Vail music: Now here’s a band with personality |

Vail music: Now here’s a band with personality

Kimberly Nicoletti
Vail, CO Colorado
Special to the Daily

VAIL, Colorado –Cowboy Hillbilly Hippy Folk, a band that plays what they call “unique form of electric Appalachia,” will kick off FAC at Eagle’s Nest in Vail, Colorado Friday beginning at 4 p.m. The band members took some time to answer a few questions for the Vail Daily.

Vail Daily: Where’d the name come from?

Cowboy Hillbilly Hippy Folk : Well, when Paul and Dave thought about what kind of music is was that they’d want to play as a band, they decided, “We want to play cowboy music, hillbilly music, hippie music, and folk music…” Consequently, the Cowboy Hillbilly Hippy Folk.

VD: Where is the band’s home base?

CHHF: Columbus, Ohio is the birthplace of the band; however, the members hail from far and wide. The only Columbus native in the band is the bassist, Mandy Dye. Paul Painter was born in the wild west and comes from a mountain and mining heritage. David Sedlick was born in the rock ‘n’ roll city of Cleveland. Brett grew up in the slow-movin’ genteel southern state of Alabama. Crazy Pete – we believe he actually has always existed in some form or another and suspect that he actually came from outer space (although we can’t prove it, but if you meet him, we think you’ll agree).

VD: What type of music do you play?

CHHF: We play white-lightnin’ filled fruit jar front porch electric Appalachia, also known as cowboy-hillbilly-hippy-folk. Depending on our collective mood during a particular set, you might get a trippy jammed out 15 minute version of “She’ll be Comin’ Round the Mountain,” or you might get a short and sweet foot-tappin’ original like “Penny on the Track.”

VD: What’s your goal?

CHHF: To keep the spirit of American roots music alive in it’s many traditional and more modern incarnations for another generation. We’re huge fans of the Grateful Dead, Bob Dylan, Woody Guthrie, Arlo Guthrie, Grandpa Jones, Bill Monroe, Johnny Cash and the like. I think that influence is evident in our music.

VD: If your music were a tangible item, what would it be, and why?

CHHF: I think it would have to be a jug of that good ole’ Mountain Dew, because when you get ahold of it, it gets ahold of you. When it gets into you, you can’t help but hoot n’ holler and dance and stomp your foot. At least that’s what happens to us when we play it.

VD: Why do people love ya?

CHHF: People love us for a variety of reasons, I find. Some people really get into the lyrics of our original music and dig the message of what we’re doing. Guitar players just love to watch Crazy Pete and Paul feed off of one another’s unique pickin’ styles. Our music is easy to dance and move around to, and people connect with it for that reason. The thing I hear the most though is that people like it for two reasons: First, it’s easy to see that we love what we’re doing and that we’re having fun on stage, and also, it’s different. People will approach me after a show and say, “I’ve never seen anything like that, but I like what you’re doing. Keep it up!”

VD: How do you keep it fresh?

CHHF: We keep it fresh by pretty much never slowing down. There’s no time for it to get stale really. We play as many shows as we can, if we’re not playing shows we’re recording or practicing. Besides that, we have a wonderful camaraderie and friendship. We love to go camping, hiking, biking and rafting together as well as seeing other live music together. We feed off of one another not just as musicians, but as friends. There’s a whole Cowboy Hillbilly Hippy Folk community besides the members that you see on stage. We’re lucky to have made friends in many areas and to be surrounded by so many people who have supported and inspired us. They keep us going.

VD: What’s the craziest thing you’ve done/weirdest experience?

CHHF: Every day with the CHHF is a new wild and crazy experience. We describe this as a “wacko journey to wherever we end up.” I think our best times are spent on the road. We love visiting new places, and it just seems like wherever we go, people love to party! Some of our weirdest experiences had to have happened at a place in Athens, Ohio called Jackie O’s. Athens is a great college town, and Jackie O’s is a great micro-brewery. The combination is explosive. Milwaukee is fun. We found ourselves partying with a bunch of motorcycle cops and firefighters when we played in Milwaukee, which was a strange experience to say the least.

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