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"Band Gets Its Ha-Ha On"

Motorhome’s Members Like to Laugh, But They Still Take Their Music Seriously

Kurt Brighton
November 2, 2007

The guys in Motorhome are seriously funny. They’ll deny it, but don’t believe them. At the band’s live shows the between-song banter—and sometimes during-song banter—is an ever-escalating series of dares, one-upmanship of twisted, adolescent humor pushing to and beyond the edge of tastelessness.

“We’re all funny, but we’re not ‘funny guys,’” said singer/guitar player Matt Thornton. “I mean, we don’t write out jokes or plan anything. The stuff we say on stage is just an extension of our conversations—we can be laughing in the van on the entire drive to a venue—it just comes out. I can’t help it, and I’ve tried. I’ll say something and then immediately go, ‘Oh, Jesus, did I just say that?’ And I’ll look over at my girlfriend, and she’s just shaking her head.”

That’s not to say that the band is a comedy act, or that they’re bad musicians using humor to cover a lack of talent. In fact that’s one of the amazing things about the group: even as they intersperse their songs—a rich, upbeat amalgam of country, rock, and bluegrass—with silly jokes and one-liners, the band will then break into a complicated three-part harmony or key change, and you know instantly that they’re for real.

The group-made up of Thornton, guitarist/vocalist Matt “P-Mann” Mahern, Darren Radach on mandolin, drummer John Motley, and Ben Prytherch on bass—has been around for just a few years, stemming from open mic performances by Mahern and Thornton at the now-defunct Connor O’Neill’s. And even though the band released a self-titled studio album just last March, the group is recording a show at the Aggie on Nov. 8, with plans to use the performance on a live album.

“It’s a completely different sound, what we do live, versus what we do in the studio,” said Radach. “Pretty much the way we recorded that album was individual tracking. So we thought this would be a quick and easy way to get another album out, maybe something a little bit more what we really sound like. Hopefully there will be some roaring in the background so people will think we’re a big deal. Maybe cut and paste some crowd noise in there…”

The addition of Prytherch to the band is another reason Motorhome wanted to put out a new recording as soon as possible. Having previously played in a band with drummer Motley, the rhythm section backbone of the band has taken on a sharper, more compelling edge.

“They really mesh well, and they’ve got that going again now,” Radach said. “If you don’t have bass and drums working together, you can’t really get anything else going.”

Which brings it back to the main difficulty with Motorhome: describing the band’s sound. There are elements of bluegrass, elements of jam band sensibilities, and there’s a definite twang in most of the songs. But there’s also strong, driving rhythms and a certain amount of power in them too. With a quirky set of backgrounds in various musical styles, Motorhome has a sound that is what most bands hope for but never achieve: unique.

“John’s a punk rocker,” said Thornton, “Ben’s a rocker, and Darren’s more of a bluegrass guy, and I’m kind of in between it all, and P-Mann’s more of a jam band guy. So it all comes together. Without everybody it wouldn’t have the sound it has.”

Added Radach, “We kind of had established our sound based on everybody’s background being different. We sound like Motorhome because we are all so different as musicians that it has to be that way. We’re like, ‘What are we?’”

Damn good would be one way to describe the band. Just don’t call them funny guys. - Fort Collins Now

"Motorhome Ft. Collins Band Coming Soon to a Stage Near You--Unless It's a Crappy Stage"

It's no suprise that with a name like motorhome the band is always on the go. The Fort Collins five-man band is booking shows left and right these days.

"We are pretty much playing as much as possible right now," said band member Matt Mahern (aka P-Mann). "We don't turn down gigs unless they are really crappy."

Mahern, guitar and vocals, along with Matt Thornton, guitar and vocals; Darren Radach, mandolin; Joey Holland, bass; and John Motley, drums, are set to release an album in March. For a little more that a year, the group has gained exposure around northern Colorado.

It's exciting and cool to do as many shows as we are doing right now," Thornton said.

Thornton and Mahern have played together for about five years. When their previous band broke up, the two decided to write a bunch of songs and bring a new band to life.

While driving to a show in Gunnison last weekend, Thornton chatted by phone about the distinct sound that is motorhome.

"We play Americana music," Thornton said. "It's like hard rock. It's rock and 'n' roll. Billy Joel said it best when he said, it's still rock 'n' roll to me."

It may have a twinge of country, but yes, it's still rock 'n' roll. The lyrics are clever and often humorous.

Mahern said he will always remember the time Thornton dressed up like Britney Spears at the Aggie Theatre. "It was pretty gross and pretty funny at the same time," he said.

Many people wonder what drove the group to the name motorhome. As it turns out, they were driving one day while listening to a California band called Mother Hips. A song came on called "Motorhome." Something clicked.

Though the band is in constant motion, skipping from venue to the next, its members hope to make a lasting impression.

"Once we hit the stage that's when our fun time starts," Thornton said. - NEXTNC Fort Collins, CO. by Erin Frustaci

"Alt-Country All The Time"

From trucker hats to the hard-livn' alcohol anthems, the local scene seem to be bubbling over with alt-country. Rootsy rockers motorhome have been at it since 2004, bringing us yokels all the sly, gravel-voiced ditties and mellowed front-porch ballads we can handle. While the local five-piece plans on releasing an album in March, we'll get a chance to sample their high-energy live show this weekend.

Motorhome plays a free one at the Aggie Theatre 204 s. College Ave. in Ft. Collins tonight the show starts at
8 p.m. - ROCKY MOUNTAIN CHRONICLE Fort Collins, CO. by E.J.

"Motorhome Revs Its Engine Over a Local Bar-Rock Resurgence"

After laying low for most of July, Motorhome's return gig in Boulder nearly ended in a bar fight.

Guitarist and vocalist Matt Thornton thought he saw a drunk at the Pearl Street Pub empty out a pitcher filled with the band’s tips. That left Thornton on the verge of throwing punches.

Fellow guitarist and vocalist Matt “P-Mann” Mahern recalls the details: “We’re in the middle of our last song, ‘Let’s Get Bent’…”

“And I’m like, ‘Whoever took that money better put it back,’” Thornton jumps into the storytelling, with a gravelly roar.

“And then,” Mahern picks up the story again, “it’s, ‘Let’s get bent,’” as he sings the chorus, without missing a beat.

Thornton’s new bride talked him down, the bartender hooked up the band with a little extra cash, and tragedy was narrowly diverted. It’s a sweet case of life imitating art in a case where art is bluesy, rowdy rock ‘n roll. Besides, I would be disappointed if Motorhome didn’t have some kind of bar-brawl tale to tell when I meet with them one evening outside the infamous “drunk tank” practice space in an Old Town, Fort Collins alley.

Since hitting the stage in March 2006 — and now with the release of their first self-produced album, Motorhome — the five-piece doesn’t seem to be disappointing audiences. Motorhome shows have the reputation of boozin’ and boogie, mixing acoustic-flavored, mandolin-picking groovers with loud, blues-progression rockers, powered by the vocal harmonies and between-songs jokes of Thornton and Mahern. One track, “New Kind of Band” from the new disc, captures the band’s stage presence:

I’ve been wearing the same clothes for days,
I played music and didn’t get paid,
I hung around with chicks backstage,
Well, people say we had it made,
Well, I’m back in a new kind of band

Motorhome is an old kind of new kind of band. Loud guitars and cold beers haven’t fallen out of favor at clubs, but the Fort Collins music scene has been infused with bar-rock over the last year, fueled by Motorhome, Harvey Knuckles (featuring Motorhome drummer John Motley) and other bands that are most focused on making sure everyone has a good time.

“There’s been sort of a resurgence of fun rock ‘n’ roll,” says bassist Ben Prytherch, adding that Motorhome’s members are music fans as much as musicians. “I think it’s part of being with the crowd. We’re there to drink and have fun, and they’re there to drink and have fun.”

Motorhome’s five members pulled together from a number of other local bands. Thornton and Mahern formerly copiloted the Bodhi Band. (All of the new disc’s tracks have come from Thornton and/or Mahern, and several are songs they’ve been playing for years, on their own or with their previous bands.) Mahern played with mandolin player/accordionist/musical utility man Darren Radach in Victor Barnes, as well as with drummer Motley in Poorhouse. The rhythm section of Prytherch and Motley performed in the Virginia Sisters.

The familiarity translates into a solid and silly camaraderie within the band — “Oh, yeah, the grabass,” jokes Motley — which pervades Motorhome’s songwriting and their performances. The brotherhood among the musicians and the long histories of bands come and gone also explain the group’s irreverent attitude and low-ego emissions.

“Bands that act like they cured cancer, that act like they’re the shit — I can’t stand that,” Mahern says. He and the other band members can list local groups and national acts they’ve opened for who fall into that category.

Sitting outside the drunk tank, Motorhome’s members are, at the moment, definitely over themselves. The band is grinding out a following in small cities, ski resorts and college towns across Colorado, Utah and Wyoming. A show at the Lion’s Lair in Denver earlier this year only drew a dozen people, but Thornton calls the band’s modest tips “the most important $50 we ever made,” because the small crowd was rocking away with the music. And the barflies kept their sticky fingers away from the cash.

Motorhome Friday, August 10, 8pm, Aggie Theatre, 204 S. College Ave., Fort Collins. No cover, - ROCKY MOUNTAIN CHRONICLE Fort Collins, CO. by Joshua Zaffos

"Motorhome Brings the Pub to Your House on Their Debut Record"

Motorhome's first album, like most first albums, is a stylistic grab bag of sorts. While the group's live exuberance does come through the record, it remains evident that the band is still finding their voice as songwriters.

The self-titled record features a variety of sounds, ranging from New Orleans' blues piano to punk and bluegrass, all mixed with their down home variety of country-rock. Honestly, it felt a little weird hearing their music without a beer in hand, because as anyone who's ever seen them knows, Motorhome's rock is perfectly suited to bars, roadhouses, saloons or any other place where people gather to enjoy their favorite imbibe.

Roots-rock, alt-country, Americana- call it what you want, there's a hundred pubs across the country with four or five hard-working, beard-sporting rock'n'rollers playing midweek headlining gigs and opening up for national touring jam-grass bands when they come through town. Motorhome is such a band, and while their chosen brand of rock certainly doesn't put them in sparse company, what really is whether or not their hearts are in it, and it is here that Motorhome succeeds.

The music, while varied, never sounds like a pastiche, and whether the vocals are coming through with Lucero-like grit or Axl-like melodrama, the songs all manage to feel heartfelt. As tone shifts between humor, heartbreak, and life on the road, the band draws on their many influences to deliver a catchy electric/acoustic blends, adding plenty of Hammond to the album opener "You Can't See Me," while infusing energy into "New Kind of Band" and other straight rockers, often delivering on the group's love of more straightforward acts like the Supersuckers.

On softer numbers, such as "Razor" and "Maria," the acoustic guitars come out and the pace slows a bit, but the album maintains a surprisingly ful sound for a home-produced record. Recorded in the basement of mandolin/bouzouki/accordian-player Darren Radach's house, the album keeps its production missteps to a minimum, only occasionally burying an organ when it should soar, of giving an acoustic instrument too much precedence in the mix.

Whether they meant it or not, the record's highlight is the final song, "Johnson's Corner," a country-fried exhortation on the benefits of I-25's oasis for America's most underrated laborers, truckers. The songis funny and succeeds with a sing-a-long factor of one-million, even taking a quick Judas Priest-esque side trip to relate a PG-13 story of carnal excess at said truck-stop. Great song.

And so the record succeeds in that, for fans of the genre, there's enough here to make listeners want to see motorhome play live, which is the biggest thing fans can do to ensure that the band is able to deliver a second record. - SCENE MAGAZINE Fort Collins, CO. by Nathan Harper

"Motorhome Almost Vegas"

It’s all come together. On Almost Vegas Motorhome has taken the disparate influences of their debut and melded them into a beer-and-cigarette-stained whole. This is the Motorhome that was always just beneath the surface, and now they have finally arrived with a sound that is unique, recognizable and, most importantly, open enough to let them incorporate many different styles while still sounding like themselves.

The boozy bravado that one expects from these hard-living lads is there in spades, as is the freedom-loving redneck element, as heard on songs like “Don’t Do That.” But tempering their speed-addled classic-country attitude is the occasional regret track as well. They’ve switched from whiskey to beer, they’ve gone from Marlboro Reds to Lights and have given up cocaine altogether. But even with the clarity of hindsight they’re still not trying to be too good, they’ve just slowed their dogged pursuit of self-destruction a bit.

The sound is also a step up from their debut. Recorded, mixed and mastered at some of our cities’ world-class studios, every mandolin, guitar, Fender Rhodes and high hat sounds pristine. Vocalists Matt Thornton and Matt “P-Mann” Mahern again share signing and songwriting, and though I prefer Thornton’s grit to the P-Mann’s at times Axl-esqe wail, both have improved as songwriters and can now be heartfelt without sounding melodramatic. Though Motorhome may think they’re only Almost Vegas, their dirty, country-fied rock’n’roll sounds fully there.

By Nathan Harper - Scene Magazine, Fort Collins, CO. 2009

"Motorhome Almost Vegas CD REVIEW"

Westword Motorhome CD review

Almost Vegas

Michael Roberts

Creating fresh-sounding roots music ain’t easy. It’s a bit like trying to make a new antique. Somehow, though, the quintet riding in Fort Collins’s Motorhome manage to pull it off. Singer-guitarist Matt Thornton shakes up the formula with the gruff incongruity of his voice; on “Innocent I Know,” he recalls a backwoods James Hetfield. And if co-frontman Matt Mahern, aka “P-Mann,” isn’t quite as distinctive, his braying delivery is tougher than usual for the genre. Just as important, multi-instrumentalist Darren Radach, bassist Ben Prytherch and drummer John Motley, who’s since left the group, bite into the material instead of nibbling its edges, as on “I Know Better,” a raveup that finds everyone shouting, “Don’t love you!” with lusty glee. Which is always the best kind. - Westword Denver CO. 2009

"Motorhome: Colorado's Northern Country Rock Sons Step Into The Musical Limelight"

Motorhome: Colorado's northern country rock sons step into the musical limelight

by B. Dutch Seyfarth

Here at the Colorado Music Buzz, we pride ourselves on scanning the horizon for the next thing in local music. Colorado is growing talented bands at a level never seen before.

It's fun as a music writer and music fan to watch the music industry excitement surrounding our state's incredible talented bands and performers.

Think about it: in the last 15 to 20 years, our fine state's music community has produced "the String Cheese Incident", Yonder Mountain String Band", Big Head Todd and the Monsters", "Leftover Salmon", "Drag the River", "Devotchka", "16 Horsepower", "Uncle Earl", and of course recent success stories with "Rose Hill Drive", "The Fray", "Single File", "Meese", "Tickle Me Pink", and "The Photo Atlas". Heck, this short list doesn't even begin to scratch the surface of bands that are out there touring nationally and internationally garnering critical acclaim and fans. So, in the spirit of the new year and helping talented Colorado bands gain exposure, I'd like to add the band "Motorhome" to the list of bands to watch in 2008.

"Motorhome" seemingly came out of nowhere in 2007 from Ft Collins although they were founded a few years prior in 2004. As of late 2007, they graduated to true headliner band status with a few high attendance Ft Collins Aggie Theatre shows. Of course, many people may take us to task on whether or not "Motorhome" is indeed a true country band. Well, here in Colorado, country music means a very different thing than most parts of the country. "Motorhome" brews it's own special blend of country music with uniquely Colorado musical elements of bluegrass, folk, and even a bit of psychedelic jam rock. Add cigarette and whiskey soaked vocals to the mix and there you go, you have a decent idea of what kind of music "Motorhome" plays.

"Motorhome" is comprised of Matt Thornton on guitar and vocals, Matt Mahern on guitar and vocals, Darren Radach on mandolin and numerous color instruments, Ben Prytherch on bass, and John Motley on drums. On the band's latest self release, the band combines a novelty song called "Johnson's Corner" about the famous truckstop along interstate 25, to more serious songs such as "Maria" which deals with the topic of veterans returning from war facing uncertainty back at home. Besides "Maria", perhaps the strongest song on the latest album release is "Razor" which has lyrical content focusing on the time worn topic of a poisonous love affair. “Razor” swells atop a power ballad song structure that incorporates mandolin, crunchy guitars, biting vocals, and wave after wave of background vocals.

Most amazing is that the band recorded their last album with incredibly lo-fi equipment including just a few mics and a computer with no outside professional assistance. When you get a chance to hear the quality of the recordings on the band's Myspace website (especially "Maria" and "Razor"), I think music fans will be amazed at what the band accomplished. - Colorado Music Buzz


August 10th 2007 motorhome "motorhome"

August 1st 2009 motorhome "Almost Vegas"



Proud to call Colorado home, motorhome’s been (rocking and) rolling across Rocky Mountain stages since 2006. Named one of the top bands to watch out for in 2009 by the Colorado Music Buzz (, motorhome's rolling downhill with their foot on the gas. Unlike any band that's preceed them, they're a unique rock band with a hard country edge. Instead of pigeonholing their musical genre, they write music that is true to them, and leave it to their fans to decide what to call their exotic blend of rock and irreverent country. While their original songs are a true strength of the band, their overall musicianship, harmonies, and energy cannot be overlooked. motorhome is a complete package, and their live shows are experiences not soon to be forgotten.

Having opened up for great performers like Cross Canadian Ragweed, James McMurtry, Cracker, Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers, Junior Brown, Randy Rogers Band, Micky and the Motorcars, Reverend Horton Heat, The Mother Truckers, Jerry Joseph, The Legendary Shack Shakers, The Gin Blossoms, and Split Lip Rayfield, motorhome has played all sorts of venues for nearly every type of crowd. With all the variety, one thing always holds true. motorhome leaves the stage running on fumes, and crowds love them for it.

With the upcoming release of their second album and a live album in the works, motorhome's rolling downhill with no sign of slowing down.

“Motorhome shows have a reputation of boozin’ and boogie, mixing acoustic-flavored, mandolin-picking, groovers with loud, blues progression rockers, powered by the vocal harmonies and between song jokes of Thornton and Mahern.”
....Joshua Zaffos - Rocky Mountain Chronicle – Fort Collins, Colorado

“Motorhome walks a line between good ol’ Americana, rock and country”
....Aaron Davis - Planet Jackson Hole Weekly – Jackson Hole, Wyoming

“Motorhome’s hardcore Americana sound is like comfort music that doesn’t want to be.”
....Live Wire – Fort Collins Weekly – Fort Collins, Colorado