Rodina brings ‘high-powered ambient dance’ music to Steamboat |

Rodina brings ‘high-powered ambient dance’ music to Steamboat

Nicole Inglis

Rodina features New Mastersounds keyboardist Joe Tatton and the ethereal vocals of Aoife Hearty, fusing ambient jazz with jammed out soul and funk.

— To Joe Tatton's disappointment, there is no jam band scene in the United Kingdom.

It seems the jam-jazz of his band The New Mastersounds is as out of place in his homeland as his accent is here in the Colorado music community.

But the keyboardist has found the best of both worlds in a new side project featuring Colorado musicians and a U.K. singer in a band called Rodina, set to play the Ghost Ranch on Saturday night.

As the New Mastersounds eases up on its rigorous touring schedule, Tatton has a chance to step back from the driving jazz-funk of his main project and explore ambient, electronic soundscapes set against the airy vocals of Irish singer Aoife (pronounced EEF-feh) Hearty in their new Colorado-meets-Great-Britain group.

Hearty's jazz-inspired vocals sets the band apart immediately, but there are some subtle structural differences that result in Rodina's "high-powered ambient dance" sound.

"In a way, there's a pop songwriting aspect to it," Tatton said. "Combining the songwriting with the jams and the eclectic styles is really good. People who like rock, they also like jazz and soul and bluegrass. There's nothing to be ashamed of liking every kind of music. I think we bring quite catchy songs and bring it to the jam band sort of environment."

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Rodina sprouted from both sides of the Atlantic Ocean about a year and half ago.

Two years ago at Summercamp Music Festival in Illinois, Tatton ran into bassist Josh Fairman back stage.

Fairman, formerly of the Fox Street All Stars, was then playing with Denver band Kinetix, and the two got to talking about music during a late-night party.

Tatton and Hearty had been playing in the United Kingdom as a duo, but they soon brought an ambient jazz sound to meet with the forceful funk-reggae and jam-rock from members of both Kinetix and the Fox Street All Stars.

This U.S. version of Rodina comprises Tatton on keys, Hearty on vocals, Fairman on bass, James Dumm on guitar, Eric Low on drums and Joel Scanlon on percussion.

The Fox Street All Stars will play a free show at the Ghost Ranch on Friday, and Rodina takes the stage at 9:30 p.m. Saturday. Tickets are $10 in advance and $12 on the day of the show.

The New Mastersounds has a record of rowdy shows in Steamboat, most recently playing the Old Town Pub. The band also sold out two shows on the Front Range last month.

Tatton said while the energy of that kind of show is irreplaceable, it's refreshing to tour Colorado with a new band, a new sound and diverse influences.

And as a Colorado regular, he's grown fond of skiing and plans to hit the slopes of Mount Werner on Sunday.

"It's sunny," Tatton said about his love for Colorado. "It's sunny all the time."

He said he's looking forward to playing the Ghost Ranch for the first time and hanging out with "the cool Steamboat people" before heading back across the pond on Monday.

"It's going to be a perfect end to our trip," he said.

To reach Nicole Inglis, call 970-871-4204 or email