The Last Bus
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The Last Bus

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The best kept secret in music


"All Aboard the Boogie Bus/ Jan 06"

All Aboard the Boogie Bus

By Glenn Burnsilver

Don’t try to figure out what The Last Bus stands for. The band’s name—and style of music they call “Mountain Boogie”—could easily lead one to draw comparisons to the Further bus, famously driven by the acid-dispensing Owsley Stanley and frequented by Ken Kesey, the Merry Pranksters and a host of psychedelic musicians like the Grateful Dead.

“The bus came by and I got on,” Dead guitarist Bob Weir sings in “The Other One,” “that’s when it all began…”

But for The Last Bus, it all began with no such invitation, let alone a specific bus ride. Rather the band that currently calls Fort Collins home is pieced together through old friendships and chance encounters. In doing so, The Last Bus has developed a comfortable chemistry that has already yielded three self-produced albums in just their first year together.

“Before this we were drifting in and out with different members,” Rob Jones, who triples up on guitar, mandolin and lap steel, explains during a conference call with three-fourths of the Bus. “And then we realized that (with this group) we had the right chemistry to do something out of the ordinary—we hope.”

That chemistry allows each member to push the music in new directions and, if all goes well, being able to spread that mountain boogie “without becoming mindless or monotonous.”

“I would have to give that credit to our drummer Mike (Beck),” Jones says. “He’ll never let it kind of drift away to that noodle capacity. … When we get dynamic and spacey he likes to bring us back around and out of something comfortable and into something that would maybe something uncomfortable.”

“I will always snap it right off,” Beck adds. “I just make sure it keeps going.”

That might be something that puts The Last Bus on a different road then many other jam bands. With a wide variety of influences ranging from jazz fusion to soul, hard rock and heavy metal to classic and Southern rock, The Last Bus drives with a full tank and plenty of potential directions.

“I think some of the greatest jazz improvisationalists would tell you that they are at their best when they are out on that limb. It could break any time, but at the same time some of the greatest music that is created only one time happens that way,” Jones says, explaining that The Last Bus prefer to emulate such musical ideals. “Anyone can learn riffs, play them over and over and get it down to perfection. But in my opinion, when you are out on that limb and pushing it, then everyone is in the proverbial zone and it can be some of the best music anyone can make.”

Listening to Don’t Bust The Crust, recorded live in Moab, Utah, the band certainly adheres to this principal. The music flows from Dead-like space rock to progressive fusion, in and out of rocking jams that include amped-up mandolin or unusual lap steel excursions like some country artist tripping through the Haight. It’s certainly a different mix of styles, and that seems to be what works these days.

Oh, and what of the band’s name, back when this article all began? The band offers no concrete answer.

“You know, it’s pretty metaphoric. We’ve heard a couple dozen interpretations of the name and we like it like that,” Jones says without really answering the question.

Bassist Joshua Fabian pipes up, though his answer is also of little practical value.

“It’s like a known constantly evolving organism,” he says matter-of-factly, “Yeah, I kind of like that.”

Whatever—best hop on The Last Bus to decide for yourself.
- Fort Collins Weekly

"Time to Rally for One Last Weekend of Live Music"

The Last Bus
Another band on the fast track after rising up from humble roots is The Last Bus, a motley ensemble of slick picking fools assembled in Montrose. The Bus has since moved to Ft. Collins, and they play Big Daddy’s Saturday night.
Picking up passengers from across the country, The Bus played almost 100 live shows in 2005, and they are on pace to play over 100 shows in 2006. Made up of four extremely talented musicians, the band creates a unique blend of fresh, colorful grooves, and pulsating, original, funky-butt, jazz jams backed by strong songwriting and vocals.
The band was founded in February of 2003 by Rob Jones (guitar, vocals, lap steel, and mandolin) and funky bottom-end bass player, Josh Fabian. Fabian, with his pulsating rhythms and sticky style, bounces The Bus down the winding road. Jones’s original guitar tones and fluid approach, which floods over to his lap steel and mandolin playing, takes listeners for a wild and intricate melodic ride. After a year and a half of jamming with other players, Jones and Fabian reunited with two former band mates from previous projects. On keyboards is Shawn Cooper, who has helped elevate the band’s sound to a new level. With his bluesy, soul-inspired style and solid songwriting and musicianship, his addition to the band’s wall of sound promises to propel the music to even greater heights. Mike Beck serves as the musical backbone of the group with his hard driving drum beats. The guys keep getting tighter, groovier and more out there from their grassy roots - Telluride Watch/ April 06

"The Last Bus stops in Laramie/March 06"

By Nate Green
Boomerang Staff Writer

As New Orleans was to jazz and San Francisco was to psychedelic rock, so has Colorado’s Front Range become a fertile bed of creativity for the jam band phenomenon.

Following in the success of The String Cheese Incident and Leftover Salmon, young jam bands have proliferated in Colorado like mushrooms after a wildfire. The result is a vibrant music scene based on artistic cooperation and discovery.

“The Colorado music scene has exploded in the last 10 years. It’s become a hub for the jam band scene. … The feeling is the same as in the early 60’s when rock music was starting to bloom.” said Josh Fabian, bassist for The Last Bus.

The Fort Collins-based quartet, which promotes itself as “Colorado Mountain Boogie,” rolls into Laramie tonight for a show at the Buckhorn Bar.

As they embark on a tour of the West and Midwest — with plans to play as many as 150 shows this year — The Last Bus is riding on a road that has become well-traveled.

The Colorado jam scene has found an audience far outside the state’s borders. Fans are drawn to the danceable, improvised tunes — a mix of bluegrass and acid rock spiked with butt-shaking funk — that define the Front Range sound.

“When we go out of state for shows, people want to hear the Colorado vibe. It has a unique, positive feel. Living in these mountains can really affect your outlook on life – that’s especially true for musicians,” Fabian said.

While The Last Bus has spent three years developing its musical chops within the Front Range musical community, they are aware that continued success will depend on rising above the crowd.

They hope to become more than “just another Colorado jam band” wandering through a haze of extended jams. That will require a fresh sound and tight musicianship.

“Sometimes bands get too spacey. They can take their jams too far into la-la land,” Fabian said.

Fabian credits drummer Mike Beck with keeping the band grounded, ensuring that improvised jams are focused. The addition of a lap steel guitar played by Rob Jones and blues-drenched keys played by Shawn Cooper add another dimension that separates The Last Bus from the crowd.

“We can’t be nailed into a particular genre. We’ll be heading down a jazz path, then we can go into an old country feel and then turn it around into heavy psychedelic rock,” Fabian said.

For The Last Bus, success won’t be measured by huge record deals or spots on MTV. Though every musician might secretly dream of fame, Fabian said that earning a modest living making the music they love is the goal.

That means traveling a lot and building a base of fans one show at a time.

“We’ve heard nothing but good things about the people and the music in Laramie, and we’re excited to go up there and have a good time,” he said
- Laramie Boomerang


The Last Bus has independently released 3 CD's that include "Mountain Boogie" 2003, "Seat" 2004, "Don't Bust The Crust, Live in Moab" 2005.
And have plans for another studio album in 2006.

The Last Bus has recieved substantial airplay and interview time on Radio stations throughout Colorado such as KGNU Boulder, KBUT Crested Butte, KVNF Paonia, KOTO Telluride, KRFC Fort Collins, KAFM Grand Junction, KSPN Aspen, as well as KZMU in Moab, UT.

In November '05 The Last Bus was featured on "The Colorado Wave, The Original Homegrown Music Showcase" which is a radio program that is syndicated throughout Colorado and parts of California. Carmen Allgood, the host of "The Colorado Wave", was quoted as saying;
"The Last Bus has what it takes to be a super hot jam band, and could easily develop a following like Phish or the Grateful Dead. This band just has the sound and is highly addictive, but not fattening. As we like it."


Feeling a bit camera shy


The Last Bus is a gust of fresh air ripping across the countryside of Colorado and beyond! Having played nearly 100 shows throughout Colorado and the Midwest in their first year on the road, "The Bus" is on pace for over 100 shows and a dozen or so states in 2006. Last Bus originally formed in Montrose, CO in 2003. They have recently relocated to Fort Collins, CO so that they could immerse themselves in the vibrant music scene of Colorado's Front Range.

The well crafted original songs offer listeners a unique and diverse voyage. They will experience powerful yet light, thoughtful and sometimes comical lyrics presented by the solid vocals of The Last Bus. The fluid musicianship leads to intense jams that seem to pick you up, whirl you around the room a couple of times, and then return you safely to the ground. All the while capturing the attention of all who witness. "The Bus" also incorporates tight funky grooves that can slip into anything from a "Southern Fried Shake and Bake", a Melodic Bus Ride in the Clouds or a "Bussed Up" familiar favorite. Everyone seems to relate to the music of The Last Bus.

Last Bus has been well recieved everywhere they travel, due in part to their ability to draw in a crowd with the energy of "creating from the moment", as well as their dedication to bring a unique and positve experience through Live Original Music!

The Last Bus also has a huge open air sound, thus creating a buzz and delivering monster sets on the big festival stage.

Past Festivals:

May Daze, Strausburg, CO
The Feel Good Festival, Amherst, WI
Mountain Harvest Festival, Paonia, CO
Collosal Campout, Mendon, OH
Dreamtime Festival, Paonia, CO
Festival Of The Arts, Crested Butte, CO
North Fork Earth Day Festival, Paonia, CO
Moab Art and Music Festival, Moab, UT

The Last Bus also rips the roof off, and shakes down your more intimate clubs and theaters.

Sample Of Venues Played:
Trilogy, Boulder, CO
Quixote's True Blue, CO
Oak Creek, Sedona, AZ
Bash on Ash, Tempe, AZ
Katchina Lodge, Taos, NM
Mystic Hot Springs, Monroe, UT
IQ's, Green Bay, WI
Cabooze, Minneapolis, MN
The Sandbar, Vail, CO
Aggie Theatre, Fort Collins, CO
Cranky Pats, Neenah, WI
Dulcinea's 100th Monkey, Denver, CO
The Blue Door, Snowmass, CO
Upstairs Rueb, Northfield, MN
Fly Me To The Moon Saloon, Telluride, CO
Abbey Theatre, Durango, CO
Mouse Trap, Eau Claire, WI
Sancho's Broken Arrow, Denver, CO
The Goat Soup And Whiskey, Keystone, CO
1st Street Pub, Nederland, CO
Sheridan Opera House, Telluride, CO
The Eldo, Crested Butte, CO
Conor O'Neills, Ft. Collins, CO
the Summit, Durango, CO