Many of the finest musicians who have walked into the Colorado Daily’s Second Story Garage have been rather jovial, and even nonchalant in demeanor.

I’ve found those almost-great are the musicians who are the trickiest to deal with — and, at times, the most emotional. And from the lesser-skilled musicians, I have experienced the most gratitude when I do what I can to help them sound good.

But the journeyman musicians are the ones who are able to turn pretty good tunes into a thriving business by repeating good-to-great performances nightly. On tour, these bands operate in a grueling, gypsy kind of lifestyle. And it’s the grind that allows these hard-working groups to develop incredible musical timing together.

For that reason, these bands are my absolute favorite to work with.

One such ensemble, Run River North, from San Fernando Valley, Calif., was a real joy to record in our newsroom studio. With six members, several of whom are multi-instrumentalists, and with a propensity in composition to build earth-shaking crescendos, I knew my work was cut out for me.

The band came to us fresh off a six-week tour. This was no pleasure cruise they were on — these guys and gals had been grinding away night after night. Audiences love them, and you could get a feel for their sense of artistic purpose just hanging with them for a few minutes.

Some of the group’s compositions and solos can take listeners to unexpected places. But, much of the band’s repertoire is also scripted and so well rehearsed that these actors are able to perform with pinpoint precision, day after day.

Even in warm-up I was getting goosebumps. Despite my challenges, this band was holding everything together very tightly.

Bands like these who live the hard life of the traveling musician really benefit from performing more than the rest. When every warm-up and every take is near perfect, I have to stop worrying about the band and start worrying about not screwing it up!

TANK you very much

I have an update regarding the cool project I wrote about two weeks ago involving an old water tank and the very small Colorado town of Rangely.

To rehash, the TANK is a 67-foot-tall, unused water tank that a sound artist named Bruce Odland discovered in the ’70s and which, in recent years, has been fighting to save. Something about the construction of this particular tank gives it world-class sonics and reverberation, so Bruce’s goal has been to convert it to a recording space and to create an educational environment that will teach kids and adults alike some of the more ethereal elements of sound transmission.

The second Kickstarter campaign has been successfully funded. This project is becoming reality, thanks in part to you. Find updates and information about the planned “Grand Opening week” from or via the TANK’s Facebook page. Check out the site if only to peruse some of the recordings made in there already.

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