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Published: 2001/05/21
by Lee Seelig

BACKSTAGE PASS: Next Stop: Boulder, CO

Yes, folks, the tale of the nomadic booking agent continues. Like so many agents before me, I have picked up and moved to picturesque Boulder, CO. In a move that has left the jamband community stunned (joke), I have departed Treeline Artists and joined the team at Good Time Entertainment / Red Underground. I have nothing but the utmost respect for Chris Cate at Treeline, but Athens, GA was just not doing it for me. In the time I spent there, I never even ran into any of the members of R.E.M. And you expected me to stay? The mountains have called and I was obliged to answer. It seems that the mountains have called quite a few others as well and have turned Boulder into a musical mecca. Granted, Boulder is not Nashville, New York,
Chicago, or L.A., but there sure seems to be a disproportionate amount of music activity happening out here (especially in the jamband scene). As far as I can tell, Boulder must be the jamband capital of the country (if there is such a thing). I will admit right off the bat that I might not be the most qualified to make such an assertion (as Ive only lived in Boulder for about two weeks now), but when you look at all the businesses and bands that are based in Boulder, it really is astounding. So, here is my attempt at an Idiots Guide to Boulder. Ill start with a brief introduction of my current place of business. Good Time Entertainment / Red Underground is a company that is headed by Todd Miller and John Joy. Good Time is the booking side of the company and Red Underground is the management side. I am extremely excited to be joining their company and to be bringing Addison Groove Project and Mori Stylez to the roster. The bands that the company represents include: John Browns Body, Rebirth Brass Band, All Mighty Senators, Cabaret Diosa, Foxtrot Zulu, Jive, Juice, and Chupacabra. Working with Todd and John is something that I look forward to and I am optimistic about the development of the company. Alongside my current employer, there are also a plethora of other agencies. (Do you even know what a plethora is?) The largest and most visible of those companies is Madison House, which has developed into a conglomerate with about 30 people working there. Madison House is responsible for booking and managing String Cheese Incident, booking and managing Keller Williams, booking Karl Densons Tiny Universe, managing Big Head Todd & the Monsters, and managing Femi Kuti. Apart from their acts, Madison House also has a travel agency, a ticketing department, a graphic design wing, a publicity company, a merchandising division, and a record label: SCI Fidelity. To be perfectly honest, an entire article (or thesis) could be devoted to the astounding growth of Madison House. In terms of sheer size, Madison House exists on its own level. On the next tier, you would find all of the other boutique-oriented agencies (including Good Time / Red Underground). Partners In Music is another multi-faceted company that includes a booking agency and a management division. PIM is responsible for booking and managing Deep Banana Blackout, booking and managing Yonder Mountain String Band, booking The Slip, booking The Motet, and also handling other bands as well. Mountain High Music is another booking agency (headed by Rob Sarno) that handles bands familiar to the jamband community. Some of the bands that Mountain High holds the calendars for include: Dr. Didg, Hanuman, Tony Furtado, Living Daylights and Larry. A new addition to the Boulder community is thebookingagency.com which is Tom Baggotts agency. Baggott books Tim Reynolds, Moon Boot Lover, Agents of Good Roots, Ominous Seapods, Fuzzy Sprouts, The Waz and about five other bands. Aside from these agencies there are also numerous other management companies, record labels, and bands that are headquartered in Boulder. What Are Records? (W.A.R?) is probably the biggest label that is based out of Boulder. W.A.R? has Maceo Parker, Sally Taylor, Frank Black and Melissa Ferrick as part of their roster. In terms of bands, String Cheese Incident, Leftover Salmon, The Samples, Yonder Mountain String Band, Acoustic Junction, Cabaret Diosa, The Motet, Fat Mama, Chupacabra, Jive, Floodplain Gang and Runaway Truck Ramp have all called Boulder home at one time or another. Needless to say, Boulder has a thriving music community. Any band heading on a nationwide tour is surely going to make a stop here. The University of Colorado (go Buffs!) is a huge factor in all of this. The school supplies the town with a ripe audience for music, and that audience completely recycles every four years. Aside from the school, Boulder and the surrounding areas boast some of the best venues in the country. The Fox Theater is one of the nicest mid-size venues in the country and the sound is impeccable. The Boulder Theater (which is a bit larger than the Fox) blew me away with its interior murals. The room is absolutely gorgeous. The Trilogy Wine Bar and Tulagi are other great music venues in town. With Red Rocks in Morrison; Pepsi Center, The Fillmore and Gothic Theaters in Denver; and Fiddlers Green in Englewood, the area is capable of handling acts of any size. Boulder is also surrounded by sheer natural beauty that offers uncountable options in the way of recreation. Hiking and biking trails are within footsteps of downtown and some of the best slopes in the country are a short car ride away. The recreation is seductive and allows an outdoorsy existence not available in a major city. I must admit that the allure of the mountains was a huge part of my move out West. I would write some more about this town, but Im meeting a friend to take a short hike.
Lee Seelig thinks that moving every 6-8 months is completely normal.

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