Something Like Sound

Tag: Rob Drabkin

Photo Essay: Mile High Music Festival, Day 1

by on Jul.19, 2009, under Concert Reviews, Photos

In lieu of writing (since I really don’t feel much up to it right now), here are the best photos I took all day, enjoy.

Gregory Alan Isakov

Rob Drabkin

Matt Nathanson

Ani Difranco

Big Head Todd and the Monsters

Incubus

G. Love & Special Sauce

Ben Harper & Relentless7

Tool

Widespread Panic

All photos by Tim Weilert

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MHMF Preview: Other “Must See” Bands

by on Jul.17, 2009, under Blogs

I don’t have time or space to talk about everyone coming to Mile High Music Festvial this year, so here are some of the highlights, and acts I will personally try to see:

Saturday (7/18)

Gregory Alan Isakov (11:15 am, Westword Tent): This guy has some incredible singing and songwriting talent. A recent addition to the festival, Denver-based Gregory Alan Isakov is sure to be a good show for fans of Rocky Votolato, so show up early to support this local.

Rob Drabkin (12 noon, FirstBank Stage): I’ve already talked about Rob, but if you didn’t want to spend your time reading my last posts just know he’s a great listen for fans of Dave Matthews, and he really fits well with the vibe of the festival.

Matt Nathanson (1:15 pm, Main Stage West): I picked up some Matt Nathanson records a few years back, and I must say his heartfelt approach to music and positive messages leave you feeling good.

Big Head Todd and the Monsters (4pm, Main Stage East): Also did a post about these guys already, see them for some of the best examples of a genuine Colorado band.

Incubus (5:30 pm, Main Stage West): I’ve heard quite a bit of Incubus on the radio, but never seen them live. Also, my roommate keeps telling me I must see them.

(I’m a little torn about who to see at 7pm, so I’ll cover both, who knows where I’ll end up)

Ben Harper & Relentless7 (7 pm, Main Stage East): Good ol’ fashioned rock music, enough said.

The Black Keys (7pm, Westword Tent): Heartland indie rock music, these guys mix banjos, guitars, and a healthy amount of reverb together to create something enjoyable.

Tool (8:45pm, Main Stage West): Their first show since 2006 (or maybe it was ’07, either way it’s been a long time). Westword, and my roommate, highly suggested this one, and since no one else is playing at this time, you MUST see them.

Widespread Panic (10:45pm, Main Stage East): On the flyers it says their set will go until 2 am, get ready for some intense folk rock.

Sunday

Paper Bird (12 noon, Rhapsody Tent): The recent winners of the Westword Music Showcase Awards Americana category, I love this local group’s folk sound and flurry of bluegrass instruments.

Dead Confederate (1:30 pm, Westword Tent): Also did a post about these guys already, remember, indie rock from Athens, GA.

Jet (2pm, Main Stage East): Are you gonna be my girl?

Gogol Bordello (3pm, Main Stage West): Gyspy punks, these guys always put on a fun show

(another toss up at 4pm, but I’m going with Buddy Guy, he’s a legend, and Devotchka is local, we can see them any time)

Buddy Guy (4pm, Main Stage East): Mentioned above, he’s literally a LEGEND, don’t miss him. I’d put him up there with B.B. King and Eric Clapton.

(Gah! another one at 5:30, well, I’m going with Thievery Corporation, since I’ve seen 3Oh!3 twice already in the last year)

Thievery Corporation (5:30pm, Main Stage West): I’ve always loved the track these guys contributed to the Garden State Soundtrack. They create musical gold.

Matisyahu (6:45pm, Westword Tent): What is there not to love about a rappin’ rabbi?

The Fray (8:30pm, Main Stage East): These hometown legends have returned to their roots to headline Denver’s newest, and biggest music festival, don’t miss them.

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MHMF Preview: Rob Drabkin

by on Jul.16, 2009, under Blogs

We recently worked with Danielle Ate The Sandwich, Westword’s 2009 Singer-Songwriter of the year, but do you remember who had that honor in 2008? Well, unless you can’t tell where this is going, it was Rob Drabkin, a talented musician who we’ve had the pleasure of working with on a few occasions. Rob, as it turns out, is one of the opening act on Saturday of Mile High (12 noon at the FirstBank stage), and we’ve got plans to do an interview with him at some point during the festival.

Read our review of his record On These Heavy Feet or take a look at Rob’s personal website (where he’s offering that album as a special promotion, pay what you want). We’re definitely looking forward to seeing this man (who reminds me of Dave Matthews, but with much better hair).

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Album Review: Rob Drabkin – On These Heavy Feet

by on May.02, 2009, under Album Reviews

Rob Drabkin, named Westword’s “Best Singer-Songwriter of 2008,” is a man after my own heart. With hair doubling the size of his head, how can this Denver native go wrong? Surpassing the size of his huge hair is the size and range of his versatile tenor voice. Every corner of his talent is explored on his latest album On These Heavy Feet. With songs light-hearted and upbeat, this album is a spectacular addition to any summer playlist.

The album starts with an orchestral bit, full of strings. Although the strings make subtle appearances in the second track, they are markedly absent throughout most of the rest of the album, with the exception of the instrumental “Lullaby.” The second track, the first full length song, sets the mood for the rest of the album much more satisfactory than the first track. Drabkin’s soaring vocals waver throughout as he explores the high end of his range.

Several instruments come together in Drabkin’s music, from the traditional guitars and piano to the less conventional accordions and saxophones. The blended instruments keep at a fast, upbeat pace for most of the album. Typically, when the vocals aren’t in the spotlight, Drabkin’s own acoustic guitar leads the way with melodies both simple and complex. Metal guitarist turned jazz musician, Drabkin’s catchy melodies lead into several songs. One of the beautiful things about this album is how well all the instruments come together to make every song solid.

Drabkin’s strong, sometimes overbearing, voice is central in the album. Following this thought, his lyrics also form a large part of the feel of the album. Most songs are about love. Love of all kinds: celebrated, lost, potential. His light-hearted way of singing allows for relaxation no matter what the lyrics.

Musically, vocally, and lyrically similar to Dave Matthews Band, it’s easy to see the potential of this local band. From start to finish, this chilled album keeps interest from start to finish. Also, Rob Drabkin is quite fun to watch live if you ever get the chance. He takes the already energetic music to a whole other level with the excessive solos on all of the instruments.

Rob is on the Westword Music Showcase ballot for this year! (and he was one of our nominations). If you haven’t voted, hit that up here.Up next we just got Andrea Ball’s album (another artist on the Westword M.S. we nominated), expect to see that review soon.

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