Before you even get into this review, if you haven’t already heard the Coloradas first record (self titled) released back in December 2011…stop here, go download it/buy the CD/call up Roy and Bernie and have them play it for you live over the phone and enjoy the hell out of it. It is an excellent piece of work and will give you a great background on these fellas. Did you do it? Ok, now moving on:
The core of Portland, Maine based The Coloradas is made up of Roy Davis and Bernie Nye. The two swap vocal/songwriting duties and harmonize fantastically while Davis picks it out on his acoustic guitar and Nye twangs us to high heaven with his banjo. Often times joined by friends (nationally renowned bluegrass musicians) the boys harken back to the times where musicians danced artfully around one central condenser mic (a skill that looks much easier than it truly is) or picked out songs on a front porch together. The sense of community, sharing, and making music because the songs are great is evident in what The Coloradas are all about.
The majority of the songs that the gents craft are mellow in their tone and tempo, but for some reason this music excites the shit out of me. It’s simply raw, real music with brilliant songwriting. It’s emotionally driven, simple, delicate and beautiful. The two artists play off each other in a manner like they have known each other forever and just seem to fit perfectly as musical allies. There is certainly hints of bluegrass in the sound, but its authentic to both Roy and Bernie, they aren’t putting on a twang they don’t really have, they aren’t playing to cater to a certain group or region, you can just tell the guys love the style and have taken it to a place that is all their own.
If you head to their site they have a host of videos labeled the Mt. Airy Sessions. A very cool idea, the two sitting in chairs across from one another and playing..feels like morning coffee on a Saturday when you are up far to early. Again, simple, wonderful, but graceful and rich in its sound. For the sake of choosing one to review before the fellas release another new record. This song is called “Maxine”…
There is extreme hesitance and suceptability in Davis’s vocal. He sings a lot of material bordering on the sadder end of the spectrum, but still it’s incredibly powerful in its delivery. There is a relaxed focus from the two as they weave the tale, knowing where each other are going but feeling where the song has the potential to go at the same time. The structure of the song is solid, a recognizable repeating chorus and the verses are full of great lyrics...I mean GREAT lyrics.
She still carries cigarettes / though she hasn’t smoked in years
And still somehow / they disappear
Bernie Nye’s banjo plucks along with the words of the song as Davis spits words about a gal who is stuck where she has been for what seems like forever. I feel like I know this girl, the visuals pop into my head and Davis’s use of literary devices is impeccable. This is poetry put to some really well played and solid instrumentation. It’s not complicated, it’s not so out of the ordinary you do a double take, but it fits the song content perfectly. I honestly wish I could write 10 pages about this song, but to be honest with you and myself it just comes down to one thing…I love everything that these guys do and they are only getting better and better as a songwriting pairing. Do youself a huge favor and check them out next time they are around your city. You won’t be sorry.
Check them out online at :