Steamboat man trying to organize Yampapalooza |

Steamboat man trying to organize Yampapalooza

Luke Graham

Local Tommy Larson, a self-described musical hack, is trying to start Yampapalooza at McKnight's Irish Pub & Loft on Feb. 1. He's in search of local bands that rehearse to help fill out the day.

— Tommy Larson admits he's a hack, but frankly he doesn't care.

He calls himself a guitar player in a bass player's body. But get that guitar in his hand, get his fellow band members around him and that's all that matters.

"It's fun hearing a song I know and know I can play it somewhat," Larson said. "It's like being a magician when you figure out what the trick is. The song isn't such a mystery anymore. It's breaking it down in simplest aspects sharing with friends."

Larson's love of the throw it together garage bands of friends has helped him morph an idea right out of Grant Park in Chicago.

Larson hopes to put on Yampapalooza on Feb. 1 at McKnight's Irish Pub & Loft.

The idea is simple. It's not an open mic night or a battle of the bands. Instead, Larson is hoping to get a bunch of local bands — those that know some songs and rehearse — together for a fun day of music.

Recommended Stories For You

"There is a broad range of talent in this valley," he said. "Not all of us aspire to play in bars or get paid for our efforts. I would wager that the vast majority of musicians in this town get together just for the fun of it."

He's asking any band that's interested in participating to get in touch with him by Wednesday. He can be reached at 970-871-4776. A PA system, drum set and bass amp will be provided.

“I love it,” McKnight’s owner Kerry Shea said. “It's one of those things where in a beautiful small town atmosphere with lots of talented musicians in town.”

He has two bands in for sure and two more that are interested. All told, he'd like to have five to eight bands and 10 acts total.

He also said duos will be included.

"There are some bands that have two hours worth of material," he said. "There are others who might struggle through three songs. Everyone is welcome. We have 15- to 45-minute blocks available and will tailor a slot to fit your ability and enthusiasm."

He said the event would be scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. and go as long as they had acts. With the help of Shea, Larson said he's hoping to make it happen.

More than anything, though, he is hoping to showcase some music from the Yampa Valley.

"I hope to build camaraderie, appreciation and awareness among the musicians," Larson said. "Many of us know a friend who is in a band but we have never heard them play."

To reach Luke Graham, call 970-871-4229, email or follow him on Twitter @LukeGraham

Go back to article