Local Listen — Jesh Yancey & The High Hopes Turn Dreams into Reality

Jesh Yancey

Just one month after their album release party at the Oriental Theater, the momentum is still gathering for up-and-comers Josh Yancey & The High Hopes, whose debut record, Screaming into the Darkness, is only the first step in what will undoubtedly be a strong impact on Denver’s music community. Yancey, who’s no stranger to musicianship and the long and winding road that it follows, has put together an esteemed lineup of local musicians to assist him in making waves across the Front Range local scene. With drummer Teo Vanovski, bassist Mike Davidov, percussionist Joe Mallonee, guitarist Ben Lacy and keyboardist Paul Copoulos, Jesh Yancey has made a name for himself and staked his musical territory with Screaming into the Darkness.

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Jesh Yancey

Originally from Fyffe, Alabama, Yancey embarked on his musical journey in 2004 while playing with friends, “cutting our teeth on the back porches of whatever party we happened to be at.” With country music as the overarching backdrop of his time in the South, it wasn’t until he was introduced to Todd Snider’s live Near Truths and Hotel Rooms that he realized there was life outside the traditional genre. “Once I realized there were guys like Snider out there, it was over for me,” said Yancey, who went on to form the first iteration of The High Hopes in 2017.

Jesh Yancey

In 2019, Yancey moved with his wife to Denver from Mobile, Alabama and found himself starting over. That’s when, through “various turns of fate and perseverance,” The High Hopes was remodeled into the version it is today. All through serendipitous musical meetings, Yancey met the respective members of The High Hopes, allowing him to “recognize great musicians when [the] opportunity presents itself.” Together with producer Chris Harden, Screaming into the Darkness was set into motion in October of 2022, bringing a vision of big band, high energy, groovy, movin’ rock music to life.

Though his musical influences range from traditional Folk music to the Allman Brothers Band and Lynyrd Skynyrd, to Guy Clark, Steve Earl, Patterson Hood and Mike Cooley, Yancey’s “main inspiration is a good song.” And like many albums that have come out over the past few years, Screaming into the Darkness was heavily inspired by the post-Covid era. “These songs were put together to tell the story of perseverance and grit,” said Yancey, “they tell the story of what I went through — from the period beginning with the protests downtown until the Spring of 2022, when life started happening again.”

Recorded at Fort Collins’ Swingfingers Recording Studio, Screaming into the Darkness is how Yancey & The High Hopes are playing their part in making life happen once again through music that is positively charged and energetically brimming. With an upcoming slot at Boulder’s Velvet Elk Lounge and even more recorded music on the horizon, the remainder of The High Hopes’ 2024 looks bright and busy. “At the end of the day, I just want folks to hear my music because I feel like we offer a lot to the local community,” said Yancey, and it’s plain to see that The High Hopes’ incorporation in the local music scene will be a win-win for all. 

Listen to Screaming into the Darkness by Jesh Yancey & The High Hopes here.

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