The Dirty Heads play Saturday at Springalicious | SteamboatToday.com

The Dirty Heads play Saturday at Springalicious

Free concert part of Springalicious celebration at ski area

Margaret Hair

The Dirty Heads, a reggae roots group from Orange County, Calif., will play a free concert at 3 p.m. Saturday in Gondola Square at the base of Steamboat Ski Area as part of the Springalicious celebration.

— Before Jared Watson records a song, he stops and asks himself: "Would I listen to this and enjoy this?"

With his band, The Dirty Heads, Watson writes songs with reggae roots and a positive vibe, tapping into the group's Orange County, Calif., home base and influences including early reggae, Sublime, Beastie Boys and old folk music, he said.

"We never really talked about what style of music we wanted to play," Watson said. "It just kind of naturally, organically came together, and it's definitely a blend of a lot of acoustic and a lot of old reggae that we listen to, and there's also definitely some hip-hop influence on it."

The Dirty Heads play a free concert at 3 p.m. Saturday in Gondola Square at the base of Steamboat Ski Area.

Watson and guitarist/vocalist Dustin Bushnell have been writing music together since they were 15. They fleshed out the group with percussionists Matt Ochoa and Jon Olazabal, and started pursuing The Dirty Heads as a full-time job about six years ago, Watson said.

Through making records and touring the past few years, The Dirty Heads have tightened their sound, shedding some of their earlier hip-hop influences and sticking closer to acoustic reggae rock, Watson said.

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The band puts a high level of energy into its live show, hoping to push its success past radio hits such as its current single, "Lay Me Down."

"We want to have longevity," Watson said. "We want to be playing in 15, 20 years, like Jimmy Buffett concerts where you go and you tailgate and it's a big huge community. We want to be doing this for a while, and the fans are really important to that."

On April 20, the band sets out on a tour with Sublime with Rome, a reformation of the pioneering rock-reggae group featuring original members Bud Gaugh and Eric Wilson, with new frontman Rome.

The Dirty Heads' show Saturday is part of the 11th annual Bud Light Rocks the Boat free concert series and the ski area's Springalicious celebration. A rail jam also is at 3 p.m. Saturday at the base of the ski area. Springalicious continues with Cardboard Classic and other events April 10. The Splashdown Pond Skim and a free concert by singer-songwriter Donavon Frankenreiter are on closing day, April 11. Learn more about Springalicious at http://www.steamboat.com/springalicious.

— To reach Margaret Hair, call 871-4204 or e-mail mhair@steamboatpilot.com

If you go

What: The Dirty Heads, part of the 11th annual Bud Light Rocks the Boat free concert series

When: 3 p.m. Saturday

Where: Gondola Square at the base of Steamboat Ski Area

Cost: Free

Call: 879-6111

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