Group visiting Steamboat finds ‘love at first jam’ |

Group visiting Steamboat finds ‘love at first jam’

John Brown’s Body, Slightly Stoopid members make 2 appearances Saturday

Nicole Inglis

Chris Welter

Chris Welter, also known as C-Money, has played trumpet and keyboard for reggae bands Slightly Stoopid and John Brown's Body. He plays at 10 p.m. Saturday with a side project called C-Money and the Players Inc. at The Tap House Sports Grill.

— Christofer Welter started going by the moniker C-Money as a rebellious pre-teen living in Florida.

His teachers overlooked him, he said, and sometimes there weren't even enough desks for all of the students.

So he skipped out of class to sell drugs and fell deeper into the gang lifestyle.

But there was one thing he held onto at school: playing trumpet in the marching band.

"I was really bad at all the subjects," said Welter, now 31. "I realized, 'Someday this is going to feed me; I better pay attention.'"

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And he was right.

The music he's played with reggae bands such as John Brown's Body and Slightly Stoopid during the past 13 years has fed him in a literal and soulful manner.

On Thursday, Welter was just about to pick up a band mate, saxophone player Dan Delacruz, to leave his California home on a six-week tour with a side project band called C-Money and the Players Inc.

They will make two appearances in Steamboat Springs starting with a 4:30 p.m. Saturday acoustic in-store performance and album signing at Urbane, 703 Lincoln Ave., Suite B101.

Later, they'll fill the intimate space at The Tap House Sports Grill starting at 10 p.m. Saturday. Tickets are $5.

The band that plays Saturday will feature Delacruz, Fishbone's Dre Gipson and a bassist, guitarist and drummer from various bands in the Los Angeles music scene.

Tap House owner Melissa Baker said the bar doesn't often pick up live music acts, but when they do, it can be something special.

"We save it for good ones to come around," Baker said about Saturday's show. "I think it's going to be a really good vibe and really fun. The sound of their music is really chill."

Welter said the Players Inc. sound was born in a small room, perfect for the Tap House setting.

After playing with John Brown's Body for more than 10 years, Welter left an emotional show the day after bassist Scott Palmer's untimely death with visions of moving on.

He and Delacruz joined up with touring force Slightly Stoopid in 2006, moving the pair from Boston to California where they had to find a new scene of horn players to jam with.

Welter called it "love at first jam' when the Players Inc. crew started making music together.

His musical and lifestyle influences are born from the jazz greats. He calls his fellow band mates "cats" and projects the loving, mellow flavor of the late Louis Armstrong in all of his endeavors.

"He was about the heart of it all," Welter said about Armstrong. "He didn't frown at all. He was always there to smile, and he'd kill people with kindness."

That's what Players Inc. plans to do with their horn-centric, jazzy dub music.

Welter said they'll play the occasional Snoop Dogg rhythm or Slightly Stoopid reggae riff but they leave the jazz interpretation to the horns instead of the vocals.

For Welter, the bright, brassy sound just might be the thing to reach down and pull someone up out of the mud, much like the trumpet did for him at a young age.

Music "can be heavy," he said. "But it's an energy and a direction-setter, especially when the times are rough and there are wars going on and the economy's bad. … Art flourishes in those times. People want it more, need it more. And we just bring good vibes."

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