Local band Apple Pie Order perseveres despite challenges

Departure of band members leads to new voices, sounds

John Camponeschi
For Steamboat Pilot & Today
“Apple Pie and A Guy” members, from left, Hayley Berg, Xandria Gregory and Kyle Kounovsky hang out following a performance at Mythology Distillery in Steamboat Springs.
John Camponeschi/Steamboat Pilot & Today

Apple Pie Order, a local band that has been surging in popularity, is going through exciting transitions in its quest to continue its dedication to bringing its deep and soulful sound to the Yampa River Valley.

The group focuses primarily on playing Americana, folk, rock and country music for their listeners. Each member past and present is fascinated with different genres of music, which has led to a diverse and eclectic mix of music.

The departure of two longtime members has led to the addition of new local talent in order to keep the energy that the band has brought to the area rolling strong.

With recent departures and additions, Apple Pie Order has temporarily changed its name to Apple Pie and a Guy, consisting of Hayley Berg on vocals and guitar, Xandria Gregory on bass guitar and vocals, and Kyle Kounovsky on percussion.

In 2021, Berg began the process of forming a band — specifically one that utilized female talent from the Steamboat Springs area.

The original group, Apple Pie Order, was composed of Kristin Forster on guitar and vocals, Kacey Underwood on standing bass, guitar and vocals, Carolyn Berns on violin and Berg.

After a few performances and positive accolades, the group decided to start playing at additional venues, including The Press in downtown Steamboat Springs, as well as others in the Yampa Valley.

Following Underwood’s departure from the area, Xandria Gregory was tapped to fill the musical void. She joined the band full force in fall 2022. Gregory has been enamored with music her entire life and studied to be an audio engineer in college.

Berns is not currently playing in the band but is slated to return in a few months. To fill that void, Kay McKenzie (violin) is going to be brought into the mix. Kyle Kounovsky, a local percussionist who is also an educator at Sleeping Giant, was also added. Forester, who moved to San Diego for the winter, has departed the band temporarily as well.

The departures led to the remnants of the band feeling like they were “scrambling,” owing to the fact that they have become used to playing with four people.

“We are still feeling the effects but we have had good feedback,” Berg said. “It is nice to have friends to call on. With bands, you always just take it one day at a time. It is a day-by-day evaluation.”

“It has been a nice change of pace for me because I have normally just played with guys, so it is nice seeing different dynamics,” Kounovsky said. “It just seems like things work particularly well with this group of people, more so than a lot of bands that I have been in before.”

Gregory has been in the Steamboat area for slightly more than four years and formerly played with other groups before joining Apple Pie Order.

“Bands evolve over time,” Gregory said. “I feel like, despite the fact that we have lost some members recently, if the energy and the talent is there, we will keep that following and we will keep working on evolving. I feel really good about it.”

The band’s trajectory is based on the goal of playing music for personal fulfillment to the benefit of their listeners. Despite their rapid rise in popularity, and playing in other areas of Colorado, they want to stay local and focus on their covers and the original works that each individual band member brings to the table.

“Staying local gives me, at least, and Kyle too, the opportunity to work with other projects and to work with our own music,” Gregory said. “I have kind of been wanting to work on my own project too.”

The band feels that the community of Steamboat Springs sustains them in many ways, especially with the artistic energy that emanates from the diverse community that contributes to the Yampa Valley music scene.

More information on the group and its deviations can be found on the Apple Pie Order Facebook page.

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