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Boulder, Colorado, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2014 | SELF

Boulder, Colorado, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2014
Band Americana Indie





Listen to the opening track of Foxfeather's new self-titled album without imagining yourself in a secluded speakeasy, sipping on three fingers of top-shelf brandy, we dare you. it's time warping. From then on, it's an emotional ride into the first of folk with low-hanging country branches slapping you in the face without apology. It's rare to find this style locally, which makes the band all there appealing. It's got a good thing going. - The Rooster Magazine


The low rumble of a fat kick drum, a loose bass line and the bright accents of a twangy Telecaster give the opening moments of Foxfeather’s self-titled full-length a classy, velvety, red wine warmth and richness. When vocalist Carly Ricks Smith starts singing the Boulder quintet presents their sultry new folk that seems to blend the stories of singer/songwriter acoustic material with flavorful accompaniment that draws equally from the storied history of jazz and blues.

Smith’s voice sits front and center on the majority of the album, but is given the opportunity by the reinforced foundation of the group which includes the supporting vocals and acoustic guitar work of Laura Paige Stratton, the subtle brilliance of Ian Hendrick’s lead guitar work, the full and round upright bass playing of Patrick Coleman and the drums and percussion provided by Ben Batchelor. The group’s ability to continually pass attention from one nuance to another is highlighted on every track of the album, and makes the self-titled work a posh, sumptuous and ultimately collaborative effort. - Brian F. Johnson, Marquee Magazine

"Whiskey, Love, & Death: The Making of Foxfeather's New Self-Titled Album"

By: Zach Dahmen

At a time when most local acts are releasing four song EPs, Foxfeather’s new project is bucking the trend. The Boulder-based band dropped their first full length album this month, a self-titled 11-song release. Formed in 2013, the five-piece outfit consists of Carly Ricks Smith (lead vocals), Laura Stratton (guitars/keys/vocals), Patrick Coleman (upright/electric bass/violin), Ben Batchelor (drums/percussion), and Ian Hendrick (electric guitar). This Friday, October 21st is Foxfeather’s Denver CD Release Show at The Walnut Room with Doves and Wolves. Before they hit the stage, we wanted to chat with them about their songwriting style, their new album, and whiskey. Here’s our sit down with Foxfeather:

How did Foxfeather come together?

Laura: Carly and I first started working together to hone our songwriting skills. We were writing and just having fun with it. There came a point when we needed to have more to these songs than just vocals and guitar, which led us to the next stage: forming the band.

Patrick: It was last summer on tour when the five of us officially cemented the lineup.

Carly: And this really feels like the beginning, right now, with this album.

How do you feel like you’ve changed from your first EP to your new album?

Patrick: Our instrumentation has changed in a direct way. We no longer employ mandolin and fiddle. Also Ben is a jazz drummer, and that for me has changed the feel of the band immensely.

Carly: With our first EP, Laura and I really struggled with our identity, and it was difficult to let go of the idea that we were a folk duo. It took making that EP, playing, and touring with this band to make us realize that this is what we wanted. That’s why we self-titled the album; it’s all five of us playing this record.

Talk to us about your recording process.

Laura: Jay Elliot was our sound engineer [on this album]. We recorded in his home studio last April for nine days. And our producer was Jagoda, who was such an integral part of the entire process. Everyone was there for the whole process.

Ben: It would have felt like we were missing a family member on Thanksgiving had we not all been there for the whole process. Jay mixed and was the conduit, and he was really able to see the tone of it and get a sense of who we are. The songs transformed in those moments.

Carly: The studio changed the way we played these songs live too. We were really trying to be as open as possible during this process.

Ian: As the lead guitarist, I found there to be a lot of pressure; there’s this responsibility, but Jay, Jagoda, and the studio made me feel confident to produce something we are all proud of. It was an authentic experience that was really special.

Listen to Foxfeather's new self-titled album:

What do you think makes a good song and how do you incorporate that into your writing?

Patrick: Whiskey, love, and death. Those were our themes for this album.

Carly: Laura and I write these songs; it’s a process to find a story that fits. Trying to find that word that gives that exact feeling; starting with just an idea and creating a story around it. Laura and I feed off of each other in that. That base and foundation is what allows us to make these songs.

Ian: For me, a good song is not about geeking out about guitars, it’s the lyrical content and feel. Does the song make you feel something?

Ben: Yeah I think a good song evokes a response from people; that’s the end goal. To connect.

What song surprised you most while recording?

Everyone: “Day for Lovers.” (simultaneously)

Laura: We had 16 songs that we brought to the studio. We had a lot of them we weren’t sure would make it. But “Day for Lovers” was a surprise.

Carly: “Day for Lovers” is one of our oldest songs. It changed a lot. We took it and cut some verses and rearranged it to make it its own thing. Afterward, we were like ‘Holy shit. What did we just do?’ I called my mom and told her I just made some baby-making music. It’s become one our favorites.

What are your favorite places to play?

Everyone: Gold Hill Inn; it’s a special place.

Carly: Also Taco Del Gnar is a place we’ve been more than six times. They gave us the opportunity to start touring southern Colorado.

Laura: It’s a home away from home for us.

If you could play a show with any band, who would it be?

Everyone: Lake Street Dive. For sure.

What song do you wish you wrote?

Laura: “Pony” by Kasey Chambers, which we cover.

Patrick: Or Dawes’ new song.

So what’s up next for Foxfeather?

Carly: Promoting the CD, planning some small tours, and playing more festivals.

Laura: And continuing the creative process. It’s cool to think about where we can go and to not be stuck in a box.

Catch Foxfeather this Friday at The Walnut Room in Denver. Tickets here! And make sure to give their self-titled album a listen for yourself above.


All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat. - BolderBeat

"Foxfeather: Foxfeather"

Over the last several years Foxfeather has earned the respect and attention of music lovers all over the Front Range. I suspect that their popularity will only grow now that they have released their new self-titled album “Foxfeather”. This 11 song collection is a follow up to the well received first collection which was titled “Foul Moon” (wrote about it here on and some of the same flavors are found here though this new release has a decidedly different tone. Its dark, slow to medium tempo songs really help showcase the lyrical content and the warmer feel that the band seems interested in this time around.

Here’s the line-up for this collection: Carly Ricks Smith on vocals, Laura Paige Stratton on acoustic guitar, piano, & backing vocals, Patrick Coleman on bass and violin, Ben Batchelor on drums, Ian Hendrick on electric guitar
Producer was Jagoda, Sound Engineer and Mixer was Jay Elliott from Boulder at Introvertigo Studio
Mastered at G&J audio in Union City, New Jersey

This album features Carly singing the sultry lead vocal on all the tracks, which provides a nice cohesive feel across the collection. Carly has an iconic voice that takes the center stage with grace and a certain unique brand of elegant desperation. It makes sense that the band would choose to feature her so prominently here. Laura has a really great voice as well but seems content to harmonize in the background and focus on guitar in these songs. These women make great songwriting partners and the depth of their talent is really the center focus of the album. The new songs are catchy and the more familiar songs sound fully actualized. As for the new band that the ladies have backing them up… they are predictably awesome. The band supports the performance of the two front-ladies with a subdued energy that always seems ready to rip loose if given the signal.

One of the stand out tunes here is “Read in a Book”, which has a really nice open sound to it. The piano here is one of the highlights of the whole album. It is gentle and mixes in with the acoustic guitar perfectly. It’s really well recorded and well utilized in the song without being the centerpiece.

Another great tune on here is “Yellow”, which has a chorus that is worth the price of admission. It is catchy and possibly the most familiar to folks who live here where Foxfeather does their regular shows. Full of nice chords and solid harmonies, this song will be one of the first you show to someone when you want to show them what this band can do.

Make sure you go to your favorite digital retailer or a live show and buy this album as soon as you can. It is very much worth your time. - Andy Eppler

"Foxfeather Foul Moon"

Carly Ricks Smith has a spectacular voice which lies somewhere between the folky soprano of a young Joni Mitchell and the jazz-heavy range of Lake Street Dive’s Rachel Price. It’s powerful as well as delicate, and could well stand on its own.
But the entirety of the group Foxfeather works to bolster and support Smith’s ample gift. The group is a list of Front Range heroes, including vocalist/guitarist Laura Paige Stratton, guitarist/mandolin player Greg Schochet, fiddler Justin Hoffenberg, multi-instrumentalist Justin Roth (who co-produced, engineered and mixed the album), bassist Patrick Coleman, drummer Will Smith and Jessica Eppler, who added accordion.
The songs range from the folky opener “Selfish Behavior,” to the jazzy, old-timey swagger of “Drawing A Blank” and “Mama Joe’s” and the cleansing beauty of “Umbrella Man.”
While the group is overflowing with talent, all of the musicians are relatively restrained in their performances here, allowing Smith to serve as the centerpiece. - Brian Johnson

"FoxFeather's Foul Moon Shines Bright"

Boulder County is lucky to have so many great artists popping up as often as they have been over the last few years. It has been a wild season here. I love seeing so many artists finding an audience in the community. I too have become part of the audience for these folks. One group I especially love is the songwriting duet FoxFeather. Consisting of two lovely and dynamic women, this duet also has a full band they perform with regularly. As a duet with nothing more than two microphones and a guitar these ladies put out a lot of energy and regularly capture the attention of audiences all over the Front Range. Instead of recording a quiet and intimate collection, Carly Ricks Smith (vocalist) and Laura Paige Stratton (acoustic guitar player and vocalist) tear it the fuck up on this album with a full band behind them and a great producer at their side. The album is called “Foul Moon” and in six purposeful tunes these ladies have captured a really unique and appealing album that is energetic without being manic and feminine without being girly. It’s a very well recorded piece and the songwriting content is very respectable. As a songwriter and recording artist I really appreciate a well-written song that is captured well. Ingredients such as acoustic guitar that might seem simple and straightforward to the layperson can actually be the toughest to nail down tonally in the studio. In the case of the acoustic guitar there are lots of resonances happening in the hollow body of the instrument. A listener might take them for granted but the player who holds the vibrating and humming piece of wood knows that there is a wide spectrum of frequencies that make up that rich and clear tone we all love. A microphone is like an ear that you hear an album through. Each time you place a microphone in a recording environment you are placing an ear for the consumer to listen through. If the “ear” isn’t in the right place to hear the sound waves coming from an instrument, the recording you will get wont sound true to the original performance. It’s a tough skill to master but it can really help capture the fullness of a tone. I mention this technical bullshit because I think this microphone placement stuff is a concept that is well understood by co-producer Justin Roth. Carly sings with a very specific and wonderful vocal tone. Capturing its full tonal spectrum while keeping it from being covered up by frequencies from other instruments in the mix was a pretty tough gig. Mr. Roth settles her creamy tones comfortably in the center of the mix and lets all the other instruments play more of a supporting role. That’s some expertly done shit right there. It sounds amazing but that would be pointless if the songs weren’t worth capturing. If pressed to define a genre for this collection of recordings (sometimes it feels like giving tasting notes) I guess I’d call it “Vintaged Sultry Americana”. I’d call it “vintaged” (which is not a real word) because of the many effects used on the album to simulate antique speakers and microphones but also because of Carly’s vocal technique which sounds like it is coming from a porthole to a smoky nightclub from the 20’s. It isn’t vintage because it isn’t old but it is vintaged because it has been infused with that flavor of sound. It’s sexy. It’s original. These women have crafted something very special and instantly likeable on this album. A stand out track on this album is the very groovy whorehouse song “Mama Joe’s”, which features a great minor key shuffle and my wife Jessica on Accordion. Another tune that should compel you to purchase the collection is “Drawing a Blank”, which is a bouncy, upbeat and sort of dark piece. I loved this collection and I hope you’ll pick it up from them soon from Players on this collection: Patrick Coleman on Bass, Will Smith on drums, Greg Schochet on Electric guitar and mandolin, Justin Hoffenberg on fiddle, Jessica Eppler on Accordion, Justin Roth on organ, high string guitar and percusion. You, reader, go buy this album. Obey. - See more at: - Andy Eppler

"Whiskey Waves - Whiskey Autumn (Call You Mine Release)"

First on the bill was FoxFeather, a Boulder-based folky, alt-country five-piece fronted by two lady vocalists. Together, Laura Paige Stratton and Carly Ricks Smith filled our ears with sultry lulls, twangy verses, and bouncy harmonies that set the energy for what would ultimately turn into a rockin’ evening. One of the biggest treats of their performance had to be Patrick Coleman’s phat, wavy slaps on his stand-up bass (because do those ever lose their cool factor?). He brought in a jazzy undertone that rightfully demanded its own attention. FoxFeather released an EP last fall, Foul Moon, which is definitely worth checking out. You can see their list of upcoming live shows here. - Hannah Oreskovich


From the first time we heard Boulder's Carly Ricks Smith and Laura Stratton, the lovely ladies of Foxfeather, we were immediately drawn in by the powerful vocals, strong guitar, and soulful melodies of their new folk sound. - Longmont Live


Still working on that hot first release.



Foxfeather is a sultry alt-americana band founded in Boulder, CO in 2013. Beginning with a lyrical base, and bolstered by strong blues-rock instrumentals, Foxfeather’s unique sound captivates their audience. The band consists of Carly Ricks Smith (lead vocals), Laura Paige Stratton (acoustic/electric guitars, keys, vocals), Patrick Coleman (upright/electric bass, violin), Ben Batchelor (drums and percussion), and Ian Hendrick (electric guitar). Foxfeather is a local staple in the Colorado Front Range, and also tours nationally. The band released their EP, Foul Moon, in 2014. In response to this release The Marquee stated that “the group is overflowing with talent” and “Carly Ricks Smith has a spectacular voice which lies somewhere between the folky soprano of a young Joni Mitchell and the jazz-heavy range of Lake Street Dive’s Rachel Price. It’s powerful as well as delicate.” Andy Eppler of The Prairie Scholars said “it’s sexy. It’s original. These women have crafted something very special and instantly likeable on this album.” The BoulderBeat reviewed Patrick Coleman’s presence on bass as “one of the biggest treats of their performance,” with a “jazzy undertone that rightfully demanded its own attention.” The band is set to release their first full-length, self-titled album, paired with a Colorado release tour in October of 2016.

Band Members