VIDEO — "We're really lucky to live here," says Mackenzie Page, guitarist, banjo player and vocalist for Nederland, Colo., folk and bluegrass band Gipsy Moon. "Boulder and Nederland are awesome. There are just musicians everywhere. It's so easy to find people to play with and that are looking to start projects."
"We're really lucky to live here," says Mackenzie Page, guitarist, banjo player and vocalist for Nederland, Colo., folk and bluegrass band Gipsy Moon. "Boulder and Nederland are awesome. There are just musicians everywhere. It's so easy to find people to play with and that are looking to start projects."
Gipsy Moon will perform its style of bluegrass, known as Gypsygrass, at 9 p.m. Wednesday, July 9, at the Applegate Lodge, 15100 Highway 238, Applegate. The cover is $10.
Gipsy Moon came together in 2011 with musicians that Page had met busking or performing around Boulder County.
"I had an opportunity for a show, but I didn't have a band," she says. "The one I was with had sort of fallen apart."
Page recruited David Matters (guitar, vocals and banjo), Silas Herman (mandolin and guitar and son of Leftover Salmon's Vince Herman) and Colin Huff (bass) to her new band.
"We had all hit it off and collaborated super well," Page says.
The band added cellist Andrew Conley a year later after members saw him perform at the annual RockyGrass in nearby Lyons.
"He was just phenomenal," Page says. "I had gotten his number just before he moved back to Iowa, so I called him up and was like 'Hey, dude, you want to join a band?' He moved back to Colorado, and it worked out really well."
The band's current lineup is rounded out by new bass player Matt Cantor, who replaced Huff approximately one month ago.
"He picked up all the songs instantly," Page says. "His memory is incredible. "He's also a writer himself, so we've added a lot of new tunes with him. It's the most seamless transition you could ever hope for."
While Page and Matters are the lead vocalists and primary lyricists, the band takes a collaborative approach to songwriting.
"In the beginning, I would bring a song, David brings a song or Colin brings a song," Page says. " These days, especially since Andrew and Matt joined, they'll bring in a lot of instrumental stuff and say 'This would be great with some words.'
"Silas always has some good melody to put to those songs as well."
Lyrics generally come second, with the music as their guide.
"There was a moment on one of our newer songs where Andrew said he envisioned a bull running through town," Page says. "David will often ask 'What images pop into your head?' It's just something to help us work and figure out what the song is trying to say."
However, the band likes to experiment with songwriting.
"For a new song, I had written a poem, and I gave it to Andrew to compose some music around the words," Page says. "That's the fun part for us, besides performing; getting into that creative zone and playing off of each other."
The band's debut album, "Eventide," was released in February after it was successfully funded through Kickstarter.
"It's really a great program that helps musicians that aren't part of a record label pursue what they want to do," Page says. "It's so expensive these days. It cost us $10,000 to make this album, and that's on the cheap end."
The CD was recorded in the fall of 2013 at The Distillery Recording Studio in Lyons and produced by Elephant Revival's Dan Rodriguez.
"(Rodriguez) was just incredible to work with," Page says. "He's a super-easy going guy."
However, the completion of the CD was halted because of the Colorado floods that fall.
"Me, Silas and our manager were at the studio helping with mixing the night of the floods," Page says. "We left at 7 p.m., and the floods hit at midnight.
"The Distillery was completely destroyed. David just barely grabbed our album and made it out with his family and some of their important belongings."
There was nowhere to mix the album, and the band was stuck in Nederland for two weeks.
"It was definitely a difficult time," Page says. "But we came through, the album got finished, and we're really proud of it."