Jen Korte & The Loss
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Jen Korte & The Loss

Denver, CO | Established. Jan 01, 2008 | SELF

Denver, CO | SELF
Established on Jan, 2008
Band Americana Singer/Songwriter




""How Jen Korte Restarted Her Music Career""

For Jen Korte, getting an offer to play at Red Rocks Amphitheatre for an installment of Film on the Rocks sparked a chain reaction. “I get an offer to do a show like this, and in my head I’m already working on eight different other projects to go with it,” she says.
Each year, the Denver Film Society works to pair the right bands with the movies chosen for its summer series, and Korte’s band, Jen Korte & the Loss, will play before a screening of The Breakfast Club. For local musicians, playing Film on the Rocks is a big deal: Not only do they get to perform at one of the country’s most storied outdoor venues, but it’s also an opportunity to play in front of thousands of potential new fans.

“Getting asked to play Red Rocks — it kind of lit a fire under my ass to record this EP,” says Korte in her charming Texas drawl about her newest project, Everything Red. The plan is to have the concert double as an album-release party: Everyone in the audience will get a free copy of Everything Red, which Korte wrote and helped record, mix and master.

The album is the first from Jen Korte & the Loss since 2009; it was recorded at the Oriental Theater, a space that fit the musicians’ budget and gave the band a chance to grab hold of what makes the Loss so great: its live performances. “I knew that it was a big enough room that it could really capture Jess and my voices,” says Korte of singing with longtime bandmate Jessica DeNicola. “We can really belt it out, and I worried that it wouldn’t read well on record. With my first album — people have told me, this is a great album, but you aren’t as big as you are in person.”

So the band set out to harness its strength, and made what was essentially a live album — but without an actual audience. Everything Red is the recorded version of what Jen Korte & the Loss deliver on stage: wild but focused vocals that guide an accessible, emotive Americana-rock style. Along with DeNicola, the Loss is made up of other strong players: drummer Neil Mitchell, bassist Andy Bercaw and violinist Julie Beistline, with occasional appearances by trumpet player Joshua Trinidad.
The four songs on Everything Red are actually part of a bigger picture for the band. A second full-length album, Shade of Blue, is in the works. Sonically, it will be very different from the swing and sway of the EP: Shade of Blue will be all about the beat.

Korte says she’s not a “musician’s musician”; she doesn’t play or write every day, choosing instead to work on each piece of material as it comes to her. During the past few years, she’s been drawn to her roots: Playing guitar with her Puerto Rican grandfather brought her music to a new, more rhythm-oriented place. “I have a big love of Héctor Lavoe and Buena Vista Social Club and Latin music that is inherent in me,” says Korte. “It’s interesting, because it has evolved into this Latin, reggae-sounding thing in my music.”

The Caribbean had an influence on Korte’s music, too. In 2013, Korte found herself bouncing between St. Thomas and St. John, living in the U.S. Virgin Islands after her longtime girlfriend accepted a nursing position there. “When I say I was influenced by the Caribbean, I mean the actual water,” says Korte. “Living in the Caribbean influenced me musically, but it’s very segregated in the islands. Racism is prevalent. You know where you can go and where you can’t go. I thought I was going to go down there and delve into the music, but it’s not like that; it’s all tourism and cover bands. There’s this influx of thousands of people every day on cruise ships, and they just appear and trash the place and leave. It’s, like, no wonder there’s this divide.”

But Korte managed to navigate the strange world well, finding violinist Beistline playing the same circuit. The two teamed up and started doing sets at bars frequented by tourists. They made good money — better, Korte says, than they made playing shows back home in Denver. “Julie and I would try to split it up; we’d play an hour and a half of original songs mixed in with an hour and a half of covers,” recalls Korte. “We would focus all of our covers on violin parts. I mean, y’all would laugh at me in Denver, but if we pulled out a Dave Matthews song in the Caribbean, we’d get one $20 tip after another. We just had fun and we didn’t care.”

Korte thinks those long nights of doing covers and originals helped her sharpen her skills. She was playing guitar and singing for hours each night, jamming and improvising with a cadre of other professional musicians who’d either retired to the Caribbean or were living down there and making money, like she was. But after less than a year, Korte and her girlfriend were back in Denver — and Korte was able to persuade Beistline to leave the islands, too. Beistline became a member of Jen Korte & the Loss, and the two continued their musical partnership.

There’s yet another side to Jen Korte as a musician, one that will appear on the Red Rocks stage at the upcoming Film on the Rocks show. For the past three years, Korte has been heading up the Dirty Femmes, a project she calls a “celebration” of the Violent Femmes’ music.
Korte is very clear that this is neither a tribute band nor a cover band, but rather an interpretation of the music she grew up on.

“It’s a very weird balance between being an artist and writing your own music and then having this — a celebration of Violent Femmes music,” she says. The band doesn’t play often, but Korte has noticed that being this other musical entity has opened a lot of doors for her. One of those doors opened up to a relationship with Violent Femmes frontman Gordon Gano himself. “We played that first show — we had put posters up, and, you know, it was all over social media. I guess someone saw a poster, took a picture of it and sent it to Gordon,” says Korte. “He got my phone number from someone and called me out of the blue. He was just like, ‘Hey, it’s Gordon Gano of Violent Femmes. You might have heard of me?’ I was like, ‘Holy shit.’ I was standing in my underwear in the kitchen doing dishes, trying to play it cool. I’m like, ‘Hey, what’s up? What’s going on?’”

Gano — who now lives in Colorado — met up with Korte, and the two hit it off. He steps on stage from time to time to play with the Dirty Femmes, but it’s rare. Korte says sometimes there’s confusion when she books the act, with an assumption on the other end that Gano is part of the band. But he’s a featured player at most, popping in to play fiddle or duet with Korte. More than anything, Korte says, Gano has become a friend, someone she can go to with questions about music and life. “I wrote him in the middle of the night recently and asked him, how do you get on stage in front of 10,000 people and not let the fear or your nerves overcome you?,” says Korte. “Gordon was like, ‘Let’s talk about it in person.’ We talk about each other’s lives. I consider him to be my friend.”
The audience at Red Rocks will get a good dose of both Jen Korte & the Loss and the Dirty Femmes. But at the heart of it all is Korte — a musician whose work has matured substantially since she moved to her adopted home town ten years ago. Whether her rough-hewn voice is belting out old-school country-influenced originals, working alongside Latin beats or churning through the Femmes catalogue, Korte shines brightly. " - Denver Westword - Bree Davies, August 2015

"Jen Korte - Everything Red Ep Review"

4 out of 5 stars

During a recent live show, Jen Korte stopped and straight up dissed one of her guitars. She said something along the lines (and I’m totally paraphrasing here) that the guitar was like a $50 pawn-shop score, and probably not even worth that. But with her statement, Korte proved that it’s how an instrument is played that matters, not how much it cost. Up until that point in the show, everyone (except a few gear heads in the crowd) was in love with that guitar, and it was a love based around Korte’s confident, relaxed playing.

That confidence bleeds out of her new, gritty Everything Red EP, which she polished up and finished just before the Loss, and her other band, the The Dirty Femmes: A Celebration of The Violent Femmes opened up for The Breakfast Club at Film on the Rocks. It was a trifecta gig for Korte — opening for herself and for a movie she grew up on, at the famed Red Rocks. The Red Rocks show, as it turned out, served as the album release for her gritty, ethereal Americana EP, and she handed out 2,500 copies of the disc the night it debuted. Through an underlying tinge of spaghetti western-styled soundtracks, tracked live, but without an audience at Denver’s Oriental Theatre, Korte and singing partner Jess DeNicola hold court over the rhythm section of bassist Andy Bercaw and drummer Neil Mitchell. And, just like Korte, the songs are raw, punchy, a little short, and awfully pretty. - Marquee Magazine/ Sept 2015

""Colorados Top Solo Artists""

Jen Korte will be gracing the stage at Higher Ground Music Festival August 23, and has been increasingly making a nice name for herself in the local scene. CMB took the opportunity to pick her brain about music, accomplishments, and upcoming endeavors.

CMB: Why do you choose to work solo some or most of the time?

JK: When I started playing music here in 2005, I was playing by myself all the time. Back then I took a lot of pride in feeling like I could really hold the stage by myself. I’ve grown so much as a player that for me, playing with the band is just more enjoyable. I do think it is important for me to keep playing solo sets but I wouldn’t particularly say I play out solo very much anymore. I do really enjoy acoustic sets between Jess (DeNicola) and I or Jess, Julie and I (Jessica DeNicola is our vocalist and Julie Beistline is our violinist). We seem to connect with the audience more when we are stripped down to just a violin, an acoustic guitar and two vocalists. I do think however, that when you find band mates that really contribute to what you are doing or fufill parts that you hear in your head, it’s hard to let that vision go. Last year, we lived in the Caribbean for a few months and I felt naked as a jaybird playing out by myself. I worried about keeping the audiences attention for two hours or so with just my voice and an acoustic guitar. I feel that it was a very healthy challenge for me particularly because I wasn’t in my comfort zone at all nor did I know what kind of audience I was playing to. I think confidence is everything and reminding yourself every now and again that you believe in your own talents is a very beneficial process.

CMB: Was there a point where you decided to leave a job or something else behind to pursue music?

JK: You know, I have really swayed back and forth on that point for a long time. I personally have never just relied on music to pay my bills because it is such a hard thing to do these days. There seems to be a million more people trying to “make it” and the venues know that so they are not inclined to pay musicians nearly what they should. If you have hungry bands that are willing to play for free or willing to pay to play, then that makes it really hard to compete with. Even my friends and fellow musicians whom I see having successful tours, are still struggling to make the money that they are worth. It’s a tough decision to take that leap of faith. It seems like talent is irrelevant a lot of the time and more about the marketing or who you know. I have a partner I am trying to build a life with. I never want to feel like my contribution is not enough financially but that’s me. I have a lot of respect for my fellow musicians who can make money playing and I see how hard the hustle is for them. I have also never just been a musician, I have always been a performer so my commitment level to just music varies on how hard I am working on other projects or aspects of my creative side.

CMB: What are some of the biggest challenges facing you as a solo artist compared to playing in a band, and how do you deal with them?

JK: As I said earlier, being able to play with just a guitar by yourself for an extended period of time for a random audience can be very challenging. I think if you feel comfortable with the bill and you know you are playing for fans that specifically came to see you, a solo acoustic set can be like a rare feature. The other side of that coin is being drowned out by an audience because you are a random chick in the bar with a guitar. Finding a pace and reading your audience is an important tool to have. Playing with a band allows you more leeway to steer the audience in the direction or mood you want them to be in. Playing with great musicians starts to make it an experience.

CMB: What promo techniques have you found work best for you?

JK: To be honest, promo is where I am lacking. I am not sure what the best avenue is for promo in the internet day and age. People have so many opinions about what works. You gotta have a video, a million web sites, a million followers on twitter etc… I may be exaggerating a little bit but you get my point. What is the right formula? I think good old-fashioned playing out and having music on hand to give people is the strongest route. I can’t tell you how many times someone has put a song of ours on a mix and how effective that is. Finding the right person the represent you and help build your market is extra important as well. We are still looking for that person so let me know if you’re interested.

CMB: Any defining moments as a musician?

JK: Well I have had many beautiful moments that I could say are defining. They are the little pieces I keep in my heart when I am self doubting about whether or not to keep playing out. I think that gets heavy sometimes as I get older. One of them is selling out the Walnut room for our album release in 2009. My family was there. I think that was the first time they realized that I had an understanding of what I was doing and that my community supported me.

I would consider meeting Jess and eventually Julie as defining moments to me because they have helped me shape my sound. Jess has been singing with me for 8 years now. That’s a significant amount of time to develop musically with someone. At the time, I didn’t know what I sounded like or where I was headed. People loved me or thought my voice was abrasive. Jess taught me how to take the edge off and a lot about voice control. Julie and I met while I was in the Caribbean. We played 3 or 4 hour gigs just the two of us sometimes and she has taught me you don’t need a full band to be captivating.

If you’re speaking in the traditional sense, I haven’t gotten to play Red Rocks or to thousands of people at one time, but I have had the pleasure of playing with people I grew up listening to. That’s an intense feeling. The first time I played with Gordon Gano, I didn’t believe it was him until the first note came out of his mouth and then came the welled up tears of disbelief. Other artists have been in and out of my life, staying at my house, or playing music in my living room from time to time. It’s the secret moments sometimes that are more important that the obvious ones, you see ?

CMB: What is coming up for you this summer?

JK: This summer we are writing and looking to record at least an ep. You can find us at Higher Ground Music Fest, the UMS, and The Friday concert series at Beaver Creek. We are going to start more booking towards the end of the summer but really needed the time to get some ducks in a row and are considering rebranding the band and changing the name. More on that TBD.

CMB: Where can we find your music online?

JK: Check us out at or - Colorado Music Buzz, July 2014

"Jen Korte and the Loss - Album Review by Nichole Wagner, Uncommon Music Oct. 11, 2009"

Packed with heartbreak and passion, Jen Korte’s self-titled, debut record drifts through styles, twisting them together in a tight ball of bluesy, rootsy music.

After moving to Denver and making the open-mic rounds, Jen pulled together her band, The Loss, and set forth writing and recording (mostly live in-studio) a variety of sorrow-twinged, sharp-witted tunes.

Ranging from dreamy waltzes (Street Lights, If I…) to funky, alt-country (It’s A Little Hard, Dear), one aspect is consistent: these songs burrow into your subconscious and play on repeat throughout the day.

5am Refrain jumps briefly into the hip-hop world with Gyp Da Hyp (Paradox) making a guest appearance but then it’s back to winding harmonies with Jessica DeNicola on the heavy Pull the Plug and delicate keyboard fills on Selfish.

Jen Korte and the Loss will be performing a second CD release party (their first was in September in Denver) at Boulder’s B-Side Lounge on Thursday, Nov. 12. - Uncommon Music

"Live Review: Jen Korte (CD release) @ The Walnut Room"

It’s always nice to see a local acts taking strides and showing they may have what it takes to break further afield. On Friday night at a Walnut Room packed with an enthusiastic audience, Jen Korte and the Loss celebrated the release of their self-titled debut CD with a tight, passionate set.

Korte and her band — bass player Jim Ruberto, drummer Dan Luehring, trumpet/flugelhorn plaer Matthew Gilliam, and vocalist Jessica DeNicola — showcased the release by playing the CD in track order. A couple of guests, including fiddle player Mindy Goswiller and guitarist-keyboardist Luke Mossman of opener Achille Lauro, joined in a couple of the tracks.

Korte and the Loss effectively blended diverse influences all night, starting with the opener, “It’s a Little Hard, Dear,” which has kind of an alt-country feel anchored by Luehring’s shuffle-style drumming. The opening chords sounded like something straight out of a Quentin Tarantino movie, yet Gilliam’s jazzy horn fills added a bluesy dimension to it.

The band was plagued by some sound issues on the first two songs, with an annoying buzz humming loudly through the PA system. In addition, during the second song, an emotive “Street Lights and Bar Fights,” Goswiller was onstage playing, but her violin couldn’t be heard at all in the mix.

Many of Korte’s songs have an anthemic structure, and the dual voices of Korte and DeNicola blend into a heartfelt wail of fury and anguish, as on “If I…,” which began with Korte strumming on an acoustic and singing in her raspy voice. Gilliam added dreamlike horn fills on the first chorus. Korte also played one track that has a hip-hop influence, “5 a.m. (Refrain),” with trippy electronic beats that melded with horn fills from Gilliam and Korte sort of rap-singing over harmonic-style guitar lines. - Denver Post:

""The prospect of love brought Jen Korte to Denver. Heartache kept her here." - by Jon Solomon"

Everything I write about is something I can't have or something that I did have or didn't get," says Jen Korte, explaining the significance of her band's name, the Loss. "It's cool. I'm fine with the fact that I write sad songs. I'm fine with the fact that I write love songs. I'm not a political writer; I'm not a political person. If I could be out there writing really fucking fun dance rock, I would. If I could be writing Explosions in the Sky melodic instrumentals, I would."

While it may seem odd to hear Korte name-check a band like Explosions in the Sky, that group's instrumental rock served as an early inspiration for the now-27-year-old singer-songwriter. Korte started playing guitar when she was eighteen, when a metal-head named Jordan (who wore Slayer T-shirts and "smelled like cigarettes and rock and roll all the time") gave her an old classical guitar with three strings and a chord book. At first she was playing loud rock, but after seeing the Austin-based Explosion in small dive bars, she began trying to write more intricate guitar parts. Eventually, the intricacy gave way to intimacy, in the form of more contemplative songs with confessional lyrics along the lines of Ani DiFranco and Mazzy Star, who also served as early influences. Four years ago, Korte followed a girlfriend out to Denver, and when things didn't work out between the two of them, she stayed behind and dealt with the breakup by drinking and writing songs.

"I was really lonely for a really long time," she confesses. "I was getting to that point where I was like, "Fuck — why can't people just be?' They're just so scared and guarded and afraid. I didn't have any other way to do it but sing it out, because I was sad at home, drunk. I was writing these songs when I was crying. That sounds so cheesy, but I was upset. It's a way you can find to console yourself — I'm consoling myself. I can't call whoever I need to call. It's five in the morning and I can't sleep. What am I supposed to do right now? Some people drink it out of themselves. Some people smoke it out of themselves. Some people get angry and sit there in fear with it and bottle it up. But that's the shit I wanna listen to. That's what I listen to."

That dark period inspired eight of the dozen songs that make up Korte's gorgeous, self-titled full-length, which, as she puts is, has "a little bit of makeout music, a little bit of crying music and a little bit of rock." Bassist Jim Ruberto recorded and co-produced the album with Korte at Blue Tower Studio, where he works as an engineer. The album, which took her and the band about a year to make, kicks off with drummer Dan Luehring's snappy alt-country timekeeping on "It's a Little Hard, Dear."

"The whole thing is really about homophobia," Korte says about the song. "Where can we go? Where can we hide? It's also pertaining to my life and what am I going to do with my life. And so it's just a breakdown of communication of, 'I don't know what I'm doing; I don't know where we're going' — the homophobia part of dating somebody who may not be totally comfortable. It's really a shout-out to 'Where can we go?' And it being like a shoot-out, like, 'Lets just go out and ride it.' That's my attitude. Not fight or flight, but just, 'What's the point? It's not that big of a deal.'"

"I'm such a 'fuck it' person," she goes on. "Not like, 'Fuck it, it doesn't matter,' but I don't care. Most of the time I'm like, 'You feel the same way. You're just sitting in your head about it.' It's funny, like my girlfriend I'm with now, she's like, 'Oh, dude, the first week you told me you loved me and were crying on the couch.' And I was like, 'Whatever, I did not.' And she's like, 'No, you totally did.' At the same time, I was like, 'I probably did.' I was probably like, 'I love you' — not that I throw that around a lot. I don't know why I'm like that. I really don't."

While Korte might not be afraid to expose her feelings through her album's songs, which started off as poems or letters, at times there's a charcoal-tinged fragility in her vocal delivery. When she pairs with Jessica DeNicola, who's been in the Loss the longest, the two vocalists make some truly divine music together, especially on "Fleeting" and "Shoreline," in which Korte sings, "I've been drinking too much of you lately."

"I just didn't know how to deal with myself for a little bit," she elaborates. "I think everybody goes through that in their twenties. We're all like, 'I don't wanna deal with myself.' And you start looking around, and everybody has theirs, and everybody's doing that. It's just drinking and calling this girl in the middle of the night, and you're like, 'I'm so sorry,' and she's like, 'Quit calling me.' I've been drinking too much of you lately. Can I just keep calling you drunk?
"I never felt like I had a problem with alcohol," Korte continues. "It was just a period where I was drinking a lot of whiskey and drunk-dialing people. Lonely and scared, and also being in Denver and being like, 'Where am I?' I just picked up and moved. I don't know where I'm at. My family's like, 'Come home.'"
So far, Korte has resisted the urge to return home to Texas. Turns out she's quite at home here these days. Energized by meeting like-minded songwriters like Jack Redell and Rachael Pollard, whom she met at the Moveable Feast Festival in 2007, Korte has immersed herself in the scene. Prior to that, she had been performing at open-mike nights at places like Mead Street Station and the Mercury Cafe, just trying to meet people and build up her confidence. Back then, she had no idea Denver had a such a vibrant scene. "I'd been here for two years, and I didn't know any of it," she says of the scene. "I just worked really hard to play shows with people I really liked and become friends with them. Now I'm at the point in my life where I'm trying to keep what I have — not in the sense that I'm losing it, but in respecting and loving and being careful with what you do have."

Since moving to the Mile High City, Korte's also noticeably come into her own as an artist. A fan of Billie Holiday, Sarah Vaughan, Otis Redding, Harry Belafonte (Swing Dat Hammer is one of her favorite albums) and the blues of Robert Johnson, John Lee Hooker and Bessie Smith, she's taken all of her various influences and melded them into an alluring, distinctive sound all her own.

"Sometimes in my head when I'm writing, I feel like I can hear a guy's voice, like it's a guy singing the song," reveals Korte. "I don't think it has anything to do with being gay. It has a lot to do with me listening to old blues. It doesn't come out that way, but for me, I love it. That's what I identify with a lot." - Denver Westword

"Over the weekend: Jen Korte & the Loss at the Walnut Room By Jon Solomon"

Jen Korte and the Loss recorded most of the tracks on her new self-titled album live in the studio and there's an immediacy and cohesion on those tracks that can usually only be captured with everyone playing at the same time instead of laying down individual tracks. While this show celebrated the release of the record, she might have one-upped the intensity of those recorded tracks.

?With some stellar musicians in tow, including singer Jessica DeNicola, bassist Jim Ruberto, drummer Dan Luehring and trumpeter Matt Gilliam, who together make up the Loss, Korte ran through her self-titled debut in the order the tracks appear on the CD. Korte kicked off the set by digging into some of her Texan roots with the spaghetti western-tinged alt country of "It's a Little Hard, Dear." Korte and DeNicola started the slow waltz of "Street Lights And Bar Fights" with some vocal wonderful harmonizing. Gilliam laid out some gorgeous flugelhorn lines on the "Street Lights," but really stretched out on "Fleeting."
"If I...," one of the highlights on the new album, was also one of the high points of show. While Korte and DeNicola harmonized divinely once again, Luehring kept the tune lilting with a slow jazz waltz feel before intensifying the beat and then laid out right before Korte started strumming her guitar by herself. Then all of the sudden the tune just kicked into an Arcade Fire type of explosion with Luehring beating heavy on the drums and Korte, DeNicola and Gilliam singing and playing a line unison. While that rocking part of the song is great on the album, it truly kicked ass live.

?For "5am (Refrain)" Korte brought her neighbor Gyp Da Hyp from the hip-hop group Paradox to scratch on the cut, which he also does on the album. On the album, Gyp actually recorded Korte and DeNicola and programmed it on his computer so he could scratch their vocals on his turntables. As Korte has said, it's the kind of tune you'll want to bump to on your way to the club on Friday.

Mindy Goswiller, who also plays on the album, added some great violin work to "Shoreline" and Achille Lauro's Luke Mossman played keyboards on "Berlin Wall" and "Selfish." One of the most intense tunes of the night was "Pull the Plug" with Korte and DeNicola truly belting out the vocals and Luehring laying down the some powerful Elvin Jones-like drumming near the end.
- The Denver

""Jen Korte's new album is, like, um ... wow! Just freaking wow!""

So a few weeks ago, I got a note from my pal Jonathan Bitz, who was raving about Jen Korte & the Loss's new record. In his succinct, inimitable, articulate style, he told me everything I needed to know about the album in the expanse of just five words: "absolutely beautiful. restrained. spacious. dynamic." I trust Jonathan's sensibilities implicitly, mainly because our tastes so often overlap. Needless to day, I've been absolutely dying to hear the disc for myself ever since. As luck would have it, Korte stopped by last night with a few copies of her forthcoming self-titled release. Color me impressed! Jonathan's assessment was -- unsurprisingly -- spot on. Only I'd add mature, alluring, impassioned, lush and provocative to his list of adjectives. The album won't be released for another month, but I simply couldn't resist giving you the tiniest of peeks -- a, ahem, fleeting glimpse, as it were, of "Fleeting," my favorite track from the record, which features Korte throwing down an F-bomb with a confident, sure-handed expressiveness and believability not heard since Ryan Adams on "Come Pick Me Up." - By Dave Herrera in Upbeats and Beatdowns from the Denver Westword Tuesday, Aug. 18 2009

"Westword Music Showcase reviewed: Mo's"

"Denver gothic country" occasionally starts to feel like a dead horse, but then along comes someone like Jen Korte and her band, the Loss, to remind us how powerful that sound can be. The twin vocals of Korte and backup vocalist Jessica Mefford could silence a room with their sultry yet haunting power, and the rest of the band filled in the sound with exactly the right kind of bluesy, smoky atmosphere. Patrick Gilliam's flugelhorn -- with a softer, fatter, rounder tone than a trumpet -- was a particularly inspired touch, often making explicit the songs' noirish undertones. Music this arresting and dark almost demands nighttime and sleaze, neither of which were to be found at Mo's on Saturday, but the band stimulated our imaginations well enough to compensate.

Verdict: Korte's got a hell of a voice, and I'd imagine her country-noir sound creates its own smoke-filled saloon anywhere it goes. An absolute treat. - By Kyle Smith in Last Night's Show, Music Showcase Denve Westword Monday, Jun. 15 2009

"Alt - Indie: Jen Korte & The Loss"

Dear Readers,

Friday, September 18th at The Walnut Room. Be There. For that is the day that the widely anticipated self-titled Jen Korte & The Loss CD finally is revealed!

Music. The universal language. Tonal frequencies when utilized with rhythmic elements with the shaping on tones, timbres, and pulse can and DO stir up emotion in this common way of expression. No matter what verbal language you speak, everybody has a pulse; therefore everybody walks to a personalized drum. To truly feel music live inside you is not a strange or even a divine thing ... it�s completely natural.

Jen Korte is not a thousand feet tall, but her voice makes you believe that she is. From the moment the air leaves her lungs, Korte has entranced another audience and before you know it, her powerful, alluring voice places you out of your mind and into a raw, unveiling of the truth behind her lyrics. �I never thought I was going to grow up and play music. I had hopes of being an entertainer of some sorts but being a musician was never one of them. Then I hit puberty and found the soothing sounds of �angsty� teenage music and felt at ease. I remember laying there for hours and hours, writing down the lyrics to my favorite songs and pretending I had written them as a personal diary of my life. I don�t know when it happened or what song it was that made my urge to play come into effect. My curiosity for the guitar grew very strong.�

Living inside the music of performing is one feature that draws so many to Korte�s music. �Most musicians make a point to create a visual in your head. That�s what it takes for them to emote the exact feelings to their listeners that they want to create. I know that feeling, of sitting in the audience, with heightened anticipation of what the performer is about to do for me, how someone will express for me what I can�t or don�t know how to. Sometimes, it is a very personal moment for me that I am sharing with my bandmates and the audience.�

Backed by a powerhouse band featuring Jess DeNicola (vocals, Tiny Television, John Common), Dan Leuhring (drums, LSW Trio, Jessica Sooner), Matt Gilliam (flugelhorn and trumpet), and Jim Ruberto (bass and producer of Jen Korte & The Loss), the live show at the CD release concert will be delivered with extreme dynamics and beautiful musical moments.

- Colorado Music Buzz - By Dave Preston

"Jen Korte and The Loss"

Being honest with your emotions is a tricky game. And while you could ask Jen Korte about how to best navigate this labyrinth – you could also just watch her on stage. Listen to her mingle in the night. Watch her smile and sing and bellow and dance, in light or in the dark.

In life or at the fore of a room full of eyes, with her guitar strapped to her shoulder like a cannon – Jen Korte has a colossal presence. Even seasoned professionals, who have played stages all around the country, rarely appear as collected and assured of themselves as Korte does. For this reason I am not of the belief that it is out of sheer practice and repetition that one can play with a solemn heart on their sleeve like Jen Korte does.

Live, she will astonish you. She will give you chills and leave you at that precise moment you never want a lover to leave you. Korte sings with a nearly unparalleled intensity so robust and honest that it is almost frightening. Her voice fluctuates skillfully from a songful whistle to a roaring, sonorous call that embodies not one, but all of the larger than life animals of the African savannah.

Under the lights, Jen Korte sings like I want to sing. Under the lights, Jen Korte cries with a throaty torture, like I want to be tortured.

Watching Jen Korte on stage and I have learned what it looks and feels like to wear your heart on your sleeve in public and tremble in your perfunctory call to the heavens as all the gods punish you for all of our collective and sloppy transgressions.

And sure, Korte’s charisma and poise could be mistaken for a supreme confidence or even some megalomania. But I assure you neither of these sentiments ring true when it comes to Jen Korte. She is as genuine and solemn of a human and a musician as I have ever known.

Admittedly, the music gig is still a new one for Korte. It really has only begun to take concrete shape while living in Denver. But as she has only lived in the Queen City for a period of less than 3 years, Korte is still very much blossoming as a musician: in finding her sound and true calling.

A New Mexican native, but a Texan at heart, from a very young age Korte was on stage: singing and modeling and acting. But after a memorably difficult audition for a musical – one in which she didn’t get the part because she couldn’t sing – Korte had apprehensions about being on stage. For one who was so active in the spotlight, it is a surprise to learn that she never was certain what she wanted to do when she grew up. Still she went to college for theater. And while she could act, she was sent to a remedial vocal class, because she just couldn’t sing.

Yet, as is the case when one continues working and progressing forward – fate intervened. In Austin Korte’s musical provenance came in the form of a childhood friend, Morgan Coley, whom Korte made a pact with – that when they learned to play instruments they would form a band. Still terrified by her inability sing in the manner that she wanted to – Korte stepped-up to the challenge, again – this time on her own.

Slowly, Korte began to work-out her voice. And after some time, she began to find success. Then Korte and Coley began playing small gigs around Austin, the both of them still trying to truly find their feet. Driven by the taste of progress in Texas, Korte moved to Denver. Soon after Coley followed. And while Korte’s story is one drawn with the marker of what it takes to succeed and the requisite drive – it is also laced with uncertainty and growth.

For this and more Jen Korte is all too human. And for this I have fallen in love and admiration with what she does on stage, in a recording studio and in-person.

In her perpetual drive to find her voice and place, Korte has sampled various genres while in Denver. She has done the straight-up rock n’ roll gig with a full band. She’s played in a hip hop band. And now, with her latest project – one that this author believes already has spawned legs: Jen Korte and the Loss. Scaled down from some of her previous work – The Loss is rich in its spaciousness. The landscape that Korte has created is sexy and robust and layered with thick verses and memorable phrases.

Jen Korte and the Loss’ latest EP, Liquor Written Songs, is gorgeous and ambitious. It is witty in its manifold compositions and textures. It is brave and by no means lands anywhere near the middle median of the road. Testament to this was Korte’s first appearance at the singer and songwriter extravaganza, A Moveable Feast. For Korte’s performance, her stage was packed with people bleeding out and onto the sidewalks just to listen. In the end that late September performance was powerful, nearly overwhelming. But as I’ve come to know Jen Korte, that is simply par for the course.

Korte’s music is laced like two nervous hands courting the other with themes of relationships and love and being seduced by people and moments. And if you have never seen Jen Korte’s heart – it’s all over her work: in her songs and on her face. It’s in her sweet voice. Her musical screams. Her beckoning. And it’s in the way she looks you in the eyes.

Korte’s musical output is emotion, embodied. Carefully constructed, with some of her pieces even being deceptively simple at the base of construction, Korte concerns herself with the dynamics of emotion. With or without drums, the music’s pulse is always her heart, with her façade out front, pushing at that the dynamic of owning up to one’s self while remaining naked and honest in only the most profound of ways.

Always working, Korte’s ethic around production feels more like searching. Challenging. Talking to her about the future and its prospects and Korte responds with the sentiment that she’s humbled by all the work that she has before her. And while I think that part of Korte wants to find some ultimate stability in her long and winding path, as a musician and a girl – I also think everyone needs a catalyst; and Korte’s catalyst is her self. To this end, nothing could be more appropriate.

You can see this struggle, this catalyst. In Korte’s music, you can – more than hear it – you can feel it. Touch it. Heart it.

And in navigating this life where passions rule our reason, if all one can do is work things out by feeling them – then I have to believe that the omens will reveal themselves. And this is precisely why Jen Korte’s future is already shimmering with omens and light.
- Denver Syntax - Johnathan Bitz

""Lion's Lair hosts fresh new artists""

Denver may have its fair share of dive bars sprinkled about the city, but few have the musical prowess of the Lion's Lair.

Known as one of the city's most well established punk music venues, the Lion's Lair is now expanding to include artists from a wide variety of genres including indie rock, jazz and singer-songwriter outfits like Jen Korte & The Loss and The Dan Craig Band, who performed on Friday night.

While the Lion's Lair may look like your run of the mill corner bar, it sure as hell doesn't sound like it. Since August, the bar cum venue has hosted a wide variety of local music heavyweights as well as relatively unknown new talents.

Korte could be considered one of the latter. Save for a few in-the-know local music lovers, Korte is a powerful swell just waiting to break into the Denver scene with a vengeance. Like that old high school friend that springs up out of nowhere, Korte's performance blindsides the audience with her gregariousness and boundless energy. Armed with nothing more than a giant red guitar and a voice that could stop a missile, she assailed the audience with an full on audio assault.

Korte's style blends rock, soul and blues together in one magnificent coalescence. Her voice oozed sex appeal with her sultry growls and fierce Joplin-esque high notes. At first listen, her sound is reminiscent of the likes of PJ Harvey and Melissa Etheridge.

Yet, as her set progressed, these comparisons gave way to an incredible sound that is totally original. Simple guitar chords and honest, home-spun lyrics made each song relatable to the audience in a very personal way. Altogether her earnest style and friendly disposition made one feel as if Korte was singing just to you. However, Korte's unqiue style didn't come easy to the singer.

"It took me years to learn how to sing well," she said in a later interview.

With the addition of Morgan Coley's accentuating beats and the help of Blue Light singer Jess Mefford on vocals, the trio put on an amazing live show. - DU Clarion, By Whitney Van Cleave

"Out Front Colorado Cover story " Jammin with Jen""

How does a self-proclaimed “theatre kid” who hated to sing in public end up a music sensation? When Denver singer/songwriter Jen Korte picked up the guitar at 18, she never thought that she would be performing on stage to rave reviews from music critics and resounding roars from appreciative fans. But Korte, with her band, the Loss, has seen her musical career skyrocket within a few short years, and with her upcoming self-titled CD release, she probably won’t be returning to the theatre anytime soon. You’ll want to be at her CD release party, but you can meet her here first.

Matt Kailey: How did you get started in music?
Jen Korte: I didn’t start playing until I was 18. I was a theatre kid my whole life. I was terrified of singing. I had a bad experience as a kid, auditioning for a musical when I was in third grade. I never wanted to sing in front of people again. When I was 17, I had this friend who was a really awesome heavy-metal guitarist. He gave me a guitar and told me that if I learned to play it, I could have it. So I messed around with it for a long time, but I never took music seriously. … I never thought I’d be performing my own songs that I’d written. So when I was in college, I was in school for theatre, and they had a class called Rock Band, where they had three bands depending on how good you were. And they split you up into three bands and you had to perform on stage, and that was your grade. I went and saw their final. For their final, they did the whole Pink Floyd The Wall album. And it had all girls singing the whole thing. And I thought, ‘Man, I want to learn to play better.’ So I signed up for the class to learn how to play my guitar better. And they made us audition to decide what band we were going to be in. And I sang a Radiohead song, and they said, ‘Congratulations. You’re the new lead singer of the Beginner Band.’ … And then I just started writing and playing out, and here I am, eight years later.

MK: Well, you’re pretty successful. Are you surprised by that?
JK: Yeah. You never know, with your art, how people are going to respond. When I moved to Denver, it was just me and my longtime friend Morgan – just drums and guitar playing out. We were playing kind of heavy blues-rock. I don’t know why. I was writing all the music, but I wanted to be a really good guitar player. I didn’t like anything we were playing at all. … So I kind of stripped down and started over and was fortunate enough to find the people I’m playing with now. I don’t feel like I would be nearly as successful if I didn’t have the band that I have, because they’re all amazing musicians.

MK: How did you find your band?
JK: Dan’s our drummer and I met him when I first moved here. … When my other drummer, Morgan, couldn’t make it, I would ask Dan to sub for him, and we connected really well. I didn’t have a bass player for a really long time, and I heard about Jim through some friends of mine who had a Prince prom party and they said, ‘Oh, the bassist is really good.’ … I looked him up on MySpace and e-mailed him. … And Jess, who sings with me, she’s really awesome. Dan and Jess are both in a band called Tiny Television, and I saw her sing with them and just fell in love with her voice. … Jess has been with me the longest out of everybody. … And Matt, the horn player, he’s a really cool guy. He always dresses in ’50s Rat Pack kind of outfits, but he’s 23.

MK: How do you classify your music?
JK: That’s the hardest question that anyone can ask me. I’ve been saying that it’s kind of indie blues, a little bit. There’s some songs that could be played in a jazz club, there’s some songs that could be played in an indie rock club. I had an older brother who ... was in that Kurt Cobain generation, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden – but also really into hip-hop … and so I had that. And I had my dad, who listened to nothing but Led Zeppelin and Eric Clapton. I had these two different worlds, and I loved both of them. ... I’ve always been really drawn to the blues – not electric blues, but old-school, Louisiana, on-the-front-porch, twangy guitar blues.

MK: Tell us about your upcoming CD release party.
JK: That’s going to be September 18 at the Walnut Room. ... That is such a great listening venue. It is one of our favorite places to play. The staff is super cool, and it is genuinely meant to be a room where you go and listen to music. ... We’re working really hard to play the album verbatim, including the electronic stuff and the hip-hop sounds. And the other bands that are playing with us – Dan Craig. He’s amazing. He’s another local singer/songwriter. And then Achille Lauro – they’re a really cool, artistic, eccentric band. ... It’s kind of like your debutante ball as an artist when you release your first album and have this big to-do and people come – you hope people come. Twist & Shout has offered to sell it the same day that it comes out so people can buy it that same day, before the release party. And we’re releasing it on iTunes and CDBaby and DigStation all on the same day.

MK: Do you talk about your sexual orientation?
JK: I do, but I don’t. I’ve thought really long and hard about this, because a lot of people really try to bank off that. A lot of people say, ‘I can tap into this community artistically that the straight world can’t, so I’m gonna go and bank off the fact that I just happen to be a gay musician.’ And I don’t want to be like that. I’m definitely not afraid of saying that I’m gay. I probably wouldn’t be here (laughs) and on the cover of Out Front Colorado. … I have a wonderful partner that I’ve been with for a year and a half and we have a puppy and we have a very normal life. I try to make people comfortable with that who may have never met somebody who was gay. - Out Front Colorado, by Matt Kailey


Everything Red Ep - Released August 26th, 2015

"The Red Rocks show, as it turned out, served as the album release for her gritty, ethereal Americana EP, and she handed out 2,500 copies of the disc the night it debuted. Through an underlying tinge of spaghetti western-styled soundtracks, tracked live, but without an audience at Denver’s Oriental Theatre, Korte and singing partner Jess DeNicola hold court over the rhythm section of bassist Andy Bercaw and drummer Neil Mitchell. And, just like Korte, the songs are raw, punchy, a little short, and awfully pretty."

Track listing- 

1.These Fighting Notions

2.Everything Red

3.Hard Luck/ Heavy Hearts

4.Hope Comes At The End

Jen Korte & The Loss - self titled debut released Sept. 18th, 2009

"Jen Korte's debut album release Jen Korte and The Loss
( September 2009) was rated one of the top albums of 2009 by the Denver Westword and has been met with overwhelming praise across the board. "Korte’s weathered, world-weary voice (reminiscent of Rachael Yamagata and Lucinda Williams), harmonies from Jessica DeNicola, and the band’s evocative use of instrumentation create a late-night, listen-by-yourself album that does not neatly fit into any genre. As Korte describes it, “a little bit of make-out music, a little bit of crying music, and a little bit of rock.” - John Solomon , Denver Westword

"Throughout her debut, particularly on cuts like “Fleeting Love,” Jen Korte’s voice drips with seduction, longing, saddness and regret. With admirable depth, she also displays unyielding resolve in the face of her inherent vulnerabilities. A talented cast of players, add welcomed texture to Korte’s otherwise sparse compositions, making her first outting one to remember.” – Denver Westwords Best albums of 2009

Track Listing:

1. Its A Little Hard, Dear

2. Street Lights and Bar Fights

3. 1

4. Fleeting

5. If I..

6. Walkin On

7. 5am

8. Shoreline

9. Berlin Wall

10. Pull The Plug

11. Selfish

12. Pillows



Jen Korte blew into Denver from  the Austin, TX area in 2005.  She came guided by the momentum of Americana and Caribbean rhythms, a prowess for distinctively intricate guitar lines, and the grit and power of a Western storm in her voice. Since forming her Denver based band, The Loss, Korte has been mesmerizing audiences at festivals and concerts across Colorado for almost a decade. The band features "golden throated" Jessica DeNicola whose unassuming, fluid harmonies are in perfect contrast to Korte's uniquely sultry voice and confident rhythmic guitar.  Korte and DeNicola are also joined by electrifying violinist, Julie Beistline, and an impeccably steady and intricate rhythm section, bassist and drummer duo Andy Bercaw (White Fudge, Dirty Femmes, The Samples, Ragin Cajun Doug Kershaw and Brent Loveday) and Neil Mitchell (Champagne Charlie, The Dendrites, The Dirty Femmes and formerly Raven and The Writing Desk). 
Together, The Loss fuses a spellbinding swell of masterfully crafted medleys with persistent rhythmic pulses reflective of Korte's Texan/Puerto Rican heritage.  Their most recent Ep, Everything Red, was released to a sold out audience at Red Rocks on August 26th, 2015.
In addition to the Loss, Korte collaborates with several other genres of music and musicians in Denver. Her remarkably evocative voice,commanding stage presence,and fierce guitar playing make her invariably versatile. She has been a featured artist for The Vox Squad opening for the legendary Bernie Worrell as well as making history as being the first to perform at the newly renovated Union Station as a part of Billie Holidays Centennial Celebration.  She is also the frontwoman for her award winning tribute band The Dirty Femmes: A Celebration of the Violent Femmes. Lead singer and founding member for the Violent Femmes, Gordon Gano, has been seen joining The Dirty Femmes as a fiddle player and Korte's vocal duo partner on a few well  known tracks. He has been seen with them in Denver and traveled as far as the US Virgin Islands for 2 exclusive shows with them in 2014. In
2013, The Dirty Femmes were awarded Best Tribute Band by the Denver Westword and were nominated to receive the award again this year.  

Band Members