“Nobody puts Toad…in a hole, and I dare you to define this. That’s how we started,” recalls Geoff Morris. “It was the idea of writing and recording exactly what we wanted wherever that took us.” Little did he know this small project would throw together a group of past bandmates that, “Just bring out the best in each other’s musicianship and creativity.”
Started as a recording project in 2012, Toad quickly evolved into a full fledged band. The writing and recording began with Geoff Morris, his wife Kris VanDeWalker, and Chad Beal in a studio apartment off 16th Street in Denver. After calling in different musicians the trio had played with in past bands, it was decided this was their dream team. This pulled in Joel Ashmore and Mark Sarratoni. With the versatility of playing both acoustic and electric, Toad offers up the ability to play a multitude of venues. There is a rich, unique blend of vocals. Their sound combines Chad Beal on both acoustic and electric guitar, Kris VanDeWalker on electric cello and flute, Geoff Morris on banjo and tenor guitar, Joel Ashmore on both electric and upright bass and Mark Saratoni holding it all together and taking it where it will go on drums. After the release of Apartment 203 on double vinyl, the group has been writing and redefining their sound into what it is today.
“What happens on the collaboration side is the total rush for me. Both Chad and I write on the dark side. Geoff and Joel weave their magic with their unique combination of note choices and Mark brings it to life.” That’s why Kris VanDeWalker is so excited to bring Toad’s next album out into the open. It’s also why it’s hard to coin this genre bending band. From the sultry, longing of “Wallflower” to the driving, harmony rich sounds in “Off the Rails”, their next project is worth the wait. We’ll call them indie rock, but let you be the judge.
What: Toad in a Hole
Where: Swallow Hill Music, 71 East Yale Avenue, Denver 80210, 303-777-1003
Time: 7:30 p.m. – Doors at 7:00
About Swallow Hill Music
Founded in 1979, Swallow Hill Music is a nonprofit community for musicians and music lovers who appreciate the ability of music to bring people together. As a home for individuals and families who want to learn about, listen to and perform music, Swallow Hill Music enhances Colorado’s cultural vitality and is a model for experiential music schools and performance spaces across the country. The organization serves more than 156,000 people through its school, outreach programming and concerts annually. Swallow Hill Music also presents and produces concerts at a wide range of venues across Denver.