Denver hip-hop band coming to Ghost Ranch in Steamboat |

Denver hip-hop band coming to Ghost Ranch in Steamboat

Margaret Hair

— In its positively themed, sample-based music, Denver hip-hop trio 3 the Hard Way sticks to the "three paths, three roads, one mission" motto preached by leadman David Romero.

Romero, who raps as A.V.I.U.S., takes the stage with the rest of 3 the Hard Way — producer Es Nine and DJ Cysko Rokwel — tonight at Ghost Ranch Saloon. The show starts at 9 p.m. with Salt Lake City-based hip-hop group MindState opening. Tickets are $5 at the door.

A.V.I.U.S. and his band have been performing for about two years. In that time, 3 the Hard Way has toured with Dilated Peoples and Sweatshop Union and has won major accolades for its debut album "Set in Stone," which came out in February.

The three members of 3 the Hard Way come from varied backgrounds, but the music that ties them together is the same, Romero said in a phone interview Thursday.

"We all grew up on early '90s hip-hop, like A Tribe Called Quest, DJ Premier, things like that — classic boom-bap hip-hop is what we consider it. … And we all have wanted to basically push our musical abilities to the limits and make people understand where it is we come from and how we live our life and how we use our music to openly express ourselves," Romero said.

Today's show is one of several hip-hop sets coming to the Ghost Ranch Saloon in November. The schedule falls in with new venue promoter and hip-hop advocate Andrew Lindsley's plan to bring at least one full-force hip-hop show to the Ghost Ranch each month.

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Lindsley, who cooks in the Ghost Ranch kitchen, approached venue co-owner Amy Garris about promoting hip-hop shows for the business. Garris asked if he'd like to do the same for all the venue's acts, and Lindsley jumped at the chance, he said.

"I absolutely love the opportunity that I have in front of me. … I've been waiting for this day for a while," Lindsley said.

For the past few years, Lindsley slowly has been building a reputation as the guy who will hand you a show flier any time you see him. He's worked to bring in outside hip-hop acts and encourage local hip-hop talent at Steamboat venues including Wired Lounge, The Tap House Sports Grill, Old Town Pub, Amante Coffee, Ghost Ranch Saloon and Mahogany Ridge Brewery and Grill.

Lindsley hopes the experience he's built as a promoter and as a musician — he raps under the name Ocelot — will help him come up with frequent hip-hop show suggestions for Ghost Ranch booking agent David Arthur.

"I really think we can't go any longer than four weeks without doing a hip-hop show if we're trying to make this a venue that becomes a circulation on everyone's tour route," Lindsley said.

In the next several weeks, Ghost Ranch has nights booked with 3 the Hard Way, CunninLynguists and Grieves on Nov. 29, MTHDS on Dec. 4, and Ugly Duckling on Dec. 18. Lindsley hopes to keep those acts consistent in their stops at Ghost Ranch and use local or regional emcees and DJs to fill out the night. Local act DJ Also Starring is set to play a couple of nights a week through the winter, he said.

— To reach Margaret Hair, call 871-4204

or e-mail

If you go

What: 3 the Hard Way, w/ MindState, hip-hop

When: 9 p.m. today

Where: Ghost Ranch Saloon,

56 Seventh St.

Cost: $5 at the door

Call: 879-9898

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