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Posted: September 16, 2009

Worth staying up late for the Insomniacs

Plus revisiting the Stone Roses debut; Crosby, Stills & Nash clean out the cupboards

Mike Cote

It’s rare to see a blues band composed of young musicians so it’s refreshing to know a bunch of guys like the Insomniacs – clearly still in their twentysomethings – are out there keeping the flame burning. This quartet from Portland, Ore., is clearly old school, even if they look barely old enough to shave. (You can say that when you know you have sons as old as some of these musicians.) The Insomiacs come our way this week. You can catch them at Blues & Greens at the Boulder Outlook Hotel on Thursday and at McCabe’s Tavern in Colorado Springs on Friday.

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Back in June, I mentioned seeing singer/guitarist Vyasa Dodson and bass player Dean Mueller joining Candye Kane’s band onstage at the Outlook for a few songs so it will be cool to see them run the show themselves. The band will be performing songs from their sophomore effort, At Least I’m Not With You, a disc split between tradition-inspired originals penned by Dodson (such as the ’50s rocker “She Can Talk”) and some well-chosen covers (Little Richard’s “Directly From My Heart to  You.”) The band is rounded out by Alex Shakeri on piano and organ and Dave Melyan on drums.

FROM THE MUSIC BOX:

THE STONE ROSES The Stone Roses: 20th Anniversary Collector's Edition (Silvertone/Legacy)

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OK, so music fans in the States don’t always quite agree with the Brits, who have called The Stone Roses’ eponymous debut album one of the greatest discs, well, ever. I wouldn’t go so far, but if you’re a fan of the ’90s Brit pop – this collection of psychedelic guitar rock helped usher that movement in back in 1989 – this anniversary edition featured a disc worth of “lost demos” and a DVD with concert footage and videos will be a cornerstone for your collection, sitting right next to your Blur and Oasis albums. The album’s atmospheric production, helmed by Beatles collaborator John Leckie, gives a trippy, ethereal sound to radio hits like “I Wanna Be Adored,” “She Bangs the Drums” and “Waterfall,” helping to deflect from Ian Brown’s rather thin vocals.

CROSBY, STILLS & NASH Demos (Atlantic/Rhino)

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With their new album of covers produced by Rick Rubin not quite ready for release, Crosby, Stills & Nash toured this summer with this single-disc retrospective out in the stores. Demos is as advertised: embryonic, stripped-down  versions of some of the band’s group and solo material, including Nash’s “Marrakesh Express” and “Chicago,” Crosby’s “Déjà vu” and “Almost Cut My Hair” and Stills’ “You Don’t Have to Cry” and “Love the One You’re With.”  If you want to hear what these singers sound like before they polish up those gorgeous harmonies and layer on the instrumental overdubs, here you go. And it’s easily a few hundred bucks cheaper than Neil Young’s Archives Vol. 1 box set.

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Mike Cote is the former editor of ColoradoBiz. E-mail him at mcote@cobizmag.com.

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