Musketeer Gripweed plays in Steamboat on Friday |

Musketeer Gripweed plays in Steamboat on Friday

Laura Trabka

Musketeer Gripweed will take the stage at 10 p.m. Friday at Old Town Pub.

— If you're headed out to Old Town Pub on Friday night, expect to “get down.”

That's what Jason Downing, who plays guitar, dobro and harmonica and performs vocals for Musketeer Gripweed, said about his band's shows.

"American, ass-shake, romp, holla" is how Downing described the type of music the band creates.

"It's music you can get down to, it's the music that gets people because it's high energy and high emotion, and I think we connect because I think that's what people are looking for when they go to live shows," Downing said.

Musketeer Gripweed will take the stage at 10 p.m. Friday at Old Town Pub. The band is coming to Steamboat from Fort Collins, and along with Downing, Musketeer Gripweed includes Ehren Crumpler on guitar and vocals, Ben Hockett on bass, Matt Goldberg on keys and Stu Crair, who plays drums and percussion.

The group has been around for nine years and has been traveling across the U.S., but Downing said Musketeer Gripweed will be going on a tour across Colorado with the Revivalists later in the year.

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The band’s new album, "Floods and Fires," will come out in April, and Downing said it's all about living in this state.

"For us, it's the connection. … We live in Colorado, and we're a Colorado band, and that's why (the album) is called that. Because that's the reality" here.

Downing said the band has received a lot of attention from people across Colorado and beyond because the audience can connect with music, and the band also likes to create an experience.

"We don't just stand up there and play instruments," he said. “We are highly engaging."

And with highly engaging comes a little bit of preaching.

Downing works as a sociology professor at Colorado State University, and that's not just a day job for him.

"What I write about and what I talk about, some of it is rock 'n' roll, and some of it is about being more conscious," he said. "Teaching ended up being a great fit because what I preach on stage is also what I'm doing" in the classroom.

"I'm always preaching: Treat each other better, love, music, community."

And with music influences like the Black Crowes, North Mississippi Allstars and Gov’t Mule, patrons should expect to have a good, rock 'n' roll experience. Musketeer Gripweed’s music is foot-stomping mixed with some soul.

And the pioneer garb that the band members wear certainly brings another level of entertainment.

"We're visual listeners, and when we see something that captivates our imagination, it's exciting, so why not play rock 'n' roll and dress up and have fun?" he said.

To reach Laura Mazade, call 970-870-1368, email or follow her on Twitter @Lmazade

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