Steamboat Missed The Boat to celebrate 2nd CD release
August 20, 2010
Steamboat Springs — In a dimly lit living room Tuesday night, Peter Hall danced, stomped and whirled across a hardwood floor covered in amplifier cords, pedals and wires. He hunched over his harmonica and wailed as the four musicians around him picked and drummed toward a suddenly cohesive end note.
"Nice," Hall said with a grin and a stomp of his foot. "Nice. We finally figured it out."
It was one of local band Missed The Boat's last chances to work on spicing up jams and segues to perform Saturday at Sweetwater Grill, when the folksy bluegrass rock band celebrates the release of its second album, a self-titled amalgam of heartfelt Colorado music, traditional folk and foot-stomping jamgrass.
Tuesday, the band was rehearsing new ways of getting from song to jam and back again.
"When you realize you're on the same page, and you get where you're going and everyone knew that was where you were going in the first place, that's really good," Hall said about the band's live jams. "If that makes any sense. It's just natural. It's the kind of music you want to be making anyway."
Though band members said the new album is more carefully produced, thought-out and subtly inspired by local scenery and lifestyle, their Colorado music stays true to the members' love for the mountains.
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Despite almost constant regional touring and national festival bills, Missed The Boat remains a group of Steamboat locals who define their years by the start and end of ski season and even incorporate ski training into their dance moves on stage.
The band comprises Hall on harmonica, Ryan Cox on guitar, Andrew Henry on acoustic and electric mandolin and banjo, Bryan Joyce on electric bass, and Pat Waters, who donated his living room for band practice, on drums. All of the members sing, except Hall, who said he yells.
Their first album, "Rollin'" was what they called a rambler's anthem album, filled with mountain scenery and local references.
"We have plenty of references to the place we live," Cox said. "We all love living in the mountains. I think the first album there was a lot of that … this time it's a little more subtle, I think."
Cox and Henry wrote many of the new songs, which still evoke the Colorado lifestyle.
"I wanted people to associate with them more," Henry said about the new songs. "I'm still writing about personal experiences, but I want to make them relatable. 'One More Glass' is a song on there. Everyone can relate to 'One More Glass.'"
On the not-so-subtle side, the catchy bluegrass anthem "Girlfriends" is Henry's locally inspired lament about the seasonal lifestyle as he sings, "Why do all my girlfriends go away?" repeatedly. The band agrees it's one of the more fun, foot-stomping dance tunes to play from the new album.
The 2 1/2-year-old band recorded the new album locally, working with Steve Boynton from First String Music to produce the album during a three-month period.
"We put our blood, sweat and tears into this one," Joyce said. "More money, more time and our hearts and souls into it."
They hope to take the energy on the album and add their improvisational jam style for the Sweetwater show, which will take place on an outdoor stage on the lawn next to the restaurant.
"The second set is going to be face-melting," Hall said.
Although they always love a Steamboat show, Cox said the band has its sights set high in the live music scene and that it will continue to play as many shows as possible.
"We're after opportunities, and if there's an opportunity we want play, we want to expand our music, and I think that's why we've been playing less here lately," Cox said. But I feel like I will always want to play a free show in Steamboat forever."
"It's our homies," Hall added.