Family of "rusted rockers’ |

Family of "rusted rockers’

Andrew Harley
Special to the DailyOrion's Room plays its acoustic rock to The Saloon today in Minturn at 9 p.m.

Three brothers, a grandfather, a wife, a recording studio in the parents’ basement, two high school friends and a shared love of lyrics and harmony – it’s a family affair.

They don’t produce the same blue-fire, Hendrixesque, steel-pedal guitar licks as Robert Randolph and the Family Band, but the music played by Orion’s Room is just as influence oriented.

The band pulls out an acoustic rock sound with elements of rural, roots rock from a pile of musical genres.

“We call it rusted rock because we incorporate the jam elements of Rusted Root, adding violin and saxophone,” said Orion’s Room sax man Dave Holthus. “We also use harmony and keyboards reminiscent of Peter Gabriel. And, our solos on the sax and violin are like Dave Matthews Band, but not as jazzy.”

Saxophonist Dave, guitarist and songwriter Jake Holthus, drummer John Holthus, violinist and violist Laura Darling, vocalist and occasional guitarist Lance Gilloth and bassist Jeff Garbarino formed the band in early 2001.

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They’ve toured through most the West and Midwest, built a large fanbase on the Front Range and released their first album, “The Development.”

The Holthus brothers had a grandfather named Orian, who inspired the band’s name.

The room is actually the basement of the Holthus family home where the band does a great deal of its work.

“We changed it from our grandfather’s name so people would have something to tie it to,” said Dave. “We’ve been down in the basement since the beginning, and we’re still down there because we’re comfortable there. We have a tight group. We’ve always been very close to my parents, and me and my brothers are best friends.”

Darling’s stage name is surprising, “Darling.” She is married to Dave, carries a classical background, is a talented musical theorist and has the ability to jam a good lead.

“It’s wonderful being married to her as a band member,” said Holthus. “It gives us the opportunity to see each other all the time.”

Garbarino is an old friend of the Holthus family. He’s played the bass for four years, and he’s played the guitar since he was 11 years old.

“Jeff’s more influenced by harder rock, like Metallica,” said Dave Holthus. “His tastes have chilled out a little since he started playing with us, so the bass line is rough but solid.”

Gilloth focused on his athletic career until a drunken night his sophomore year of college, when he let his best Kurt Cobain out in front of a group of his friends. He’s been forming his voice since.

“Lance has a unique feel to his voice, which was embraced by our fans,” said Dave. “He inspires all of us to keep our own unique ways of playing.”

Jake is a part-time, high school english teacher, who writes most of the lyrics. He cites a selection of late 1980s, early ’90s rap among his biggest musical influences.

“He’s a lyrical guy,” said Dave. “Rap goes with his poetry and writing.”

John is the youngest member of the group. He’s played the drums since sixth grade, and tends away from jazz percussion, opting for muscular rhythms.

“He’s kind of a goof,” said Dave. “It’s great to work with my brothers. We’ve always had strong unity as a family.”

Orion’s Room has played as close as Keystone and the Lake Dillon Pub, but have never ventured into the Vail Valley.

“We’re all pumped up for the show,” said Dave. “It’s gonna be a fun night.”

Orion’s Room plays The Saloon in Minturn today at 9 p.m.

Andrew Harley can be contacted at (970) 949-0555 ext. 610 or at

Relative Rock

Orion’s Room

Today, 9 p.m.

The Saloon, Minturn

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