Matthew Laughing Bear Shipquist looked to his own name when trying to come up with a name for his band. His friends call him Bear. His nametag at work even says Bear on it. Now his band goes by the moniker Bear's Acoustic Honey. The acoustic duo is Shipquist on guitar and bass player Nathan Everett. They are currently searching for a drummer to fill out the lineup, Shipquist said.
"Technically we're a two-piece working on becoming a trio," Shipquist said.
Bear's Acoustic Honey will play a free show Friday night at Kirby Cosmo's BBQ in Minturn.
Shipquist told us about his musical influences and how he describes the band's sound during a recent phone interview.
Matthew Shipquist: Originally I was born in Minneapolis ... I've lived all over. I've been here since late summer, fall. I've been through here on tour before and just loved it and you know, the skiing and mountains and outdoors life. There's a really good opportunity to play music here in the winter, too.
MS: Probably about 31 years. I started when I was like seven or eight and I'm 39.
MS: Jerry Garcia, the Allman Brothers, a lot of jazz stuff I listen to " a lot of jazz horn stuff and kind of play that on guitar. So (Charles) Mingus, (John) Coltrane, that kind of stuff. As far as lyrically, definitely influenced by (Bob) Dylan and Robert Hunter, maybe Van Morrison.
MS: I try to paint a picture with the words. Not really a story, but it does have a tangible line through it that you can follow, it's not just random images. I definitely have a feeling that I'm trying to convey and use the words to zero in on ... what I'm trying to tell you. And the songs, they definitely grow and become their own personality.
MS: It varies from a bluegrassy feel to a more jazzy feel to a funk feel depending on the song ... I don't know, mellow, feel good, but not elevator music. It's danceable ... we can definitely rock out when we want to, but kind of just a groovy, good feel.
MS: We definitely would want people to feel that they're experiencing something authentic. When I write a song, when I perform, I'm giving it a 110 percent, it's not contrived or packaged, it's straight up how I'm interpreting the moment and the songs I've written and (I) would want them to just appreciate however they fit into that.
MS: I would say definitely this year, maybe multiple releases because we definitely have been recording a lot of the shows too, so we might put some live stuff out. (I'm) not sure that it would be fee downloads on the internet ... We are going to have some CDs available for free at Kirby's this week if anyone wants to stop in there and grab a CD.
High Life Writer Charlie Owen can be reached at 970-748-2939 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
What: Bear's Acoustic Honey.
When: Friday at 7 p.m.
Where: Kirby Cosmo's BBQ in Minturn.
More information: Call 970-827-9027.