News Column

Patti Fiasco goes back to its roots

December 5, 2013

YellowBrix

Dec. 05--The music industry is changing. Bands are being discovered by fans online, their work spreading digitally, hand-to-hand into places they have never even been.

"I think a well-made video for the web can get you further than a couple thousand miles on the road these days," said Alysia Kraft, singer for The Patti Fiasco.

It doesn't hurt that Kraft's band happens to be one of the best live acts in the region, something a live video can capture and an album -- no matter how well produced -- will struggle with. That's why the group is taping its show at the Gryphon Theatre in Laramie this Saturday. The hope is more fans will stumble across it on sites like YouTube and be waiting for the group when they come to town.

"Laramie is where we got our start and we still have a lot of amazing fans up there, so it is really well set up for a fantastic show," Kraft said.

The Patti Fiasco originally formed in Laramie after the members met at an open mic night. Their self-titled first album explored the boundaries of country, rock and folk music, and the song "Wyoming is for Lovers" got some heads turning in the Cowboy State. It was those early shows, buoyed by Kraft's wild and rocking stage persona, that helped build the band's reputation as a can't-miss act.

They have since relocated to Fort Collins, Colo., and defined their sound a bit more. Their new album, "Small Town Lights," was released this year. It drifts toward traditional rock sounds, like the Kings of Leon or a much more focused Dave Matthews Band, with more outlaw country thrown in for good measure. With those influences, it has become much harder to call them a folk or country act, but the foundation is still there.

Kraft said she has always seen the band as a sort of roots rock outfit. That's something that has only become clearer to her as time goes on.

"With this album, we are developing our own sound, which has less and less to do with just getting people's attention in bars," she said. "When I write now, I can really hear parts for the other guys and how it would work with them ... with the pieces we have, I think we were always sort of ready to be more of a rock group."

Kraft, who was raised in Encampment, admits she is still a country fan, especially the old stuff. For her, that style is a big part of the band's heritage and a link to their Wyoming roots and is not likely to be completely forgotten in their musical style.

Either way, you can't argue with the results. The group is one of the most popular in northern Colorado and is still growing. They recently booked their first slot at the South by Southwest music festival in Austin as part of a Colorado music showcase and will join the WYOmericana Caravan tour in May and June. Kraft said they were excited for both opportunities, which would kick off a stretch of intense touring over the summer.

"South by Southwest is the most exciting event of the year, so we are really excited to be a part of that," she said. "From there, the plan is to tour as much as we can this summer starting with the WYOmericana tour at the end of spring."

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(c)2013 Wyoming Tribune-Eagle (Cheyenne, Wyo.)

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