In the middle of our winter tour we flew home to play the parade for our Super Bowl Champion Denver Broncos!!! It was estimated that over a million fans showed up for the parade, and we were honored to help our hometown team celebrate their victory.
After the tour we headed back to the islands for our Big Caribbean Cruise IV which sold out in a RECORD TIME of four minutes. Our cruises have become such an amazing week of fun, sun, music, fans, and friends that we look forward to every single year. Thanks for helping us build this into such a wonderful event!
March took us down south for a run through our favorite Texas venues, (and tacos!).
In May we headed into E-Town studio in Boulder, CO where we recorded our second Big Head Blues Club CD entitled Way Down Inside. We were joined by special guests Mud Morganfield (the oldest son of Muddy Waters), Billy Branch (one of the best harmonica players on the planet), Ronnie Baker Brooks (son of Lonnie Brooks and one of the best guitarists and singers around) and Erica Brown (a powerhouse vocalist). We are very proud of the result; a 13 song album dedicated to the Rock N’ Roll, Blues legend and icon Willie Dixon.
Our summer included multiple music festivals, a quick stop in Philly for a radio convention, a few dates with Steve Miller Band, and of course our annual hometown throw down at our favorite venue in the world Red Rocks Amphitheatre on June 11th with special guest Dwight Yoakam.
We were honored when we were asked to play in front of our state capitol building again for the Colorado Remembers concert on 9/11 alongside John Fogerty.
Big Head Blues club hit the road on the Way Down Inside tour from Sept- Nov, hitting 34 cities across the US. This was a special experience for us, we all truly enjoyed the incredible shows. Our guests were able to join us for the entire tour and we had the chance to play in many new cities/venues including some of the most beautiful performing arts centers across the nation. The show received rave reviews.
We were then able to say goodbye to 2016 with a very special and intimate performance at Ophelia’s in our hometown of Denver.
Thanks again to all our fans who continuously go the distance to show us support and help us make every show a memorable experience. STAY TUNED, we have brand new music coming soon in 2017!
Our yearly Winter Run was a smash success, with 26 cities and thousands of fans in attendance. We kept the energy up as we entered March, and with good reason. We had flights to catch…. to the Caribbean islands. We hosted our third Star Clipper cruise, which sold out in about 7 minutes. What an amazing time. Saw some old friends, made some new ones. And only a tiny bit of sunburn. Rum sure is tasty.
We did a good number of fly dates in the spring, including Beale Street in Memphis, Summerfest in Milwaukee, and the Shakespeare Theater in Orinda, CA. They led up to another successful Red Rocks appearance on JUNE 06, with Lucinda Williams supporting. The rain fell for a while, but the evening skies cleared for a fantastic 25th anniversary show under the stars. We recorded the show, and released it digitally in the Fall.
As for BHTM FIRSTS, we had a sweet one on the weekend of JULY04. By virtue of being invited to support the Zac Brown Band at the home of the Colorado Rockies, we became the first band EVER to play live at Coors Field! A very memorable evening for us. And BROKEN HEARTED SAVIOR kicked it off! Go Rockies! And speaking of firsts, the band’s version of Boom Boom became the official theme song for the NCIS New Orleans this year. Pretty cool to hear the opening sequence each week and know millions get to hear it.
As the summer hit, we rolled in to a wonderful experience on the road with the members and crews of G Love and Special Sauce, along with the JJ Grey and Mofro Band. It was a treat to share the stage with these artists, and play some larger venues we would otherwise not have had the pleasure to see. We made more lifelong friends along the way, and hopefully made some new fans at the same time.
After unpacking from that tour, we packed some carry on luggage to make our triumphant return to Alaska. Such a special and beautiful place, and we were thrilled with the invitation to play a couple of shows in Anchorage. They were ready for a party up there. We hope we delivered.
The band also recorded 2 new songs in the Fall in anticipation for release before the holidays. WIPEOUT TURN and NEW WORLD ARISIN’ were well received on the summer tour, and we focused on making those two tracks the best they could be. Mission Accomplished. They are are set for an end of year release.
The Boulder Theater beckoned in December, for what was our second in what might become an annual Colorado Holiday concert. December in Boulder is beautiful, especially with some home-grown rock and roll to celebrate the holidays.
Up next is our annual Winter Tour Wipeout set to kick off in January, 2016.
The band played the closing day celebration "Springtopia" at one of our favorite Colorado ski resorts, Winter Park, and bass player Rob Squires skied down the hill and directly onto the stage to begin the show. He played the entire set in full ski gear including ski boots. Nothing like skiing all day and skiing to "work"!
Todd continued interspersing some solo gigs around the band gigs, including a run of Colorado ski towns and a few weeks in the Northeast.
Our annual Red Rocks show took place on JUNE 7th and featured opening acts JJ Grey and Vintage Trouble. It was a wonderful night, but perhaps the highlight was being introduced by astronaut Steve Swanson from onboard the International Space Station! Steve Swanson, Rick Linnehan, and our friends at NASA have been incredible promoters of our band and our music and we were thrilled to once again make some history with this "first of its kind" introduction. Thanks again guys!
The summer was filled with many great festival gigs. The band set the attendance record for the fireworks show in Steamboat, Co., and we made our first ever appearance at Sturgis, SD. Jeremy and Rob did it up right, riding from Denver to South Dakota for the big gig.
Autumn found the band continuing to work hard: a short club run through the South, and a few more festivals along the East Coast. When Revel Casino in Atlantic City went bankrupt before our gig, we filled in the date with a NYC cruise around the harbor that had us rocking the Jewel Cruise Ship at the base of the Statue of Liberty. Incredible!
Our last gig of the Fall was in Charleston, SC at Zac Brown's Southern Ground Music & Food Festival. Smoking hot day filled with great music, great food, and even visiting with Bill Murray, a BIG fan!
Todd has been busy writing and has another batch of great songs we'll be working on in the next couple months. We hope to be sharing them with you in the near future.
With all due respect to December 31st, which we have traditionally rocked through to January 1st, we have a different plan for next month. We will take NYE OFF for just the third time in 30 years, and we will rock out one of our earliest haunts, The Boulder Theater (Strategem recording site!) on December 27. It will bring back lots of good memories, and we hope you will be there to share some new ones.
What an incredible year! Huge thanks to all our fans for allowing us to continue down this amazing road.
We started our 20 city "Winter Tour" with a few dates in sunny Florida and then rolled onto the boat for a trip to the Caribbean on our second Legendary Rhythm and Blues Cruise. This is such a fun trip with 20+ bands playing music nearly 24/7. BHTM played three shows during the week in addition to Todd jamming with a bunch of other artists and seeing the sun rise on several occasions. Tan, rested and ready, we continued our tour around the country with extraordinary guitarist/special guest Ronnie Baker Brooks, who sat in with the band on most of the dates. Ronnie helped us put a new spin on some of our material and brought a great energy to the shows which the fans ate up. We recorded most of the shows and offered them for sale through our website.
In the Spring we had several fun "fly weekends" at The Nugget, in Sparks, NV, the beach at the Windjammer in Charleston, SC, and a weekend run through the Northeast.
Our annual Red Rocks show was 6/8 and celebrated the 20th anniversary of the release of Sister Sweetly. For the first time ever we performed the CD in its entirety. Opening the show was Trombone Shorty and his wonderful band. It was another spectacular night on the Rocks and Shorty and his band brought their A game, too. The entire concert was broadcast live on AXS TV.
Todd did a handful of solo shows in June and then the band reconvened for our 2nd Ride Fest in Telluride. Can't beat the views and vibe in Telluride!
Summer brought The LP tour with BHTM headlining and playing "Sister Sweetly" in its entirety. The show was opened by Matthew Sweet, who played "Girlfriend", The Wailers followed with their "Legend" album, and Soul Asylum rocked out "Grave Dancer's Union". One of our favorite gigs of all time was held at the home of The Twins, Target Field in Minneapolis, where they built a stage near the third baseline and we sold out the 7,000+ tickets they offered for sale. We spent the day touring the beautiful stadium and even taking a few cuts in the batting cages before playing for an incredibly enthusiastic crowd that night.
We played a few fun festivals in the Fall including, the inaugural Warmfest in Indy and Natty Green's Brewfest in Greensboro, NC where we played through a torrential downpour with the diehards dancing in the rain. At least we had a few sunny days playing golf at the beautiful Grandover Resort prior to the deluge.
In addition to a few more solo gigs for Todd, BHTM was invited to join a benefit concert billed "Colorado Rising" to benefit the victims of the devastating floods that hit Colorado in September. The concert sold out in minutes and featured Dave Matthews, BHTM and a stellar line up of Colorado bands including The Fray, The Lumineers, Devotcha, and Nathaniel Rateliffe.
As another amazing year comes to an end we are looking forward to a few Colorado ski town gigs and returning to the tradition of closing out the year at The Paramount in Denver on NYE.
2014 promises to be a busy and exciting year with a new CD release in January and starting with one of our most ambitious Winter Tours in a long time. Bring it on!
We started 2012 with our traditional Winter Tour, covering 32 cities with various openers including Zach Heckendorf and Roger Clyne. It was fun to get back to playing a full night of BHTM music. At the end of March we played ski areas Okema Mtn, Mount Sunapee, and in a full on blizzard in Crested Butte. It was snowing so hard that our crew had to continually shovel snow from the stage while we played and several band members wore ski googles and helmets during the show. A bunch of the equipment blew up (it's a digital world now) but the band and fans hung in there and shared a truly unique concert experience. We played a handful of shows in the spring including a fun night in Myrtle Beach and the Chesapeake Bay Blues Festival. June 9th was a roaring sold out success at Red Rocks with Barenaked Ladies opening the show, and we rolled straight into 30+ summer shows billed as the "Last Summer On Earth" and featured BHTM, Barenaked Ladies, Blues Traveler, and Cracker. It was a really fun summer with lots of musicians sitting in with other bands and some late night socializing and jamming at our Stone Groove Lounge (a backstage camping tent complete with BBQ, drinks, lounge chairs, musical instruments, boom box, wind chimes, flamingo, and even a gnome). .
August 25 and 26 marked the first ever Ride Festival in Telluride, Colorado. This was the first time we've ever hosted our own festival and we had a great turnout and a wonderful time. Hopefully there will be many more to come. We also played a late night show at the legendary Sheridan Opera House in Telluride the night before The Ride, so we can say we did it!.
This Fall we played a cool festival in Fredericton, NB Canada and played a few gigs in the Northeast, including Springsteen's old haunt, The Stone Pony.
Todd played several solo blues gigs this year and also sat in with quite a few Chicago Blues legends in his adopted home of Chicago.
The musical director for the "Howlin' for Hubert" benefit was legendary musician and producer Steve Jordan. He and Todd got to know each other at the event, and Todd thought he would be a great candidate to produce the next BHTM CD. Steve, In addition to producing and playing with artists as diverse as Stevie Wonder, Keith Richards, John Mayer, and Eric Clapton, was also an original member of the Saturday Night Live band in the 1970's, and played in Paul Shaffer's World's Most Dangerous Band on The Late Night with David Letterman in the 1980's. Steve even toured with John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd as the Blues Brothers, one of our all time favorite movies! Todd sent Steve some demos. The next thing we knew we were heading to Chicago's Butcher Boy studio to work on a new CD. We booked a ten day session in November 2012 in hopes of getting some basic tracks and perhaps a few songs completed. The fit with Steve went so well that we ended up banging out 12 songs in ten days. We took our time putting the finishing touches together and the new CD "Black Bee Hive" is scheduled to be released in January 2014.
We closed out 2012 with our first ever NYE appearance in Minneapolis. The Twin Cities have always been a great tour stop for us, so it was a fun way to ring in 2013.
100 Years of Robert Johnson is released under the name Big Head Blues Club featuring BHTM, BB King, Hubert Sumlin, David Honeyboy Edwards, Ruthie Foster, Charlie Musselwhite, Cedric Burnside, and Lightnin' Malcolm.
Instead of our traditional winter tour, we toured as the Big Head Blues Club featuring guest musicians Hubert Sumlin, David Honeyboy Edwards, Cedric Burnside, Lightnin' Malcolm, John Mooney, Stephen Johnson, Rory Block, and James Cotton. It was an exhilarating experience for us to play the music of Robert Johnson with these wonderful musicians and it took us to some of the nicest performing arts centers in the country. We hope to do some more of this type of show in the future alongside our BHTM tours.
The spring found us on the road with reggae legend Toots and the Maytals. What a pleasure to witness that reggae vibe and energy up close and personal every night.
This year's Red Rocks appearance was on June 11 and featured openers Guster, and Stephen Page of BareNaked Ladies. Another beautiful night at the world's best venue!
The summer was filled with BHTM shows and festivals and we threw in a few blues festivals as well.
A very busy Fall included the Telluride Blues and Brews Festival where it actually snowed for a short time on the day of our show. The rain/snow cleared by early afternoon leaving beautiful blues skies and high peaks dusted with snow. What a great festival in one of the prettiest places on earth!.
We continued the Fall touring with one of America's greatest songwriters and a personal favorite of ours, John Hiatt and his Combo..
The end of October will find us on the sold out Legendary Rhythm and Blues Cruise out of San Diego and along the coast of Mexico.
Todd will head to England in November to play some music and follow up on the great press that 100 Years of Robert Johnson has been receiving.
We will return to Chicago this year for an appearance at the House of Blues for New Year's Eve.
Todd has been writing and we are discussing several different projects for new music in the coming year.
Instead of our traditional winter tour, we spent a good portion of the early winter recording Rocksteady. It was recorded at Jeremy's studio in Denver and he did a fantastic job as producer as well. It was a very casual atmosphere and lent itself to what is one of our funnest records to date. Lots of cool vibey stuff as well as a couple fun covers. We also recorded a bunch of material that will probably form the backbone of a future record.
We played a few select dates during the winter including a great weekend in Reno and playing and "jamming" with Mickey Hart for a Haiti benefit at San Fran's Fillmore.
This year's Red Rocks gig was on June 5th, where we celebrated with our old friends the BoDeans opening. 2010 marked the 20th anniversary of our Midnight Radio release so we had some fun with that and for the first time in our career we played an entire record from start to finish. Midnight Radio was performed in order for the first set and was recorded for download through bigheadtodd.com. We also towed our first touring van - a 1977 mustard yellow Plymouth we affectionately called The Colonel - out of Brian's yard where it has been disintegrating for years and onto the Red Rocks stage. We towed it across the stage and piled out of it's smoking carcass at the beginning of the show.
Rocksteady was released in July at we kicked off a 40 city tour with an intimate cd release party at our old Denver haunt Herman's Hideaway. Hazel Miller and a full horn section joined us on the tiny stage.
Fall brought a whole new project. Introducing Big Head Blues Club! We have always worn our blues influence on our sleeve and have considered doing a blues record for many years. We were approached by a tour promoter with the idea of having BHTM back a bunch of classic blues artists on tour. 2011 marks the 100th birthday of legend Robert Johnson so we decided to showcase his incredible music. We assembled in Memphis with Grammy winning producer Chris Goldsmith and a bunch of amazing musicians and had a magical time. We can't wait for the release of this cd and the tour in early 2011.
2010 concluded for us on New Year's Eve at Denver's Paramount Theater. This is a beautiful historic building and one of our favorites. We were joined by horn players Eric Schneider (trumpet), Kurt Moorehead (sax), and Gary Mayne (trombone) and they blew the roof off the place. Todd played a bunch of solo blues material between two BHTM sets that totaled over three hours of music.
Another wonderful year of writing, playing, and recording music!
No rest for the road warriors as we started out 2009 with 35 shows all across the US. The band toured for the first time with a horn section including Joan Jones who opened the shows and also joined us on trumpet. Jessica Lurie played sax on most of the dates and we also had a few special guests including Colorado ringers Eric Schneider and Kurt Moorehead on some dates. April brought BHTM a nice break from touring as the band were joined by their fans for some sun, fun, rum and music, in Turks and Caicos. Incredible beaches and a wonderful time in this paradise of the Caribbean! After recharging our batteries in the tropics we did a few more gigs leading up to June's Red Rocks appearance. Once again the band was joined by a full horn section for the show and had a wonderful night.
The band played a great new festival called the Mile High Music Festival and did a few more gigs during the summer and fall. The lighter than usual touring schedule allowed Todd to work on writing the next record and fall found the band starting the recording process in Denver. We have a great batch of new songs and are really excited about the future of this project and the band. We're projecting a cd release sometime next spring or early summer. To tide our fans over, BHTM released Smokestack Lightnin' through bigheadtodd.com.
The year concludes with a fun swing of dates through Colorado Ski Country and then a string of dates in the midwest including NYE in Chicago.
Pushing the boundaries of the music industry once again, the band partnered with radio stations, music magazines, and a couple sponsors to mail the new CD, All The Love You Need, to over 500,000 fans for free! The band toured all winter long, and reviews for the new record were very favorable. The songs came off very well in the live environment, and plenty of people did their homework and knew the words to the new songs every night.
June 2008 came around again and it was time for the band's annual Red Rocks show. This year the band would support a Crocs charity called Soles United, and they would raise close to $50,000 for the cause thanks to donations with ticket purchases, as well as proceeds from the online Red Rocks auctions. For this year's Red Rocks performance BHTM surprised the crowd and performed for the first time ever with a full horn section. It brought a whole new energy and twist to the show and the entire 3 1/2 hour show was recorded for future release on DVD and CD.
The band did a bunch of festival gigs during the summer months and ended the year on NYE at Denver's intimate Ogden Theater.
In 2007, we loaded up the trailer with our gear and headed out again for our annual winter tour. We started in Colorado with a couple of dates, then drove like maniacs in January and February, then well in to March. We watched the Super Bowl on a day off in a wonderful hotel in Greensboro, NC, a place our friends were able to put us up at. Had a huge TV in a special suite set up just for us. Anything to relax for a well-earned day off.
We did 2 sold out nights at the Fillmore in San Fran, and finished up the tour back in Boulder for a finale at the Fox.
We did a benefit for a fallen skier in Steamboat Springs at the end of March, a gesture that would be repaid to us in 2008 with a memorable ski trip in the back country of Steamboat, CO on a Snow Cat.
In May of 2007, the band traveled to California to begin recording the album that would come to be called All the Love You Need. During the project, we all took a break to join several hundred of our friends in Hawaii for our annual Fan Trip. This had been a cruise in past years, so this trip was a "land cruise" to The Big Island. The band returned to the studio after getting their tan on, and continued to work on the record just ahead of the band's annual Red Rocks show, which occurred on June 2nd. Another memorable evening was had by all. The band raced back to California to complete the recording, and All the Love You Need was born.
In July, the band made another trip to Alaska, then spent the rest of the summer pounding the summer festival circuit.
As fall approached, so did the Season of the Primaries. Hillary Rodham Clinton was so taken by a BHTM song that she began using Blue Sky as a rallying cry for her campaign, and the band volunteered to join her on the trail for an event in Denver. In December perhaps you received an early Christmas gift from the band. Every fan that was signed up to the band's online newsletter, Midnight Radio One, had a FREE CD of the new record mailed to their door. After popping around the country for a few more shows, the band ended up in Des Moines, IA on New Years' Eve, playing on stage in advance of a Clinton Rally, one where President Bill Clinton was in attendance. The band and crew ended up spending the rest of the night at the Clinton's hotel, ringing in the New Year in style. We celebrated a strong year, and made plans to hit the road again in 2008 to support the new record.
The beginning of 2006 saw the band embark on yet another nationwide tour, starting in their hometown of Boulder, CO with 2 sold out shows, one at the Boulder Theater, and one at the Fox Theater. They hit the majority of the towns they normally visit, and even got to play some golf on a few days off. The clubs are always in the bay of the bus, just in case. Out tour brought us through New Orleans, which gave us our first look at the devastation that overcame so much of the city. It was difficult to see. The tour ended at the end of February, and after heading home, we packed up for a week in the sun. No snow, no cold, no more tour bus. We flew south to St. Maarten in the middle of March to spend a week aboard the Star Clipper Tall Ship. Makes a long, cold tour totally worth it. We were joined by hundreds of hard core fans who were just like us, ready to rock in the sun. We saw some old friends, made some new friends, and added to our growing legacy of fan-based trips!
So, we got ourselves a nice little tan, then returned home to take on some summer tour dates, including our big party at Red Rocks in June. In July, we hooked up the the Toad the Wet Sprocket band to do a few weeks of co-bill dates. It was very enjoyable. We snuck in some more golf as well. Soon after losing power on stage under the arch in St. Louis, the two bands parted ways after a successful trip for all. We did a few more Rib Festival shows, hit some wineries for some shows, and even found time to fly to Chicago to sing a few songs on the White Sox baseball field before a ball game. Very fun. Todd even managed to get booked to do an acoustic show in Boulder as Autumn approached, which was a treat for people who had always wondered how this would work. He was joined by Jeremy on lap steel guitar, and some of those songs made their way to the Big Head Podcast. The last show of the year was set for Denver's own Paramount Theater. The Balloons are ready to drop, and the confetti cannons were loaded, to ring in 2007, signaling the band and crew to prepare to make the rounds yet again to the faithful, the loyal, the allegiant, the enduring BHTM FAN.
The band and crew loaded up just the essential gear and headed down to the British Virgin Islands to embark on the First ever BHTM Cruise, with 150 fans along for the bumpy ride. One week in the sun and surf and sand was followed by an "Inaugural" visit to Washington DC. The Winter, 2005 Tour was surprisingly successful on several levels. First and foremost, the band sounded better than it ever had live. Second, we learned that we made a lot of new fans, and third, the shows were mostly well attended.
The band had a very successful summer run on tour dates, that while not technically considered a "tour", did reach many cities across the USA. BHTM took to the skies on 14 of 16 consecutive seeks this summer, flying to festivals and touristy spots all over the map. We hope you were able to catch us, as we brought great weather, music, Ribs, and funnel cakes wherever we showed up! We were able to reach out to some new audiences when we performed before some other acts, and of course many Big Heads brought their loyal following to most of our show stops. As summer drew to a close, plans were in full swing for a Winter, 2006 Tour, complete with Tour Bus, and without having to worry about too much winter "turbulence". Thanks to all for seeing us in the summer sun. it was a bit tiring, but we definitely made it a successful and efficient time for band and crew.
Crimes of Passion is released February 10th. Rocky Mountain News calls it "Best yet from Monsters" and a "personal best". BHTM undertakes 34 city headlining "Evening With" US tour followed by trip to Europe. The European dates were a huge success and included dates with George Thorogood and The Oosterpoort Rhythm and Blues Festival in Holland. The London Times stated "American Rock doesn't get anymore classy than this." The summer consisted of a 30 plus city tour with the likes of Steve Miller, John Fogerty, Blues Traveler, George Thorogood, and others. Local Denver/Boulder band Rose Hill Drive was the opener at Red Rocks on August 7th. The relationship with Sanctuary is great! They released the DVD "Live at the Fillmore" which was recorded in San Francisco on the band's winter tour. Sanctuary also released a 5.1 audio mix of "Crimes of Passion."
After freezing their butts off in Aspen in November in a huge blizzard that caused Interstate 70 to be closed, almost canceling the show, the band closed out a very productive year with a New Year's Eve Surprise. For the first time in 15 years, the band played a NYE concert outside of Colorado, flying to Chicago to ring in the new year at the Navy Pier Grand Ballroom. Spirits were high as they prepared another "band first" to kick off 2005, in a climate far removed from Illinois in Winter.
BHTM does "An Evening With.." tour across America January through March. In the spring, BHTM enter Immersive Studios in Boulder, Colorado, to record next record. Summer includes a co-headlining tour with Hootie and the Blowfish, with Hootie opening the annual red Rocks gig. Halloween once again finds BHTM at Caesars in Lake Tahoe. BHTM begins negotiations for a new record deal, with an eye on releasing "Crimes of Passion" on February 10th of 2004. The Hazel Miller Band joins BHTM to ring in the new year at their annual gig at the Denver Fillmore on New Years Eve. Jeremy Lawton joins the band playing keys and steel guitars as the newest member of BHTM.
March 26th BHTM’s sixth studio record "Riviera", engineered and produced by Todd and recorded in his log cabin in the Colorado Rockies, is released on the band’s own BIG Records, distributed by Warner Bros. The Riviera tour takes the band across the US in the spring, and they follow that with festival dates throughout the summer. The annual Red Rocks show include the North Mississippi Allstars as the opener. BHTM performs Halloween gig at Caesars in Lake Tahoe, NV. Todd begins writing for next record.
Giant Records goes out of business and the band is granted their release from Warner Bros./Reprise. The band flies Karl Derfler out to Colorado to help put finishing touches on their next record "Riviera". The annual Red Rocks show sells out with Keb Mo as support and the band plays a few festival dates. BHTM changes management to Mark Bliesener Enterprises.
Rumors are flying that some big changes might be taking place at Revolution Records. Revolution changes their name back to Giant and the band is eventually informed that their next release with Giant Records will be in conjunction with either Warner Bros. or Reprise Records. This uncertainty slows the recording process and the band waits for things to sort themselves out. The band plays a few festivals and shows but does no major tours. BHTM continue to record on their own at Todd’s home studio.
BHTM begin pre-production for the next record in Boulder with producer John Kurzweg (Creed) and engineer Karl Derfler. The band opens for Alanis Morissette and Dave Matthews at Mile High Stadium, and also appears at several festivals during the summer.
The band takes a much-needed break from touring, releases a live record "Live Monsters" and Todd starts the writing process for the next record. Our annual Red Rocks gig on June 5th is moved to Mc Nichols arena due to snow.
"Beautiful World" is released on February 11th. Resignation Superman is added at VH1 and MTV. The single goes to top 5 at AAA, top 10 at rock, and top 40 at alternative radio and stays on the charts for over four months. "Beautiful World" opens at #54 on the Billboard charts and sells 23,600 copies the first week. The band regains its merchandising rights and starts it’s own merchandise company and mail order business at bigheadtodd.com. BHTM plays another sold out Red Rocks show and heads out for another HORDE tour with Neil Young and Primus. A short tour opening for Ziggy Marley and the Melody Makers is followed by a headlining tour with Grammy nominated Abra Moore opening. BHTM’s version of the John Lee Hooker song Boom-Boom Featuring John Lee himself appears in the movie The Waterboy. Scandal ensues when the restaurant chain TGI Fridays records an identical sounding version of the song Boom-Boom to the BHTM version and uses it in a national advertising campaign after being told they could not use the BHTM version.
BHTM heads to the Plant Recording Studios in Sausalito CA to record their next CD "Beautiful World". The CD is produced by Jerry Harrison and engineered by Karl Derfler and includes guest performances by Bernie Worrell and John Lee Hooker. The band adds two members to it’s lineup for this recording and the subsequent tour: Corey Mauser (an old friend from the band the Ugly Americans) on organ and piano, and Hazel Miller on backing vocals. Giant Records changes its image, its staff, and its name to Revolution. A video is shot for the first single, "Resignation Superman" , and the band changes booking agencies from Premier Talent to Monterey Peninsula Artists. The band tours with Nil Lara in support.
The spring and summer consists of a co-headlining tour with The Dave Matthews Band and two sold out Red Rocks shows with support acts Freedy Johnston and Ween. The band’s music is regularly heard at Colorado Rockies baseball games thanks to shortstop and BHTM fan Walt Weiss who adopts Strategem’s "Kensington Line" as the song played before each of his at bats. "Encomium", a Led Zeppelin tribute record that includes BHTM’s version of "Tangerine", is certified Gold (500,000 copies sold). Rolling Stone magazine reports that a bear has broken into Todd’s teepee and ransacked the demos for the next record.
BHTM rents the closed down historic Boulder Theatre in which they record and self produce their next record "Strategem". Strategem is released on September 27. The first single off of Stratagem, "In the Morning", is featured on the soundtrack to the movie "Blown Away" and reaches top 10 at AAA radio. A video for the song is produced by Josh Taft and includes appearances by Jimmy Cliff and Sheryl Crow. Boulder Colorado’s KBCO listeners vote Stratagem the #3 album of the year, In The Morning as the #5 song, followed by "Wearing Only Flowers" at #15. For the second year in a row BHTM is the most played band on KBCO radio. BHTM headlines two sold out nights at Red Rocks with openers Los Lobos and newcomers The Dave Matthews Band, then heads out on another HORDE Tour with Blues Traveler and the Allman Brothers. The band gets a coveted opening spot for the Eagles’ at their San Diego show at Jack Murphy Stadium, tours the U.S. in the fall with newly signed Hootie and the Blowfish opening, and heads to England,Scotland,Amsterdam,and Germany at the end of the year. BHTM’s song "Circle"appears in the movie "Angie". The band has their first appearance on Rockline which is broadcast to over 160 stations in the U.S. and Canada, and BIG Records signs a distribution deal with WEA To distribute the band’s first two independent releases (Another Mayberry and Midnight Radio)
Sister Sweetly is released in February and charts four top ten hit singles. "Broken Hearted Savior", "Bittersweet", "It’s Alright" and "Circle". Sister Sweetly is the eighth most played record at rock radio for the year, spends a record 85 weeks on Billboard’s Heatseekers chart, and goes on to sell over 1.2 million records.
• "Thanks to Sister Sweetly Big Head Todd will no longer be Boulders best kept secret!"
• "January is raining new releases and this one sounds like the very best of the lot!" -----Gavin Report
"CD of the Year"
• San Francisco’s KFOG listeners vote Sister Sweetly the #2 record of the year, Broken Hearted Savior as the #1 song, followed by Bittersweet at #19 and It’s Alright at #72.
BHTM heads out on the HORDE tour with Blues Traveler, Widespread Panic, The Samples, ARU and Allgood. A little known Sheryl Crow opens some dates for the band and they close out the year by opening for Robert Plant on the West Coast leg of his "Fate of Nations tour". The band performs on the David Letterman show (the first of seven network television appearances), and films videos for Broken Hearted Savior, It’s Alright, and Circle.
With almost 30,000 copies of "Another Mayberry" and "Midnight Radio" sold strictly through live shows and consignment and a national buzz starting to brew due to great and consistent live performance, the band attracts attention from the big boys. BHTM sign a management deal with Morris Bleisener and Associates. Giant Records president Irving Azoff flies to Aspen to see the band and signs them on the spot. Legendary booking agent Frank Barcelona flies to Chicago to see the band and signs them to his Premier Talent Agency. The band enters Prince’s Paisley Park Studios in Minneapolis with producer David Z to record "Sister Sweetly". Don Henley invites BHTM to perform along with Neil Young, Roger Waters, John Fogerty, and Henley himself at a benefit concert for his Walden Woods project. The band signs a merchandise deal with Winterland and is asked back for a second year of Blues on the Rocks with Pops Staples and the Staples Singers and Taj Mahal.
The band retires the Colonel after service of 100,000 miles and replaces it with a newer model Ford van dubbed The President (named after a favorite Chicago dining haunt El Presidenté). Constant touring helps the band establish themselves in markets across the U.S. The Chicago Tribune states; BHTM "just might be one of the best young bands anywhere.". Rolling Stone magazine features the unsigned band in the "New Faces" section of their March 7th addition. BHTM makes their first appearance at the famous Red Rocks amphitheater as part of the Blues on the Rocks festival featuring BB King, Etta James, Buddy Guy, Albert Collins and John Hammond. Albert Collins invites Todd to join him during his set and a friendship is made.
Big Records signs a national distribution deal with Caroline and Encore and re-leases Midnight Radio. The Daily Californian picks Mid-night Radio as the best album of 1990, the Washington post picks Midnight Radio as one of the top ten albums of the year. The boys head to Austin for the South by Southwest music festival. The Austin American Statesman refers to the band’s performance as "Intensely Infectious" and BHTM gets it’s first show on a big stage opening for the Moody Blues at Fiddlers Green Amphitheater in Denver, Colorado.
"Another Mayberry" is released on the bands own label "Big Records" and by years end becomes the top selling album at Boulder’s Albums on the Hill record store. Billboard magazine strongly recommends the independently released "Another Mayberry", the band again is awarded with Westword’s "Best of Denver" award, the Daily Camera calls BHTM Boulder’s best band and the Rocky Mountain News stresses, "We can’t urge you enough to see this band". Trips to the Midwest, Texas and the Bay Area, as well as all home gigs are recorded to two-track DAT tape. Thirteen new songs from these recordings become the band’s second CD, "Midnight Radio".
Todd, Rob and Brian borrow $5,000 from their parents, go into Fastback recording studios with their good friend John Burris and record their first CD "Another Mayberry". Eleven original songs written by Todd. The band's live show which covers a lot of material from the likes of Jimi Hendrix, Johnny Cash, Sly Stone, The Rolling Stones, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Albert King, Bob Dylan and many other classic blues, soul, country and rock artists; begins to personalize as Todd begins writing more songs and the band begins to find their sound. Denver's Westword magazine votes BHTM the best local rock band stating "At last a power trio worth it's weight in hype". The band buys a 1977 Dodge van dubbed "the Colonel", due to it's interesting mustard color, and hits the road. The first tour consists of gigs at At the Tracks in Chicago (where the band is joined on stage by Chris Farley for an impromptu version of Beast Of Burden), The Uptown Bar in Minneapolis and a few drunken frat parties in New Orleans.
Gaining popularity playing parties for friends and fraternities, BHTM gets the attention of music clubs around Ft. Collins, Boulder, and Denver. JJ Mc Cabes in Boulder hires the band to play every Wednesday night. This, as well as regular gigs at Tulagi’s, Cricket on the Hill, The Ramskeller and later Herman’s Hideaway, The Boulder Theatre and Fort Ram provide an outlet for the band to develop, and assist in their rise to becoming Denver area’s top band.
Todd transfers to CU Boulder, moves in with Rob and Brian and brings up the idea of starting another band. Inspired by Jazz/Blues artist Eddie "Cleanhead" Vinson, Todd suggests calling the band Big Head Todd and the...? "Monsters" was added to finish off the name as a play on the ostentatious band names (like Intruder) that were common at the time.
T.J. and the Twist get hired to play the boys first regular bar gig at Castaways Lounge in Northglenn Colorado. Unfortunately the older/cowboy clientele that frequents Castaways don’t know what to make of the teenage rockers and the band is asked not to play the last of the three-week run they are hired for. The guys are forced to take the club owner to court in order to get paid the $250 owed to them (first encounter with the "Music Biz"). T.J. and the Twist disband and Todd heads to Ft. Collins Colorado to attend Colorado State University; Brian joins Rob at CU Boulder.
Todd and Brian summon Rob in Boulder, where he is attending the University of Colorado, to start a new band. Rob brings along Tom Bolke (guitarist for Intruder) and "T.J. and the Twist" is born: Todd: sax/vocal, Tom: guitar, Rob: bass, and Brian: drums. With their mix of Blues/Soul and 50’s rock covers T.J. and the Twist wins the 1984 Columbine High school "Battle of the Bands" and plays some parties for friends.
In the fall, Todd transfers to Columbine High School where Brian is attending and Rob graduated from in the previous spring. Brian and Todd become friends while playing together in the Columbine High School Jazz Ensemble (Todd: saxophone, Brian: drums).
After relocating with his family to the Denver suburb of Littleton in 1978, Brian joins Rob’s rock band "Intruder" to assist in the butchering of songs by bands such as Rush, Led Zeppelin, Billy Squire and whatever else was the flavor of the day. The band performed primarily in Rob’s bedroom but before breaking up Intruder did manage some public performances highlighted by playing Rob’s sister’s wedding reception.
October 23 Brian Nevin born in Buffalo, New York
April 27 Rob Squires born in Denver, Colorado
October 19 Todd Park Mohr born in Denver, Colorado