OLYMPIC VALLEY, Calif. — Guitarist Adam Kinghorn of Colorado’s Head for the Hills isn’t really concerned with the label attached to his band’s music.
“I always say Colorado bluegrass, because I think that really sums it up,” he said. “The history Colorado has with newgrass and jamgrass. We love the old-timey sound and we love traditional bluegrass, but to be honest that’s not where our roots are.
“Colorado is a great state for bluegrass. It’s also a great state for people that expect bluegrass to be taken to new places.”
Kinghorn first met band mates Michael Chappell (mandolin), Joe Lessard (fiddle), and Matt Loewen (bass) in 2004 at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colo.
“We all met in the dorms,” Kinghorn said. “Our first practice was in a dorm room, and then things started growing from there. After we graduated we decided we didn’t want to use our degrees, and that we wanted to keep expanding musically.”
Since then, Head for the Hills has steadily grown a following in Colorado and around the country, playing this summer at Telluride Bluegrass Festival, Wakarusa Music festival, and other festivals around the country.
The band has released two studio records, 2006’s “Robber’s Roost” and 2010’s “Head for the Hills.” H4TH followed up this year with “Head for the Hills Live,” a concert album released in May.
“It’s doing great,” Kinghorn said. “We recorded six shows in Colorado and compiled the best of the best. It’s going really well, because people really respond to what we do live.”
Kinghorn noted gradual changes in the band’s sound throughout the tracks, which were recorded over a period of eight months in Colorado.
“I absolutely think you could kind of hear the evolution, just the way our sound was changing over the course of those months,” he said. “I think that’s what was so neat about that experience; you can really hear the band progress.”
Kinghorn and his band mates are working on their third studio album.
“That’s in the works, we’re recording that in a studio in Fort Collins,” the guitarist said. “That’s absolutely in the works and is something we’re really excited about. We’re excited to hear what people think about it.”
“There’s a pretty big sense of urgency,” Kinghorn added. “We just put out the live record, but we realize that people want to hear new material. Our fan base has been so good to us in Colorado and around the country, that we’re just excited to show them some new stuff.
“I think the main thing is we all write a lot. What’s been happening lately, what happened on the second record is, depending on who wrote the song, it’s a different sound. How we’re all bringing or own style of writing to the table, and how that’s becoming less and less bluegrass.”