Funk band Envy Alo to make Aspen debut at Silver City Saloon
IF YOU GO …
What: Envy Alo
Where: Silver City Saloon
When: Saturday, Jan. 11, 9:30 p.m.
More info: silvercityaspen.com
The six-piece funk rock outfit Envy Alo is making a bid to be Colorado’s next must-see live band.
The Denver-based band plays a very Colorado blend of party-friendly jam and funk, in the Motet tradition, and this winter they’re releasing what the band hopes will be a watershed album while making a concerted push into ski country with a widening scope of mountain town shows.
They make their Aspen debut Saturday night at Silver City Saloon, previewing songs from the soon-to-drop album “Ship It.” The Aspen show is something of a warm-up for next weekend’s album release party at Lost Lake Lounge in Denver.
“Ship It” is the band’s first proper studio album. The previous full-length, 2018’s “Cruise Control,” was recorded live in a studio as part of a podcast.
“This time we really dove in and made a professional studio album,” drummer Nate Etter said in a recent phone interview.
The songs still have a raucous live feel, but it’s a slicker and more professional outing, recorded at Evergroove Studio in Evergreen. The hard-charging lead single, “Only Way,” released in November, showcases the powerhouse vocals of lead singer Callie Morrocco and soaring guitar theatrics from Kevin Hinder, on top of a swampy layer of sax, Hammond B-3 organ, drum and bass.
“As soon as Kevin brought it to practice we knew it’d be one of our better songs,” Etter said of the song.
The band was founded as a mostly instrumental trio in Boulder in 2015 and settled on its expanded current iteration two years ago, playing rocking funk infused with dance grooves, some jazz, jam, blues and R&B. They fill their sets with originals and the occasional creative cover (their take on The Beatles’ “She’s So Heavy” is a crowd favorite).
The bandmembers all keep day jobs but have become regulars on the Front Range live music scene, while supplementing their club shows with wedding gigs and steadily expanding into the mountain towns with shows in Steamboat Springs, Telluride, Crested Butte and Breckenridge. Playing ski towns is always a rewarding experience, Etter said.
“People appreciate live music in the mountain towns,” he said. “In Denver, it’s saturated and now you can see a good band any night of the week in five venues around town, versus Aspen or Helena, Montana, where it’s like the whole town is there on a Thursday night ready to see a good band. … There’s always good energy and a good turnout.”
Envy Alo’s members also are Ikon Pass holders, so planning a ski weekend around a gig here is an added bonus.
The Silver City concert comes in the middle of Aspen’s event-packed Wintersköl weekend, and will follow Saturday night’s parade, bonfire and fireworks downtown. The show complements a busy evening of nightlife during the town’s annual “toast to winter,” including Alphonso Horne & the Gotham City Kings at the JAS Café, comedian Fortune Feimster at the Wheeler and Phantoms at Belly Up.
The Envy Alo booking underscores Silver City’s status as a destination for local and regional talent. The show comes the night after the latest edition of the bar’s new monthly comedy series (see related story on Page B4).
In the fall, the band went out on its first multi-night runs out of state with a short Montana tour. This spring they’re plotting a wider mountain west run that will hit Montana, Utah and Idaho. Later this month they’ll share a bill with the Kyle Hollingsworth Band at Snowstalk in Frisco.
The band has been encouraged as they’ve ranged beyond the Front Range for shows.
“The more we play new markets, the more we are feeling the energy from the crowds, we’re feeling that we may be onto something special,” Etter said.
The band is investing in itself, betting on the buzz of its live show to help Envy Alo follow in the tradition of must-see homegrown Colorado bands.
“2020 is going to be a really big year to expand our audience and see what the reaction is,” Etter said. “Hopefully the record lands and we are able to keep growing it.”