Carbondale’s All the Pretty Horses, featuring Roaring Fork Valley musicians Olivia Pevec, Mateo Sandate, Ashton Taufer, Aaron Taylor and Frank Martin, is celebrating the new year with a new name and new CD. They recently played the Carbondale Showcase at PAC3 with Carbondale Motown band The Starletts and local rock ’n’ roll legend Bobby Mason. The band is anticipating the New Year’s Eve CD release party at Steve’s Guitars at 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 31, to announce the new name.
Lead vocalist Pevec and guitarist Sandate were happy to talk with the Post Independent about the band, recording the new EP and what the future holds.
PI: Who comprises the band and when was it formed?
OP: The band is Mateo Sandate, Ashton Taufer, Aaron Taylor, Frank Martin and myself, I think it was 2010, maybe ’09 when we started.
PI: How would you describe the band’s music?
OP: It’s always difficult for me to describe the music. Mateo says it’s a little wild and a little West. We started out with Bob Dylan and country classics like George Jones and Merle Haggard. We still play lots of their music but we are not genre bound, and we are more devoted to our original tunes.
PI: How have your original songs evolved over the years?
OP: They are grown collectively, each of us adding our bits and love so it’s sort of an Americana melting pot. I would say in terms of evolution, our arrangements have become more complex and tighter. We’re exploring vocal harmonies and dynamics more than we did at the beginning. We love pushing the envelope of our capabilities.
PI: Describe the creative process of the new CD being released this year.
OP: We began this EP almost two years ago and chose all-original tunes we felt worked well together. We’ve spent every penny we’ve saved over the past couple years, and we have a product we are all really happy with. The sound is classic All the Pretty Horses — twangy, full of love and life, with the added richness of the good folks who helped us make it. For the sake of transition and tradition, it’s called “All the Pretty Horses.”
PI: How did the valley’s music community help you with the CD?
OP: We were pretty excited to ask friends to join in the process: Sarah Graff on cello, Ross Kribbs and Ashley Holmberg on violins, Justin Pfifer on keys. We have horns and lots of extra vocals, on one track. Thank goodness Meagan Goodwin and Shanti Gruber of The Starletts added their voices.
PI: Can you tell us more about the band’s new name?
MS: I can’t tell you what it is, because we’re coming out New Year’s Eve. So come see the show to find out. But the new name has ties to the valley and our home where we live, though if you were from out of town you may never know it.
PI: Describe the process of choosing a new name.
MS: As a band, we spent a month away from each other to do some soul searching to find a name that resonated with us. We even opened up the naming process to our fans, over Facebook and at our gigs and word of mouth. We got some amazing ideas. What’s most amazing to me about this process is that during our month away, out of all the possible names, two of us came up with the same name. That wasn’t a big deal at the time because we went through a series of processes and exercises, just to find the right name. But in the end, we went with the name that both of us came up with independently. To me, that’s amazing, and I’m looking forward to growing into this name in the way that we grew into All the Pretty Horses. The name is unique, and holds a lot of energy. I really look forward to growing into this name in an artistic way, in a way that breaks down the barrier between the stage and the audience.
PI: What can New Year’s revelers expect in Tuesday’s CD Release Party?
MS: We’re going to have a lot of music that evening, with several special guests opening up: Denver troubadour Brad Fleeson and bluegrass from Dave Notor. I can’t tell you the name, but I can tell you a little bit about why. We made a decision to change the name because All the Pretty Horses is already taken by so many things — a book, movie, song, and another band.
PI: How did playing at Steve’s Guitars for your CD release party come about?
MS: We chose Steve’s Guitars because it’s our home away from home. Steve’s is where the band was born. And it’s where we released our first album, “Live at Steve’s Guitars,” on New Year’s Eve several years ago. We’ve also played New Year’s at Steve’s for at least three years — it’s a tradition. It seems only fitting for us to be at Steve’s again with a new beginning: a new band name and a new EP. Also, we just love Steve [Standiford] and what he’s doing for the community within his music shop. It’s a listening room where a lot of musical magic happens. There’s really no place like it around!
PI: What’s the cover?
MS: The $15 cover includes a copy of our new EP.