If you go

What: Kyle Hollingsworth Band

When: 9 p.m., Saturday

Where: Boulder Theater, 2032 14th St., Boulder

Cost: $18-$20

More info: bouldertheater.com

If a dude is willing to rip off his sweaty cat T-shirt and throw it to his favorite musician on stage, well, that's love.

Parting with garments bedazzled with space cat, pizza cat, explosion cat, rainbow-barfing cat, etc., could be traumatic. People love their cat shirts.

Boulder's Kyle Hollingsworth has "been on a cat run for a little bit," with his colorful stage outfits, and people literally started to give him the cats off their sweat-soaked backs. For his weekend 50th birthday celebrations, the keys master in Colorado's beloved jam band The String Cheese Incident will don an outfit that a fan mailed to him. With cats, obviously.

"Ironically enough, someone just sent me one," he said. "It has flowers and cats and everything. I was like, 'Sweet, I'm going to be wearing that for sure.' I have great fans. I'm so, so lucky."


Hollingsworth is releasing his fourth solo album with Kyle Hollingsworth Band, aptly titled "50.". He will perform at 7 p.m., Saturday, at the Boulder Theater after his Friday show at Cervantes in Denver.

Kyle Hollingsworth performs during a free String Cheese Incident concert on in 2014 The Hill in Boulder.
Kyle Hollingsworth performs during a free String Cheese Incident concert on in 2014 The Hill in Boulder. (Jeremy Papasso / Daily Camera)

"It's so funny, what was I thinking when I named my album '50'?" he asked. "Why would I announce to the world I'm turning 50? Let's talk about how I'm turning 25 again."

At 50, he's accomplished quite a bit. Along with his funk-laced, groove-heavy party album, he also released an East Coast collaboration beer with Relix Magazine and SweetWater Brewery, Ground Score IPA.

The beer isn't available in Colorado, but don't sweat, he said, he whipped up something special for both Boulder and Denver.

In a phone interview, Hollingsworth talks funk, fans and beer.

Daily Camera: You're pretty successful evolving with the genres. "50" has a nice funky, party vibe. Are you happy with how the album turned out?

Kyle Hollingworth: It's so cool you said that, because you're the first person to "get" what I was going for. I wanted the album to start as if you just walked into a club and the first song is raging, kind of like Pink Floyd's song called "One of These Days." It's a vibe where you walk in and the party starts.

That was the idea for my album — all of sudden you're in it. There's no delicate way to put it. Boom. You're in it. It has its relax and chill moments, but then it kind of revs up again towards the end.

DC: It has potential for some millennial party anthems.

KH: The band is a little different this time ... My last three solo CDs have been with my other band, which is basically the members of The Motet — and they're great, they're always awesome. But this band that I've been playing with for the past few years now has a little bit more of an edgier, in-your-face vibe.

I think the album comes across differently because I have different players this time around.

DC: Do you have any good fan stories for me?

KH: I think the best fan stories are the ones from the early days where they would pick us up on the side of the road if our bus would break down, that old rusty bus from Crested Butte (where The String Cheese Incident formed), or they would let us crash on the floor.

A positive for KHB is that I'm able to be more in touch with my fans, I see them right up front and I can go out and hang out with them.

With String Cheese, it's such a wide barrier now and we're usually backstage in our own little world. It's nice for the upcoming birthday shows to have connections with the fans in a really visceral way, to see them and hang out with them.

DC: How did Ground Score IPA turn out?

KH: Oh my God, that's dank, it turned out so great. I make beers and I'm a beer geek, so I've made like 30-something different beers with breweries all around the country. Ground Score is one of my favorites.

You don't always hit a home run. It's kind of like playing music, you improvise and sometimes you can come up with a great solo and sometimes it's the worst beer you've ever had. You don't know, you just go for it.

I'm a homebrewer too, and I'm really excited about Ground Score ... We went for this Northeast hazed IPA, which is kind of a new style, and it came out perfect.

But for the upcoming shows I wanted to make more beer for the fans, because I love making beer, so I went to Joyride Brewing (in Edgewater) and we made something for Friday's Denver show at Cervantes, and Mountain Sun allowed me to sneak in and make a stout with their head brewer for Stout Month and Boulder fans can try that one out on Saturday.

Never fear, there's more beer.

DC: And it has some Kyle in it too, so that's good.

KH: Exactly.

DC: Ever ponder ditching the music biz for the beer biz?

KH: No, man, I got it pretty good in the music biz and honestly it's my No. 1 passion. I like beer, but music is what I love.

DC: Are you going to keep going to 60, 70, 80?

KH: Next album we'll call "60." No, I think I'm going out with KHB and we'll do a bunch of dates ... that will kind of be my album release tour and as that peters off, String Cheese picks back up. We're ramping up to keep recording, so we'll start releasing some songs for the summer. probably not an album, per se, but some songs as they come ready.

DC: You'll still stick with KHB?

KH: The best I can, I'm just trying to balance that and family life and being a dad — and the most important thing is Cheese and being with the mothership. When I can get out there and support my solo project, I'll do it as best as possible.

DC: How many kids do you have?

KH: Forty-seven. No I have two. I am number seven of seven, I'm the youngest kid, but I'm not going for that, I'm good with two. I'm done.

Christy Fantz: 303-473-1107, fantz@dailycamera.com or twitter.com/fantzypants