Roy Book Binder plays at First String Music in Steamboat today |

Roy Book Binder plays at First String Music in Steamboat today

Blues musician is also a top storyteller

Blythe Terrell

Roy Book Binder performs Monday night at First String Music in Steamboat Springs.

Roy Book Binder knows a lot of people, and he's got a whole lot of stories to tell.

"For the last 42 years I've led a very interesting life, and it's pretty comical," said Binder, a blues musician and storyteller who performs at 7:30 p.m. Monday at First String Music in Steamboat Springs. "And we'll have plenty of laughs, they'll get a little culture and they'll hear some great music."

He might tell tales about his time touring with Bonnie Raitt or Jorma Kaukonen, a founding member of The Jefferson Airplane and Hot Tuna, or he might touch on the times he played with JJ Cale, Ray Charles and B.B. King.

Binder, 66, still spends seven months of the year on the road. He cut his teeth learning from blues legends who recorded records in the 1920s. Binder also is a renowned storyteller, having performed at the National Storytelling Festival in Jonesborough, Tenn., and he appeared 36 times on the "Nashville Now" TV show hosted by Ralph Emery.

Binder is an ideal opening concert for the new, larger First String Music location on Loggers Lane, said Colleen Boynton, who owns the store with her husband, Steve. The store moved from Lincoln Avenue last fall.

"We have a little stage in the store, and we're going to convert our retail to like a music hall," she said. "… He's a famous person, and he's really got a lot of amazingly deep blues roots. He's sort of a link between the oldest blues players who really got this all going and current mainstream America."

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Binder has played a couple of times in Steamboat. He's passing through this time as part of a cross-country tour consisting of about 35 shows. He encouraged anyone who wants to have a good time to come check out the performance.

"I'm a charming, entertaining fellow, my mother says," Binder said.

He also noted that he doesn't limit his music to straight blues.

"They call me a blues guy, but if you're a bluegrass fan, you'll dig it, because there's a lot of pickin' and grinnin' going on," Binder said.

Colleen Boynton said she hoped the show would raise awareness about what First String offers.

"For us it's a community event and also to show people that we're here, some people who may have never been to our store," she said.

For Binder, it's another chance to see Steamboat friends and enjoy what he called a beautiful place.

"It'll be a lot of fun, and I'm only there one night, so you gotta catch me."

If you go

What: Roy Book Binder

When: 7:30 p.m. today

Where: First String Music, 1880 Loggers Lane, Unit 1

Call: 970-871-4661

Cost: Tickets are $15.

Online: More information about Binder is at Visit First String’s website at

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