Bourbon Toothpaste performs in Beaver Creek |

Bourbon Toothpaste performs in Beaver Creek

Charlie Owen
Beaver Creek CO, Colorado
Special to the Daily

BEAVER CREEK, Colorado ” Bourbon Toothpaste is a strange name for a band ” yet it’s somehow fitting for the five-piece from Fort Collins. There’s really no hidden meaning behind the name, in fact, Michael Kirkpatrick, guitar and mandolin player and singer for Bourbon Toothpaste, said everyone in the band just dug the name when he brought it up. It actually stemmed from the days before the mass-produced toothpastes we know today, when people would mix baking soda and peroxide and flavor it with liquors like bourbon and whiskey.

“Basically I got it from a friend. He mentioned bourbon toothpaste, he’s kind of a fan of all things old-timey and this band is anything but old-timey. It’s a loud, progressive pop-rock band,” Kirkpatrick said.

When it came time to name the band, Kirkpatrick threw in his bid as a joke, but the name stuck.

Bourbon Toothpaste will play a free gig at the Coyote Cafe Thursday night, and it’s going to be a show worth checking out according to Al Elsberg, entertainment manager for the venue.

“This is one of the only bands we’re having this year that has horns, which I always dig on for sure, and I try to get bands that write a lot of their own music … they’re real talented and have been doing it for a long time,” Elsberg said.

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The current lineup of Kirkpatrick, Troy Hill on sax, Ian Wurst on bass, Paul Maley on horn and Nick Fahey on drums has been playing together for about a year now, Kirkpatrick said. In that time Bourbon Toothpaste has been able to form a unique sound incorporating rock, jazz and funk with enough free-spirited play to keep the jam band scene happy and enough straight-forward rock to satisfy everyone else. They’ll be releasing a new EP called “Make You Thick” in the springtime. All the members either play in other bands or used to ” bands that sound totally different than Bourbon Toothpaste ” but that eclectic mix of experiences is what makes Bourbon Toothpaste’s sound possible.

“Bourbon toothpaste is very, very original as far as the sound. It doesn’t sound like anything else anyone else in the band is in,” Kirkpatrick said.

And they don’t play cover tunes, so don’t even ask. The guys in Bourbon Toothpaste pride themselves on their original material.

“When you do a cover song you’re not only entertaining people, but tipping your hat or paying homage to some musicians that have influenced you either lyrically or musically and I guess we just haven’t had the time to sit down and chat about that kind of stuff,” Kirkpatrick said.

That’s not to say they haven’t done a couple covers in the past or won’t ever do one again, he said, but that’s not why they are playing music.

“We just like writing music together as a unit,” Kirkpatrick said.

Much of Bourbon Toothpaste’s lyrics come from personal experience, he said, not the typical sex, drugs and rock n’ roll so many bands try to exude.

Nature and spirituality play a big part, but occasionally the sex, drugs and rock n’ roll make an appearance.

And it’s safe to say rock n’ roll certainly influences their sound.

“It sounds like if Led Zeppelin played all their songs in the tempos that Pink Floyd played their songs in,” Kirkpatrick said.

High Life Writer Charlie Owen can be reached at 970-748-2939 or

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