‘Upbeat electric rock’ in Vail | VailDaily.com

‘Upbeat electric rock’ in Vail

Caramie Schnell
VAIL CO, Colorado
Special to the DailyWondering how Minneapolis band Roster McCabe got its name? Well keep wondering. The band's guitarist Drew Preiner said it's a "secret."

Labels and record deals be damned.

Here’s something you don’t often hear in the music biz these days: “Now is the best time for independent music.”

So says Drew Preiner, who plays guitars/keys/samples/vocals for up-and-coming jam band Roster McCabe, a Minneapolis-based quintet that dabbles in funk, reggae, disco, rock, metal and more.

The band funded its recent album, “Through Space and Time,” with fan donations and through fan investors, raising more than $10K.

“It was incredible,” Preiner said. “I still can’t believe our fans did that for us.

“It’s all about the music and it’s all about the fan connection,” he continued. “We understand that and so we try to reach out to our fans as much as possible because without them, we’d be nothing. We don’t have any big record label support or a huge manager or a huge booking agent – everybody that we work with is just like us: normal, hard-working people that see potential for what we’ve created in the past couple of years.”

Roster McCabe returns to Vail to play a free show at The Sandbar in West Vail Thursday. Attendees can “expect an upbeat electric rock show with synthesizers, shredding guitar, dance beats, reggae grooves, sing-a-longs, and more,” Preiner said. “Expect the unexpected.”

Another reason why the time is now for independent music?

Two words: Social media.

“With advances in technology and social media we’re able to get our music to someone in Japan and they are able to reach out to us to tell us that they dig what we’re doing,” Preiner said. “Now we know we have fans in Japan and hopefully someday we can tour there.

“We’re also all about breaking down all the barriers that people have to hearing our music,” he continued. “We make our music available for free on our website so that everyone can have a chance to hear it. We also tour non stop so that we can reach all of our fans on a consistent basis so they can have our music in their lives.”

Tonight’s Sandbar show will mark the band’s second time performing in Vail.

“We played at the Sandbar last time. It was our first time in Vail so there weren’t very many people there but the people that did come out helped us make it a great night – very memorable. (We) made a lot of new friends and really just had a great time overall. We’re really looking forward to coming back to build upon what we created last time.”

This past summer, Roster McCabe opened for Stephen Marley at Summerfest, as well as for Matisyahu recently.

“Those were both amazing experiences because we got to play for so many new people and Stephen and Matisyahu bring such a great vibe with them to their shows,” Preiner said.

And who would Preiner like to open for next? “For me right now I’d have to say Mutemath. Although I’m sure that answer will change in the next couple of days.”

The band has been on tour this fall in support of its recent releases: the band’s new live album “Live at the Cabooze Vol. II,” and full length studio album “Through Space and Time.”

Both albums feature friend of the band and keyboard master Steve Molitz of Particle and Phil Lesh and Friends.

“Working with Steve is always a great experience,” Preiner said. “He is one of the most positive people I know and he always brings a fire to anything he touches … he reached out to us when we were nobodies. A person of his stature had no reason reaching out to such a young band but he did because he has a great heart and he just loves to play music.”

Along with the Vail show, the band will perform in Winter Park, Steamboat Springs, Breckenridge, Fort Collins and Denver.

The Fort Collins (at Hodi’s Halfnote Nov. 18) and Denver (at Cervantes Masterpiece Ballroom on Nov. 19) shows will be extra special – the band will support the Kyle Hollingsworth Band featuring Michael Kang. And in the spirit of connecting with their fans, the band will even have dinner with a fan before the Denver show. Visit the band’s Facebook page to learn more.

High Life Editor Caramie Schnell can be reached at 970-748-2984 or cschnell@vaildaily.com.

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