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2019-04-28 Steve Gardiner Music reviews for an online magazine - Denby Gardiner


Editor's Note: My three daughters have found their own niches in the world of literacy. The next three front page stories will feature them discussing their lives and their versions of literacy.

The first story was about my oldest daughter Greta from Ashland, Oregon, and how her travels and song writing have framed her life.

The second story was about my middle daughter Romney from Minneapolis, Minnesota, and how her academic studies for her MBA degree led her to understand and track the cutting-edge world of digital advertising.

This story, the third in the series, is about my youngest daughter Denby from Denver, Colorado. While she works her day job in the solar energy industry, one of her passions is attending the myriad musical shows at Red Rocks Amphitheatre and other venues around the city and reviewing them for 303 Magazine.


Denby Gardiner


When Denby Gardiner shows up at music venues in Denver, she generally has press tickets in hand. That advantage has allowed her to see at least 75 shows at Red Rocks Amphitheatre, hundreds of shows at other venues around the city, and festivals throughout the state.


“We say it is free, but it is not free for me,” she said. “I have to come home and work.”


But it is work that she loves doing.


“When I watch a show, I know what I am looking for,” Denby said. “I know that in the first few minutes I need to find an angle, and then I can take it from there.”


She enjoys going to the many venues, seeing all the performers, and interviewing them about their work. She has worked with many area promoters, so she almost always get the press passes she requests.


With a degree in mass communications from Colorado Mesa University, Denby is also happy to have the opportunity to practice her writing in a market that captures her love of music.


“I am actively interviewing people and improving my interviewing skills,” she said. “I’m continually building my resume every time I write a new article. I am using a website that journalists are using. I am reading about AP style and understanding that format.”


Denby started working at 303 Magazine in March 2015. She spent one year as an editor, but with a full-time job as a contract coordinator in the home solar industry, the time constraints were too much, and she has settled into a pattern of writing five articles per month, which is working nicely for her.


She loves preparing for and conducting interviews with the musicians.


“Usually the only people who want to do an interview have a project out,” she said,” and it is interesting to hear what they thought about and why they did that project, what sparked that album.”


She always does research before an interview. “I try to read other interviews they have done. You don’t want to be the person asking them the same question for the 100th time,” Denby said. “You can sense a robotic response. You want your interviewee to think and give you an answer that makes your article unique and fresh. It’s a challenge, but that’s one thing I like about it is figuring out how to have the conversation.”


She loves to interview musicians in person, to see their facial expressions and gestures.


“I have interviewed Del the Funky Homo Sapien in person twice,” she said. “His voice is so distinct.  To have a conversation with that voice that you have created such a personal relationship with, hearing what he thinks about and what is important to him, is the next step for a big music fan. It is something that not every music fan gets to do. It’s a big deal.”


One special project that Denby worked on recently was about women artists playing at Red Rocks.


“It really snowballed into this conversation about why women have to choose, because if you want a family, women have a window of time, and it really sets you back,” she said.  “People work so hard to play venues or to sell out stadiums, and men don’t usually have to make that decision. That was my favorite. I got to interview six or seven women about how they felt about it.”


303 Magazine is an online publication, so every article Denby has written for them is archived on their website at https://303magazine.com/author/denby-gardiner/. She picked out four recent articles that are among her favorites and the subjects and links are listed below.


"Why Do So Few Women Play Red Rocks?"



DJ Premier Interview.

Denby said, “He is probably the greatest living producer in music today.”



Rock N Doze.

“This was my favorite this year,” Denby said, “because I think it is a really cool concept for musicians and music fans to network.”



Social Marijuana Use.

“I like this one because it was my first big breaking news article,” Denby said. “This article was the first to report the license given and several other publications sourced my piece.”


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