Poudre Valley Playboys: NoCo’s Loudest Little Two-Piece “Hillbilly Surf” Band

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Jonson Kuhn | New SCENE

Meet Josh Long and Mark Verschoor, founding members of the Poudre Valley Playboys, the coolest two-piece “Hillbilly Surf” band you’re likely to find in all of Northern Colorado and beyond. They’ve only been playing together for a little over two years now but within that time they’ve managed to attract a lot of attention and rightly so. With Josh on lead guitar and Mark on the upright bass, these two produce a lot of sound for only being a duo, leaving jaws wide open and dance floors jam-packed.

Josh and Mark both have been in the Fort Collins music scene for quite some time, having played in a number of different bands over the years, but due to a slight age gap between the pair, it took a little time before the moment was right to join forces. Once they finally did, however, it quickly caught on and became their main gig, leaving all other projects aside to focus more full-time on the Playboys.

“I’ve known Mark for maybe ten years. I saw him play when I was younger, I used to watch him play with different bands and I always wanted to play music with him,” Josh explained. “I was still in high school at the time, so I went to college and studied music at UNC, and then afterward I was in a couple of bands and Mark had a couple of bands but then the Corona Virus happened, and it gave us a lot of free time. I ended up saying to Mark since none of our bands are really doing anything, why don’t we start a hillbilly surf band and he said, ‘yeah!’”

Poudre Valley Playboys. Photo courtesy of Josh Long.

The name of the band originated as a homage to bands of the past such as Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys but as Mark explained, it wasn’t always a fitting title until the right elements came together.

“I was always playing in Denver, so it didn’t make a lot of sense to name a Denver band Poudre Valley. Finally, when Josh and I got together and I said ‘Josh, what do you think of this name?’ He liked it and I liked it and it’s been working really well for us,” Mark said.

One of the reasons the duo seems to work so well together is because they both share a love for the same types of musical genres, but especially country and surf rock. When it came time to decide what type of music they would play, they couldn’t decide between the two and ultimately opted to just play both, which Josh says has definitely helped them stand apart from most other bands.

“We play a mix of country and surf music and we call it ‘Hillbilly Surf’ and we think that’s a great hook to get people intrigued into what they might hear and they don’t know what it is yet and they’re excited to hear it. I think when people come to see us, we present ourselves well, we’re always wearing suits, so when they go to a show it looks like they’re seeing a real concert,” Josh said.

They’re currently out on the road with an extremely busy schedule, literally playing a different show every day of the month from Wyoming to Iowa and then back in Colorado. The next Colorado show they have booked is at the Mash Lab in Windsor on Wednesday, July 13 from 5 pm to 7:30 pm. After that, if you don’t want to drive out of state, you’ll have to wait until Sunday, July 31 when they’ll be back in Fort Collins for a private party at Lucky Joe’s from 6 pm to 7 pm. Lastly, you can catch them on the last Sunday of every month at the Swing Station in Laporte from 3 pm to 5 pm. I would encourage you to catch them now at a smaller venue while you still can because they’ve got their sights set on bigger stages and with their popularity continually on the rise, it’s truly only a matter of time before they get there.

“One of the goals is to get good recordings so we can have some old-fashioned CDs and sell those. Also, we’d like to get into bigger venues, maybe festivals, we’ve been playing a lot of bars and breweries and we’d like to step up to some bigger venues,” Mark said.

Be sure to check on the Poudre Valley Playboys online at joshlong-music.com or follow them on Facebook at m.facebook.com/poudrevalleyplayboys and Instagram @Poudre_Valley_Playboys.