PARK CITY Spending a few minutes with established indie artist Nick Urata of DeVotchKa is like spending time with a genuine troubadour.
Lyrically, and emotionally, it's hard to beat the quartet from Denver that tours relentlessly in support of their personal, eclectic and internationally flavored music.
Urata, lead singer and guitarist for the band, was at the Sundance Film Festival Wednesday performing an intimate set to a private crowd of festivalgoers at an event called Snowball, which also featured a few other fellow BMI record label artists.
So why Sundance? Along with constant touring and the indie-crowd following, the connection with the festival and band was made in 2006 as DeVotchKa was picked to score the break-out hit and Sundance premiere "Little Miss Sunshine."
Plus, he really likes independent film.
"Yeah, I'm a huge fan of the indie films, and the art house films," he said during a sound-check interview. "I love the Coens, stuff like that. I haven't seen anything yet, I just flew in a couple of days ago from Spain."
The recent tour of that country was very good for the band, Urata said. They have scheduled an April tour of the UK, Holland and Germany.
When asked about any difference between U.S. and European audiences, Urata said: "Not too much. There's still a good interest in American bands over there, but one thing is the music fans do their homework over there, that's for sure."
DeVotchKa, playing and touring since early 2000, has just finished mastering their sixth album, "A Mad & Faithful Telling," currently scheduled for release on March 18.
"It feels really, really good to be done," he said. "It's been a long, drawn-out process.
"Being on the road takes its toll, but that's what you do," Urata said. "It's the curse of getting a little success. You've got to be careful with what you wish for.
"We went from where we were begging to play places to now getting begged to play places," he added.
Described as gypsy-folk-indie, Urata offered an alternative to his band's sound.
"I'd use more ambitious and idyllic descriptions, we're very exotic, romantic," he said. "It's cool because we hear from couples, fans who say they met at shows, got engaged at shows."
Among other artists Urata said gets consistent rotation on his iPod are: Gogol Bordello, a multi-ethnic Gypsy punk band from New York City; Lonely Joe from Spain; and a Paris outfit called Leisure Noir."It's a great time for music, I hear a lot to the contrary, but it's a great time," he said about the state of his trade. "And it's the youth, too. Ask any 13- or 14-year-old and they know the best bands. And they're all likely independent."
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