Pioneering Rocky Mountain Country Soul
Bonnie and the Clydes are a self-described “Rocky Mountain Country Soul,” band that has been gaining momentum up and down the Front Range since their start in 2010. “We take elements of country music and fuse them with our stories, Colorado culture, and a healthy dose of heartfelt wailin’,” says Bonnie Sims, the group’s frontwoman. Awarded Westword Denver’s “Best Country Band,” in both 2013 and 2014 and having played festivals including New West Fest, the Copper Mountain Music Festival, and the Flatwater Folk Festival, as well as a busy schedule of smaller venues, Bonnie and the Clydes, have already made their mark on the Front Range music scene.
Growing up in a musical family, Bonnie knew she wanted to be a musician since girlhood. Her father gifted her her first guitar at age twelve, and from there Bonnie went on to attend South Plains College in Levelland, Texas, her home state. It was at South Plains where she met her husband, Taylor Sims, electric guitarist and vocalist for Bonnie and the Clydes. Taylor was already playing professionally with his band, Spring Creek, while Bonnie was finishing music school, but “the minute I graduated, I asked him to marry me, and we moved to Longmont,” Bonnie explains. Taylor had grown up vacationing in Lake City as a kid and had always loved the Rocky Mountains, so Longmont seemed like a natural fit.
In what Bonnie describes as a combination of, “luck, fate, and persistence,” Taylor and Bonnie then found Caleb Roberts (bass), Jake Coffin (drums), and Glenn Taylor (pedal steel) to join the group, all of whom help create that irresistible Bonnie and the Clydes energy that truly sets them apart from other country bands.
“Our live show is what makes our band special and what wins us fans,” Bonnie explains. “We don’t hold anything back, we have an authentic, tangible connection between the five of us, and the audience responds to that.”
This month we had the opportunity to interview Bonnie about her personal style as well as the band’s hopes and dreams. If you haven’t already gotten a chance to experience Bonnie and the Clydes in person, the month of May is the perfect time to do so. They group plays the Estes Park Mountain Music Festival, Boulder Creek Fest, and the Denver Mile High Flea Market.