Denver band Birch Street to play Friday show in Steamboat |

Denver band Birch Street to play Friday show in Steamboat

Luke Graham

Denver-based Birch Street plays the Ghost Ranch on Friday.

— When Jake Langenhorst, Chad Macht and Cooper Leith started Birch Street in 2011, the band still was in search of an identity and sound.

Langenhorst sang, Macht played bass and Leith was on drums. They rehearsed and rehearsed, but something was missing.

In January, the band added guitarist Andy Burns and keyboardist Sheldon Slater.

Out of that change came something old yet fresh.

"With just the three of us, it was a lot quieter," Langenhorst said. "With those two, we really formed a band."

And in a local music landscape dominated by electric sound, twangy rhythms, jam bands and 10-minute songs, Birch Street rocks.

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There are actual guitar licks, bass rhythm and a dirty, Southern rock sound that's missing in most shows today.

The band plays at 9:30 p.m. Friday at Ghost Ranch. The cost is $5.

"I grew up with a lot of country music," Langenhorst said. "That part comes from me. Our lead guitarist likes death metal and ’80s rock. Our bass player really likes Tool and Primus. We fix it all, and it makes a cool sound. It's awesome. It definitely brings a different twist. We play every night, and people always come up and say, 'I can't put a finger on what your sound is.'"

The sound is unique. Langenhorst's vocals seem fit for a pop album but with a touch of soul mixed in with that dying rock sound.

The band has grown a strong following in Denver and plans to release an album in January.

As the band has grown in popularity, its reach has started to expand beyond the Front Range.

The band recently has started to make stops in mountain towns like Breckenridge, making Steamboat a logical choice.

The band will play a two-hour set Friday, heavily comprising its own songs. The band also will play several covers. Having been on tour and playing gigs throughout the state, Langenhorst said the band is learning at every stop. He said he feels like the band’s sound offers something for everyone.

"We're a half-breed of ’80s rock ‘n’ roll and country," he said. "We're high energy and like to play loud."

To reach Luke Graham, call 970-871-4229, email or follow him on Twitter @LukeGraham

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