Holden Young, Billy Franklin’s music careers intersect in Steamboat | SteamboatToday.com

Holden Young, Billy Franklin’s music careers intersect in Steamboat

Holden Young Trio plays at 9 p.m. today at Ghost Ranch Saloon.

Billy Franklin, a musician from New Orleans, had just finished a gig at Mambo Italiano last week when he saw a familiar face out of the corner of his eye.

He wasn't really surprised to see his friend and former bandmate Holden Young, of Boulder, enjoying the Steamboat Springs music scene.

"He just kind of showed up," Franklin said with a laugh. "I think I've seen him every weekend I've been here this summer."

The pair's music careers, which intersected when the two started the Holden Young Trio in Steamboat Springs in 2006, have since divided and reconverged as their lives took them away from the mountain lifestyle in separate directions and back once more.

Their paths often cross on the stage when Franklin plays as a guest guitarist with his old band, a synergistic and nostalgic enterprise that will entertain the Ghost Ranch Saloon tonight with a blend of world beat jam rock and New Orleans funk and reggae.

The Holden Young Trio is billed to play the Ghost Ranch Saloon at 9 p.m. today.

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The trio now comprises Holden Young on guitar, Adrian Engfer on bass and Chris Mazur on drums.

Young said Franklin would sit in on the second half of the show after he finishes his own solo gig, which will take place at Mahogany Ridge Brewery & Grill at 9 p.m. today.

Franklin returned to Steamboat for a six-week summer stint to play almost 40 gigs. And although Franklin hasn't been a member of Holden Young Trio in more than two years, both he and Young return to their stomping grounds several times a year.

Young's band also records its music in town with First Strings Music's Steve Boynton. The newest batch of songs will be released in the fall.

Young and Franklin find harmony in the beautiful mountain scenery, the local arts appreciation and the music business aspect of Steamboat.

"It's like coming home," Young said. "Maybe because we started the project here. Or, maybe because our music seems to fit Steamboat so well."

He said Steamboat audiences enjoy funky beats, but the appeal might run deeper than the desire for a dance party.

There's a unique sort of work ethic that permeates the mountain culture in Steamboat, which Young said shines through in his music.

"There's a good mix of serious and fun," he said. "People work hard so they can have fun really hard. It's about the hard work for an individual with a very American purpose in the Steamboat lifestyle."

Franklin's praise of summers in Steamboat echoed his friend's.

"It's beautiful and idyllic," he said. "It has it's own culture. I think there's a lot of appreciation for music up here."

There also is an appreciation for the introduction of world influences and regional genres, such as Young's East Indian and Middle Eastern beats and Franklin's New Orleans jazz reggae.

"It's great to have (Frank­lin) out this summer," Young said. "That brings a lot to our project and what he's added to the writing process and the range of it by getting that New Orleans funk and that drive."

Young said the band plans to play some of its new original songs, as well as resurfacing Red Hot Chili Peppers covers that were well-received the last time the band played the Ghost Ranch Saloon.

After the show, Holden Young will continue a regional tour. Franklin will return to New Orleans for the winter.

But if their paths are to cross again, it likely will be in Steamboat where their progression as musicians has been forever intertwined.

"It's been great to grow in that way together," Franklin said.

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