There is a sweet intuition in watching brothers playing or sisters singing together. Some of that familial DNA seems to weave its way through the verses, the octave changes and the rhythm shifts. When my sister and I sing together, it’s like singing with myself but in stereo. Watching Colorado Springs’ Conor and Ian Bourgal of The Changing Colors play together, it’s as if one person splintered into two – a river of fraternal goodness.
I’ve come to know Conor and Ian as some of the finest purveyors of good music in Colorado Springs — our town known for many things but not necessarily that. Originally from New York, this twin superpower finesses the audio behind both my chapel sessions and for local label Blank Tape Records (Haunted Windchimes, Joe Johnson), but they also make beautiful music in their own right. I’ve been wanting to feature The Changing Colors in their own chapel session since the beginning, and finally got my chance on a recent Sunday, together with their cellist Aaron Fanning.
I hesitate to even use the word “autumn” in this still-summer context (don’t go, August, please, I’ll change, come back baby) but true to the innuendo established in their band name, these songs usher in a particular crimson and orange wistfulness, and whisper to us about the season that’s just right on ahead. When I first saw The Changing Colors perform live, I was grabbed by Conor’s husky, rough-hewn voice – try and not be reminded of Ray LaMontagne. You can’t. I’ve been listening to this session all day.
The final song is a Tom Waits cover from the “Bawlers” disc of 2006′s Orphans: Brawlers, Bawlers & Bastards collection, and sounded pretty much perfect in a church. And after you enjoy that sweet, sweet slide guitar in “On The Side of the Light,” listen for the perfect timing of the church bells that started singing above our heads with Conor’s final guitar strum. We always try to time the recording in the fifteen-minute windows between chimes and this time our calculations were off, but also wonderfully so. I hope the Bourgal brothers never go back to their native New York; heaven knows our city needs them here.