The six-piece rock band, tenbucksixer, has released their self-titled debut album, twelve tracks informed by songwriter Bob Wood’s life and love of Colorado. Most of the band members are past 40-years-old and have day jobs, and a couple have retired already, but making music isn’t a hobby for tenbucksixer.
“We’re not trying to make it a career at this point in our lives, but it doesn’t mean I don’t take it seriously. It doesn’t mean I’m not passionate about it or proud of it. I’m super grateful to find these people that want to play with me,” Wood said. “I’ve played with a lot of fun musicians and had a good time. This is the first time I’ve had this collection of people that are all on the same sheet of music.”The band is made up of Wood on acoustic guitar and vocals, Dale Hoffman on keys, melodica and vocals, Mike Pesci on bass and electric guitar, Amy Ansari on vocals and vibraslap, Jim Hannah on electric, slide and lap steel guitars and Matt Cardenas on drums.
“I write the lyrics and the structure, and the band takes it from there,” Wood said. “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts and the band really shapes these songs.”
Each song is a snippet, a story that Wood had to tell. “Love in the Time of a Quarantine” was informed by the loss and grief Wood and others experienced losing parents to COVID, being separated from them in hospital wards and nursing homes. “Flood,” the rollicking second track on the album, recalls his memories from the 2013 flood.
“Butane and Beansprouts” came from an offer from a neighbor to pick up supplies, and “Dharma Brat” came from another musician’s story about smoking pot and clove cigarettes at Naropa. According to Wood, the same neighbor that inspired “Butane and Beansprouts” led to the band’s name.
“I said something to him about watching my money and he responded ‘Oh of course you are, you’re drinking ten buck sixers,” Wood laughed.
Hannah said two of his favorite tracks on the album are “Hot Dogs and Methamphetamines” and “Dharma Brat.”
“Mike (Pesci) played the guitar solo on (“Dharma Brat”) and he’s really just a terrific guitar player,” Hannah said.
Wood, 54, came to playing music later in life, picking up a guitar because his daughter was interested in learning. Wood always listened to music, but never thought much about playing it. He started playing with Hoffman around ten years prior and picked up other musicians on the way.
Hannah, in his 60s now, has played guitar on and off since he was 12-years-old. He took a break in his 30s, only to pick it up 25 years later when his daughters wanted to play.
“I enjoy it a lot more without the pressure of making a living at it,” Hannah said. “It’s a lot of fun. We don’t play out all that much, so when we do it’s kind of special.”
The album itself was recorded at The Pajama Room Studio in Longmont during the pandemic over a series of tracking days, which was a fun learning experience according to Wood. The important thing was having a physical CD to have something tangible in their hands beyond a digital recording.
The tenbucksixer album is available to listen to at the band’s website, as well as on Spotify. The release party will be held at Bootstrap Brewing, located at 142 Pratt Street in Longmont, on August 21 from 6-9 p.m.
edit: the article was updated to correctly add in guitarist Jim Hannah's first name.