Better Than Bacon plays Edwards |

Better Than Bacon plays Edwards

Caramie Schnell
Vail, CO Colorado
Special to the DailyBetter Than Bacon plays Edwards Friday and Eagle on Saturday.

Though some people would argue that there’s nothing in this world that’s better than bacon, a Fort Collins band begs to differ. At least that’s what their name infers. The four-piece band Better Than Bacon, comprised of James Yearling on electric guitar and vocals, Ryan Swanziger on acoustic guitar and vocals, Pat Moorhead on electric bass guitar nad Ty Monteleone on drums, will perform two free shows in the Vail Valley. Friday they’ll get the crowd at Main St. Grill in Edwards moving with their sound, which they describe as “funky folk n’ roll with old soul.” Then on Saturday night, it’ll be the folks at Moe’s BBQ turn to groove.

Two members of the band, Yearling and Zwanziger, took the time to answer a few questions for the Vail Daily.

1. Vail Daily: Your music does seem to have an old soul kind of feel to it, which you guys mention in your bio. Tell me about that.

James Yearling: When performing, we take a more old-school approach of trying to honor the spirit and emotion of the music and just play for the pure enjoyment of it – hopefully others can see and hear that we love playing.

2. Vail Daily: How did you come up with your band name.

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Ryan Zwanziger: We’d been kicking around band names unsuccessfully for a few weeks, and one day, I had bacon on my mind. That’s when our good friend Abbie turned to me and said, “But you guys are better than bacon.” The rest is history.

3. VD: Tell me about some of your musical inspirations.

James Yearling: We all have different musical backgrounds and have different musical tastes, which is why the band works so well. Collectively, we all picked up instruments because we made a connection with the sound or because we were “wowed” by a player, famous and forgotten, alike. As a group, we’re inspired every time we saw a hard working band attain success, especially when it’s a talented friend and fellow musician. It’s also inspiring to have folks tell us that they loved listening to us and watching us perform.

4. VD: What inspires the songs?

Ryan Zwanziger: Life experiences, the good, the bad and the ugly. The band doesn’t have a specific genre that it writes songs for, such as blues, or classic country. I try to write a song that is different from the last and I try to incorporate varying perspectives, emotions and points of view – hopefully that comes through in not only the music and lyrics, but in the performance as well.

5. VD: Tell me something funny that happened at a recent show.

James Yearling: At the end of the night, we always play a feel-good tune that sends the crowd out into the street smiling. At a recent show in Fort Collins, we broke into an Allman Brothers song, “Soulshine,” just before 2 a.m. that must have triggered some deep rage, because a person burst out of the bathroom fashioning a pint glass as a shank and went after someone sitting at the bar. As we belted out the chorus, five security guards and the bar owner physically carried the unruly patron past the stage and out the back door.

6. VD: Have you performed in Vail before?

James Yearling: This is actually our first road trip as a band up to “the mountain corridor,” so we’re really looking forward to escaping the heat and meeting some good people.

7. VD: If you could play anywhere, where would it be?

James Yearling: It’d be a shame to never get to play our state’s beloved Red Rocks … perhaps the only stage that’d we’d look forward to more is that induction platform at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame?

High Life Editor Caramie Schnell can be reached at 970-748-2984 or

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