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If you go
What: Eleven Foot Fall
When: 9 p.m. Thursday
Where: Laughing Goat Coffeehouse, 1709 Pearl St., Boulder, 303-440-4628
Cost: free
thelaughinggoat.com

Eleven Foot Fall only got together in 2011, but the four members of this Boulder band have been musicians for much longer than that. 

They came to Boulder from Fort Collins, San Francisco, Austin, Texas, and Ashville, N.C., bringing different songwriting and playing styles with them. The result is music that blends a little bit of alt-country, Americana, roots and folk. We talked with Eleven Foot Fall’s drummer Steve Balgooyen to see how things are going in the band’s first year.

Everyone in the band comes from different backgrounds, geographically and musically. Tell me about what each member brings to the group.

Well, let’s see, Ross Douglas is one of the primary songwriters. I think he’s a really great writer. He kind of tends to lean in the pop direction of the alternative country, Americana kind of stuff. The other primary songwriter is Joe Ostrowski and he kind of leans more towards the indie rock side of alternative country with also kind of a blues aspect to his songwriting. And then we have a third songwriter, that’s PJ Thorstenson. He’s the bass player and he has a pretty strong jazz background, and that approach to his songwriting. So it’s an eclectic mixture. I’m the drummer and we all four sing. My background is mostly in roots rock kind of stuff. I lived in Austin for eight years and played out the whole time.

What was the inspiration for the name?

We can thank Joe for that. Joe works in the solar industry and he’s a construction manager for Real Goods Solar, and he goes up on rooftops a lot. We were struggling to come up with names for a while, bouncing around ideas, then Joe sent out an email, ‘Hey, not gonna be able to make practice tonight. Took an 11-foot fall.’ He broke his shoulder and badly sprained his wrist. There was a reply-all, I think from Ross, that said, ‘Hey did you just stumble upon our band name?’

What’s been going on in the year since the band formed?

We have been doing a lot of woodshedding, literally and figuratively. I have a detached garage with a woodburning stove, and all winter we hung out in there, wrote songs, and arranged songs. We did some recording. Right now we have a three-song demo that’s on the website. Our goal is to have an album ready roughly a year from now. We only just started playing gigs. I think our first gig was in May. We’re booked a couple times a month through September.

Since you’ve all been working as musicians for so long, do you feel like you’re more laid back with Eleven Foot Tall, rather than pushing any professional goals?

We’re really enjoying it, and that’s the nice thing about maturity, being able to relax and enjoy the ride a little bit. That’s not to say that we’re not working hard. Three out of four of us have kids and that can be a challenge sometimes, in terms of practicing and scheduling gigs, but it also provides a rich base for inspiration and songwriting. And we’ve always really enjoyed the practices and getting together. In the winter time, getting the fire going and cracking a few beers, it’s nice.

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