its new, more powerful arrangement as a six-piece band.

It is anchored by Marshall Van Stone on drums and new bassist Eric Skjereth. The two provide the backbone rhythm section. They have a remarkable tightness and timing, moving through the intricate and diverse grooves in the record.

Keyboardist Brian Collins, a “household name in the Fort Collins music scene,” has his songwriting and singing talents highlighted throughout the record. Songs like “Front Page” and “Sundown” show off his extraordinary abilities as a vocalist and songwriter.

Lead guitarist, Sean Waters’ signature psychedelic, blues-style guitar work is unmistakable throughout the album, letting loose “face-peeling” solos on “Leave Me” and “The Border.” Waters also contributes songwriting and vocal credits throughout the album, notable on the smooth ballad “Heart” and the blues-oriented “Devil in Disguise.”

Rounding out the songwriting and vocal duties is former bassist-turned-rhythm-guitarist Ehren Crumpler. Tracks such as “Pizza Corner Dreams” and “Pebbles and Sand” bring a more complex feel to the record with their layered arrangements and extended instrumental sections.

The final new addition to Wasabi is saxophonist Tom Gray. His sultry horn work is peppered throughout the album, perfectly complimenting both the soft and aggressive aspects of Wasabi’s music. Front Range singer/songwriter Jennifer Friedman makes a guest appearance for the CD, lending her powerful soprano voice to several backing vocals.

Wasabi says the band really makes its mark during their live performances. The band presents a high energy show that keeps the audience moving and grooving.

Members compliment their solid rhythm with extended jams highlighted by guitar and saxophone solos. They draw the audience in with well-crafted, catchy tunes and then take them for a journey through unique instrumental sections.

Much of their music is “Colorado-centric” and focuses on the life and sounds of the mountain state. They always throw in a few crowd-pleasing cover songs as well, including favorites by Traffic, The Band, Ween, and Nirvana as well as other epic rock from the ’70s, ’80s, and ’90s.

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