Entertaining Angels

Modern and accessible rock

The Fabulous Hot Finks

Throwback rock with gutsy vocals and tasty hooks

Brent Kinseth

Intimate acoustic folk

Far Beyond Rescue

Hymns that rock

Mustard and the Works

Melodic rock

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Interview with Holly Roberds

Recently, Holly Roberds took time out of her busy schedule to sit down with us to discuss her journey in the music industry thus far. Keep up with her music and shows using the links below, and check out her interview.

Official Website

Thursday, March 13, 2014

We Love YouTube...and Foolstop

I recently posted regarding the dreariness of the gray winter months and my personal affinity for unlikely adaptations of pop tunes. On a whim, I continued in that vein and landed at Foolstop, a duo of multi instrumentalists who met while studying audio engineering. Their rock version of the old Haddaway club hit has subsequently brought several smiles to my face. The video and recording are well done enough to hold my attention, but with a juvenile whimsy that is great medicine for long spells of shut in existence. Though it appears that Foolstop may have gone on to other musical pursuits, this video is worth a look and a chuckle.

—A.Hunt, SPCS Records

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Interview with Matthew Brue of Homestead

Years ago, SPCS Records had the privilege of coaching a young Matthew Brue on mixing and mastering techniques. Since then, Matthew has gone on to blossom as an artist and currently fronts the band Homestead out of Austin, TX. A multi-instrumentalist that is clearly dedicated to developing his abilities, we recently had a chance to dialog with him about his journey with music thus far.

SPCS Records: What got you interested in music? How did you get started?

MB: To be honest, I was somewhat forced into music. I started playing piano at a young age and realized by seventh grade I absolutely hated it. My parents saw something in me that I didn't and would not let me leave the piano bench for hours until I practiced. I fought them every step of the way. During this time I was touring internationally with a professional children's choir and fell in love with flying and being on the road for weeks. It just stuck. My love for songwriting arose when I was depressed and found that writing songs about how I felt really fulfilled me. It turned into a routine that I have not been able to quit.

SPCS Records: What artists or genres of music have influenced you the most?

MB: The most influential artists for me personally have been Sigur Ros and Death Cab for Cutie. I think when I am 40 years old i'l be the dad forcing my kids to listen to "real" music and will turn on Death Cab's Transatlanticism record. It just does not get better than that!

SPCS Records: What is on heavy rotation in your listening library?

MB: Top three songs on heavy rotation

SPCS Records: What keeps you interested in music?

MB: I can say in honesty the thing that keeps me interested in music is the fact that I realize I don't deserve to do it. I get to wake up and enjoy a cup of coffee, sit and be still for 30-45 minutes, and then start my day writing. People would kill for a day like that without the stress of normal day things. I didn't ask to be able to write music, play instruments etc.; it was something I was gifted with and I am incredibly grateful and humble in realizing that. It pushes me to be a good steward of what I have received.

SPCS Records: What are a couple of key lessons in the industry you've learned along the way?

MB: This may come across as somewhat cynical, but if I have learned anything in the industry it is that if something sounds too good to be true...it most likely is. We have grown from learning hard lessons, but the industry is a tough monster to deal with. It makes us sad that people are out to make money on pure artists who have a true passion for art by changing them to "fit the mold." We always talk about remaining pure and true to who we are and if people don't like it, then we will move on! Thats a hard reality, but it keeps us going.

SPCS Records: What is your most favorite show you've ever played? Why does it stand out?

MB: You are probably expecting me to say our favorite show was one in front of 1,500 people or something like that, but that's not the case. It was actually in front of 15 people! (laughs) I remember how mad I was now when we were told 400+ people were expected. We got up on stage and played the show like we normally do. Before one of our songs, Lost at Sea, I began to start sharing my story of drug addiction and began to weep. I could not believe how far God had brought me and was even allowing me to play in front of 15 people. I look over at Hunter and he is crying. I look over at Chris and he is crying. I look over at Trey and he is tearing up. It was this influential moment in our career where we realized just how much we didn't deserve to do what we do. I will never forget what an incredible show that was.

SPCS Records: What are your current musical endeavors?

MB: Our current endeavors include playing several showcases this year at SXSW. We have been writing and preparing to record a new EP in May of 2014. We would love to be on a larger tour by the fall. We are just excited to keep acknowledging that we get to call ourselves full time musicians.

SPCS Records: Matthew, thank you for your time today.

Matthew's latest endeavors can be seen and heard here.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

We Love YouTube...and The Fold


I frequently find the winter months to be a rather dreary time, and it was in such a rut of the doldrums that I stumbled upon The Fold. Unlikely covers of pop hits are common search engine fodder at SPCS headquarters, and a pop punk tinged arrangement of Jay-Z was just the levity I needed.

Hailing from Chicago, The Fold are fronted by Dan Castady, a sensitive dad, as evidenced by his musings about parenthood in the description for Bye Bye Love. The feel-good vibes were piling up. The band's story is no exception:

"A wise man once told us 'Just stay together, and continue to write the best music you can—great things will happen.' What followed were arguably the most trying 7 years in the history of the music industry, but somehow it never felt like that to us."

What's the recipe for a cure for the seasonal blues? Jay-Z, Alicia Keys, and a bit of The Fold.

—A.Hunt, SPCS Records

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Interview with Stetson and Cia of Songs of the Fall

Knee deep in a recent YouTube search for regional indie talent, I stumbled across Songs of the Fall. Though they currently hail from Nashville, Stetson is a former resident of Colorado. I am not normally drawn to bluegrass and country of this flavor, but their sensitive and sensible approach hooked me straight away. A far cry from the heavy-handed sounds that often populate the pop country radio channels, SOTF handle their music with kid gloves, giving dignity to each note. I was interested to know more, and Stetson and Cia graciously took time out of their busy schedules to field a few questions about their experiences with music.

SPCS Records: Where and when did your journey with music begin?

Cia: We met in 2010 through a mutual friend. I (Cia) was closing out a 12 year bluegrass career with the band Cherryholmes. Stetson had been playing the singer-songwriter circuit in Colorado and Arizona as well as guiding fly fishing and elk hunting in Colorado and Alaska. We were introduced by the engineer at Skaggs Place Studios.

SPCS Records: What musical styles or concepts keep you going on your journey?

Stetson: We both enjoy a lot of old country, bluegrass, and roots music. As writers, we try to keep it as genuine and real to life as possible. We chose the name, "Songs of the Fall," because we write a lot about the falls we go through in life. Whether falling in and out of love, on hard times or temptations, life is about the fall and how we deal with it and grow.

SPCS Records: What has been your favorite venue to play thus far? Why does it stand out?

Cia: We had the honor of playing several awesome venues this year like the Highline Ballroom in NYC, The Varsity Theatre in Minneapolis., and The Paramount Theatre in Bristol as the supporting act for Crowder. If we had to pick a favorite, it would probably be Cain's Ballroom in Tulsa. The history and atmosphere there are amazing!

SPCS Records: Often times, our culture of celebrity skews the expectations of young artists. Have there been any surprises for you in the music industry so far? If so, what has been the biggest?

Cia: We have found it to be disappointing that so much of the industry seems to be money and image driven, as opposed to it being just truly about the music.

SPCS Records: What does "success" in the music industry look like for you personally?

Stetson: I think that people enjoying and connecting with our music and us making enough money to pay our bills is a success all in itself. Because so many people think that if you don't "hit it big," you aren't successful. If we can continue to get up on stage and play our music and continue to write our own music, there's a sense of satisfaction and success in that.

SPCS Records: Stetson, Cia, thank you for your time today.

Stetson and Cia's latest endeavors can be seen and heard here.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Examining Business Strategy as an Independent Creative Professional

In a revolutionary age of digital everything, contemporary artists are fed advice from every angle until the cacophony of noise is nearly too much to bear. Social media platforms rise and fall and seemingly each new day brings with it a shiny sparkling best practice to consider. Distilling the static has proven to be too much for many musicians I rub shoulders with and the creative community has become even more polarized with a growing divide between rabid early adopters and disenfranchised pessimists.

In 2012, an event was created to assist the creative community in innovative ways to stay agile and profitable in the volatile online marketplace. XOXO, the brainchild of Andy Baio and Andy McMillan, is still in its infant stages, but is already drawing notable players such as  Dropbox, Etsy, and Squarespace.

At this year's conference, Jack Conte of Pomplamoose was one of the keynote speakers. His candid lecture on his creative endeavors, the trappings of success, and the shift in online marketing is very relevant and well-informed. The delivery is signature tongue-in-cheek Jack, but the message is very insightful and patently applicable to the independent working artist.

It is not our usual form to feature videos in the tens of minutes in length, but this issue is of such financial urgency and so rooted in the issues of creative identity that we couldn't help but share.

—A.Hunt, SPCS Records

Friday, September 20, 2013

We Love YouTube...and The Cleverlys

I was recently scouring YouTube for local and regional rock bands native to the Rocky Mountain region. After searching no fewer than 30 pages of content, I was completely dissatisfied and disgusted. Either the rumors are true that Colorado is pretty lacking in musical talent, or we are home to one of the largest collections of non-SEOed rock band videos in North America.

After more than an hour of looking, I abandoned my search string and tried something totally random—piano rock band plus bluegrass cover. The video below from The Cleverlys came up in the results list and I was instantly intrigued. Either their version of The Bangles' "Walk Like an Egyptian" would be completely pathetic or mind blowing and amazing. At this point, I had no tolerance for something that fell in between.

Having been alive to recall the original tune being played on the jukebox at a local restaurant, and currently residing in the host city of the Flying W Wranglers, I was on pins and needles as the video buffered. I couldn't have been more awestruck by what I witnessed unfold before my eyes, as one of the most polished and technically superb bluegrass groups crafted such an unlikely version of an 80s classic.

Adding to my impression was the revelation that the musician playing the upright bass is blind. Multi-talented, synchronous, creative, and unexpected? I am an instant fan.

—A.Hunt, SPCS Records