Lately snow sports has taken a backseat to music for Brennan Mackey, brainchild of King Cardinal, an alt-folk band based in Denver. The musician expressed his excitement to unite the two hobbies during his brief tour stop in Utah.
“I come from the East Coast, where the mountains are icy,” Mackey said, calling from the road in Montana. “So it is nice to get the chance to snowboard out here in the powder and the nicer mountains.”
Snowbasin Resort is proud to welcome five-piece outfit King Cardinal to the Cinnabar for an aprés ski performance February 6. This is the first time King Cardinal has visited the resort, and Mackey said he is ready to show the mountain town crowd new music from “Once A Giant,” the band’s latest record.
Not only does “Once A Giant” show Mackey’s growth from an emotional solo musician to an intense and relatable folk band leader, but the album also showcases the talents of fellow band members Scott Roush on drums; Andrew Porter on bass; pedal steel guitarist Ben Waligoske, and backing vocalist Texanna Dennie.
The layered instrumentation on the newest record, Mackey said, assists with his storytelling style of songwriting. His first EP, aptly titled “King Cardinal,” featured mostly Mackey out of necessity.
“Having a record out really helped me find the right people to play with. There was about a year between those two releases and we played those songs a lot and everybody really helped shape the sound and the direction of where it was going,” he added.
Mackey said the songs from the first record, after he brought in other musicians, have really changed quite a bit.
“What you would hear on that first record to what you’d hear in a live setting is very different,” he said, noting that adding drums is an obvious reason for the change in sound.
“That just comes with taking time with the songs and letting them grow and taking time to try different things.”
While he’s exploring his own sound, and taking the time to let his songs speak for themselves, Mackey is busy planning tours across the west, including the gigs at Snowbasin Resort.
As for what the crowd can expect, Mackey said he plays to the mountain town crowd, and will mix in a few upbeat covers to get people dancing.
“We’ll try to not make it a complete sit down, mellow show and add quite a bit of variety,” he said. “We’re all just super excited to come up there and let everyone hear us.”
To listen to King Cardinal’s “Once A Giant,” click here.