Halden Wofford and the Hi-Beams played the Swing Station (Bar Double S) in LaPorte, Colorado, Friday 10 May 2013. The band drops their new album, Rocky Mountain Honky Tonk, this weekend. We got a couple previews and it promises raw country awesomeness, as usual.
When I decided to take a new job here in Cheyenne, Wyoming, just an hour north of Fort Collins, the first thing my wife asked me was “When do we get to see Halden Wofford play?” I confess that I became a fan of this Denver Front Range honky tonk band in a round about way. John Conquest edits the 3rd Coast Music monthly down Texas ways, which I used as a resource (bible) when I started my DJ gig at KRFC-FM. Well, John C asks me if I knew these traditional country guys out of Colorado, and I scratched my head and asked around the radio station and everybody else said, “oh, yeah, they rock.” They still rock, in a Hank Williams/Buddy Holly way, 10 years and a couple albums later.
LaPorte is the oldest settlement in Northern Colorado perched on the banks of the Cache la Poudre River just outside Fort Collins, and the gig was like an old-stime settlers of KRFC party. Many of the old Americana-ish gang was there, Greg and JoAnne and Judge K and more. In some ways, Halden Wofford IS KRFC for me. I happened upon them both when I was looking for something else, and now can’t imagine how I lived without them. And they’ve both grown more and less than I anticipated back then.
I asked the guys in the band about the new album, touring, promotion, reverting into the usual DJ small talk just like I was still on-air. They’re good guys, down to earth, and do well with the small venue mingling. They’ve found a niche where they can have fun. They write tunes, play classic Hank & George & Buddy songs, and get out and about when they can. They would like to tour more, but with $4 gas and limited radio promotion budget, that becomes a luxury. And don’t even get started on .mp3s and streaming media. For Halden Wofford & the Hi-Beams, music’s a passion and music’s a business, and they meet Friday nights in your local Rocky Mountain Honky Tonk.