What: Vinegar Tasters
When: 10 p.m. Saturday
Where: Dark Horse, 2922 Baseline Rd., Boulder, 303-442-8162
Vinegar Tasters are taking a philosophical approach to music.
The Boulder-based rock group is named for a painting that depicts three Chinese men tasting vinegar, representing three dominant philosophies interpreting the world differently, but together. The band’s goal is to bring different influences and styles together, and for everyone listening to its music to get something different out of it.
They bring that attitude to their rehearsal space on a quiet farm, where they write what keyboardist and singer Josh Turnquist called their “homegrown style of rock.”
“At the moment it basically turns into one person writing, then once you bring that song into the band it can become something completely different,” Turnquist said. “The band is a collaboration and if everyone isn’t into it and if everyone doesn’t like it then it doesn’t work.”
Luckily for Vinegar Tasters, their influences aren’t so wildly different that they can’t work together effectively. “We’re all very much into rock ‘n’ roll. Micah likes metal, Johnny loves jazz and punk, and I’m kind of all over the map,” Turnquist said.
The result, oddly enough, is a very straightforward rock sound, which can come as a relief when so many other bands are creating multi-genre hybrids. The most noticeable influence in Vinegar Tasters sound is probably metal, even though they don’t fall hard into that category.
The group has been active for about a year and a half now – though Turnquist and his brother Micah, who plays the drums, have been playing together most of their lives. They met their guitar player, Johnny Polymers, when he moved into their apartment building in downtown Boulder.
“I lived downtown and we got this crazy dude who moved in … and he became our guitar player,” Turnquist said. “Basically it just turned into late-night sitting with neighbors and talking and getting to know each other. And then one day Johnny brought out his acoustic guitar and that was it.”
Vinegar Tasters have one album out, but they’re adamant that it doesn’t represent their best work. If you ask them, they’re much better live.
“We recorded that album in the infancy of the band,” Micah Turnquist said. “And we hadn’t developed the sound.”
It seems like they’re feeling much better about the sound now, though. They’ve been applying to festivals like South By Southwest and working on new songs, and they hope to have an EP out within the next few months.
Otherwise, the trio is running around the area playing live shows. They’ve been around Denver a lot lately, with gigs at Cervantes’ Masterpiece Ballroom, Larimer Lounge and Bushwackers Saloon, but their show at the Dark Horse this Saturday will be their first in Boulder.
Felonius Smith plays country blues
What: Felonius Smith
When: 5 p.m. Saturday
Where: Left Hand Brewing Company Tasting Room, 1265 Boston Ave., Longmont, 303-772-0258
If you’re looking for something a little earlier Saturday night, though, I highly recommend checking out Felonius Smith at the Left Hand Brewing Company Tasting Room. It’s somewhat hypnotizing when he plays steel guitar, and his voice is quintessential country blues.
Check him out before you go – he’s all over YouTube.