What: The Longest Day of the Year CD Release Party
When: 10 p.m. Saturday
Where: The Lazy Dog, 1346 Pearl St., Boulder, 303-440-3355.
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And the Boulder band happily gives Colorado plenty of chances to do just that. They played more than 100 shows last year through Boulder, Denver, Fort Collins, Longmont, Eldora, and pretty much everywhere else with what they call “outlaw Americana.” Or as singer and guitarist t.Mule (Sean Lamborne) put it, “whiskey music.”
“A lot of our songs use more traditional country song structures, but with more of an edge,” t.Mule said.
There's a little hint of country, too -- the best bigger-name comparison can probably be made to Deer Tick. Translation: It's quality pub music designed for drunken singalongs.
“Our music is rowdy enough to be party music,” drummer Darin Graber said.
The band has three songs available for free online to give everyone a taste, but the real proof is in the live shows. At one particularly good pub show, the plaster ceiling actually started to crumble and fall.
Yet, for some reason, the band said they have trouble getting people in Boulder to notice them. They have tons of success in the surrounding towns, but they've found Boulder to be pickier when it comes to new music. Over beers at BJ's on a Friday night, they vented a little frustration.
“Fort Collins, they'll play us on the radio, invite us on the radio, talk us up, invite us to big stages,” t.Mule said.
“I think, in Boulder, people want to see other signs from other people that you can be a big deal,” Graber added.
Brian McCosky, who writes The Longest Day of the Year's music along with t.Mule, chimed in too: “If people come out and stay and listen to our band, they have a really good time.”
They sort of finish each other's thoughts like that a lot. It's part of what makes them work as a band, other than talent. In fact, the formation of The Longest Day of the Year was just another way of building off one another, finishing each other's thoughts with actions.
“I found out I was in a band on Facebook,” McCosky said.
Graber and t.Mule moved into the same building a year and a half ago, and they first played together when t.Mule invited Graber to a party. They asked McCosky to do a gig with them, and suddenly the Facebook page listed him as their new guitar player.
Then bassist Dan O'Donnell was drawn in. They even took promo photos with him before he thought he was officially in the band.
“They said, ‘Hey what are you doing next weekend? OK, you're playing bass,'” O'Donnell said.
That would be their first show together.
“It was cool because these two (O'Donnell and McCosky) played together enough that when they joined, they just communicated on songs, and Sean and I were [already] playing together,” Graber said.
It works similarly when t.Mule and McCosky are writing. McCosky said his lyrics are more tongue-in-cheek, but t.Mule is more poetic. Whichever route they go, the band prides themselves on not needing lengthy explanations before or after they perform a song.
This Saturday, The Longest Day of the Year will celebrate the release of its first album, Turn Into the Ground, with a show at the Lazy Dog. The guys have been hard at work in the studio -- when they're not at their day jobs teaching at CU, driving cabs, waiting tables or organizing a library -- and they're ready to get that music into the hands and ears of a Boulder audience.
“It's damn hard work. It's a commitment. You give up a lot of shit that you want to do,” McCosky said. “Give it a listen. That's all I ask.”
Don't mistake it for whining, though. This is more of an elbow nudge and a “c'mon, man” because really, they're having fun anyway.
“I feel satisfied knowing we're doing the best we can do. For me, the sacrifice is worth it,” Graber said. “We wouldn't all still be here if we didn't all really enjoy being around each other or love the music we make.”
Give The Longest Day of the Year a listen at tldotymusic.com, then grab a whiskey at the Lazy Dog this Saturday and hope the ceiling doesn't fall on your head.