Frozen Dead Guy Days Keeps its Cool in its 14th Year


By J.D. Rodgers

Frozen Dead Guy Days returns to Nederland this month for its 14th consecutive year. Arguably one of the most eclectic festivals around (it was listed as one of the  Top Five Winter Festivals in the Country by Reader’s Digest, and it was named by CNN as one of the “Best Costumed Festivals in the Country“) the celebration of the life of the literally frozen 109-year old Grandpa Bredo will, as always, play host to a variety of events and contests. Coffin races, a parade, ice turkey bowling, the brain freeze contest and other such activities are scheduled throughout each day of the festival.

In spite of all of the other events, the music remains one of the largest attractions. This year’s lineup features a variety of artists and genres from throughout the region. A quick look through the schedule reveals everything from bluegrass to hip-hop.


Gasoline Lollipops

ReAnimate Yourself Tent

Friday, 6:30 to 8:00 p.m.

The Gas Pops, as they are known by many, are in the midst of a prolific period. In the fall, the group released the second installment of their “Lucky 7” trilogy of EPs, Death, with the explanation that the band explores all things impermanent, including, but not limited to death itself. The first disc in the trilogy was titled Dawn. Gasoline Lollipops come at the alt-folk Americana with an outlaw country aggressiveness that’s rugged, tough and beautiful.


Dead Floyd

ReAnimate Yourself Tent

Friday, 8:30 to 10:00 p.m.

Dancing bears and flying pigs collide in the music of Fort Collins-based tribute band Dead Floyd, which celebrates the music of two of the world’s greatest bands. Drawing from the vast catalogs of the Grateful Dead and Pink Floyd, the talented four-piece band thrives on their unpredictability, as well as their ability to seamlessly meld the two very different repertoires together. One recent show saw the group roll from the Dead’s “Dark Star,” to Floyd’s “Breathe,” followed by “On The Run,” before flowing back into the Dead’s “The Other One.”


Jelly Bread

ReAnimate Yourself Tent

Saturday, 5:00 to 6:30 p.m.

Fresh off of their busiest year to date, Reno, Nevada’s Jelly Bread aren’t ready to start taking it easy. The group, which last year, opened for Robert Cray and Robert Randolph and the Family Band, among others, blends funk and rock with the more honest storytelling of Americana.


Caribou Mountain Collective

Brain Freezer Tent

Saturday, 12:45 to 2:30 p.m.

Having been birthed in the bluegrass picks around Nederland, Caribou Mountain Collective, was supposed to be loose and laid back to a fault. But the quartet, who took home the 2014 Rockygrass Band Competition, instead has proven themselves as one of the Front Range’s hardest working groups, and their debut album Til The Sun Gives Us Day was impeccably played and professional.


Highway 50

Brain Freezer Tent

Saturday, 3:00 to 4:30 p.m.

U.S. Route 50 connects Colorado’s Western Slope to the Front Range in the same way that longtime local musician Al Laughlin and his Highway 50 band connect ska, reggae, pop, funk and jazz together. Founder of the ’90s band The Samples, Laughlin is still working the Colorado music scene playing keyboards and percussion with guitarist James Hambleton and a rotating lineup of familiar popular local musicians.


Strange Americans

Brain Freezer Tent

Saturday, 5:00 to 6:30 p.m.

Denver’s The Strange Americans released their sophomore album That Kind of Luster in 2014. The album is a little raw, a bit loud, unapologetic and honest. It’s blue collar rock and roll and it’s something that Denver’s Strange Americans are crafting with both brawn and finesse, like a hot rod mechanic bringing back an old barn find.


Chris Thompson and Coral Creek

ReAnimate Yourself Tent

Sunday, 1:30 to 3:00 p.m.

Both of Coral Creek’s first two albums were produced by Bill Nershi of The String Cheese Incident. Coral Creek keyboardist/vocalist Bill McKay, before joining the band, formerly played with both Leftover Salmon and Derek Trucks Band. The list of names that the band has encountered in their time goes on and on, and includes more than a few legends. Their current tour will take them all the way to the warmth of the U.S. Virgin Islands, just before abruptly landing them onstage at Frozen Dead Guy Days.


Zen Mustache

Brain Freezer Tent

Sunday 1:30 to 3:00 p.m.

Self-defined “mountain rock” band Zen Mustache has been gigging around the Denver/Boulder area since 2009 with a blend of jazz, rock, blues and soul. Recently the band spent some time in the studio and this year they will release their first LP Mountainshine.


Powerlung Rangers

Brain Freeze Tent

Sunday, 3:30 to 5:00 p.m.

Powerlung Rangers mix live hip-hop musicianship with an overflowing sense of humor, probably encouraged by their pre-game rituals.

Putting X-rated rhymes over smooth live funk grooves are guitarist Jon Ridnell a.k.a. BlackLung, bassist Otis Lande a.k.a. Mugsy Puffncuffs, drummer Matt Smart a.k.a. Sir Smokes A Lot, keyboardist Sean Foley a.k.a. The Foil and MC Heather Taylor a.k.a. Queen Slutiva.


The Malai Llama

Brain Freezer Tent

Sunday 5:30 to 7:00 p.m.

The Malai Llama prides themselves on their performances being less of a show and more of an experience. Visual performers such as fire dancers accompany the band as they rage through their jamtronica catalog that is nothing if not utterly danceable. After their appearance at Frozen Dead Guy Days, they will hit the road once again with a touring schedule that already extends through October.


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