Steamboat Springs Brides and grooms will have to start looking elsewhere for their cover band foursome. Sleeping Giant wants to tuck away some originals under their belt and possibly hit the road with some musical masterpieces.
Locals in Steamboat who know Mark Walker, Tom Schwall, Randy Dodd and Jeff Swoyer may not see what constitutes this new band.
Isn't that the band Loose Change?
But after listening to the eclectic rhythms, percussion and lyrics of Sleeping Giant, it is evident that sounds have matured, technique has evolved and the band has found their way.
Adding Willie Samuelson on bass, Brent Rowan on electric guitar, Rick St. Pierre on piano, Mark Johnston on jazz keyboard, Teresa Steffen on violin and Trevor Guire as a vocalist, the loose change began accumulatingleading this band to invest in something much greater.
The addition of Los Angeles musical engineer Scott Singer also helped.
"This project wouldn't be what it is without the other talented local musicians," drummer Walker said.
For Sleeping Giant, a band with new music but many of the same musicians, finding a way to rip off the cover band label and release new originals has been scary, but worth the time spent writing and producing.
"It's risky. You don't know how it's going to be. It's very personal, revealing," Walker said of presenting new material to fans.
Sleeping Giant released its first original CD, "Dance On This Earth" about a month ago, leaving local fans with upbeat tempos, singable lyrics and groovy, get-down style.
It's naked, raw and revealingbut it's theirs. It's the difference between Loose Change and Sleeping Giant.
Ultimately, it all leads back to the fans.
"To have someone say, 'I listened to your CD and it's great,' that's what makes it worthwhile," said Walker. "If one person can relate to it."
Walker said his personal satisfaction circulates back to the fans. Although playing music is a stress reliever, the fans make the hard work rewarding.
"For me, it's the tension relief. I can't live without it," Walker said.
"It's the opportunity to let things come out through you. When you're playing, the magical moments are when the music moves through you and you're not even thinking about it," lead singer and guitarist Schwall said.
In a philosophical overtone, Schwall said Sleeping Giant not only came from the infamous mountain west of Steamboat Springs, but also the sleeping music that lies deep within all the members.
"It represents ... the band members' latent inclinations toward original music and their desire to tap the slumbering depths of their creativity and expression," Schwall wrote in a short biography about the band.
And with the benefits of Dodd's new recording studio in Milner, Mud Alley Recording, Sleeping Giant's personal, original material awoke bringing the Yampa Valley a true Steamboat flavor.
In the beginning, the Schwall and Swoyer duo became Legal Tender. After lusting for something bigger and better, Schwall, Swoyer, Walker and Dodd became Loose Change.
And with the five-, six-, seven- or eight-piece band that now makes up Sleeping Giant, Schwall and Walker haven't quite decided who is a special guest, who's a dedicated member or if all are in the family.
Working on new material in hopes of playing originals at a few festivals or touring Colorado this summer looks promising.
Schwall and Walker both agreed that "Find A Way" on the new CD is probably the best song overall.
Since Dodd and Schwall write most the music, it wasn't unusual that they produced this one together also.
"I supplied the melody and lyrics," while Dodd provided the musical chords, Schwall said.
Although the lyrics originate from the creative thoughts dancing in Schwall's mind, he said he can't quite put his finger on the gist of the song something about the search for self.