Around Colorado Artist Spotlight Music

8 Bands From Colorado to Add to Your Playlist

People in a crowd holding their arms up and watching a concert put on by one of many bands from Colorado

Aside from being a world-class hub for live music (summer concerts at Red Rocks, anyone?), Colorado consistently produces some epic musical talent. From folky solo-artists to entire groups who make regular appearances on the top 40 charts, there are several incredible bands from Colorado.

We’re highlighting eight in no particular order, but know that this barely scratches the surface. If you’re interested in discovering other bands from Colorado you love, drop into literally any show at Lost Lake Lounge, Bluebird Theater, or Larimer Lounge. With regards to Larimer in particular, NPR says, “Generally, you want to jump on it. Most shows played here are from artists on the brink of something big.”

Consider that a pretty major insider tip. You’re welcome.

8 of the best bands from Colorado:

Regardless of what type of music you prefer, we’re fully confident you’ll vibe with at least one of these bands from Colorado.

John Denver

We’re kicking off our list of bands from Colorado with a musician synonymous with the Centennial State: John Denver. The star was mega-popular in the 1970s and loved Colorado so much that he built his dream home in Aspen. Denver wrote many songs about Colorado, including of course, “Rocky Mountain High,” the official state song.

The Lumineers

Far and away the biggest name on this list, The Lumineers don’t technically hail from Colorado. However, they’ve been based in Denver for well over a decade and wouldn’t be The Lumineers at all if it weren’t for open-mic gigs in the Mile High.

 

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OneRepublic

Another super-famous band from Colorado, the guys from OneRepublic — all six of ’em — are from Colorado Springs. The band formed in 2002 and has since been nominated for a Grammy award and sold over 15 million records.

Nathaniel Rateliff

Nathaniel Rateliff arguably has the most fascinating story of any bands from Colorado. He moved to Denver at age 18 to become a Christian missionary, after growing up playing drums in his family’s gospel band. Rateliff frequently sells out shows at Red Rocks and often plays with other incredible musicians, including Margo Price and Bahamas.

Earth, Wind & Fire

Even Gen Z-ers know at least a few Earth, Wind & Fire songs, like “Shining Star” or “September.” The upbeat pop and soul band, led by Denver native Philip Bailey, was inducted into the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame in 2000 and in 2019 earned Kennedy Center Honors. They’re the first African-American band in history to do so.

The Fray

The four guys who comprise The Fray met in the 1990s in Denver church bands. They went on to go double-platinum and were at one time one of the most famous bands in the world. Name one person between the ages of 20 and 45 who doesn’t know every word of “How to Save a Life” or “Over My Head.” Exactly.

 

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Gregory Alan Isakov

Even among the very best bands from Colorado, Gregory Alan Isakov sets himself apart. The South African-turned-Boulderite originally came to Colorado to study horticulture, but he never left.

In the 2010s, Isakov began releasing his own albums and he eventually created an independent label, Suitcase Town Music. Although tremendously popular in the folk and festival scenes, Isakov is still an entirely independent musician.

String Cheese Incident

Widely considered one of the original jam bands from Colorado, String Cheese Incident (SCI) has been together for over 25 years. It’s difficult to describe SCI’s genre; it’s a bit reggae, a bit bluegrass, and a bit psychedelic.

The band, whose members are from Crested Butte and Telluride, started by playing ski resorts. How very Colorado of them.


We’re thrilled to see concerts coming back as things slowly but surely return to normal. Are you planning to catch any of these bands from Colorado soon? Let us know over on Instagram or Facebook, and enjoy the show!

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