The Oak Creek Band Fold up Shop in Denver and Head to Nashville

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:: Stoney’s Bar and Grill :: December 7 :: (Beatles tribute)::
:: Little Bear :: December 15 ::
:: Appaloosa Grill :: December 17 ::

By Timothy Dwenger

In September of 2009 the bustling Denver music scene received a welcome addition in the form of a couple from Arizona who moved to the Rocky Mountains to make a life for themselves by starting a band. Children of an arid, red rock landscape, Daniel and Jenna Watters are no strangers to the geography and climate of Colorado and as they have grown closer as a couple and more confident in their songwriting, their band has flourished in their new home.

Named after their home in the picturesque Oak Creek Canyon outside Sedona, The Oak Creek Band relies heavily on Jenna Watters’ angelic and haunting voice. “The first time Jenna and I sang together was at our high school graduation in Sedona,” said Daniel Watters during a recent interview with The Marquee from their home in Denver. “We did ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water’ and that kind of sparked something. Then I went off to college, and she went and traveled the world, but we would always come back together on summer and winter breaks to write.”

Apparently those writing sessions were fruitful as they led to songs like “1934,” “Golden Cities,” and “Weight Of The World” from the group’s self-titled debut EP, which deftly walks the line between ethereal folk and funky indie rock. It’s a tough line to toe but Oak Creek does it with a practiced ear that is mature beyond their years.  “That first CD is very eclectic. Some of it’s funk, some of it’s folk, it’s just kind of all over,” Watters admitted before turning his attention to the group’s more recent EP that was released in May.  “Fingerprints is very consistent in style but it’s a little more melodramatic, not as upbeat and poppy. Both were kind of explorations, and the songs we’re writing right now are kind of in between. Our last album was very epic. I don’t think we meant it to be that way, but looking back, it’s a pretty heavy record.”

Heavy or not, it’s a very solid collection of music that has led the group to start thinking more seriously about how, and where, they want to spend their lives in the business. “We don’t feel that we can make a living being a straight up gigging band. We have discovered ourselves a little bit over the last year or so and learned that some things are more valuable to us than playing three-and-a-half or four hour bar gigs three days a week — it’s just not what we want to do,” Watters revealed. “We feel like our original songs are our strength and we feel that Nashville has a little bit more of the industry where we can make money off our songs, and make money on the industry side of things rather than just straight gigging. Our bass player, Steve [Rodgers], went to college there and knows some people and it just seems like our destiny. It’s calling us.”

But even with their sights on other destinations, Oak Creek is sure to return to the Front Range regularly, as they have spent the last three years building a significant fan base here and Watters made it clear that they love Denver.  “I kind of view this move as a graduation and honestly, I don’t think I’ll like Nashville as much as I love Denver, but for our careers I think we’re going to give it a shot for a year and see what happens,” he said. “Who knows, maybe we’ll be back but it just feels like we need to see what else is out there.”

In the meantime, as the group prepares to head south in January they have a big party planned for their December 7 gig at Stoney’s Bar and Grill, to honor one of their primary influences and inspirations: The Beatles. “We’re Beatles fanatics,” Watters gushed. “We’ve always loved them and when we decided to be The Beatles for Halloween last year, that kind of sparked an idea. Everybody loves The Beatles, so we decided to get a bunch of our favorite Denver bands together to do their own take on Beatles songs. We can all come together and sing The Beatles.”

The show will feature members of Oak Creek, The Congress, Mountain Standard Time, Kinetix, The Fox Street Allstars, and many more local bands as they stage Denver’s most ambitious tribute ever to The Fab Four. “The first set will consist of several of the bands doing some songs on their own,” Watters explained. “We’ll start out the night with four or five songs, then The Congress will come up and do a couple songs in their own style, and it will go on like that. Then the second set is going to be more of a John Lennon tribute and I guess you could say Oak Creek and The Congress are going to join forces to form the house band. We’ll have Jeff from The Foot come up and sing some crazy John songs, Jonah from The Whales will be out to play on a couple things, and Ryan Ebarb from Mountain Standard Time is going to be all over the place. It’s kind of all here and there but it should be great fun!”

 

:: The Oak Creek Band ::

:: Stoney’s Bar and Grill :: December 7 :: (Beatles tribute)::

:: Little Bear :: December 15 ::

:: Appaloosa Grill :: December 17 ::

 

Recommended if you Like:

• Fleetwood Mac

• Jenny Lewis

• The Beatles

 

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