WhiteWater Ramble was mistaken for three different bands at the first wedding they performed at. It was a logical mistake.
The band members coordinated their outfits to the genre of music they played at the wedding --azz before the ceremony, classical music during the ceremony and bluegrass and rock 'n' roll during the reception.
¤ WhiteWater Ramble
¤ 10 p.m. Saturday
¤ Mahogany Ridge Brewery and Grill
WhiteWater Ramble dubs its brand of music "high-octane, Rocky Mountain DanceGrass/JamGrass," which means a mixture of bluegrass, funk, jazz, swing, rock, reggae, country and blues. Of course, the band's portfolio expands every time it gets a special request at a wedding.
"We get an opportunity to learn some really crazy, fun covers that we might just bust out at a show," mandolin player and lead vocalist Patrick Sites said. "We worked up 'Thriller' for a wedding and pulled it out for a Halloween show."
The band's five members range in age from 21 to 42, and they include a Phish fanatic, a Grateful Deadhead and a fiddle bluegrass junkie. Their 11 instruments can accommodate their varied musical backgrounds and include washboards and spoons. Upright bassist Howard Montgomery has been known to turn a trash can into a drum during performances.
"We never come close to playing what we designed as a set list," Sites said. "You never know what you are going to get out of us from one show to the next. We never play the same show twice."
The band takes cues from the audience to decide what to play.
"We keep it high-energy, and people want to dance to our music," Sites said. "Our job is to keep them there. Our goal is to give right back, whatever we get from the crowd."
The Fort Collins-based band recently recorded its first CD, a compilation of songs from 34 of its live shows.
"It's live because you keep the cost down by not being in the studio and paying by the hour. But the sound has to be good, and we have to play well," Sites said. "We made sure that we found songs where we didn't screw up and that sounded good."
Perhaps even more varied than the band's repertoire is the music collections of its members.
"People would be shocked to see what our CD collection looks like. We listen to old school '80s rock, Guns N' Roses, hip-hop and rap," Sites said. "We would never play that music out, but you wouldn't believe what we listen to on the road."
WhiteWater Ramble has played 55 shows this year and has 33 scheduled during the next two months. That makes for many late-night drives and long weekends. But the band's shows are worth it, Sites said.
"We are like the Colorado weather," Sites said. "If you don't like what you are listening to, just wait five minutes."