Chad Wolf made his name on the coffeehouse circuit, but it’s all paying off with his record-charting band Carolina Liar.
Carolina Liar’s tunes have been sitting on top of the music and video channel charts, and Wolf’s still amazed at his good fortune.
Who: Rob Thomas, with Carolina Liar and OneRepublic
When: 7:30 p.m. Tuesday
Where: Magness Arena, University of Denver campus
Music fans may not be familiar with the name, but they’ve probably heard Carolina Liar’s hit tune “Show Me What I’m Looking For” played non-stop on VH1 and radio airwaves. Wolf’s tune was also used in Fox Sports’ ads for the 2009 Major League Baseball All-Star game and in TV ads for “The Time Traveler’s Wife.”
The music buzz earned Carolina Liar the opening slot on matchbox twenty frontman Rob Thomas’ national tour. The trek stops at the University of Denver’s Magness Arena on Tuesday.
“I’m from South Carolina, but one day I just got in my car and went out to L.A.,” Wolf said in a recent interview. “I just wanted to see what would happen, so I spent 10 years playing coffeehouses and everywhere I could.”
Wolf finally crossed paths with Scandinavian producer Max Martin and he was flown to Sweden to make a record.
The frontman ended up with a solid record called Coming To Terms with a Swedish backup band that turned into Carolina Liar.
“The idea for the Carolina Liar songs was to take American singer-songwriter material and mix it with a Swedish pop format,” Wolf said. “It makes the music fun.
“Then one day I got a call to fly into New York to be on VH1’s Top 20 Countdown. Everything took off from there.”
The video channel named Carolina Liar a VH1 “You Oughta Know” artist and put “Show Me What I’m Looking For” in heavy rotation. The song’s ambiguous lyrics and catchy melody intrigued music fans.
“People really want to know what that song’s about,” Wolf said. “So often, we come from a place of desperation. We make so many mistakes that we wonder what are we here for?
“The idea of the song is all about searching, but it translates to people in so many different levels. I like that people are finding their own meaning in the song.”
It only takes one hit single to draw attention to a band, and “Show Me What I’m Looking For” started opening lots of doors for Carolina Liar.
Suddenly, the band’s music was finding its way onto “The Hills,” “Beverly Hills 90210” and the 2008 Summer Olympics.
Wolf said the buzz scored Carolina Liar the opening slot on Thomas’ fall tour.
“This tour is huge for us,” Wolf said. “Rob’s a known icon — and him bringing us on this tour is massive. After the tour, we’re going to start recording new songs.
“We’d also like to bring up other bands we like — and return the favor that we got. It’s all about giving back.”
Kraak & Smaak
The Fox Theatre has been hosting a lot of top-name DJs and producers. Sunday, the venue goes international with one of Holland’s hottest acts — Kraak & Smaak.
Kraak & Smaack are from the town of Leiden in the Netherlands. The act sometimes performs with a full band, but the Boulder show will feature DJs Wim Plug, Oscar de Jong and Mark Kneppers.
“We are a trio of producers and we started Kraak & Smaak,” Plug said. “We started out as DJs and we played in lots of clubs. The next logical step was to become producers.
“We also have a full live band, so we can really translate studio music into a real life setting. We make some very interesting combinations of music.”
Kraak & Smaak have become staples at live music festivals, and the group’s put out a massive collection of CDs, singles and remixes.
“Now we’re starting to play all these festivals in the U.S.,” Plug said. “We’ve played Coachella and Miami. We also do small clubs in America, too. You have to work your way up there.
“It’s a big investment to bring a whole band to the United States, so for this tour we’re doing a live DJ set. We’re going to do dance tracks, some chill out and some poppy tracks at the shows.”