Musical Musings of Fort Collins

by  Vincent Burkardt 

More Than Physics

Photo by Clint Willcox
To begin a feature about rising musicians in Fort Collins, the hard question is, where to start? The amount of dedicated, quality musicians runs deep in Music City, CO. It seems that focusing on those really starting to make an impact with their music leads us here.
With percussion being the place where it all starts for music, that pulse of life, we are led to the group More Than Physics. Though Jonathan Sadler and Clint Willcox have been physically a group for close to three years, these past few months have seen a strong resurgence of them sharing their gifts with the populace, with regular performances in diverse venues for all to check them out.
Taking percussion to a new level, they combine unique instrumentation into an oasis of experimentation and songwriting. Those who have seen the ‘hand pans’ which Willcox performs on may have thought small UFOs landed on stage. What emerges are not little aliens, but sounds that have otherworldly qualities of rhythm and tone, yet very rooted to the essence of what binds us together as a community.
These beautifully handcrafted instruments are made for very specific tones depending on where the hands are placed, and Willcox seemingly could play for hours (sometimes he does) without losing his edge and focus.
Bring percussionist Sadler into the picture to accompany these hand pans, and the sonic takes flight, with incredible rhythms from experienced hands. Sadler’s near century-old Marimba, along with tablas and newly added vibraphone, completes a dynamic scene on stage.  Many in the Fort know both musicians from past and current collaborations, including Hot Gazpacho, the Robert Wilson Blues Band and Lovetet. Find a way to check this duo out and you will understand there is ‘More Than Physics’ happening here.
Local musician Joe Schicke states,”Traversing the lands of rhythm and harmony, crossing the boundaries back and forth until the lines become erased, engaging technology in dialogue with tradition – this is the spatial territory of the duo called More Than Physics, Ft. Collins’ own musical tone generator.”
More Than Physics 
Feb. 3: KRFC Morning Mix show, 10:15am
Feb. 3: Avogadro’s Number, 5pm
Feb. 22: Farmers Market // Opera Galleria, 1pm

Kirby Hamill 

Photo by Killian Hamill
Kirby Hamill, looping solo guitarist extraordinaire, walked into a downtown venue where Josh Blackburn was performing. Blackburn’s music caught his ear; what caught Hamill’s eye was Blackburn’s Bose L2 tower system. Kirby now also uses the same system to magical effect.
A recent local High School graduate, Hamill does his talking with his Carvin DC127 electric, along with six pedals and a looper. Having begun guitar six years ago at the age of 13, he puts in two hours of practice daily, with the major influences of Pink Floyd, Jeff Beck, Jimi Hendrix and Joe Satriani helping to fuel his original compositions. An impromptu jam of ‘Red House’ on KRFC 88.9 FM last month with rising talent Mary Sue Thompson left her shaking her head in wonder at the technical prowess and feeling Hamill conveyed.
Annette Cannon, Owner/Promoter at JMoon Promotions who witnessed this jam said, “Kirby amazed me at the KRFC 88.9 FM studio with his unique playing and songwriting. He is a rare find.”
Kirby Hamill
Feb. 10: KRFC 88.9 FM Emerging Artist Showcase, 7:30pm

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