Photo Cred: River Wilde

Photo Cred: River Wilde

August 14th, 2018

The Symbols have played over 60 shows this summer season, and don't plan on stopping.  
This week, The Symbols hit the midwestern United States playing around Nebraska, Kansas, and Missouri.  
Here is where we will be! 


WEDS AUG 15th - 
Summertime Blues In the Park
Topeka, KS

THURS AUG 16th - 
The Corner Bar
Fremont, NE

FRI AUG 17th -
Trails West! Festival
St. Joseph, MO
5:30pm - City Stage!

SAT AUG 18th - 
The Voo
Salina, KS

SUN AUG 19th -
Bonner Springs, KS

We return to the Colorado area the next week, with a highly anticipated couple of regional shows -
Skyline Park
Denver, CO
12pm-2pm "STOMPIT" Duo - it rocks!

Live At Lunch KRFC with hostess Deni LaRue 88.9FM
Swing Station 
LaPorte, CO
Evening show

The Zephyr Lounge
Aurora, CO

Stage Coach Saloon
Franktown, CO


I Slept With The Band Festival 2
The River Forks Inn,
Drake, CO

I Slept With The Band Festival 2
The Yard
Saratoga, WY

I Slept With The Band Festival 2
The Sunset Bar and Grill
Alcova, WY

May/June 2018 News

Thanks to The New Scene Magazine of Northern Colorado for their write-up about our upcoming music festival I SLEPT WITH THE BAND over Labor Day Weekend, as well as the mention of our upcoming fundraiser this June 10th at Mishawaka Ampitheater for the Poudre Canyon Volunteer Firefighters.  

Last month (May) we had the honor of opening directly for Tommy Castro and the Pain Killers at the Brighton Blues Blast.  Thanks to the Brighton Arts Council for having The Symbols back for a second year! 
Tommy Castro was highly complimentary of our sound and encouraged us.  Thanks, Tommy.  

The Symbols are playing a record breaking 20 shows this June, so be sure to make it out to one. 


April 12, 2018

The Symbols are back from a brief tour to Kansas City, Topeka, Omaha, and Bonner Springs, KS.
Danielle Nicole's CD Release concert at Knuckleheads Garage in Kansas City, MO was sold out with enthusiastic fans, and The Symbols were ecstatic to open for such an artist on such an occasion.

Many thanks to Danielle Nicole for this opportunity, as well as to every venue on the visit for having us to play. Not only was this a great introduction to Kansas City, it was a great introduction of The Symbols to Topeka Kansas. Thanks to Uncle Bo's for having us!
Thank you to the Westport Saloon as well, and Kobi's in Bonner Springs, and The Corner Bar in Fremont, NE.

The Symbols are slated to perform again at local Fort Collins festival FOCOMX on Friday, April 27th at Avogadro's Number from 10:15-11pm – all ages.
FOCOMX is a festival that takes place in 30 venues, and 200+ bands perform, in a 2 day period. You can find out more and purchase a wristband pass to see as much music as possible in 2 days -  at

Here's where we're going to be the rest of the month of April:
Thursday, April 12th - The Stargazer Theater with Bobby Messano, Colorado Springs, CO 7pm
Friday April 13th – Holiday Bar, Morrison, CO 8pm-12am
Saturday April 14th – Cheers, Northglenn, CO doors at 7, all female band lineup

Friday, April 20th – Crown Bar, Cheyenne, WY 9-1
Saturday, April 21st – Timothy John's CD Release – The Beartree Cafe, Centennial, WY 8pm!
Thursday, April 26th – The Tasty Weasel, Boulder, 6-8pm
Friday, April 27th – FOCOMX at Avogadro's Number, Fort Collins, 10:15-11pm, all ages!
Saturday, April 28th – The Zephyr Lounge, Aurora, CO, 9-1


The Symbols have been making videos lately with Emjay Pate, who worked on films like The Hunger Games: Mockingjay and Scary Movie 5, among many others.
Here is our latest music video by Emjay Pate

As always, thank you for listening, supporting, and attending The Symbols' shows.
We hope to see you at an upcoming show!

March 6th, 2018

The Symbols are promoting two shows in March at theaters in the front range of the Rocky Mountains.  
March 9th - Jason Ricci and The Bad Kind at The Rialto Theater, Loveland, CO (The Symbols open).  
March 16th - Women Rock the Night 2 - Wendy Woo, The Symbols, Elise Wunder, Emma Marie - at The Lincoln Center Magnolia Theater, Fort Collins, CO.  

On March 17th, you can find The Symbols downtown at the Old Town Irish Party for St. Patty's Day, 12:45pm - Fort Collins, CO.    
The 19th, The Symbols will head to Boulder for a Monday night duo show.  
On the 22nd, The Symbols support touring band Low Cut Connie at Hodi's Halfnote in Fort Collins.  
on the 25th March, Gary Dean Smith Quintet, friends of The Symbols will be performing at The Recordium, the studio operated by The Symbols.  
On the 30th, it's Berthoud Brewing Co., duo show, and the 31st Toad Tavern in Littleton, The Symbols are the 2nd band playing.  

Exciting news - the first week of April, The Symbols are heading back to Omaha, Kansas and KCMO - check those dates, because on Saturday, April 7th, The Symbols will be opening for Danielle Nicole's CD release at Knuckleheads Saloon in Kansas City, for the release of "Cry No More".  

The Symbols continue to push forward! 

Thanks for visiting our site! More news soon.  

-The Symbols

February 15th, 2018

2018 is starting out excitingly! 
In January, The Symbols represented the Mile High Blues Society in Memphis, TN for the 34th International Blues Challenge, scoring into the semi-finals.  
This month, Bass Musician Magazine published an interview with bassist/vocalist Mer Sal of The Symbols.  
The summer is getting booked up, between festivals, favorite Colorado venues, and trips to surrounding states.  Be sure to check out The Symbols' schedule at the events page.  
On Sunday the 18th February, The Symbols will be filming a live show for television on Denver LOFT Sessions.  The studio can comfortably seat 20 audience members, and there is no admission fee for Sunday.  If you are interested and you're in Denver, you might check that out.  
    In other exciting news, The Symbols are promoting two shows in March at theaters in the front range of the Rocky Mountains.  
March 9th - Jason Ricci and The Bad Kind at The Rialto Theater, Loveland, CO (The Symbols open).  
March 16th - Women Rock the Night 2 - Wendy Woo, The Symbols, Elise Wunder, Emma Marie - at The Lincoln Center Magnolia Theater, Fort Collins, CO.  

Thanks for visiting our site! More news is to come soon.  

-The Symbols

January 26th, 2018           

The Symbols returned this week from the 34th International Blues Challenge in Memphis, TN.  
Scoring high in their 2 preliminary rounds at Wet Willie's on Beale, The Symbols advanced to the semi-finals last Friday.  
Only one band from each semi-finalist room advances to the finals, totalling 8 bands in the Orpheum the next night (out of 44 semi-finalist bands, which were taken from 200 preliminary). 
The Symbols did not advance to one of the 8 finalist slots at the Orpheum out of the bands in their room - the chosen band inside of Jerry Lawler's on Beale that night was the Keeshia Pratt Band, out of Houston, TX, who the next day went on to win the entire IBC 2018!
Congratulations to everybody for making it so far in the competition! 

Thank you to our sponsors and friends for supporting our journey to Memphis this winter.  We have managed to make a few booking connections down that way, thanks to your support.  

We'll see you in Colorado and Wyoming this winter season.  


Mer Sal
The Symbols


January 7th, 2018

The Symbols thank you for helping us raise funds to support our trip to the International Blues Challenge.  We are going to play Salina, KS on Sunday afternoon the 14th, visit some amazing Kansas fans out there.  Can't wait to see you there.  Kansas is like a wild safari full of wild people.  
Monday we're going to Tulsa, OK, the 15th.  Tuesday, the 16th we will be in Memphis! 
A few fans will be joining us on the road, in our caravan, stopping at every motel with us, similar to our I Slept With The Band Festival, which we will be doing again this year, with a strong lineup, TBA soon! 

If you still wish to support our travels to Memphis by buying specific merch or acoustic house concerts from us, you can still go to our page...

Thank you to the Mile High Blues Society for sending us to Memphis - thank you to our president Carla Jordan, who is awesome.  
Thank you to the Colorado Blues Society for the Creighton Holley "Best Arranger" Award in December.  

We'll be having two more Memphis send-off shows before we leave - 
Friday the 12th - The Symbols at The Swing Station with A.J. Fullerton (LaPorte, CO)
Saturday the 13th - The Symbols IBC Sendoff Final Party at Key Largo Lounge (Greeley, CO)

Thanks so much.  

Mer Sal, 
The Symbols


Happy Holidays from The Symbols!                             December 4th, 2017

Last night The Symbols were nominated for 3 Member's Choice Awards through the Colorado Blues Society.  
"Best Guitarist", "Best Arranger," and "Best Live Moment".  

The Symbols won the Holley Award for "Best Arranger".  

What I love most about this band is that we work well together as a team.  

Big ups to Carla Jordan, former owner of Ziggies, and blues society president to the Mile High Blues Society for winning the Lifetime Achievement Award!

Thank you to the Colorado Blues Society members, thank you to our fans, and congratulations to our peers who also won lots of awards.  

We look forward to representing the Mile High Blues Society in Memphis this January for all of the opportunities it brings with it.  



October 10th 2017 News:
The Symbols are proud to represent the Mile High Blues Society in this year's International Blues Challenge in Memphis, TN, January of 2018! 
Thank you to the Mile High Blues Society members, bands in the challenge, judges, Carla Jordan and everybody who was at Ziggies for the finals on 8/6/2017.  
We will be having a Fundraiser, Concert, Rare Merchandise Sale, and Silent Auction for the bands going to Memphis at Ziggie's Live Music on Sunday October 22nd, starting in the middle of the day and lasting til the evening.  

We have started an online fundraising campaign to try to raise $3,000 for the gas, hotel, and food expenses of touring through the Midwest down to Memphis and back in January - HERE.  

It's time for a few Nebraska, Kansas, and Missouri Thank-You's!
Thank you to everybody who helped us arrange our tour through Omaha, Lincoln, and Fremont, Nebraska, 
Kansas City Missouri, Bonner Springs, Emporia, Wichita, and Salina, Kansas the last 2 weeks.  Especially thanks to Duffy's, The Corner Bar, Harney St. Tavern, The Down Under Lounge, Brickyard 20 Alehouse, Kobi's, Guitar Center of Wichita for hosting our clinic, Barleycorn's, and The Hideaway in Salina, KS for having us to perform.  
Thanks to the awesome bands we played with, who came to support us, or helped us in some way on the road -
B. Baldwin, The Cosmic Smiths, The Schnebelen family (Trampled Underfoot), Aly Peeler, Ragged Company, Last Great Summer, Amanda Fish, and so many more wonderful musicians.  
Thanks to Clint Hoffmeister and Dennis Prickett for letting us stay.  Dennis Prickett is our #1 Fan.  Thanks also to Gary Hass in Salina, KS, for your incredible support Saturday night.  
Thank you to everybody who came out to a show, signed the mailing list, bought something, cheered us on, told a friend, or followed us on Facebook.  
We've made quite a few amazing friends on this trip, and can't wait to come back for another visit!


We'll be around Colorado the rest of October, playing regionally in Colorado and Wyoming.  
See our events calendar for cities, clubs, and dates, as well, check out the posters here on the main page.  
As with all of our events, you are welcome to RSVP on Facebook.  
All events are listed on Facebook at 
and on our official website here at
We look forward to seeing you at another show! 

Mer Sal,
The Symbols


Many thanks again to Scene Magazine of Northern Colorado for the December cover!
Thank you Dawn Marie Duncan and Michael Mockler, and thank you Rebecca LaPole for this amazing write-up!


September 20th 2017 News:
The Symbols are proud to represent the Mile High Blues Society in this year's International Blues Challenge in Memphis, TN, January of 2018! 
Thank you to the Mile High Blues Society members, bands in the challenge, judges, Carla Jordan and everybody who was at Ziggies for the finals on 8/6/2017.  
We will be having a Fundraiser, Concert, Rare Merchandise Sale, and Silent Auction for the bands going to Memphis at Ziggie's Live Music on Sunday October 22nd, starting in the middle of the day and lasting til the evening.  

It's time for a few Summer Thank-You's!
Thank you to everybody for coming to our first ever I Slept With The Band Festival which happened on Labor Day Weekend.  Many great memories were made together, and we look forward to next year, with a new lineup in process. 
The Symbols would like to make a special thank you to the ARISE Festival staff and bands in Loveland, CO, as well as Scene Magazine for inviting us to perform a slot on the Scene Magazine Stage at ARISE 2017.  It was our first time at Arise, and hopefully not the last!
Thank you to The Taste of Colorado for the opportunity to perform in downtown Denver in front of thousands of passers by.  
Thank you to No Woodstock Festival in Ten Sleep, WY, for having us this year.  It was great to meet the one and only Jalan Crossland.  
The Total Solar Eclipse party in Torrington, WY was off the hook! Our biggest thanks to Tim and Leland for putting it together last minute.  

This September and October bring excitement to our band.  We are going back on the road to Nebraska and Kansas the last week of September and 1st week of October! 
We will be playing Omaha, Lincoln, and Fremont Nebraska the final week of September, and Emporia, Kansas City, Bonner Springs, Wichita, and Salina Kansas the first week of October.  
See our events calendar for cities, clubs, and dates, as well, check out the posters here on the main page.  
As with all of our events, you are welcome to RSVP on Facebook.  
All events are listed on Facebook at 
and on our official website here at
We look forward to seeing you at another show! 

Mer Sal,
The Symbols

August 7th 2017 News:
The Symbols have been nominated to represent the Mile High Blues Society in this year's International Blues Challenge in Memphis, TN, January of 2018! 

Thank you to the Mile High Blues Society members, bands in the challenge, judges, Carla Jordan and everybody who was at Ziggies for the finals on 8/6/2017.  

The Symbols would like to make a special thank you to the ARISE Festival staff and bands in Loveland, CO, as well as Scene Magazine for inviting us to perform a slot on the Scene Magazine Stage at ARISE 2017.  It was our first time at Arise, and we will definitely be back for more!
Thank you for these memories.  
We look forward to making even more happen --  

September 1-3 - Looking forward to I SLEPT WITH THE BAND FESTIVAL - Labor Day Weekend.  
It's a music and camping with the bands tour! Get out your sleeping bags!  <--- tickets, motel rooms, and camp sites are available!

Aug 11-12 No Woodstock Festival, Tensleep WY 

August 20-21 Full Solar Eclipse Party - 9,000 people expected!! Come and watch the sun disappear in the middle of the day.  This is a rare astrological occurrence!  Torrington, WY.  

September 4th - Taste of Colorado! Denver, CO - The Symbols are on at 10:45am-1:15pm - for two 1-hour sets.  

See our events calendar for more!


Summer 2017 Re-Cap

Scene Magazine Cover - December 2016


THE SYMBOLS: Spiritual Porn Rock for the masses

By: Rebecca Lapole

When a group of artists calls their style of music “Spiritual Porn Rock – music that’s good for the soul and body,” there’s an intrigue there urging more exploration. In an unassuming suburban Fort Collins home, The Symbols created their own magnificent recording studio, and over a Chinese food lunch, seduced this writer with their talent and passion for their craft.

The Symbols are guitarist Jasco Duende, bassist and vocalist Mer Sal and drummer Don Stahl. Mer and Jasco met at a blues jam at Spotlight Music and created the band about five years ago. He bought her a bass a year later, and within three months she’d learned how to play the bass while singing all their tunes. They have been married for three years now and counting. “We’re lucky to have found soulmates in each other,” Mer said, “and to be in a band with people we get along with.”

They all agree that their meeting was “nearly cosmic.” Don came along about a year ago, meeting Mer and Jasco at a blues jam at The Boot in Fort Collins. He showed up and played a gig with The Symbols a week later, with no rehearsal. Jasco had told him, “If you’re worth a fuck, we won’t need [a rehearsal].”

While effortlessly restringing a guitar in a few minutes, Jasco said, “The difficult part of any band is getting along with all the personalities, liking the same types of music, and having the same level of commitment. It just doesn’t work without fitting those three things.” 

Don remembered, “I showed up and Jasco said, ‘we’re going to do ‘Pride and Joy,’ but like a Rumba,’ and then ‘a Fleetwood Mac song, but more like uptempo jazz swing.’” After a year of playing these “dramatically altered and mangled” cover tunes, they decided to record a full album of them, called Symbolized, which came out in June. They cover songs by bands from The Clash to The Ramones to Jimi Hendrix, all with their own creative twist. Jasco explained the way they do covers, “You don’t want to be comparing yourself to Led Zeppelin…Other than the educational part, you don’t want to copy their notes; you want to copy their soul – what made them special. The trick is trying to keep the essence of the song that is cool.”

Don lays down the groove with Mer, most all of their songs are groovy and funky, while Jasco brings the soul. Jasco said, “I try to be as musical and soulful as possible. I’m actually not a big fan of long guitar solos; they gotta be poignant and it needs to tell a story and paint a picture.” Mer is very comfortable in her role and said, “As the lead singer you have to be the provider of the entertainment, and draw people in all the way from the back of the room. Make them think with their soul.”

Jasco’s opinion is that, “If you can play with enough soul to really touch someone’s emotions, they’ll love you forever. And that’s what we try to do.”

Speaking of that forever love, Mer said, “Upon getting married, we built a house and a music studio. Isn’t that what everyone does?” Jasco showed off “The Recordium,” an impressive recording studio custom built in the basement of their three-year-old home. “It’s 1500 square feet, five rooms with decent sound isolation and acoustic treatment. I built the studio for us because Mer writes so many songs, I needed a place I could record them. While it’s not a commercial studio, we do record a lot of our music friends. Usually a band or two per week. Notably, we’ve recorded Phil Brown from Little Feat (who also produced Smile, their debut album that came out last year), Alvino Bennet (Dave Mason, Stevie Wonder), and local act Maxwell Mud made a record with us that won FOCOMA’s Album of the Year this year.”

Don pointed out that the bathroom in the Recordium has a shower, “just in case you rock so hard you need to rinse off after.”

That brings us back to their sexy soulful style, like the song “Not Enough Love” which was featured in a PSA for Blue Star Connection, a local non-profit organization that provides guitars and other instruments to hospitals for musical therapy programs and for kids with terminal illness. Their song “Alone” will be featured in the opening credits for Colorado independent filmmaker River Wilde’s upcoming movie, Abstinence. Mer warned, “It’s not a Christian film. It’s more like Porné — artsy porn, or thinking man’s porn; non-body shaming soft porn.”

While we anxiously await the release of that movie, The Symbols will be busy playing shows every weekend, teaching music, writing tunes, and recording. Mer said, “If you’ve got artistic powers you should use them.”

If you haven’t had a chance to catch them live, don’t miss their show on December 10th at the Swing Station in Laporte with Maxwell Mud. They promise a combined hoe-down at the end, and a whole lotta love.

For more info visit:,

Open Music Session: The Symbols Shake It at the Open Media Foundation

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 30, 2016 AT 6:32 A.M.
The Symbols
The Symbols
Darren Mahuron

On Friday, October 7, the Open Media Foundation hosts its next monthly free Open Music Session event, which will feature musical guests Jux County and comedian Brent Gill.

Last month, the September 2016 Open Music Session welcomed bluesy pop-rock band the Symbols, a band that actually describes its own music as "spiritual porn rock." The Fort Collins group swears that its music is good for the soul, and it's tough to argue when hearing Jasco's intricate guitar work and Mer Sal's expressive vocals on a song like heart-wrenching blues ballad "Not Enough Love."

Listen to more of the Symbols' music library, and download and remix with the stems of their Open Music Session songs below.

"Shake It," or "Shake That Butt," according to Sal on the night of the performance, is a much more lively tune. It's unapologetically funky, and all three musicians take the opportunity to indulge in a solo part-way through, though the butts never stop shaking. Bass-heavy and ludicrously good fun, "Shake It" offers a fair representation of what the Symbols are all about.

About Open Music Sessions: Every month, Westword joins Open Media Foundation and Greater Than Collective to bring you Open Music Sessions, a video series aimed at introducing people to bands and providing context for their music. Every First Friday, we bring a band to the Open Media Foundation studio at Seventh and Kalamath and record a live performance. In addition to broadcasting the show live on the Denver Open Media TV stations (Comcast channels 56, 57 and 219), we edit the clips for certain songs, which you can find at You'll also find additional information about the band and the recordings of individual instruments on select songs, which you are welcome to download in order to create remixes or simply to learn more about the way the music is constructed.

Cover Lay Down - October 2016 Issue



symbolsAnd now for something completely different: a refreshing acoustic-swing jazzfunk rock take on a familiar Fleetwood Mac classic from husband and wife duo The Symbols, exclusively released here on Cover Lay Down. Equal parts Django and Hendrix, the track is a delight, with powerhouse pop in the throat and an audible grin on the lips of lead singer Mer Sal making for the perfect compliment to cymbal-crashing percussion, backup singer oohs, and Grammy-nominated hubby Jasco’s string-bending wizardry.

Fall 2016 Happenings

Colorado Springs - The Zodiac - photos by River Wilde - June 2016

Blues From the Top, Winter Park, CO - June 2016

Recordium Sessions - February 2016 Inaugural

The Symbols are hosting a live video audio demo concert series in The Recordium this year.  We kicked off the first one and tested out the bugs with our own band.  Thanks everybody for coming and making it a huge success!

Turn 5! At the Turnhalle at the Tivoli, Denver

The Symbols performed "Not Enough Love" at the Turnhalle in honor of Blue Star Connection on February 6th, 2016.  

August 2015 News

The Symbols were well received at the very first Spirit Lake Blues Festival in Grand Lake, CO on Saturday, August 22nd.  Among the other bands performing were Ana Popovic, Kara Grainger, John Weeks Band, Austin Young with Michaela Rae, Cary Morin, and My Blue Sky.  The event was a huge success for a first time festival, drawing thousands of people to the small lakeside town.  Kai Turner of the radio show Strictly Blues MC'd John Catt's highly successful new festival.  Special thanks are in order to the Grand County Blues Society and John Catt for such an incredible day!
Jasco and Mer Sal visited Guitar Town at Copper Mountain, to watch the show and attend the workshops with Steve Vai, Andy Mckee, Eric Johnson, John Jorgenson, Rory Hoffman and Richard Smith, Robben Ford, Sonny Landreth, and Matt Schofield.  The Symbols met all of the above listed guitar players at the seminars and during the festival.  While out walking through the crowd, Mer Sal ran into some friends from the Colorado Blues Society and the Grand County Blues Society who were also there promoting for Spirit Lake Music Festival.  In one of these pictures you can see the Spirit Lake poster hung.  

July 2015 News

July of 2015 was a busy month! The Symbols performed at What Fest 2015 for their debut at Wyoming's indie festival.  
Additionally, bass hero Victor Wooten showed up to jam at The Boot with The Symbols for their once a month jam.  

June 2015 News

June brought us to Blues From the Top.  Mer Sal performed with Albert Castiglia and Kris Schnebelen (Trampled Underfoot) along with Sadie Johnson (Sad Sam) at BFTT this year.  Jasco and Mer got up at the Cat 5 Jam as well, with Kate Moss.  Kudos to John Catt for inviting us! Thank you!

At the Greeley Blues Jam, The Symbols served as Grace Kuch's backup band, with Forrest Raup (Austin Young Band) on drums.  
It's always fun running into The Boogie Boys from Poland.  Bart Szopinski and The Boogie Boys are sure to entertain with their dueling 50's Elvis piano rock.  

May 2015 News

May was a time of filming music videos, playing latin rock shows, and the studio grand opening of The Recordium.  

April 2015 news

There's a new album coming out this year, new videos, and new pictures! 

The Symbols are having an exciting start to 2015.  Jasco and Mer Sal have picked up sponsors Curt Mangan and Fishman.  Having tried many different strings out, The Symbols can say that Curt Mangan's strings are to the reliable standards of professional players, plus they sound and feel great.  To get a 20% discount on your next order of Curt Mangan Strings, use promo code Symbols20

Many thanks are in store to the incredible Phil Brown for producing a stunning new album for The Symbols.  
"Smile" is going to be released May 31st at The Recordium.  Smile is anticipated to be the band's first full-length album release.  

Follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.  Visit Social.  

March 2015 news

March, 2015 was full of hard work!  The Symbols filmed two music videos with PHOCO (Hudson Bloom, director), which should be on YouTube soon.  One video starred a very non-cooperative poodle in a hat.  Both videos should be available soon for your viewing pleasure.  
Darren Mahuron photographed The Symbols for their new album cover for SMILE (release date: May 31st at The Recordium, Fort Collins).  
The Symbols are playing many shows this April so be sure to check them out in Denver, Colorado Springs, Fort Collins, Longmont, Nederland, and Boulder.  

February 2015 news

The Symbols just played at Fire and Ice Festival for Valentine's Day, in downtown, Loveland.  Here are a few pictures from the performance.  


January 2015 news

New album coming out this year, new videos, and new pictures! 

The Symbols are having an exciting start to 2015.  Jasco and Mer Sal have picked up sponsors Curt Mangan and Fishman.  Having tried many different strings out, The Symbols can say that Curt Mangan's strings are to the reliable standards of professional players, plus they sound and feel great.  Get a 20% discount on your next order of Curt Mangan Strings, use promo code Symbols20

Many thanks are in store to the incredible Phil Brown for producing a stunning new album for The Symbols.  
"Smile" is due for pressing sometime in March.  Smile is anticipated to be the band's first full-length album release.  

Follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.  Visit Social.  

November/December 2014 News

October 2014 News

September 2014 News

September whisked by us all.  

We played nearly 15 dates this month, which is a good number for us.  

September isn't over yet!

Don't forget to visit us at Herman's Hideaway on Thursday, September 25th for the benefit for my  friend's cousin who was murdered.  It benefits his wife and the baby they are expecting.  The man was shot outside of my friend's apartment, when he argued with an apartment security guard.  Young David Ludewig was only 24 when he was shot and killed.  

On Friday the 26th, we will be doing an invites jam at The Stardust Lounge in Arvada, CO.  We will surprise you with cool celebrity guest sit ins.  

We are excited to announce our October dates, thus far:

Thursday, October 2nd, Tennyson's Tap, 9pm, Denver, CO
Thursday, October 9th, Lazy Dog Saloon, Boulder, CO
Friday, October 10th, Zodiac, Colorado Springs, CO
Saturday, October 11th, Private party, Fort Collins, CO
Thursday, October 23, Boulder Outlook, 7pm, Boulder, CO
Friday, October 24th, Whistle Pig Saloon, 9pm, Saratoga, WY
EVERY TUESDAY, The Symbols host Tuesday Bluesday - all styles open jam, @ The Boot Grill, 8:30-11:30pm, Fort Collins, CO

A big thank you to our fans and friends for coming out to see us at our shows.  
A big thank you to everybody who books our band and everybody who reads this message.

Enjoy your week and we hope to see you soon at a Symbols show!

Mer Sal
Lead singer
The Symbols

August 2014 News

Thanks for coming to see The Symbols this summer! 
We've had a very busy August, performing almost every other day of the month (20/30 days).  
One of the highlights of August for us was Girl's Night Out, where we played alongside other female fronted groups like Whippoor Will, Sofie Reed, and Susan Gibson, the songwriter of The Dixie Chicks' hit "Wide Open Spaces".  A treat for sure!

We're making headway with our new, so far untitled, first full length album, which we will be recording with Phil Brown in November.  
We're taking our band to a whole new level this year.  

Be sure to catch us next Saturday at Park House in Denver (Saturday AUGUST 30th).  

There's something I would like to tell you all about that happened last month, a tragedy.  Our friend Johnny Seacrest's 24 year old nephew, a young expecting father, was shot and killed one night outside of his apartment.  If you would like to give your condolences to the family and donate a bit of cash to help the mother and unborn child we will be playing a benefit for David Ludewig's wife and unborn child at Herman's Hideaway on Thursday, September 25th.  

In September, we are playing:
EVERY TUESDAY - @ The Boot Grill in Fort Collins - The Symbols host an open jam, 8:30-11:30pm.  All genres welcome.  
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 6th - Left Hand Brewery, Boulder
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 12th- Pioneer Inn, Nederland 10pm
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 21 - Sugar Beet Fest, Sterling, 9-11am
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 25 - Benefit For The Family Of Shooting Victim: David Ludewig @ Herman's Hideaway, 10pm
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 26 - The Stardust Lounge, Arvada

July 2014 News

Thanks for the incredible month of June! 
Many thanks to John Catt with Blue Star Connection for having us to jam at Blues From the Top last weekend.  
We had a stellar time and it was good to hear so much music, meet so many friends, and enjoy so much nature!
A very special thanks to everybody who attended our shows last month, especially our CD RELEASE at Dicken's Opera House.  
What a fun time we had.  The DVD of the performance will be available for purchase soon, for those who missed.  

The Symbols will be playing at The Greeley Stampede Tuesday, July 1st on the main stage-- show up with your boots on and scream real loud!
July 3rd, we will be entertaining you at Rawlins Music in the Park in Rawlins, Wyoming.  If you live in Rawlins, this is your chance to see us again!
July 4th we play in Saratoga at The Whistle Pig, you ought to show up with your stripes on.  
July 11th we head all the way south down to Colorado Springs to perform a showcase at The Zodiac.  Colorado Springs, this is your chance to see us.  
July 12th we head down to Alamosa, Colorado to perform outdoors at a festival...
July 17th we get back to Fort Collins for a hometown reunion show at Avogadro's Number.  
July 26th we will head back to Wyoming but this time up to Centennial to the Bear Tree, with the awesome stage out back.  
We hope you enjoy your July and get out to see us, because we certainly would like to see you :)

For those of you who haven't heard the news yet, our new SPARKLE CD is out now! Grab a copy in our site store!

#The Symbols #Blues From the Top #BFTT #Mer Sal #Jasco #The Greeley Stampede #Rawlins Music in the Park #The Whistle Pig #The Zodiac Music Venue #Avogadro's Number #Bear Tree Tavern and Cafe 
  P.s. don't forget to join us August 2nd for the COPS biker rally and poker at Twin Peaks of Broomfield to honor fallen cops

June 2014 News

We hope you've been enjoying June!

The Symbols would like to thank you for coming out to see us at The Capitol Hill People's Fair earlier this month, as well as the Greeley Blues Jam.  
Here are a few more dates this month to be aware of and attend:
Saturday, June 14th - The Pioneer Inn, Nederland 
Thursday, June 19th - Tennyson's Tap, Denver


We are now 13/15ths of the way done building something incredible... a full scale industrial recording studio.  Stay tuned as starting in August, we will be recording - a LOT.  In November, our producer and guitar playing idol, Phil Brown is coming to produce us for ten days in this studio.  If you would like to help us fund our next recording project, you may help us by buying our new Sparkle EP which is now on the shelves.  

We can't do this without you, thank you for reading this.  
As always, thanks for listening!  

Mer Sal
May 2014
The Symbols rocked FOCOMX last month, as well as The Showcase Room at The Academy of Guitar.  

"Sparkle" copies have arrived in the mail and the CD release party is set to be June 20th, 2014 at Dicken's Opera House in Longmont with the band Good Water, so mark your calendar. 

Special thanks to Rides for Realities and the Derek St. Holmes Super Summit/Texas Guitar Army for having us earlier this month.  
The Symbols are looking forward to playing The Greeley Stampede, The Greeley Blues Jam, Cheyenne Frontier Days, and Rawlins' Music in the Park this summer.  Additionally, come see us at the Capitol Hill People's Fair on June 8th, as apparently we were selected.  Check the events page for more details.  

We are now 2/3rds of the way done building something incredible... a full scale industrial recording studio.  Stay tuned as we will soon be recording - a LOT.  In November, our producer idol, Phil Brown is coming to produce us for ten days in this studio.  If you would like to help us fund our next recording project, you may help out by buying pre-copies of our new Sparkle EP which are now available for mail order.  

As always, thank you for your support and your ears.  

Yours truly,
Mer Sal

April 2014 News

April 2014
The Symbols are booked to play this month at FOCOMX (April 26th, 11:45pm-1:45am @ The Tap n Handle), as well as The Showcase Room at The Academy of Guitar (April 18th, 8pm @ The Academy of Guitar on South College Ave., Fort Collins, CO).  
"Sparkle" is finished, and The Symbols have scheduled the CD release party to be June 20th, 2014 at Dicken's Opera House in Longmont with the band Good Water.  
The Symbols will also be seen this summer at Rides for Realities, Derek St. Holmes' Allstar Jam (Duke of Windsor, May 10th), The Greeley Stampede, The Greeley Blues Jam, Cheyenne Frontier Days, and Rawlins' Music in the Park.  Check the events page for more details.  

March 2014 News

March 2014
The Symbols released a new music video! "Sparkle" - the zombie music video.  You can find it on The Symbols' YouTube channel
"Sparkle" is being featured on many websites.  So far, Colorado Music Buzz, BluesTribute, and Best 303 Sounds have begun displaying it on their sites.  

February 2014 News

February 2014
The Symbols performed at the Boulder International Film Festival on both the songwriters stage and the Boulder Theater Stage.  At the Boulder Theater, The Symbols performed shortly after a speech by actress Shirley MacLaine, and following The Symbols' performance was the debut of indie film director Tom Berninger's film "Mistaken For Strangers," a documentary he made about his brother's band, The National.  


January 2014 News

January 2014
The Symbols opened for Intuit and The Pamlico Sound at The Fox Theatre in Boulder, Colorado.  This was their first performance as a band on the stage of the Fox.  The Symbols are to release a DVD called The Symbols: LIVE at the Fox Theatre.  

September 2013 news

The Symbols won 2nd place in the Combo Songwriting Contest 2013 for "Be Here Now" by Jasco and Mer Sal 



The Symbols are in the Greeley Tribune this month!

Participants of the 24th annual Rockin’ MDA fundraiser on Sunday were indeed rockin’ to live music, eating and drinking to raise money for families in Weld County dealing with muscular dystrophy. More than 100 people filtered through the bar to enjoy the temperate Labor Day weekend weather, including fellow Garden City bar owners and the likes of Tommy Martin and Lori Geer, who danced to music performed by the Symbols. Stan Pettengill, the owner of Good Times Tavern in Garden City, said from the outdoor patio of his bar that the event was on track to raise $10,000 this year. …

 Top: Paul Brubaker looks on as members of the band the Symbols perform on Sunday during the 24th annual Rockin' MDA fundraiser at Good Times Tavern in Garden City. Bryan Thomas, center, joined the Symbols band members, Jasco, left, and Mer Sal, right, with guest Bryan Thomas (center).  

Bottom: Lori Geer and Tommy Martin dance on Sunday on the patio of Good Times Tavern in Garden City. They were some of the participants in the bar's annual fundraiser to help Weld County families dealing with muscular dystrophy.

Photos: Analisa Romano/



August 2013 News


CBS IBC 2013 - The Colorado Blues Challenge

Congratulations to these Round One artists moving on to the finals:
Mojo Medicine Show - Solo Duo
The Symbols- Band
The Randall Dubis Band - Band

Be at The Buffalo Rose
in Golden, CO
on Sunday, September 22nd,
for The IBC Finals
to cheer as loudly 
as possible for
The Symbols!!!


We are competing over a trip to memphis to represent the Colorado Blues Society in the Memphis IBC!

As Seen In...


July 2013 News

July 5th, 2013 - The Symbols got married!


As Heard On...


  Tino's Tunes
     Live @ Lunch       The Marla Stone Radio Show
        ____________  Bluesola Variety Show

We're in the paper!

The Symbols team with Taft Canyon and Lexi Shanley for benefit concert on Saturday
By Courtney Holden Special to the Reporter-Herald
Posted: 06/20/2013 08:05:53 AM MDT

Local bands are serving up good music for a good cause. On Saturday, June 22, The Symbols team with Taft Canyon and Lexi Shanley at the Rialto Theater Center in Loveland for the First Day of Summer Celebration Concert and Food Drive.
"We do shows all the time, but it's good to be able to give something back," said The Symbols' guitarist, who goes by "Jasco." The concert is "a way to try to help out some of the local charities."

The second annual fundraising event -- last year The Symbols rocked out for the Crossroads Safehouse for their charity concert Women Rock the Night -- will collect nonperishable goods for the Food Bank of Larimer County, and 25 percent of merchandise sales will be donated to the Suicide Prevention Coalition of Colorado.

"I love to make events, and I love to make positive events where people can heal up via music," said Marla Stone of the Marla Stone Radio Show, one of the concert's presenters. Stone doubles as the bands' facilitator. "(Suicide is) a bad thing, and if we can try to make it better somehow with music, that is my goal. We've got to stop this freight train."

Each of the bands performing at the Summer Celebration Concert brings something a little different to the table. Jasco describes The Symbol's music as an eclectic mix that's "good for the body and soul." Dubbed "spiritual porn rock," the sound is a mix of pop rock with subtle hints of funk, blues and even flamenco. The genre title also helps The Symbols to stand out from the crowd.
"It's kind of an attention-getter too. (We) put a label on us that's different than other people," he said, adding that "it prevents us from playing at kindergarten parties and old folks homes, but we don't do too many of those anyways."

Another differentiating factor for The Symbols is the age range between members with Jasco in his upper 30s and lead singer Mer Sal in her early 20s.
"We've got a mix of youth and experience," Jasco said. "We can capture a diverse crowd that way."

The show promises to please a wide range of musical tastes. Taft Canyon features a slide guitar, blues vocals, jazzy base guitar and what lead singer Suzanne Alber calls "fabulous drumming." Singer/songwriter Lexi Shanley describes her sound as "alternative," with country and indie music influences. The common thread: All artists will be performing their own songs.

"We're very excited to be working to promote these organizations and to promote original live music in Northern Colorado," Alber said. "Original music being the key."

The show is presented by the bands and charities, as well as Alternatives to Violence Loveland and The Marla Stone Radio Show.

The Symbols will perform their mix of pop rock with hints of funk, blues and flamenco for the First Day of Summer Celebration Concert and Food Drive on Saturday, June 22, at the Rialto Theater Center. (Special to Go/Caron Nicole)

May 2013 News

A major thank you to Vices I Admire for asking us to open for them at their CD release party at the Moon Room at Summit Music Hall.
The Symbols had a blast!!! You can check out pictures here.  
Thank you again to Viktorian Guitars for lending us another one of your awesome guitars.
You can see Viktorian Guitars at‎.

The Symbols also performed at Tennyson's Tap with Denver's hot new girl band The Hits as well as Gort Vs. Goom (galactic grooves).  The concert was broadcast on the Marla Stone Radio Show.  

Looking forward to a busy summer! The Symbols will be performing June 22nd at the Rialto Theater in honor of the Food Bank of Larimer County, The Suicide Prevention Coalition of Colorado, and Alternatives to Violence, Loveland.  Tickets are available here.  The Symbols will also be appearing July 1st on the stage at The Greeley Stampede.  Check out our calendar for a show in your city. 

Pictured: Jasco, performing on a Viktorian guitar at Summit Music Hall on May 4th, 2013.  

Pictured: The Symbols packed The Lyric Cinema this year at the local festival FOCOMX 5.  

April 2013 Press

The Symbols had the honor of doing a live Demo of Viktorian Guitars at the Fillmore Auditorium in Denver for the Root 40 Music Festival.  
Pictured above: Josh Jacobsen with Viktorian Guitars, Mer Sal, Jasco, Diego Grinfeld the maker of Viktorian Guitars, and David Ketelaar with Viktorian Guitars. 


Viktorian guitars were featured on the cover of April 2013's Guitar Player Magazine.  

March 2013 Press Continued

The Symbols' guitarist Jasco is engaged to singer Mer Sal!
The bandmates plan to wed in July of 2013. 


March 2013 Press

The Symbols performed on 99.9FM The Point's float for the 2013 Lucky Joe's St. Patrick's Day Parade.

"A CD" CD Review

Quick Spins reviews The Symbols new EP: "A CD"
3.5 out of 5 stars

With their third EP release in a year-and-a-half, Fort Collins based The Symbols are becoming quite the prolific outfit.

While they classify themselves as rock and roll, the truth is that the group is much more rooted in jazz and blues arrangements. A big part of that is due to guitarist Jasco’s intricate, mature playing, but the other element that gives them that sound is vocalist Mer Sal’s sultry tone that seems to come from a bygone era.

— Brian F. Johnson

"Be Here Now" CD Review

The Symbols: Be Here Now
Category: Independent
"It's a shame that no matter how good guitarist Jasco plays on the band's newest EP Be Here Now,
his playing is overshadowed by lead singer Mer Sal's vocals. 
Mer Sal has a powerful vocal presence, even on softer tracks like "Soon,"
but some of the poppier tracks lack the lyrical songwriting to support her ample voice."
-Brian F. Johnson in Quick Spins, Marquis Magazine

"Be Here Now" CD Review

"Be Here Now"
By Dusty Ray

"The Symbols’ newest release, Be Here Now, is a soft musical stroll traversing through country, lounge, blues, reggae and funk-fusion. A guitar-driven album with vocals that fall somewhere between Bonnie Raitt and Joni Mitchell, Be Here Now is a dense and dance-worthy cut that does quite a bit in its short presentation.

"The Symbols have an unerring catchiness about them, dancing the fine line between pop and underground with rump-shaking simplicity and an enthusiastic ear for different styles. “Good For Me” opens up the cut and immediately presents the talent of Symbols guitarist, Jasco, and singer, Mer Sal. Jasco’s melodies interweave with Mer Sal’s vocals, creating an interesting, jazzy harmony.

"“Be Here Now” slows down the mood, combining folk with strange mixing effects and Stevie Ray Vaughan-esque guitar solos that roll over into the Bossa Nova-like track, “Soon.”

"“Two Shades of Blue” brings yet another genre to the table with its reggae-revival bounciness. This track displays hilarious lyrics, and is themed around finding love based on favorite ice-cream flavors. The Symbols close out Be Here Now with a peculiar funkiness: “It” is the strongest track on the album, and is a fitting close to a varied EP.

"Technique is important to The Symbols; they can change their sound in the blink of an eye. Though the vocal delivery can be shaky at points, and there are other spots of compositional uncertainty, Be Here Now is a great representation of The Symbols’ sound. For all of its brevity and quirks, this album is definitely still worth a listen."

-Dusy Ray, Scene Magazine

"The Symbols" CD Review

The Symbols
Four out of Five Stars

"This is almost too classy for us. Lead singer
Mer Sal has a wonderful set of pipes, that are
amazingly accompanied by the expressive jazz guitar lines of
the band's guitarist, "Jasco". The Fort Collins band sounds like
it's more suited to play a high-caliber corporate event than it is
to play a dark rock-club, but even in this Windsor-knot-rich environment
the band still sounds like it can have some fun."
     -Bryan F. Johnson, Marquee Magazine, Quick Spins,

"The Symbols" CD Review

The Symbols- The Symbols EP   
    The Symbols’ new self-titled EP is a pretty decent slab of indie pop music. There’s an effortlessness and confidence to the material, and rarely a moment that sounds unnatural or forced. The band has a sophisticated-yet-whimsical sound, and it suits them: At no point does the EP feel bogged down by self-awareness or the obligation to be serious. The end product goes down easy without feeling trite.
     The opener “Kristin” would be a prime example. The song is a breezy-sounding lamentation of unrequited love, with some tasteful keys from vocalist/singer Mer Sal. “The Way I Feel” moves into moodier, blues-like territory and is equally good.
     Sal may not have a classical singing voice, but she uses it to great effect and has personality to spare. Her vocal delivery has an obvious verve, a talent for ad-libbing and a tendency to extend and enunciate words to their fullest effect. These are all good things, which becomes clear on the surprisingly funky “Shake It.” With only a few repeated lines she is able to take a rather sparse track and breathe a lot of life into it.
      The best is saved for last, and “Ephemeral” is a beautiful, restrained closer with more quality keyboard work from Sal and a nice solo from guitarist Jasco. It’s lush and organic, and really fleshes out an impressively diverse EP.
      The Symbols EP is really solid stuff, and its warm, summery vibes make it a rather timely release. There’s a lot to enjoy here, despite it only clocking in at under 20 minutes.
-Conor Hooley, Scene Magazine
"The Symbols may very well be Colorado’s next band to watch."

-Tim Wenger, Colorado Music Buzz Magazine, February, 2012

The Symbols' live show review in The Music Initiative (TMI), March 2012:

Something different! That’s the Colorado-
based band The Symbols’ slogan and life
mantra. A fresh pop sound stemming from
familiar blues, funk and jazz genres, yet
seamlessly pulled off in an intransient, modern
way. Upon frst listen, vocalist Mer Sal sounds
like Gwen Stefani’s protégé, but after a few
songs in, it becomes clear that there is much
more to The Symbols than meets the ear.

Their sound can best be described as 90s
sensation, Shawn Colvin, covering a Blondie
tune mixed with Fleetwood Mac’s songwriting
skills and Santana’s coveted guitar solos. It’s
unique and whimsical; it’s whimsically unique!
The genre-crossing foursome’s show is an
amalgamation of different sounds, musical
textures and rump shaking, making it a force
to be reckoned with for any musically inclined
audience member. Guitarist, Jasco, teases the
crowd with sexual bluesy guitar licks while Mer
ignites our funky bones, succumbing to her
buttery smooth and hypnotically-inspiring vocals.
I’m in a blues trance and refuse to get out, until
the drums pick up and the guitar’s whammy
bar splices the solo; Mer steps off stage, giving
the audience some peace with
the guitar-drum-bass ménage a
trois, then when I thought I’ve
fnally been lost in the groove,
Mer is back and belting out all
sorts of demons like the Blues greats
that have paved the way before her.
The Symbols spice up the night with
their uniquely fresh funky grooves and
moves, making for a memorable experience at
Denver’s Bushwacker’s Saloon.

Not only do The Symbols put on a great live show,
but they also help save lives. After a long-time
friend became diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis,
The Symbols have been determined to fght
the disease in his honor. A share of the band’s
proceeds goes to the Michael Raymond Olson MS
Fund, a fund the band started to raise money for
his support. True hometown heroes! Please visit
HOM-General for more information and to
donate to their cause! Check out tunes and things
from The Symbols’ website

This article can be found at

Review by Tim Wenger, Colorado Music Buzz Mag

I’ve heard it said that you better know how to run a business if you want to run a successful band. I don’t know how the Fort Collins-based group the Symbols are when it comes to the monetary side of things, but if unfaltering organization, and jumping on top of opportunities has anything to do with good business traits, then they have about as good of a chance at progressing their band as that lawyer from the ‘90s does at hiding the truth inside a small black glove.

The band released two EPs last year, and plans on releasing two more this year, with a compilation of videos for each song available alongside the music itself.  Even in today’s digital age, the Symbols like to distribute hard copies of their music, in addition to having it available for download. “It’s something that people can remember,” says Jasco, who spent 12 years on the road with a nationally renowned blues band, before moving to Colorado and eventually meeting vocalist/songwriter Mer Sal. “The more something physical you have, the more people will remember your band.”

“We’re doing the five song, five dollar CD format,” says Jasco. “Five dollars is the price of a medium quality beer, so I figure people can fork that out.” The Symbols have been promoting their song “Kristin” as a single. 

Jasco does the band’s recording and producing in-house. “Jasco is an amazing engineer,” says drummer Hans Mueller, a man who has been behind a kit for most of his life. “As a drummer, I’m a little picky about how drums sound in a recording, but his are pro recordings; they speak for themselves.”
“I try and do as live of a take as possible,” Jasco says. “Then I go back and fix things that need to be fixed, and format things. I don’t do pitch correction or time correction, so what people hear is us playing.” “Not enough bands are going natural,” adds Sal.

"We're trying to do a pop format, so that we are accessible to everybody," says Jasco.  "Our music just comes out sounding like this, from our influences," adds Mer Sal, "We're hoping you'll notice the importance we place on our songwriting." 

Mueller suggests that some of the crowd come out to watch the technical abilities within the band. Each member has a very different and very significant musical past, both of the technical and intuitive pool.  Sal, an intuitive intellectual, credits some of her natural talent to benign childhood epilepsy that was a part of her life until about age seven. “There are a few books that Jasco and I are reading currently that suggest that early seizures contribute to musical understanding,” she says. “I outgrew the epilepsy and started writing songs shortly after that. I also collaborated with a Boston Berklee grad for a few years.”

“The guitar player is the least important part of the band. If you’ve got a solid rhythm section and a good singer, you’ve got a good band,” says Jasco. “Mer is a very charismatic front person, she is definitely the energy center of the band as far as stage presence.”

The Symbols may very well be Colorado’s next band to watch. They are very talented musicians that have it together as well off stage as they do while performing, and have the drive to continue pushing the envelope as their fan base increases.

-Tim Wenger, Colorado Music Buzz Magazine, February, 2012

More Exciting News!

 Congratulations to the rock n roll couple! ~
On July 5th, Jasco and Mer Sal wed in Severance, Colorado.