No Trick: Karl Denson back in Telluride for Halloween Bash

No Trick: Karl Denson back in Telluride for Halloween Bash


“Sticky Fingers? A treat for sure: Karl Denson at KOTO-fm’s Halloween Bash in Telluride

Guess who Karl Denson (of Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe, KDTU) along with special guest Anders Osborne will be impersonating for their brief but undoubtedly memorable appearance in Telluride over Halloween weekend. KDTU and Osborne will be performing a soulful rendering of Rolling Stones landmark album Sticky Fingers in its entirety.

The no-miss event takes place Saturday, October 29. The concert is a benefit for Telluride’s one and only community radio, KOTO-fm, in celebration of  the station’s 36th annual Halloween Bash. Doors at 8 p.m. Showtime is 9 p.m., Hanley Pavilion, Telluride Town Park.

Sticky Fingers was the Stones’ first album of the 1970s and its first release on the band’s newly-formed label, Rolling Stones Records. Two of the best cuts on Sticky Fingers are country, one forlorn, “Wild Horses,” and one funny, “Dead Flowers.” “Sister Morphine” is one of the most horrifying songs about drug abuse ever recorded. “Bitch” is a rocker. And to remind the world the Stones had dirt on its (sticky) fingers, there’s the keynote “Brown Sugar.”

It’s hard to overstate the importance of the Rolling Stones is the history of rock and roll music. The group, which formed in London in 1962, synthesized so much from its musical antecedents as it defined the future of the genre, priapic strutting and all.

And Denson?

Karl Denson too has had a storied career. A multi-faceted recording and performing artist, his rise to funky jazz fame began in 1988, when he met Lenny Kravitz at a recording session. After working together for a number of years, recording and touring, when Lenny bid adieu to his horns, Karl said adios to rock ‘n roll and began a jazz recording career in 1992. After the Greyboy, came Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe, a jam/groove phenom influenced by the likes of  James Brown, Maceo Parker and Parliament-Funkadelic.

Karl ratcheted up his act to the next level by putting more emphasis on vocals and adding some funk, R&B and hip hop elements into the mix. The winning combination sent KDTU to the top of the heap in the touring world, selling over 250,000 records between 1999 – 2005.

“My style is based in dance” shares Denson. “I love the idea of creating something that naturally makes people want to move.”

KDTU has headlined and performed at festivals around the country and around the globe, including Bonnaroo, The New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, Monterey Jazz Festival, Newport Jazz Festival, Montreux Jazz Festival, Moscow Jazz Festival and multiple appearances at the Telluride Jazz Celebration.

Tickets for KOTO’s Halloween concert are available at or at the station on West Pine Street and Wizard Entertainment.

To learn more about Karl’s history, his influences, etc. listen to my interview with him from the 33rd annual Telluride Jazz Celebration.

For an update on Karl’s life and work and more on his upcoming KOTO concert, click the “play” button and listen to my latest interview with the artist.

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