Crank it up to 11!
Adventure Capital Casper, Wyoming is more than a one-note offering of music! "It's not just rock, blues and country," says Adventure Guide Cory McDaniel. And he should know - he's been a part of the music scene in town for over 20 years. Here, he talks about where to go for some of the best tunes this city has to offer, and the local artists who deliver those tunes.
Born and raised in Casper, McDaniel left for Denver when he was 17. He was "always in rock bands," eventually wandering up to Seattle and opening for acts like the Youngbloods and Janis Joplin. In 1986, after a jaunt to Alaska, he returned to Casper for good, joining forces with Dale Bohren to form the core of the Tremors.
Evolving into what is now "Wyoming's only two-piece trio," with McDaniel on guitar and vocals and Bohren on bass, the Tremors define their musical style as "Blues A-Kim-Bo." Playing arrangements from artists like Leonard Cohen and Tom Waits, they also embrace the blues rhythms with original selections written by McDaniel.
After enjoying a relationship with Casper audiences for so long, McDaniel is familiar with many local venues. "The bigger the stage, the more fun it is," he grins. A great place to see the Tremors is The Jazz Spot. "It's such a different place. They have alcohol, but it's not a bar, it's a dinner club. People come in and eat, listen, have a drink - and you can bring your kids in there, so it's every age."
All That Jazz in the Parkway Plaza is another favorite. "We have a lot of fun down there. We play a little more aggressively. If you're playing for people eating, even though we might be playing the same songs, it's got a different...flavor! " he laughs.
One of the newest music zones in Casper is , upstairs from the sophisticated restaurant. "It's very elegant. And every time we play there, there are more and more people - an amazingly wide variety." He goes on to say, "They have a room you can go in and smoke cigars. It's very hip." Another "hip" joint is The Attic, located above the world-famous Wonder Bar. It boasts quality entertainment with a big-city atmosphere. Get into the Cowboy Way at a "new" club for those who love country music and dancing- the brand new Beacon Club in Mills. Built on the site where the well-worn original building stood, those who go "Sneakin' to the Beacon" can enjoy a new, bigger bar and dance floor. Regular acts perform live uesday through Saturday night, so grab your cowboy boots and check it out.
When asked what makes Casper such a great place for live music, McDaniel replies, "I think maybe because there's so darn many musicians here - and good ones. There's always been that talent here, and it's just really thick right now. I really like the Seeds-N-Stems - they're so cool! They have a ukulele, and electric guitar, electric bass and drums. It's kind of like Reggae and Hawaiian music. They're really unique." He also gives a shout out to the J.D. Blues Band, old friends of his, and Chaser, a three piece rock and roll band. Or The Grease Monkeys, who play 60's, 70's and 80's rock, McDaniel says, "That little gal can sing - she sings like Janis Joplin!"
Those aren't the only Casper bands gaining a loyal following. Powerhouse Eli Manor Band delivers rock and roll with a blues format (think Stevie Ray Vaughan or the Black Crowes.) The Kye Stanley Band delivers (according to their website) "rough around the edges, butt-kickin' blues/rock." Internal Hate, an intense and tight metal band, rivals anything in Denver. Dead Ashore is another group beloved by fans of metal. Punk icons The Front have played on major tours, earning stunning reviews. Alt rock favorites Spin Zero and Cherry Vail are great showmen and musicians. And if psychobilly/rockabilly appeals to your sense of musical adventure, check out The Antentacles. To find out what's happening any given night, local favorite Sonic Rainbow Compact Discs is a great resource for discovering musical hot spots and and underground concerts.
Throughout the year, Casper also presents a variety of music festivals and events that bring the community together, sometimes for an evening, sometimes for an entire season. In February, the Kinser Jazz Festival swings with jazz bands, combos and vocal groups from many of the surrounding schools. Summer breezes usher in Wednesday Night Live at the Nicolaysen Art Museum, free outdoor concerts where people can relax and enjoy food and drink with their music. The end of July hosts Beartrap Summer Festival, a celebration on the mountain that links food, vendors and lots of bluegrass and singer/songwriter toe-tapping tunes. There are also City Band Concerts in Washington Park's bandshell that appeal to people of all ages all summer long. The Wyoming Symphony offers consistently excellent seasons of classical fare, and fine arts organizations like ARTCORE showcase a variety of artists - guitarist Norman Liota, violinist Likai He, and pianist Susan Stubsen, just to name a few.
For more information about the current musical adventures available in Casper, be sure to check out the Community Calendar on this website, where you can sign up to receive a weekly calendar of music events. "I think there's probably everything you can imagine going on here," McDaniel says, "you've just got to find it."
Are you in a "gig-ready" band in Casper? Contact us to be added to our database, so we can let everyone know when you're playing next!
To make hotel reservation for your visit to Casper please click here.