The 2010 Musicfest at Steamboat is from January 4-11. We love everything about Musicfest except freezing our asses off on the slopes and trying to hear the music over the noise of the giant party going on in the big tent every night. Everyone should go to Musicfest once; we’ve been. That said, here are my tips to enjoy the Musicfest experience: 1) If at all possible, stay out of the big tent, it’s loud, crowded, and half the folks in there aren’t even facing the stage, instead… 2) Frequent the smaller venues, Bear River in particular hosts some intimate sit-down shows with great artists. May be crowded, may not-be prepared to get there early. 3) Check out the bands in the Steamboat Grand Ballroom, but get there before the tent show lets out unless you want to stand in the cold and wait for someone to leave so they’ll let you in. 4) Stay at the Steamboat Grand, that’s where most of the artists stay. Nothing like riding the elevator or eating breakfast with Ray Wylie Hubbard or one of the Braun Brothers. 5) If you don’t already have tickets, get on the waiting list now 6) Dress warm, pace yourself, and starting resting up today.
A great thing about Musicfest time is what we’ll dub “Musicfest fallout”. We’ll have the opportunity to see many of the Musicfest artists all over the front range without that ass-whip of a drive to Steamboat. Of course, the drunk frat-boys probably won’t be there either, we’ll have to suffer through. Todd Snider (left) plays the Boulder Theater January 8 and the Bluebird Theater January 9; Band of Heathens play Black Sheep January 3 and the Bluebird January 7; Robert Earl Keen plays Black Sheep January 6 and Grizzly Rose January 8; Jason Boland and the Stragglers hit the Bluebird January 10; Jason Eady has three shows-12th at Toad Tavern, 13th at Oskar Blues, and 14th Sunshine Studios (a new venue in the Springs); Jonathan Tyler and the Northern Lights play Black Sheep January 15, and Reckless Kelly plays Grizzly Rose January 20. I plan on hitting all those Springs shows and having my own little faux-fest - why doncha join me? Check out the calendar for details. See a full list of Musicfest artists below.
Robert Earl Keen, Jr. • Randy Rogers Band • Band of Heathens • Reckless Kelly • Charlie Robison • Kevin Welch • Cross Canadian Ragweed • Lee Ann Womack • Jamie Wilson • Todd Snider • Jason Eady and The Wayward Apostles • Billy Joe Shaver • Matt Skinner • Jack Ingram • Dean Dillon • Bonnie Bishop • Chris Knight • Micky and The Motorcars • Walt Wilkins • Midnight River Choir • Jonathan Tyler and The Northern Lights
Kevin Fowler • Modern Day Drifters • Hayes Carll • Ben Smith Jason Boland and The Stragglers • Josh Abbott • Cory Morrow • Ray Wylie Hubbard • The Trishas • Wade Bowen • The Doug Moreland Show • Stoney LaRue • Tina Wilkins • Roger Creager • Lucas Hubbard • Sean McConnell • Johnny and The Footlights
Time to vote! No, I’m not talking about Doug Bruce’s latest hare-brained attempt to keep our city in the economic dark ages. You have the opportunity on November 12 to vote with your hard-earned entertainment dollars to support Friends House Concerts in Colorado Springs. On that evening Eliza Gilkyson will be in town for a show with Nina Gerber at 7:00 pm. “Friends” may be the only house concert series currently booking shows in Colorado (correct me if I’m wrong). The Lucketts (who have put on the series for a number of years) took a hiatis a few months back. Thank god they didn’t go the way of other Springs music venues-they actually came back!
The top 10 cool things about a Friends House Concert
1 starts and ends early (great for those nights when you have two dates) 2 the shows are byob so you save money on beer 3 every seat is almost too close to the artist 4 parking-free 5 obnoxious drunks allowed but discouraged 6 every show’s a meet-and-greet 7 autographed CD’s available for the low price of $15 8 Doug Bruce won’t be there 9 cover charge paid in advance so no need for pre-show trip to ATM 10 no Tickmaster fees. All proceeds go directly to the artist – checks for $25 made payable to Eliza Gilkyson will get you in, for details go to www.house-concerts.org. Eliza also plays Sunset Event Center in Ft. Collins on the 13th, Swallow Hill in Denver on the 14th, Crested Butte Arts Center on the 15th, Paradise Theater in Paonia the 17th, and Leon Memorial Hall in Alamosa on the 18th.
Check out the calendar for early November dates by David Allan Coe, Micky and the Motorcars, Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers, Chuck Prophet, and the Black Crowes. Then things slow down for the holidays. Don’t forget to wax those skis!