Not many people associate bluegrass music, which originates in Appalachia, with our western state of Colorado, but surprisingly enough, there is quite a large and lively bluegrass culture here amongst the Rocky Mountains. The culture is even more present here at Colorado College.
The ever-growing popularity of bluegrass music at CC has led to the creation of three bluegrass ensembles. Each group plays at concerts and events, but CC’s top ensemble has had even more widespread success. This ensemble, known as Duck Soup, contains six band members that play guitar, fiddle, banjo, stand-up bass, and mandolin.
“We practice quite often and we have all been able to put our own input into what we want to sing, what we want to play, and it’s kind of just like a mutual want, or not-want, according to what we decide to play,” said Jess Wright, guitarist and vocalist for Duck Soup.
The ensemble is a collaborative effort, led by students who just really love bluegrass music.
This past Friday, Duck Soup traveled all the way to Carbondale, Colo. to play a gig at Steve’s Guitars.
“[It was] a really cool venue. They have guitars hanging from the ceilings, off the walls, and he has collected these instruments from all over the world,” said Wright.
Although the venue is relatively small, many big names in bluegrass have played there, including CC graduate Abigail Washburn.
For this show, Duck Soup was the main act, which the band members enjoyed. The band recalls that there was a pretty large group of people in the audience.
“It was the best show we have ever played, hands down. We all felt that way,” said Isaac Radner.
This was due to the group’s good energy and ability to be in sync with each other. This group has been playing together since the beginning of the school year, and now that they know the music, Duck Soup is experimenting with working on their stage talk and being professional.
“We were making up jokes and stuff—pretty bad ones,” said Radner of their last concert.
As for the future of Duck Soup, they have many shows and gigs planned.
“This show at Carbondale was sort of kicking off a row of gigs we have coming up,” said Radner.
One of their big events will be at the Durango Music Festival. While Duck Soup plays many gigs for the bigger Colorado community, they also play many shows on campus, so keep your eye out for this talented group of musicians.