Formed in the musically fertile slopes of Colorado’s Front Range, Monocle Band offers a fresh and vibrant take on the roots acoustic music that has made Colorado one of the most exciting music scenes in the country. Monocle Band is Rocky Mountain Indie Folk…brand new, original music rooted in the traditions of Telluride bluegrass and the troubadour wanderings that led Townes Van Zandt through the San Juan Mountains on horseback. Always rooted in song, the group’s music flows from a stomping fiddle breakdown to a lost lover’s lament. This is original music, the acoustic sound of the spirit, innately authentic yet sonically aligned with the roots music revival enchanting the nation. Lighting up dance floors and breaking hearts across the Rocky Mountain west since 2011, Monocle Band blends stirring songcraft, flatpicked guitar, fiddle, mandolin, upright bass, and the most musical of drums into a sound that will move your body, mind, and soul.
Led by the sweet and soaring vocals of Monica Whittington, the Boulder, Colorado based quintet combines the best of song-craft and captivating performance. Monica (vocals, acoustic guitar) and songwriting partner Bill Huston (vocals, acoustic and electric guitar) have assembled an unparalleled ensemble of jazz-trained and roots-based musicians and have played over 250 dates since the bands the band’s inception. Filling out the quintet are Eric Wiggs (vocals, upright bass, electric guitar), Ben Blechman (violin) and Josh Moore (drums, percussion). As Colorado music legend Danny Shafer says, “Monocle’s instrumental ability is as strong as their connection to the audience. They always are able to give an engaging performance whether to a dancing crowd or a listening room.” Indeed, the band’s noted performances have led them to the main stage band competitions of the Telluride Bluegrass Festival and Rockygrass, countless venues across the Front Range, and to opening slots for The SteelDrivers, The Samples, and Ralph Stanley.
Monocle Band released their debut self-titled CD in October of 2013 to enthusiastic acclaim, gaining them the 25th most played CD on the National Folk DJ chart for the month of September 2013. The CD was recorded and produced at The Distillery in Lyons, Colorado by David Tiller (Taarka, ThaMuseMeant), the man behind the sounds of Elephant Revival’s first two albums, and features contributions from Grammy award winning lap steel guitarist Sally Van Meter and other noted guests. As Denver Westword magazine says “this affecting batch of heartrending songs...genuinely possesses the kind of pastoral charm that so many others seem to be striving for these days but rarely achieve.” It is a snapshot of a moment in time: an acoustic rhythm backed by crackling drums, a shimmering curtain of electric guitars and violin, all of it lifting up the yearning tones of Monica Whittington’s vocals. Marquee Magazine calls the record “splendidly written and performed.”
Monocle Band’s debut recording is a musical postcard made even more poignant when The Distillery Studio in Lyons was washed away in the recent Colorado floods, just months after the record was finished. The album captures a band in its creative stride, a young group with a firm command of their craft and a steady gaze to the mountains and plains that lie before them.