If you go
What: Dragondeer (for Tellerpalooza)
When: 4 p.m. Saturday
Where: Bluebird Theater, 3317 E. Colfax Ave., Denver
More info: bluebirdtheater.net
Eric Halborg says this is “Colorado’s summer of love,” and his band will be ready.
Dragondeer, a psych-blues four-piece based in Denver, will help kick things off with an album release party on June 7 at Lost Lake. After that, they’ve got gigs lined up all over Colorado.
“For the summer we’re consciously trying to be Colorado-centric,” Halborg said. “The eyes of the world are on the state, and people from all over the world are gonna converge here, and we’re stoked to be the entertainment.”
Entertain you they will. It’s possible you’re unfamiliar with Dragondeer, so here’s the short bio: The band — singer Halborg on guitar and harmonica, Cole Rudy on lap steel and mandolin, Carl Sorensen on drums and percussion and Casey Sidwell on bass — has been together for about a year and a half. They’ve played a lot of festivals in that time, including South by Southwest 2014, where they had the soft release of their debut record, Don’t That Feel Good.
You can hear the psych-y swamp music on the band’s website now, before the hard release in June. The album’s five songs were mastered by David Glasser, but Halborg produced the thing himself, unexpectedly.
“I got so into it — crossfades and curves and little reverbs here — and really kind of went to town on how I wanted it to sound,” he said. “I ended up getting sort of OCD on it and putting in a ton of time with it, and showed it to some trusted ears at the end of that process and the sort of overwhelming response was, ‘Don’t change a thing.'”
The band is already working on some new music, but Halborg isn’t sure if they’ll take over the production again. He’s worked in studios before and isn’t opposed to going back, but the current system suits them nicely.
“We have a little process and it’s really down-home, where we can be doing vocals at 4 a.m. and then skateboard the neighborhood,” he said. “It’s nice to not be confined to studio time and people’s moods and energies or whatever.”
Dragondeer’s sound is like coming down off an acid trip on the bayou. In fact, post-trip is when Halborg thinks the music is best enjoyed, and the bayou is the distant inspiration. Halborg is from Chicago, where the blues and jazz of the deep south migrated in the 1920s.
“It was certainly, like, blues everywhere,” Halborg said. “It was in what was called Jewel, which is our King Soopers. They were playing it there, it was in the post office, it was on all over the radio stations. It seeped in.”
When the time came to make Dragondeer’s first record, Halborg said the band made conscious decision to get psychedelic with it. The goal was to have a band that rocks hard live, but whose recorded music would have a “Sunday morning vibe,” an “old school vibe” and a “cathedral-y, reverbed-out vibe.” In the past, Halborg said, he was putting out records that were pretty aggressive, but he realized that’s not the kind of music he wanted to listen to. It was time for a new vibe.
“When I have your attention to listen to what I’m doing, why not stretch it out and give you a longer experience with us,” Halborg said. “If you listen, we’d like to vibe out with us.”
Contact Ashley Dean at 303-473-1109. On Twitter: @AshaleyJill.