On The Scene: West Water Outlaws

Reportage by David Merrell

You know the band you loved in high school that you knew about before anyone else did? The one whose albums you played on repeat on your portable CD player, whose members’ names and respective instruments you had memorized along with the words to every song? Remember when they blew up and you got to tell all your skeptical friends, “I told you so?”

If you’ve never had the chance to say it, get ready. As written proof for the future, I hereby tell you: West Water Outlaws are the next big thing.


Photo by Vincent Elwood

This rock and roll four-piece from Boulder, Colorado are the mythic heroes of prophecy who will vanquish the hordes of laptops and topple the oppressive regime of Dubstep. In an era defined by digital reproductions of sound played by machines, West Water Outlaws are not just a breath of fresh air; they are an entire oxygen-rich atmosphere for the rock-starved population. Wielding their big drums, face-melting electric guitars, and powerful bass tones, they lay down a modern, diverse brand of classic rock and roll that leaves audiences dancing and screaming for more.

Blake Rooker, Will Buck, Andrew Oakley, and Vince Elwood pull their heaviest influences from rock legends such as Led Zeppelin, Rose Hill Drive, Queens of the Stone Age, and Johnny Cash, while incorporating styles that would be at home on Funkadelic, Stevie Ray Vaughn, and Bob Marley albums. They deliver catchy riffs filled with raw power as a base for Blake Rooker’s wailing, soulful voice, reminiscent of a young Robert Plant’s.

Release Party Footage by Sandy Rich

This Friday, December 2nd, West Water Outlaws threw a party for their single release to coincide with their drummer, Andrew’s birthday. Playing with Technicolor Tone Factory and Whiskey King Coalition at Cervantes' Other Side in Denver, Colorado, the Outlaws sold out a 45 person party bus from Boulder and packed the room, before they rocked it into oblivion. The band also premiered their first music video at the event as a companion to their single, “Come On.” The video, directed by Kyle Woodiel, is a stylized taste of the high energy performances West Water are known for, and exhibits the skill, talent, and raw power the group possesses.


Recorded at UI Sound in Boulder, “Come On,” will stay stuck in your head for days and cause you to break out into headbanging sessions at the workplace. Will Buck’s technical skill and expressive guitar solos take the song into an entirely new dimension. The quick picking and bending of notes could make your grandmother fall to her knees in an air guitar frenzy.

With a New Year’s Eve party planned near Steamboat Springs, CO, a weekend of shows in Austin, TX, and a Southeastern tour in the works for this summer, there will be plenty of chances to see West Water Outlaws in a city near you. Make sure you don’t miss out on the opportunity to say, “I told you so.”

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