The indescribably unique trio 300 Days hits the Gold Hill Inn this Friday, November 9 for the release party of their debut full-length album, Easy Gettin’ Old. Self-defined as a band that’s impossible to categorize, they’ve produced a beautiful first album that we’ll all get a piece of come this weekend. The music is versatile and comprehensive, and all too ideal for its grand introduction at Boulder Canyon’s iconic Gold Hill Inn. We had the chance to discuss Easy Gettin’ Old, creating their sound and Colorado’s live music scene with 300 Days’ mandolinist and guitarist Nick Dunbar.
303 Magazine: Tell us about the story of 300 Days, your background as musicians and what influences you as a band.
Nick Dunbar: Our bass player, Dave “Pump” Solzberg, played in the Fox Street All Stars and they’re kind of funk, and he’s sort of got a jazz-African background. Our fiddle player, Melissa McGinley, was classically trained, toured with the band StereoFidelics and can play all the jazz standards and classical music. I grew up doing jam band stuff, and then got real into the mandolin and played with this group Mountain Standard Time, which was kind of bluegrass and jam band. We all come from diverse backgrounds and we’re really not too adamant about trying to make our music genre-specific. We do a swing, bluegrass, jazz, folk thing. It feels pretty original to me.
303: Is this your first album as a band, and what was the recording process like?
ND: We did an EP when we were a four-piece. This is our first debut full album. We’re humans making music and we went to a small home studio and did it all live. It has really got the organic feel and it’s what we sound like, it’s who we are. We didn’t go in and retake and change and tweak. We got up in the mountains and got real connected and just went in there and played hard. We’re really excited about the sound.
303: With so many traditional music venues around, big and small, why the Gold Hill Inn?
ND: We’re at that building point where we’re still doing openers at the Bluebird and Fox Theaters, and some smaller headlining shows at Cervantes’ and Swallow Hill Music. At the Gold Hill Inn, John Hartford’s played there, Hot Rize, these incredible bands. It’s one of those places where I’ve sat in with numerous bands — Caribou Mountain Collective, Sweet Lillies — and I’ve never actually played there headlining with my own band. They asked us to do this show and it coincided with the release and we thought to do just one special night, one show that’s special and intimate.
303: What do you think makes Denver’s live music scene so special and unique?
ND: I’ve been here almost 15 years, and I’m spoiled. I don’t think there’s anything you can compare it to, maybe San Francisco or New York. Denver and Boulder are smaller cities and the size and caliber of the acts you can see is out of control. People love coming here, they’re feeling the energy here. It’s-one-of-a-kind. It’s incredible to know that on any weekend if you travel within 60 miles you can see the best of the best.
Tickets are available for $10 at the door, cash only, for 300 Days’ album release party on Friday, November 9 at 9 p.m. at the Gold Hill Inn. More information here.