Denver band Meniskus playing Vail for the first time Friday, Saturday |

Denver band Meniskus playing Vail for the first time Friday, Saturday

Caramie Schnell
VAIL CO, Colorado
Special to the DailyThe three members of Meniskus cite classic rock and jam band influences, as well as the rhythms of Latin grooves and European house music.
Lee Pruitt |

Denver band Meniskus has played every other ski town “like a dozen times,” said Emily Healy, the tour manager, but the trio has never found their way to Vail – until this weekend. The band will perform Friday and Saturday night at The Club in Vail. Both shows are free.

So why has it taken so long?

“It was just a matter of finding the right venue and timing,” Healy said. “The Club seemed like the right place to unleash Meniskus on the unsuspecting locals of the Vail Valley. We liked the idea of doing a mud-season show here as our first time too. It’s a different dynamic this time of year.”

Meniskus has shared a bill with a wide array of artists including Tom Petty, Dave Matthews, Rodrigo y Gabriela, The Roots and The Disco Biscuits, as well as members of Guns n Roses, P-Funk and even First Lady, Michelle Obama – and their devoted following are just as diverse.

The band members –Cris Ryt on drums, keyboard and vocals, Eric Ostberg on violin and lead vocals and Bardusco on Spanish guitar and percussion – took the time to answer a few questions for the Vail Daily.

Participate in The Longevity Project

The Longevity Project is an annual campaign to help educate readers about what it takes to live a long, fulfilling life in our valley. This year Kevin shares his story of hope and celebration of life with his presentation Cracked, Not Broken as we explore the critical and relevant topic of mental health.

1. Vail Daily: Your sound is pretty dynamic even though you’re a trio. Describe your music for our readers.

Cris Ryt: There are a lot of things going on, even though there are only three of us on stage. Everybody’s doing at least two things at once – Eric is playing violin and singing, Bardusco is playing guitar and the bass line – thanks to some effects pedals, and I’m playing drums, a synthesizer and singing backup. The music is very danceable, with roots in Middle Eastern, Latin, electronica and rock.

2. VD: How did you come up with the name Meniskus? What’s the story there?

Bardusco: Cris and I were drinking margaritas one day, and they were overfilled – the liquid was actually arcing above the rim of the glasses. Somehow I remembered the word from high school chemistry. Everybody in ski towns always thinks it’s a reference to the cartilage in the knee, but, like a lot of what we do, it’s just alcohol-related.

3. VD: Are you based in Denver? How long have you been together?

Eric Ostberg: We all used to live together in a big house on a lake in Denver. Now we’re kind of spread out, we’re all married and settled down. At least during the week. But Denver is still home, and we love playing Colorado shows.

4. VD: What can people expect from your shows in Vail this weekend?

CR: I think the real question is, what can we expect from Vail this weekend?

5. VD: Where have you been playing recently? And are you working on a new album?

EO: We’re home in Colorado right now – Steamboat last week, Vail this week, and Keystone next weekend. We’re wrapping up work on our new album at Coupe Studios in Boulder, and have been sticking close to home to try and get that done. I also just had a second baby, so don’t want to be out on the road too much right now. We’ll see what 2012 brings – probably heading back to Europe, and all kinds of other fun stuff to support the album.

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

EO: Right before we went onstage for an outdoor show last month, Bardusco and Cris decided to try out this rope swing that was going across the St. Vrain River. Bardusco grabbed too low on the rope, and swung himself straight into the river. I caught the whole thing on video, thank God. It’s on our Facebook page. You should watch it. He had to play the show in soaking wet pants and no shoes. Classic Bardusco!

7. VD: I read on your website that you’re letting people “sponsor” your next album. Tell us about that.

Emily Healy: We’re funding the production of the album totally independently – no record label – so we’re giving fans and businesses the chance to basically advertise on the album to help us get it done right. Check out for the details.

Support Local Journalism