Paper Bird brings indie folk rock to Minturn Thursday
The band Paper Bird hatched in Colorado’s mountains. In Breckenridge, to be specific.
The group of friends were on vacation and wrote a song to cure their cabin fever. They tested it out by playing it on a street corner. As the story goes, they earned a few bucks and decided to start a band. Seven years later, the Denver-based group is still flying.
Paper Bird will perform a free show in Minturn Thursday night.
“I saw this band at The Fox in Boulder a few years ago,” says Terry Armistead, concert organizer. “They were so good and so fun; the crowd never stopped dancing.”
When the band takes the Little Beach Amphitheater stage tonight, you’ll see firsthand what sets them apart. There are three female singers, accompanied by banjo, guitar, stand-up bass and percussion. The band has played Red Rocks Amphitheater to an audience of more than 8,000 people and have shared the stage with Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, Devotchka, Judy Collins, Dr. Dog, The Lumineers, Grace Potter & the Nocturnals, Glen Campbell, and many more. Expect a joyful blend of indie folk, pop, rock, jazz and rhythm and blues.
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The band’s banjo player and guitarist Caleb Summeril answered a few questions for the Vail Daily.
Vail Daily: Your sound has evolved quite a bit since the band formed in 2006. Tell me about that evolution. How do you describe the band’s sound now?
Caleb Summeril: I think that seven years as a band is quite a long time and we’ve been lucky to stay together and create that long. Along with just growing up and maturing as people, I think our instrumentation has really led to much of our musical evolution since the band’s creation. When we added Mark (Anderson) on drums three years ago, it really opened up what we good explore with rhythm and really allowed us to focus on a different direction that what we had before. I think now the band has more elements of rock and old R&B than the folk and old-timey sound we used to have. We haven’t completely departed from that but I do think we’ve expanded the scope of what we can and want to play.
VD: What do you think having three female lead singers has done for the band?
CS: I think having the three ladies sing up front has really helped us to distinguish ourselves from other bands. We’re not ordinary. We don’t have one lead singer. Sometimes one of the gals will take lead during one verse or sometimes their harmonies form one voice that carries the lead. It’s pretty unique and I think it adds a pretty stellar element to how we sound as a band. There is so much we can do with seven people in the band and while the ladies often stand out up front, I think they do a great job of really supporting and working with the instruments and rhythm.
VD: Have you performed in the Vail area before? If so, when and where and remember anything interesting about the show?
CS: We played Avon back in 2009 or 2010. I remember it being a great show but I can’t remember the venue off the top of my head. They fed us an amazing meal and it was in the winter so we had a pretty gnarly drive over Vail Pass in our bus.
VD: You’ve been touring back east this summer. Tell me how that went? Is it nice to be back in Colorado?
CS: We just got back from that run out east yesterday (Monday). Most of the shows were great. We played Floyd Fest in Va., which was amazing and had some other pretty decent shows down there in the south. We also snuck in a few swimming holes and some rafting so I can’t complain! It is good to be back in Colorado though, summer is great here and I’m just not used to humidity no matter how long I spend in it.
VD: Is your fan base across the country growing as fast as it has in Colorado?
CS: I think our fan base is definitely growing across the country. It’s hard to compare it to Colorado directly. When we first staring playing we would play four to five shows a week here and take just about every opportunity we could. I think that helped us build a solid fan base at home and we’re still getting new fans in Colorado. As far as doing that all over the country, it’s a little more tricky. We just can’t play every market all the time but we’ve got a solid business team in place and are seeing steady growth every time we head out.
VD: Tell me how “Rooms,” your latest album, has been received so far?
CS: “Rooms” has been received very well. It was our first real effort at a national release and we got some good press behind it when it came out in March. It’s my favorite record we have made as a band and really represents our sound as it stands now. We’ve been coast to coast about three times since we’ve released it, touring and playing shows and almost everywhere we go we see fans singing along to the new songs. I think that’s always a good sign!
VD: What am I not asking that readers should know?
CS: If you don’t have enough money for a CD or t-shirt, we are always down to barter and trade.
High Life Editor Caramie Schnell can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 970-748-2984.