The Yawpers, born in Boulder and residing in Denver, are the country's greatest acoustic guitar rock band this side of Tenacious D. Aided by a carefully thought-out selection of pedals and amps, singer-guitarist Nate Cook and lead guitarist Jesse Parmet (in front of drummer Noah Shomberg) manage to coax a surprisingly full sound out of their axes, and they are capable of anything from soft, alluring ballads to a balls-to-the-wall cover of Mötorhead's "Ace of Spades," complete with a ragingly plucked acoustic guitar solo. But beneath Cook's gravelly, whiskey-worn voice and testosterone-pumped songwriting lies a street poet's keen eye for storytelling. The band is, after all, named after a line from Walt Whitman's "Song of Myself" (in which the poet promises to "sound my barbaric yawp over the roofs of the world"), plays a song called "Bartleby the Womanizer," and casually name-drops David Foster Wallace mid-song. The combination of brains and brawn makes for a night in which you can either lose yourself in sweaty rock 'n' roll fever or spend the night pondering the meaning of lyrics like, "Living my life with my head in the sand / Praise the Lord, I'm an American man."
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