Kid Reverie’s “Wild West” Reflects on Columbine and Boulder Shootings (Westword 4/22/2021)

Kid Reverie takes on gun violence in the new song, "Wild West."
Kid Reverie’s “Wild West” Reflects On Columbine and Boulder Shootings
by Adam Perry for Westword 4/22/2021

Last spring, multi-instrumentalist Steve Varney was preparing for another summer of playing in singer-songwriter Gregory Alan Isakov’s band. The group was poised to continue touring the world, and even perform at Coors Field on a locals-only bill with the Lumineers. Of course, COVID-19 wrecked those plans. Since then, Varney — whose solo project is called Kid Reverie — has spent most of his time teaching music lessons via Zoom and writing and reflecting at his home on Isakov’s farm in Boulder, where the string player lives with his partner and seven-year-old daughter.

This spring, a skeleton of a song popped into Varney’s mind, and then, before he could finish it, a gunman opened fire at a Boulder King Soopers store. Ten people died, and our world stopped again, for different reasons: grief, confusion, rage. Varney, a Columbine High School graduate, wrote new words for the song he was working on, both in response to the Boulder shooting and to honor the 22nd anniversary of the shooting at Columbine, where his older brother was a junior when the massacre happened on April 20, 1999.

Looking back on the Columbine shooting, Varney says, “It just presented the immediate need to grow up so fast. It felt so dreamlike, and then you heard about another one and another one, but I didn’t feel the way that I felt on that day ever again until the Boulder shooting.”


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