Home | 2023 blog entries

I'm Chuck Miller. Welcome to my live music recording and guitar gear information site and blog. Recording live music performances is my passion. Here you will find links to live music recordings and information about recording live music. You'll also find some DIY projects, reviews of concerts information on guitars and guitar gear, albums, as well as concert posters, tickets, art and photographs and links to some of the recordings I've made of bands over the years.

Many of the recordings I make are with just a stereo pair of microphones located in the audience section of the venue. Occasionally, I'll arrange to get a soundboard feed to mix in with the microphones to make a blended (matrix) recording. This technique takes advantage of mixing a time adjusted, usually dry PA feed with stereo microphones that capture the PA and the audience at the same time. Those are some of my favorite recordings. If all the elements cooperate the results can be very nice.

I don't record bands covertly. Every recording I share here was made with the permission of the band and is available for free download and streaming. I follow the concert tapers code of conduct which means the bands allow me to record their live performances as long as I don't profit from it and I share the recordings freely.

Since the global pandemic hit in 2020, I've also started to discuss guitars and guitar gear here.

If you have questions or concerns please contact me. My info is available on the Contact page.

The Samples returned to Lulu's Downstairs on Dec. 1 and proved why they are still relevant to faithful fans...


Posted originally December 4, 2023 and last updated December 4, 2023 by Chuck Miller 


Sean Kelly and The Samples played once again at Lulu's Downstairs in Manitou Springs on Friday, December 1. I believe it's the fourth winter outing by the group at the popular venue. It was a memorable two-set show that had the crowd dancing and the band playing rousing renditions of many of their most popular songs along with a fair share of numbers written by other artists.


Lulu's Downstairs and the musicians who performed witnessed a solid and enthusiastic turnout of fans on a cold, December Colorado night. Local singer/songwriter Jeremy Facknitz with David Siegal started off the festivities around 8 PM. Facknitz has a wonderful voice and played mostly original compositions on acoustic guitar for his 45-minute long set. Siegal added tasteful violin licks to many of the songs, which kept the slowly growing, mostly older, music lovers enchanted.


The Samples, playing as a four-piece, came out a little after 9 PM and started their first hour-long set with "Taking Us Home" from the 1992 album No Room. Original Samples bassist/vocalist Andy Shelton has been playing with the band again after a long hiatus. I loved seeing him and hearing his unique bass phrasing and harmony vocals that reminded me of how good the band sounded with the original lineup.


Set one highlights included a "Giants" > "Steppin' Out" (Steel Pulse cover) > "Giants" medley that got many of the enthusiastic revelers off of their seats and dancing in front of the band.


As with most Samples concerts, there was an acoustic break mid-set, which had Kelly performing solo "Close To the Fires" from the band's first album. Kelly had a "senior moment," forgetting some lyrics, actually endearing him to the rapt audience when he asked for assistance in remembering the lost line. He recovered with gleeful applause from the faithful as he sang the forgotten lyric. Shelton also treated us to a cover of a Neil Young deep cut "For the Turnstiles" with David Siegal accompanying on violin. This was the first of four Neil Young-penned tunes Kelly and the group regaled us with throughout the evening. Set one ended with one of my favorite Samples tunes, "Suburbia" from the classic lineup CD No Room. It had me singing the catchy chorus in my head until the second set started.


The Samples iconic original "Nature" got the second half of the evening off to a promising start. The song was the last track on the band's first album that fans refer to as "the blue album" and is always a pleasure to hear. Kelly then introduced the band, and they treated us to another fan favorite from the blue album, "My Town." It was a Neil Young kind of night as Kelly and Shelton performed "Cowgirl in the Sand" during the mid-set acoustic section. "Birth Of Words" with its poignant and timely lyrics stood out to me and drew me in as the second set rounded the bend.

The dance floor was covered by the end of the night, and the band kept the dancers moving with a double shot of Neil Young, "Powderfinger" and "Like a Hurricane." "Powderfinger" is a song that packs a punch, and the band did it justice with a faithful reading of the hard rockin' Live Rust version of that tune. The Samples rarely play encores, and this night was no exception. So, it was all over before midnight, and I walked out into the crisp Colorado air with a smile on my face and another great musical memory swirling around in my head.


The band and venue generously allowed me to record the performance and I have made the recording available for download or streaming via the Live Music Archive here:


 The Samples ~ 2023-12-01 Lulu's Downstairs, Manitou Springs, CO




A very enjoyable night of music at Lulu's in Manitou Springs with Edith Makes A Paper Chain and Edie Carey...


Posted originally February 5, 2023 and last updated February 8, 2023 by Chuck Miller 


It was a cool Friday night, February 3, when Colorado Springs' own Edith Makes A Paper Chain brought their creatively retro musical vibe to Lulu's Downstairs in Manitou Springs. The doors opened at 7pm.


The evening started around 8:15pm with a standout performance from Colorado Springs singer/songwriter Edie Carey accompanied by John Standish on electric piano and vocals. Carey's songs are well-crafted and memorable. Her guitar playing and sultry singing were spot-on as was Standish's tasteful contribution. They held the audience's rapt interest through the 45-minute performance. The crowd was unusually muted during the quieter portions, which was much appreciated by my wife and me. I'd love to see Edie play a full set of her music sometime.


The headliners took the stage a little after 9:15pm. Primary songstress Sarah Hope launched into her original "Edelweiss" after a brief introduction. Jeremy Van Hoy's plaintive horn flourishes made it clear we were listening to Edith's uniquely crafted music.


Another Edith original, "Fury," had the group settling in and drawing the mostly seated audience into their world. Hope's between song banter is always funny and entertaining and allows the music fans to further bond with the band and performance. "Laid-back" doesn't adequately describe the vibe Edith Makes A Paper Chain projects, though it's a start. "Seductive" is another not perfectly appropriate adjective. I feel like their music pre-dates the hippy music of the sixties and belongs closer to the 1950's post world war and pre-Vietnam era beatnik generation ethos.


String instrumentalist Matt Chmielarczyk's vibrato/tremolo-drenched hollow body electric guitar tones further the retro vibe of Edith's musical offerings. He plays mandolin and ukulele when appropriate, too, which ties back to the ensemble's 1950's aesthetic.


The pop original "I Got Married" received a funny post-song explanation, which had the concertgoers laughing. As one of the most upbeat tunes of the night, it was a high point for me. "Pearly Bones," which followed, had a similar short story attached at the end as well. Later, they also performed a cover of Radiohead's "Karma Police," a surprisingly good fit with the originals-heavy set they played. 


Another original, "Lead Me Astray," struck me as the signature song for the band. The obscure lyrics and melancholy delivery epitomize the nature of their music. Hope also provided a bit of insight into that song, sharing her daughter Miette's confused reaction upon hearing the song while it was being written.


The six-piece band includes the previously mentioned Hope, Chmielarczyk, and Van Hoy who plays brass instruments and keyboards, along with Donovan Freeman on drums and vocals, Melissa Joy Fuller on upright bass, and Hillary Studebaker on violin and vocals. It was a reunion, of sorts, as founding member Fuller, a new mother, travelled from Lafayette, CO to perform with the band.


One additional thing worth mentioning is the music venue itself. Lulu's Downstairs (formerly Castaways Restaurant) has a very retro vibe with heavy curtains and red vinyl booth seating. I'm reminded of David Lynch movies like Wild At Heart and Blue Velvet when I'm in there.


The menu has changed from pizza to Japanese cuisine since the New Year started, too. For me, the change is welcome. I had the Tebasaki wings, which were very good. There is also another room upstairs that hosts music and other performances as well. Parking is also free, which is a plus for a Manitou Springs, CO, venue.


The beautiful night of music was over at 10:35pm with a band introduction, and the final song "Bizarre Love Triangle" followed with a bit of a post-performance banter from Hope thanking the crowd and the opening act.


I made an audio recording of the Makes A Paper Chain performance and took some photos of both acts.  Please access by following the links below.


  Edith Makes A Paper Chain ~ 2023-02-03 Lulu's Downstairs, Manitou Springs, CO

  Edith Makes A Paper Chain - 2013-02-03


  Edie Carey - 2013-02-03


Also, please check out the venue and band web and social media pages:


Lulu's Downstairs, Manitou Springs, CO (web) & (Facebook) page


Edith Makes A Paper Chain (web) & (Facebook) page


Edie Carey (web) & (Facebook) page





All blog entries... | 2023 | 2022 | 2021 | 2020 | 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 |


© time between the notes... 2012-2024 All rights reserved.