Ben, Blue and the Bear release first album, great example for Music with Vision |

Ben, Blue and the Bear release first album, great example for Music with Vision

Ben, Blue and the Bear jam inside the new Music with Vision Studio in Riverside Plaza. The band includes, from left to right, Ben Heil, Henry Tisch (Blue) and Julian Bowman (the Bear). On Thursday, Music with Vision Founder Erick Ocampo Machado jumped in to play with the group as they prepare for a concert at 7 p.m. Sunday at the Sk8 Church.

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — On Thursday recent Steamboat Spring High School graduate Henry Tisch and a few of his bandmates were jamming inside a new 1,800-square-foot Music with Vision studio in Riverside Plaza.

"We wrote a song about a year and a half ago, before we were an actual band," Tisch said. "It was really fun and it just kind of went from there. We went through a couple of names, but Ben, Blue and the Bear has kind of stuck the past six months."

It's been a big week for Tisch, and fellow band members Julian Bowman and Ben Heil. The band just released a new compact disc, "Something Something" and is set to perform at 7 p.m. Sunday at Sk8 Church, which is located just around the corner from the studio. Tickets for the concert are $5, and can be purchased at the door.

"It's available everywhere," Tisch said of the new album as Bowman chimed in that the bands first tracks are also available on CD. The recording includes nine tracks, including the title song, “Something Something.”

"There are all kind of reflective songs about my own situation," Tisch said of the album. "It's about who I am as a person, and it's not necessarily just focused on relationships."

However, he admits that the song Something Something came out of a relationship that broke up when a former girlfriend left for college. But while the song may have inspired the album, Tisch said a song called “Gaze” has gotten the most reaction. His favorite song to play is the fast-moving, “One Twenty-Three.”

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"I think it throws everybody for a loop," said Bowman, who is the band's drummer and also a vocalist. "The entire album is like, 'Awe it's so beautiful'. But then you get to ‘One Tweny-Three’ and everybody is like, "What is going on?’"

Bowman will be a senior at Steamboat Springs High School this year, and the band's other member Heil, who plays guitar and sings, will be a sophomore. Addison Sandvik engineered the album with some help from Maddie Ward.

The album is a first for Ben, Blue and the Bear, and also a first for the local youth advocacy group, Music with Vision. Music with Vison was started over a year ago with hopes of using music to reach out to young people in the community and then form connections that would lead to more positive outcome for young people.

Tisch, Bowman and Heil got involved after music director Henry Howard stopped by the high school jazz band class to make a pitch for music with vision. The visit got the attention of Tisch and Bowman who were drawn by the chance to record somewhere other than the living room of Tisch's parents house.

"Henry (Howard) just marched into our class one day and basically said, 'Hey I have this program', and then he played us a few songs," Bowman said. "To tell the truth I was a little weirded out."

But Tisch was enticed by the idea of recording, and caught up with Bowman after the meeting to tell him he was going to approach Howard. At the end of the meeting Ben, Blue and the Bear had laid the ground work for the album project.

"If it wasn't for Music with Vision we still be just recording in my living room with one microphone," Tisch said. "We had put a couple of songs on SoundCloud before, but now that it was something more formal, more people were interested in listening to it. It was really cool that people could finally hear the music that I had been writing, because for a long time the only place that it had lived was in my notebook."

It's the kind of story that Music with Vision founder Erick Ocampo Machado and director Henry Howard wanted when the Music with Vision program started as part of a project for the Northwest Colorado Community Health Partnership. Music with Vision has been in the studio for two months.

Howard is thrilled that Ben, Blue and Bear's Something Something will become the first album produced by Music with Vision and hopes that it will be the start of a trend inside the studio. Ocampo Machado is already working with a Meriachi band on another album project.

"A year ago my vision and my goal was to connect kids, to connect younger people to help them express," Ocampo Machado. "This space is to help our community to grow together. We have Henry Howard to help connect with the younger Anglo people. I'm a part of the Latino community, and so in the end we have different people and different communities coming together. We have Brazilian, Central America and people from Mexico who come here because they feel safe, and a place where they can share those expressions. For me it is so great that we have this space where our community can collaboration in many ways. It's a place for arts. for music and sometimes to just hangout. For me it is a blessing."

To reach John F. Russell, call 970-871-4209, email or follow him on Twitter @Framp1966.