The Fox Street Allstars are a soulful blues-rock band from Denver and frontman Jonathan "Skippy" Huvard wants you to know one thing: "Fox Street is a band you want to see," he said. "We're going to rock you out, funk you up and throw a raging soul party."
The band returns to Vail for a show tonight at Shakedown Bar. The five-piece is celebrating the recent release of its second album, Tough Talk, which was recorded over the summer of 2012 at Scanhope Sound in Littleton. The record was engineered by Josh Fairman (New Mastersounds, Ivan Neville, Kinetix) and features Joe Tatton of The New Mastersounds on organ, piano from Bill McKay and pedal steel by Grammy-award-winner John Macy and The Black Swans on backup vocals.
1. Vail Daily: What can you tell me about "Tough Talk"?
Jonathan "Skippy" Huvard: "Tough Talk" is the band's record. We put this thing together as a band. As opposed to the first record, where one person would bring completed songs to the table and we'd just record them, "Tough Talk" differs in the fact that one or two people would bring a rough framework of a song and the band was instrumental in arranging and shaping the tunes. We recorded both records with Josh Fairman (Kinetix), however he and his business partner over at Scanhope Sound built a state-of-the art recording studio in Morrison. The new studio really allowed us to open things up and take advantage of a lot more on this second record. We also went vintage and recorded the record on two-inch tape. The result is a warm, sultry, vintage feel. The sounds of the two records are incomparable.
2. VD: You've had some heavy hitting musicians sit in with you. Tell me about some of the highlights.
JH: We have been fortunate to play with some monster players. It's been our goal from the very start to be a musicians band. We value our music peers and superiors, and being able to play with some of our mentors has been such a gift. The first name that comes to mind is Stanton Moore, the drummer in Galactic. Aside from being one of the best drummers in the country, he has been an inspiration to our band and has really given us so much guidance over the years. He is a monster behind the kit and it's awesome to be jammin' in his pocket. All of us in the band have been able to sit in with the New Mastersounds - and them with us - extensively. They're a terrific band; so funky!
3. VD: You've been touring a lot the past year. Tell me about some of your favorite shows.
JH: We have been able play to so many great rooms, meet so many awesome people and music fans that it's really hard to pinpoint "the best shows." If I had to pick one, I would say this last New Years Eve show in Jackson Hole, Wyo. at The Pink Garter Theater. It was an incredible night. Jackson is the first town outside of Colorado that we started touring to. We've got a great group of people out there. We sold out the show two nights before the gig, which is always a great feeling, and the band was absolutely on fire that night.
4. VD: What can people expect from your show tonight in Vail?
JH: I have to admit that Shakedown in Vail is becoming one of our favorite Colorado spots to play. It's always popping off, and Scott is the man. He's got a real vision and continues to bring some unbelievable music to the valley; he's a ripping guitar player and singer as well! It's a great venue! Made by musicians for musicians, it's the place to see live music in the Valley!