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Vail music: Hard to pronounce, easy to dance to

Caramie Schnell
cschnell@vaildaily.com
Vail, CO Colorado
Special to the Vail DailyVail music: Euforquestra came together in Iowa City, Iowa but moved to Fort Collins in 2008. Now people don't ask them why a bunch of white guys from Iowa are playing globally-inspired dance music.
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VAIL, Colorado – The members of Euforquestra – who will play in Vail, Colorado Wednesday – have no lofty visions of selling a million copies of one of their records. Instead, they’d like to make a living doing what they do best – performing live concerts around the country.

“We’re hoping it’ll turn into more and more concert tickets sold. We want to make our living doing shows,” said Mike Tallman, the band’s guitarist.

That’s why they decided to give their third studio album, called “Soup,” away for free on their Web site after it was released this past October. The idea is people will like their album so much after listening online that they will come to a show, Tallman said.

“Some of our older friends in the industry tried to talk us out of it but in this day and age, the industry is changing so fast, the only way to stay ahead of the curve is to change with it and keep an eye on the trends,” he said.

In the end, the seven members of the band decided to use the new album to launch a big Facebook promotion.

“We had 1,400-some fans and then we announced if we reach 3,000 followers, we’d give it away free. That was in August. We’ve nearly tripled our numbers since then.”

The band makes it Vail debut Wednesday night at Samana Lounge. The show gets underway at 10 p.m. and tickets are $5.

Scotty Stoughton of Samana Lounge said this band is on the rise both in Colorado and the national jam scene.

“I love this band, I first saw them at the Mark Van Benefit in Boulder last December and was hooked,” Stoughton said. “They came out with some smoking thick funk bass lines and journeyed into percussion-driven Afro-funk.”

If you’re having trouble pronouncing this band’s name, you’re not alone.

Most people “butcher it,” Tallman said, explaining that the name is a combination of euphoria and orchestra but with a “Spanglish hybrid spelling.” And the orchestra part fits – there’s a plethora of instruments between them, including guitar, bass guitar, tenor and alto saxophone, drums, congos, cowbells, keyboards, organ and piano.

“We’re going to have to explain it and pronounce it for people probably for the rest of our careers, but that’s just part of it,” he said.

The band got its start in Iowa City, Iowa and relocated to Fort Collins in 2008.

“Fort Collins has a very laid-back, very Midwest, Iowa-feel to it,” he said. “We really felt like it was the easiest transition we could have had for all of us – seven band members, four girls, one child and a bunch of cats and dogs moved out here together. We came out here with a whole family.”

The band describes their sound as “Afro-Caribbean-barnyard-funk” – a unique, rhythmic blend that integrates such genres as Afrobeat, reggae, Afro-Cuban, samba, soca, funk, salsa and dub.

More than anything, this group plays dance music – high-intensity global dance music, according to their oft-used catch phrase.

“We like people to get down on the dance floor and have a good time. We’ll try anything once,” Tallman said.

Back when the band was based in Iowa and doing radio interviews, they found themselves being asked the same question over and over.

“Everybody would say ‘why are a bunch of white guys from Iowa playing worldly cultural music?’ That really baffled people.”

Now that the band is based in Colorado, they don’t get that question anymore.

“Apparently there are more well-rounded, versatile kids out here,” Tallman said, laughing. “People don’t give the Midwest as much credit as they should.”

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


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