Brass Tree Sessions have been produced for Denver’s audio-visual pleasure for over a year now in an unassuming Victorian rental in the Baker area. The idea and energy behind the Brass Tree house is refreshing: local music fans benefit from volunteers who put on a free show and local bands get a free video recording from the free show put together by those same volunteers. Given the historic setting, I couldn’t help but find the Brass Tree house to be best described as kind of “steampunk” -- the conventions and style of historic Denver lend itself to the conveniences and artistry afforded by modernity’s technological advances What if the future of musical artistry was a residency of sorts where you learned video and audio production by living and working in a venue such as this one? That’s just me daydreaming, but make no mistake the house’s current tenants are professionals who know what they’re doing as their real-life professions offer them the sound, camera and recording expertise that gets these sessions included amongst Rocky Mountain PBS programming.

It was a busy Saturday afternoon on South Broadway. The warm weather brought out the masses to enjoy the sales, sun and Sweet Action (that sweet, sweet, ice-creamy goodness!). Walking up to the house, I was aware that I had been a little late as it had been advertised as starting at 2 PM it was already 2:45. Lucky for me, the first band was still plugging in their equipment, and only two or three standers-by were in attendance so far. Unlucky for me was that I hadn't planned to be at the house past 6:30 and so couldn't actually catch the end of the session, and so am not able to report not the Rubedo performance.

The Marrow did well in fitting themselves into the tight space with a myriad of instruments; the band's arrangement was not typical, to say the least. Another cool idea spawned while enjoying the Brass Tree home: invite musical guests to perform in a setting that has a challenge of some sort. The challenge was overcome by the Marrow, who fit two drum kits, two keyboards, an accordion and a wind chime doodad all in the same standing space as floor amps and the viewing public. The mystical wind chime instrument seemed to be just as much a pleasant decoration as anything.

The Marrow had a psychedelic-pop sound with a rock-n-roll attitude, accentuated by the bright colors of the bands instruments (a neon orange drum set stood out in particular) and the bright and happy demeanor of the band's ensemble. April, one of the two drummers for the band, provided an ample amount of upbeat attitude (she was in charge of the wind chime doodad, after all) and mentioned that anyone who shared a birthday with her next Friday April 27 would get into their Hi-Dive show happening that very night for free. This group only played six songs, and I'm sure you'd be in for a treat as they perform new songs from their latest EP being released this summer if you catch them play with the Munly, the Lupercalians and Rowboat next Friday night. At least there would be more room for all of their instruments.

Go Star played a short set that was not unlike a polished explosion of sound. After the first pause in between songs, the trumpeter (Joshua Trinidad) asked the tenants if they were ready to start recording, seemingly unaware of the crowd that had amassed to see what this trumpet quartet was all about. It was loud; so loud that I couldn't help but wonder if any commotion was being stirred amongst the neighbors. The unpredictable nature of the band’s music gripped me in rapt attention.

The four members of Go Star are all professionals with a unique and deft ear for pure musicality. Timing was superb: the drummer (Sean Merell) and bassist (Enoc Terroca) were in sync for the duration of the performance but the transitions and rhythms were varied so that every song remained listenable in the midst of the fury of sound. Having Trujillo’s trumpet, equipped with it’s own sound effect pedal, gives the performance a jazz-y feel but in an unexpected way; there are no abundant trumpet solos, it just seems to fit perfectly with the structured pop-rock songs designed by the rest of the band.

106 Irvington is much more than a house with floor amps. The home’s tenants donate their time, their living space and basically work for free to make these shows a reality. I met Ben, Tyler and Leighton who live and run the Brass Tree operation and all of whom deserve some donation love. I myself plan to be prepared for the next recording I attend.

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