Steamboat’s Free Summer Concert Series adds Sam Bush Band, Drive-By Truckers to lineup |

Steamboat’s Free Summer Concert Series adds Sam Bush Band, Drive-By Truckers to lineup

Andy Bockelman

The Free Summer Concert Series announced Drive-By Truckers, a southern rock band, will be making its series debut July 12. The series also announced newgrass Sam Bush Band in addition to acts Vintage Trouble and Carolina Chocolate Drops. One more act still will be announced, and the series's annual fundraiser is Sunday.

— Ask and you shall receive.

That's the message organizers of the Steamboat Springs Free Summer Concert Series sent to music lovers, announcing a pair of widely requested names — one familiar and one new to the area — as part of this year's schedule.

Musical acts Sam Bush Band and Drive-By Truckers are the latest additions to the roster of the beloved summer event and are performing in Steamboat on July 5 and 12, respectively.

Newgrass king Sam Bush has brought the strum of his mandolin to Steamboat on multiple occasions — most recently in March at the Strings Music Pavilion in a special acoustic duo with Del McCoury — and southern rock combo Drive-By Truckers, of Athens, Ga., will be making its Yampa Valley debut.

Concert promoter John Waldman, of Great Knight Productions, said the two musical groups represent the effort to bring concertgoers exactly what they want.

"We constantly get requests to bring Sam Bush back, and we've had a lot of people asking us for years to bring in Drive-By Truckers, so it's a real coup for the series," he said. "They've got a devout following."

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Waldman added that organizers had "a stroke of luck" that the dates aligned for the Truckers, which will be playing The Ride Festival in Telluride in the days following its Steamboat show.

Bush and his crew also will be stopping at multiple Colorado venues during the summer, including June's Telluride Bluegrass Festival and July shows in Crested Butte and Lyons.

The two acts will set the stage for later entries in the Concert Series by Carolina Chocolate Drops on July 26 and Vintage Trouble on Aug. 16.

"We always look for as much diversity as we can, and we've definitely got that this summer," Waldman said.

Concert Series board member Coleman Cook said organizers likely will host the two shows at Howelsen Hill to accommodate the crowd size, which ranges from 3,500 to 5,000 spectators.

"Sam Bush will be a great draw for the 4th of July weekend, and a lot of people have heard of Drive-By Truckers even if they haven't seen them perform live, so they should be a couple of our biggest shows," Cook said. "It'll be a great draw for tourists, the younger and older generations, everybody."

A fifth Concert Series show also is in the works.

"It's a solid lineup we have now, and there are some names we're looking at, but we want to see what happens," Cook said.

This weekend, those waiting for the summer of musical fun can do their part to ensure the concerts remain gratis by attending the organization's Keepin' It Free fundraiser. The Cinco de Mayo-themed event is at 4 p.m. Sunday at Sweetwater Grill.

Tickets are $25 in advance at Sweetwater Grill and All That Jazz or $30 at the door and entitle attendees to a margarita or beer, a taco bar and entry for prizes donated by local businesses.

"It's a fun way to spend an afternoon, and it's the kind of thing that lets us bring in money to get bands of this caliber," Cook said.

Free Summer Concert Series schedule

July 5: Sam Bush Band

July 12: Drive-By Truckers

July 26: Carolina Chocolate Drops

Aug. 16: Vintage Trouble

Organizers plan to announce a fifth show later in the season.

If you go

What: Keepin’ It Free fundraiser

When: 4 p.m. May 5

Where: Sweetwater Grill

Cost: $25 in advance or $30 at the door includes a drink ticket, taco bar and raffle ticket.


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