We had the good fortune of connecting with Kenny Vasko and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Kenny, how do you think about risk?
I used to think about risk all the time. When I was in Corporate America, I subconsciously always had some sort of exit strategy in the back of my mind; some mythical life plan. The modern American dream of dumping money in a 401k for thirty years and then look like one of those smiling people in the AARP commercials. I might have taken some small risks here and there, but when I look back, they were in some tight guardrails…as long as I made x amount of money each year, for instance, I would be fine.

When I decided to shed all of that, and quit Corporate America for good, there were some rough moments. I remember calling up a former colleague saying over and over again “I just blew up my career. I just blew up my life.”

I credit my wife and business partner Liz as the reason I was able to get past this. She told me two things.

First, she said “Dreams don’t have to die.” which hit me like a ton of bricks. Maybe dreams can become reality, if one works hard enough.

The second is, “The man will always be there.” And that is what really sealed it for me. Even if ten years from now I somehow need a job, I am 110% confident that I could walk back into a firm and start doing tax returns again, or find some other way to land on my feet.

The key, though, is to not ever ever ever have that in the front, or in the back, of your mind. If you are going to take a leap of faith, you have to believe in it 110%. But you also have to believe in yourself that, no matter what happens, you’ll be okay.

What should our readers know about your business?
Our mission at Dog House Music is to give musicians the freedom to create, the power to perform, and the space to come together. This studio is a hub for Colorado bands and musicians looking to write, rehearse, record, perform, and distribute their music. We are the music makers and we invite you to join us in the studio; all ages and all abilities.

We cater to both nationally touring artists looking for professional rehearsal space, and local musicians looking for everything from studio space to production services, to live streaming. Dog House Music offers 23 sound-isolated studios, including two fully equipped rehearsal studios, two fully backlined stage studios, and a professionally tuned production studio. We offer music production services including production consultations, songwriting, composition, tracking/recording, mixing, mastering, and distribution.

Dog House Music is first and foremost a local family-owned business, and we prioritize our local community here in Lafayette, Colorado. We invite you into the studio to listen, create, find inspiration, and love music.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
There’s just so much to do in the Front Range, it’s hard to narrow it down!

Usually, when someone visits, Liz and I try to capture a number of things that make this area amazing, from the arts, food, and nature.

We aren’t strangers to hitting up whatever is happening at Boulder Theater at any given weekend, and walking down Pearl Street in Boulder, maybe after a hike up Green Mountain or Flagstaff. If we get more adventurous, sometimes we go to Batasso for a great hike, and end up hitting up the small town of Nederland for some great food and drinks. By the way, if you’ve never been to Frozen Dead Guy Days in Ned, it’s the best festival in Colorado in my humble opinion ūüôā

Whenever I’m in Denver, I usually hit up South Broadway at some point. My personal favorite of late has been Cochino, a relatively new Mexican spot in town. I also frequent the Dive Inn, and all the other little spots on the way…usually when coming out of Herman’s Hideaway or another venue.

I also have a special place in my heart for the RINO district in Denver. Seeing all the murals, happy faces, and a cacophony of food and drinks available, it’s almost impossible not to have fun there. And with new venues opening up all the time, there’s usually a great artist to take in. Even if it’s just people-watching at Denver Central Market, I always have a good time.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
There’s so many individuals and groups that we credit our success to.

First and foremost are the musicians. Everyone from The Motet to Erica Brown to Cass Clayton to 2MX2 to Flash Mountain Flood to Ramakhandra to Alabaster Swine to Shady Oaks to Backroom Velvet…all of these bands are so special to us…it’s the reason we keep our doors open and the reason we love our jobs. We’ve met everyone from kids first learning guitar, to grammy-winning artists. We love them all.

And then just as important as our musicians would be our staff. John Remington, our lead engineer, has taken us to heights we would have never been able to reach otherwise. And our part-time staff and interns are top-notch!

Liz and I have both had a number of mentors and partners in the field as we’ve charted our course and tried to figure out the right direction for the business. There are way too many to list here, but the ones that come to mind are Kyle Hartman of Future Garden, Alyssa Montano of Rock Mountain Virtual / ARISE, Cierra White of Oak Ash & Thorn, Jeffrey Riley of Noble Bison Productions, and Dave Watts of The Motet. They were never judgmental of any questions we had that might seem dumb or misinformed… any they all believed in us so much, they all helped to propel us to new heights, and overcome the challenges we’ve had.

School of Rock is an important partner, to us, as well. We have had dozens of students, young and old, grace our stages for live performances and livestreams. We love seeing the students grow over time, and there’s a lot of talent in that organization!

We also have a soft spot for Barbara Jo Kammer and the Hippie Buckaroos. They are a monthly visitor to Dog House, and we produce their monthly livestream concerts. She always comes in with so much positivity and love, it’s hard not to smile, no matter how many things might be stressing you out. That positivity and love goes farther than anyone knows.

Website: www.doghousemusic.com

Instagram: doghousemusicstudios

Linkedin: doghousemusic

Facebook: doghousemusic

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCtYJVbmn0jWSDDG_WL5C6sQ

Image Credits
Ramakhandra shot (with harpist) – Juli Williams Red Studio A shot with piano and guitar in foreground – Elly Michaels

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutColorado is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.