As the Fort Collins music scene has steadily shifted from
jam-bands to hip-hop to the age of deejays and mix artists, few
local bands have continued to play traditional rock ‘n’ roll, but
local band the Rastanauts have successfully formed a band that
draws from several classical musical genres.
Aside from their misleading name, the band does not play solely
reggae, but maintains tinges of reggae beats in some of their
The group, comprised of Jason Adams on bass, Jude Hueber on
drums and George Michael Cassidy on vocals and guitar, have musical
knowledge that runs deep into the roots of jazz as well as the
progression of rock ‘n’ roll.
Cassidy, having studied music extensively, combined with Adams’
creativity and Hueber’s need to dissect musical elements have
produced one of Fort Collins’ premiere lawn bands.
“We all add something different to the music. I, being a
mechanical engineer and Spanish double major, add some spicy torque
to the bands mechanics,” Hueber said.
The Rastanauts’ influences include The Talking Heads and Led
Zeppelin in addition to a solid understanding of jazz foundations.
This combination can be heard in their songs that vary from clean
rhythm to blue grassy shifts and the occasional mellow reggae beat.
“Our sound isn’t necessarily music never to make love to,” Adams
The band began as most college bands do – in the basement
jamming with the aid of various creative muses.
“We began playing together initially because we all shared an
intense love of music and thoroughly enjoyed expressing our musical
sides,” Cassidy said. “It wasn’t until we realized that with music
comes attention from the opposite sex and free alcohol that we
decided to step it up a bit and began playing gigs.”
The Rastanauts have appropriately played Rasta Pasta as well as
other local venues and several graduation parties.
“I want them to play my graduation party,” said Shawna Roche, a
senior political science and English double major. “They play good
music and are able to play a slew of covers that everyone can sing
along to. Plus it’s three hot guys. What more could you want in a
The Rastanauts will be playing a show at 9 p.m. on April 10 at
2. Sisters O’Brien
Since the ’70s and that freak bout with Hanson, there haven’t
been many sibling musical groups. Leisure-suit-clad, feathered-hair
sensations such as the Partridge Family, or the matching sequined
Jackson Five brothers have no wide-scale, modern-day
Yet, Fort Collins is home to sister sibling duo, The Sisters
O’Brien who for the last three years have played nearly every venue
in town. Kiley O’Brien, a senior graphic design major and her
sister Lindsey O’Brien began playing music together as children.
The two both play guitar and bongos to produce a soulful acoustic
funk interwoven with jazz and rock.
“They kind of sound like Ani Difranco, only not so pissed off,”
said Karin Parker, a senior graphic design major. “Their voices
harmonize so beautifully that it produces a kind of awe in the
The ease with which the two sisters work may come from a
lifetime of musical influence.
“We came from a very musical family. Mom was definitely a
kitchen singer. We grew up around music,” said Lindsey, whose
family is comprised of musicians who have all successfully pursued
careers in the music business.
The sisters’ father is also in a popular band with his brother
called the O’Brien Brothers. The two duos occasionally team up to
produce the O’Brien Experience, playing venues in Chicago.
The Sisters O’Brien played before a packed house at Rasta Pasta
last Saturday, reaching an audience that spanned several
“I’ve been listening to them for a couple years and their music
just gets better and better,” said Hillary Smith, a senior
sociology major. “The fact that they write their own songs and
maintain a warm relationship with the audience makes me want to see
them every chance I get.”
The sisters write lyrics with deep emotional and political
content that relate to their lives as well as the political
climate. The duo also enjoys inviting audience members on stage to
perform with them, adding various instruments to the mix.
The Sisters O’Brien is currently working on their first album,
which is due out in May and will be available at
Not many bands can boast the Aggie as their first gig venue, yet
local band Wasabi performed their first gig there two years ago
opening for Jerry Joseph.
Since then, the band has played most venues in town and has
begun touring, playing venues in Wyoming as well as Montana.
Wasabi, comprised of Marshall Van Stone on drums, Brian Collins,
keyboard, Ehren Crumpler, bass, vocals and guitar and Sean Waters,
vocals, guitar and bass, has acquired a solid local following
providing listeners with an “acid blues dance” experience that
attracts a wide audience.
“I’ve seen them a couple times at the Starlight and they’re
definitely not a band to stand and watch stationary,” said Ryan
Hoisington, a senior American studies major. “Whether you like it
or not, you’re going to be dancing. It’s great the way their mellow
sound moves through you.”
Wasabi recently released their first album, “Greetings.” The CD
contains ten tracks with content that spawns several musical
genres, including jazz, funk and rock.
“Our music definitely contains rock as a core, but trying to
describe our influences is impossible because it’s such a
conglomerate of everything that we’ve ever experienced musically,”
While most aspiring bands dream of record deals and fame, Wasabi
maintains the roots that originally banded them together, which is
their common love of music.
As far as long term goals go, “We just want to play music for
the rest of our lives,” Waters said.
Wasabi will be playing a free show on April 10 at the Aggie.