Little Opie Cunningham… |

Little Opie Cunningham…

Wren Wertin
Special to the DailyOpie Gone Bad doesn't take itself too seriously, but they seriously love music. They play tonight at 8150.

Voted best pop/rock band by Westword in 1998 and 1999 and best local music act by Denver City Search in 2001, they’ve been cultivating a fan-base outside of Denver. The last time they were in Vail they played Garton’s. They’re looking forward to returning to the bouncing floor.

“I’ve got a bunch of friends in Vail, so it’s a great place to come back to,” said Jake Schroeder, vocalist.

Their latest album is a live one, recorded at Red Rocks last year for a film series the city puts on every year. It was the third consecutive year they’ve played for the opening, and Schroeder names it his favorite venue.

Schroeder began his singing career at an early age, singing in an acappella group at 17. That progressed to his current gigs, singing at all the Colorado Avalanche games and with Opie Gone Bad.

“I think I was just lucky enough to listen to the right kind of music while I was growing up, and I had a series of good things happen to me,” he said about his lucky breaks.

He put the band together by stealing the best studio musicians he knew. Each musician’s diverse background contributes to Opie Gone Bad’s funk rock sound, with an emphasis on an alternative guitar groove.

“Randy the guitarist has got a jazz background and listened to a lot of John Foggerty,” he said. “Wendell our bassist is pure funk, listened to a lot of John Bonham. I grew up listening to Sam Cook.”

When Schroeder was in another band, a group of servicemen called him Opie Gone Bad. When he started his new project, it seemed like a good name for him.

“It’s a name that just stuck,” he said. “But it let’s people know we don’t take ourselves too seriously.”

They do write their own material, though they might break out three or four cover tunes over the course of a concert. As Schroeder puts is, the gigs can get pretty long, so it’s nice to see if people are paying attention.

Opie Gone Bad performs at 8150 in Vail at 10 p.m. For more information call the venue at 479-0607.

Wren Wertin can be reached via e-mail at or phone at 949-0555 ext. 618.

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