The Soundpost Sessions, a diverse music series orchestrated by a pair of Longmont music professionals, is a new music series that delivers a listening-room experience with engaging performances to Main Street’s newest coffee house, La Bella Vita Cafe.
Jessica Carson, local music veteran and founder of The Winter Walkabout Music Showcase (which debuted in February), has collaborated with Tim Gulsrud, who owns the Longmont acoustical consulting company Soundpost Acoustics, LLC, to create Soundpost Sessions, which kicked off in March. Carson has collaborated with Bonnie & the Clydes, was once a part of The Prairie Scholars and most recently has rocked stages with her band Clandestine Amigo.
“I saw a great opportunity to create a high-quality and very intimate performance space here while connecting with other musicians and music lovers,” said Gulsrud. “In the future, I would love to see the Soundpost Sessions grow to bring higher-profile artists to Longmont, while continuing to support our young local musicians through the ‘Emerging Artist Series.’”
Since its March debut, Soundpost Sessions, held in The Renaissance Room at La Vita Bella, continues to attract around 60 fans who are eager to see some of their favorite artists in an intimate setting. The venue of The Renaissance Room is also accessible to patrons of Dry Land Distillers, allowing folks to sip on artisanal liquors rich with the flavors of Colorado, while enjoying the artistry of various poetic troubadours.
Several previous sessions have included The High Road Home, Clay Rose of Gasoline Lollipops, Andrea von Kampen & Andrew Sturtz, and Carson herself, when Clandestine Amigo joined Shanna In a Dress for a June gig.
“It was a lot of fun and I felt like people were giving me their undivided attention,” said Carson. “In that setting, musicians feel like they can talk to the audience and really be heard.”
Carson grew up in the small town of Sweetwater, Texas, and before she could even form memories, she would place her hands on top of her mother’s as she played the piano. Raised in a deeply religious household, Carson wasn’t exposed to secular music until much later, but reveled in belting out spiritual songs as a child. Since moving to Longmont in 2009, she’s immersed herself in Colorado’s creative community — one she feels privileged to be a part of.
“Back in Texas, it felt like people were very competitive and almost trying to elbow each other out,” said Carson. “There was this hungry feeling. It’s so different here. People work together and care about each other’s success. There’s community pride, rather than jealousy”
In addition to being the music director for Georgia Boys BBQ and the program director for the Longmont Area Chamber of Commerce, Carson has been busy laying down tracks in the studio for a deeply personal album. She has plans to release the songs on Patreon — a website that provides creatives a platform to stay in control of their product by offering memberships to patrons.
On Saturday, Carson has enlisted eclectic Lubbock, Texas-based trio Scabaret to bring a dizzying genre-blending array of songs to Colorado.
“Attendees can expect a night full of musical surprises delivered with humor and sass,” said Amy Faris, composer, vocalist, pianist and founder of Scabaret. “You’ll hear everything from tango and classical to pop, country, rock, jazz, swing, cabaret, disco — all original music except for a couple of tunes, including our polka-rock mashup called ‘These Boots Were Made for Zeppelin.’ We are all about fun.”
On Sunday at 2 p.m., Faris and her husband Scott will participate in Longmont networking event, Sound Bridge Music’s artist mixer, at Longmont’s 300 Sun Brewing. There the pair will dive into just what it takes to have a successful career in the musical arts. Kimberly Sparr, viola player in the group, has been in Colorado for the month of July as the assistant principal viola for Boulder’s Colorado Music Festival at Chautauqua.
“I knew by age 8 that I wanted to go into music — not exactly knowing what that would look like, but that music was the thing I was made for,” said Faris, who started piano lessons in first grade, composition lessons at age 14 and got her degree in composition from Texas Tech. “[I] spent most of my life from then on playing in rock bands.”
The expansive array of music offered up by Scabaret has earned the band a following in the Lone Star State and beyond. A certain dramatic sensibility can be found within live shows. Fiercely feminine and incredibly skilled musically, the trio delivers one-of-a-kind sets filled with just enough glamour, guts and gusto. In addition to playing in Scabaret, Faris has crafted rock songs, choral pieces, ﬁlm scores and recently, along with her husband, wrote the score for a “rock ballet” titled “Click.”
“I think the theatrical element comes from my love of story and my highly overactive imagination,” said Faris. “Growing up, I listened to every style of music imaginable. Loved Captain and Tennille, Hall and Oates, John Denver, Chopin, Madonna.
Faris cited musical influences of Scott Joplin, Victor Borge, Astor Piazzolla, Led Zeppelin, Rage Against the Machine, King’s X and John Arndt from The Brilliance.
After the Scabaret show, music fans can look forward to other Soundpost Sessions featuring Redamancy on Aug. 16 and Augustus on Aug. 30, who will pare down their normally rock-heavy sounds for a night of acoustic jams.
“I have been fortunate in my career to work on several high-profile music spaces around the world, and this concert series gives me an opportunity to contribute my professional skills to support the local Colorado music scene,” said Gulsrud. “When a musician tells me after a show that they could hear themselves on stage better than anywhere else, that is hugely satisfying to me. Helping to create amazing musical experiences is deeply rewarding to me.”
If you go
What: The Soundpost Sessions: Scabaret and Zoe Berman
When: 8 p.m. Saturday
Where: The Renaissance Room at La Vita Bella Cafe, 471 Main St, Longmont
More info: eventbrite.com/e/the-soundpost-sessions-scabaret-zoe-berman-tickets-62656788140