No strangers to the Colorado music scene, Michigan-born jam-grass band Greensky Bluegrass — which opened at Red Rocks for Galactic and Railroad Earth this summer — will grace The Gothic Theatre stage for the first time this coming weekend.
The hard-touring quintet will be headlining the Englewood theatre Nov. 15 and 16, with fellow bluegrass band Fruition supporting both nights.
The band, which started as a trio playing open mic nights in Kalamazoo, Mich., in 2000, added standup bassist Mike Devol in 2004 and dobro-player extraordinaire Anders Beck in 2007. Playing close to 175 gigs a year, they’ve become a popular headliner at medium-sized clubs across the country, while climbing closer to the headlining slots at festivals with each passing summer.
Calling bluegrass “a jumping-off point for the band,” no two shows are ever the same for the hard-rocking group, which boasts close to 200 songs in its live repertoire.
When the band leaves its own catalog behind, which they do four or five times per show, no one ever knows what they are going to hear. Odds are it won’t be your traditional bluegrass cover though. At their recent sold-out, two-night run in Boulder, Greensky covered everything from Bruce Springsteen to String Cheese Incident, Radiohead, Paul Simon, Bob Marley and the Grateful Dead.
“We’re all music heads, and love writing, but we also love other people’s music as well,” Beck said. “I think if there weren’t such strong songwriters in the band, playing covers would feel a little cheaper on some level. But I think it allows us to play unique covers in the set and not let it be the highlight per se. At some level we are just looking for the common denominator with the fans.”
And while the Greensky cover selection can kick the energy level of a crowd into high gear, it is the originals, mostly penned by mandolin player and lead vocalist Paul Hoffman or guitar player Dave Bruzza, that send the crowd into a frenzy.
The band’s recent album, “Handguns,” helped to launch the band’s popularity to the next level, and the decision to give half of it away for free on the Greensky website, SoundCloud and through social media didn’t hurt anything either.
“We just really wanted to get it out there,” Beck said. “We aren’t a household name in most households, but we figured that if you can turn your friends onto liking Greensky Bluegrass by saying, ‘Hey, check it out, it’s free,’ you’ll want to hear more.”
Greensky will release its fifth studio album, “If Sorrows Swim,” in February, highlighted by “Windshield,” “In Control,” “Worried about the Weather,” and “Leap Year,” all cuts they are already playing on the road.
For more information or to purchase tickets, please visit www.greenskybluegrass.com or www.gothictheatre.com. Single-day tickets are $20 in advance, $25 day of show and two-day passes are $30 in advance. Showtime is 9 p.m. Nov. 15 and 16 at The Gothic Theatre, 3263 S. Broadway in Englewood.