As this month marks the start of the second year of Ravenmount, and many publications in the entertainment world do sexy people lists every year now, Ravenmount needs a sexy people list, right? This year’s list is not all that scientific, but I am at least certain from what I hear from the fans in the audience that they would agree that these artists have considerable sex appeal, a vital if often overlooked attribute for successful musicians. (All these folks are also fantastic musicians, of course.) There are lots of sexy people in the music scene in and near Fort Collins, so these are just the top ten from among the artists I have encountered in the course of the past year’s blogging activities.
#10 Nick Dalessandro- Saxophone for Bill Smith
Marilyn Monroe’s character, Sugar, had a thing for saxophone players, and she was certainly not alone. There is something automatically sexy about saxophones, and any man or woman who masters this lovely instrument instantly gains sex appeal, borrowed from their instrument. If the saxophonist is relatively attractive anyway, the combination might land a musician a spot on a sexy musicians list like this one. Nick has a cute grin, too, which he seems to have figured out is useful for charming women.
#9 Howard Montgomery- upright bassist for Whitewater Ramble
Another instrument with sex appeal is the upright bass, and the bassist for Whitewater Ramble is easy on the eyes even without the addition of his lovely instrument. Howard has a few favorite stunts he throws in at concerts, the crowd favorite being his standing on the side of his bass while playing. There is a real bond between this man and his bass, and together they have a style that is quite appealing.
#8 Hasen Pfeffer- vocals/guitar/banjo for Hectic Hobo
Hasen’s band, Hectic Hobo, is from Salt Lake City, so close enough to Fort Collins for them to play here occasionally. I have only met this man once, and he was pretty hammered by the time I met him. I can only imagine what he’s like when he’s not so exhausted and drunk. Even in that state he caught the eye of quite a few ladies in the audience, as a talented musician and a very charming fellow. He reminds me to some extent of Kris Lager, at least with respect to how he treats fans and other musicians.
#7 Robin Lewis- vocals/guitar for Free Range Pickens
The new bluegrass/newgrass/folk band Free Range Pickins, which has been playing in Fort Collins just since November, has a fairly broad following for its genre, including a lot of young men who don’t usually thing of bluegrassy music as their thing. Why? Well, besides the fact that the band is really good, they have a very pretty, talented lady as one of their lead vocalists. Their music will be what lands them on the radio, but their sex appeal, especially thanks to Robin and the band’s upright bassist Taylor, is a huge help when it comes to enticing new fans to their live shows.
#5 Laniece Schleicher- vocals for Mama Lenny & the Remedy
#3 Alysia Kraft- vocals/guitar for the Patti Fiasco
Another female singer in town who has stage sex-appeal figured out is Alysia Kraft, an uber-talented singer-songwriter who fronts the band Patti Fiasco. Where Laniece goes for a more classic image on stage, with gowns and heels and more of a jazz/blues influence to her music, Alysia goes for a tougher, edgier image, one which sits better with the high energy rock/pop sound her band creates. If I had a daughter, either of these ladies would make great role models, though, as strong women with healthy attitudes and good sense. Sex appeal for women on stage is often a lot more oriented towards how much skin ladies show on stage, and in the national pop scene women seem to feel that have to wear next to nothing to be successful. Both Alysia and Laniece do wear sexy clothes on stage and are attractive women, but I’d be willing to bet they would still come across as sexy if they took to the stage in sweats. Alysia also performs solo and recently part of a duo, and in all her guises she presents the image of a self-confident woman who is comfortable in her own skin, something which makes any woman sexier.
#2 Kris Lager- vocals/guitar for the Kris Lager Band
As a woman myself, and a heterosexual one, I notice sexy men slightly more than sexy women, just cause I have more interest in looking at pretty men. So, of course, there are more men than women on this list, but going through all my photos from the past year and thinking about all those concerts I’ve photographed since this blog started, there are certain people who stand out as particularly sexy people. At the top of my list for this year is Kris Lager, a singer from Nebraska who plays here with his band a few times a year. For just good-looks there might be other men who could claim this top spot instead, including a few on this list, but Kris manages an overtly sexy image that reminds me of Axl Rose at his sexiest. Kris, like some of the others on this list, is happily married, and confident enough of his relationship with his spouse that he can tour the region exuding pure sex appeal along with his excellent music, without threatening his marriage. That takes some serious skill, and not all musicians are up to it. I’ve noticed, too, how much the fans in the audience appreciate it when Kris dedicates songs to his beautiful and beloved wife. Now that is sexy, not just a nice man, and a good-looking one, but one who appreciates and loves his wife and is happy to admit as much to his fans on tour.
#1 Neil Byrne- vocals/guitar/misc for Celtic Thunder
A year ago when this blog started, the band I knew best, and the only one I wrote much about was Celtic Thunder, and while I must admit I have fallen for lads closer to home since then, Ryan Kelly and Neil Byrne still have a special place in my heart as perpetual crushes. It helps, too, that they are far far away, and thus while I have met them both now, twice, I need not ever have to deal with any real consequences to my being infatuated with them. Having a crush on someone in the local scene I am blogging about can be a bit unnerving and really makes taking photos a bit less straightforward than it used to be, some days.
For a list like this one, in which all of my top ten are people I know, and they and all the artists I could have chosen instead are all friends and acquaintances I see regularly, it seems far safer to cede the #1 spot to one of my beloved Celtic Thunder singers, rather than confer such an honor on any one sexy local musician over all the rest. Part of making a successful performance career is developing a successful stage image, and sex appeal is a huge part of that. Most of the more successful musicians who play in any town have figured out how to capitalize on what makes them sexy, so while they may not all be my ‘type’, most of them are in fact sexy people. So, this year the top spot goes to Neil Byrne. I still waver between him and Ryan and perhaps if I wrote this tomorrow the honor would go to Ryan Kelly instead, but either way, these two lads are always welcome to grace a stage here in Fort Collins with their guitars in hand. These two singers do have a duo show that they tour around North America when they can fit it in between Celtic Thunder tours, and they would look great at Everyday Joe’s, Avo’s or Lucky Joe’s.