Local musician profile: The Crooked Rugs diversify the DIY scene

Monty Daniel

For most people, a rug that’s been tossed awry wouldn’t spark inspiration, but for Nolan Brumbach, Jay LeCavalier, Jayce Haley, Finn Stowers and Thayer Rexton “Rex” Stowers II, it’s the name of their band. 

The Crooked Rugs officially formed earlier this year and are quickly making a name for themselves in the Fort Collins music scene. With each band member coming in with prior music experience, it was easy to start creating music together. 


Brumbach, Rex Stowers and Haley began creating music together in 2016, playing mostly acoustic covers. With Rex and Finn Stowers being brothers, they have had the opportunity to play music together for their entire lives. 

guitar hanging on wall
Jayce Haley’s guitar hangs in the basement of his house on Nov. 17. The Crooked Rugs played a show there the night before when band member Finn Stowers got a bloody nose while playing Haley’s guitar, resulting in the blood stains seen above. (Megan McGregor | The Collegian)

LeCavalier is the newest addition to the band, bringing in a keyboard element. Brumbach said the keyboard helps define the sound of the band.

“Whenever there’s that empty space, the piano that Jay (LeCavalier) provides actually is a good fill,” Rex Stowers said.

With the settings on the keyboard, LeCavalier will mainly stick to grand piano but has been known to veer off into the organ setting as well. 

With The Crooked Rugs still being a relatively new band, they are slowly finding their sound by playing a variation of different genres. 

“(The genre) is rooted in blues and then has extensions that go off it,” Brumbach said.

Some of these extensions include country, pop, psychedelic rock and metal.

Taking inspiration from bands like King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard, who constantly changes their sound, The Crooked Rugs could have anything in store in their future.

Personally, I just want to give people a memorable experience.” –Jay LeCavalier, member of The Crooked Rugs

“The thing that’s interesting is that we all write lyrics independently,” Haley said. This provides one explanation as to why their sound varies from comedic, silly music to introspective, personal tunes. 

“Personally, I just want to give people a memorable experience,” LeCavalier said. Rex Stowers also said that a main goal of theirs is to appeal to a large amount of people from all age ranges. 


According to Haley, one perk of not fitting into one specific genre all the time is that they can fit into any setlist.

With all the band members having previous experience in music scenes outside of Fort Collins, they’ve all found different ways to adapt. For Finn and Rex Stowers, the music scene in their hometown of Durango, Colorado, was not very diverse.

“It’s really cool that you can go to a show and there’s a math rock band and an emo band, and half of them are touring, and half of them are local,” Rex Stowers said.

Although The Crooked Rugs have yet to release any recorded music, they’re planning to in the future, as well as merchandise created by the band members. 

In September, The Crooked Rugs performed live at 90.5 KCSU. The full recording of this session can be found here

Monty Daniel can be reached at entertainment@collegian.com or on Twitter @MontyDaniel_.