The challenges that faced Coloradans on the Eastern Plains 80 years ago during the Dust Bowl are still relevant today, according to a new theater production of song and dance opening in Denver. Job loss, environmental problems partly caused by humans and distrust in the government are all themes in “Dust,” from Wonderbound ballet, Curious Theatre Company and folk […]
There are many reasons to create music, of course. There’s the pedestrian desire for popularity, there is the vaulted idea of artistic creation, but there are also less common reasons. For Jesse Manley, one reason seems to be archeological exploration.
On “Dust,” Manley’s latest release, he explores the folk, Americana music of the 1930s with the passion of Indiana Jones seeking the Holy Grail.
Now, there are lots of musicians here in Colorado who have a perhaps unhealthy desire to recreate the old timey music of yesteryear. But if you give “Dust” even a five minute listen, you’ll see the difference here. Manley is not creating a contemporary parody of 1930s music; he is attempting to live inside 1930s music. As such, it hardly bares any musical cliches typical of the era. This is not silly work.
Jesse Manley is not alone in this pursuit. He has his band, of course, but he also has the Denver dance troupe Wonderbound. For “Dust,” Manley somehow collaborated with Wonderbound as well as Curious Theatre Company, creating a multi-disciplinary artistic event. Appropriate to the era, “dust” refers to the Dust Bowl, the 1930s agricultural catastrophe that afflicted the prairies of the US and Canada. These connections only add a layer to be uncovered by listener archeologists.
Below, download “Bring Me Home” from the album. Then, join Jesse and his band on March 10 at Syntax Physic Opera for the album release show. The album will then be available through all the usual outlets.
Please note that downloads offered via Steal This Track are intended to whet your appetite, and are NOT CD-quality recordings. If you want those, please support the artists by buying their music and/or seeing them live.
If you’re a Colorado band or musician ready to expose your fresh sounds to the readers of Reverb, email your tracks — along with any interesting facts about them, as well as a photo or album art — to Steal This Track for consideration. We only feature tracks not available for free elsewhere.