I have been lucky to know Denver singer and guitarist Eric Halborg through several different bands. His latest (for the last six years) is Dragondeer, a popular blues rock outfit that I also have been lucky to photograph all over the state. I got on the phone with Eric and his partner in crime, Cole Rudy, to talk about their upcoming Halloween show at Cervantes, which will have a “1983” theme. Like, oh my god! It’s gonna totally tubular!
P.S. This interview is a mixture of Eric and Cole talking. 😂
Interview with Dragondeer
So, tell me about the Halloween show at Cervantes.
Last year we did a cover show but it was band specific; we did David Bowie and the Grateful Dead. As we thought about this year, we decided it would be fun to focus on a specific year instead. We started looking at what years had a lot of fun hits that would get people dancing and realized 1983 – which is actually the year that Cole was born – had a ton of great music. Right now we have a 35 song list that is over three hours long and we’re whittling it down to the essentials. But we want to the night to cross a lot of lines from new wave to pop and rock. A really fun night of dancing. The 80s has such a depth of great music.
It’s funny you say that because I was a teenager in the 80s and I remember so many people making fun of it for so long.
Yeah, maybe people are looking back and gaining appreciation of it – but when you really look at it musically there’s so many great things there.
Yeah, it’s almost like it comes around in cycles too. When I was in high school, movies like The Big Chill and Stand By Me came out so a bunch of 60s songs became popular again and now we have shows like Stranger Things, etc.
Yeah, it was funny as we looked at each of the years it was almost like every single year was a microcosm of the decade but we just found the most hits that we liked right around 1983 with a few from the surrounding years but we just thought it would make for a fun night.
We also really encourage everyone to dress up like the 80s that night, since it is Halloween! And again we’re playing all kinds of music, so we’re expecting to see parachute pants and Madonna and hair bands and metal and glam rock. The whole gamut.
Will you be playing the songs in the style of Dragondeer?
Well, last year playing songs of Bowie was a reach and it was a really fun challenge and that’s why we wanted to do it again. As you know, Dragondeer is more of a swamp rock and blues kind of band but Halloween is about doing things differently – so we’ll definitely be playing these songs a little bit more true to form. That we can have fun with that musically and everyone can have fun at the show hearing some of their favorite songs. I feel like Halloween is a great time to step outside of yourself.
I hear there will be some special guests at the show?
Yes, we will have Mikey Smith of the Meadowlark jazz fame sitting in and Venus Cruz will be singing along with us after she opens the show, and Jordan Linette from Analog Son will be sharing guitar duties. Also Johnny Jyemo on percussion – so it will be a full load of extras there all night. Dog City Disco is also opening and Tom Colletti (the owner Buffalo Exchange) is going to be spinning tunes in between sets – so that will be fun too!
What’s coming up for Dragondeer in the near future?
We have lots of new music coming! We have two songs finalized on the Color Red label and we plan to release them in the spring. We’ve been collaborating with a lot of people on a third track right now and hope to get that out soon after.
Well, I can tell you Dragondeer live is always a blast, so them performing songs from 1983 will be rad! Hope to see you there. Get your tickets now!
Dragondeer 1983 Halloween Concert
Dog City Disco, Venus Cruz, What Young Men Do
October 31, 2019
Cervantes’ Other Side
2637 Welton St.
Denver, CO 80205
See my other posts about local music!