‘Trouble’ is brewing as Steamboat’s Missed the Boat releases 3rd album
February 6, 2014
Steamboat Springs — In the four years since Missed the Boat released its last album, band members said their "rockin' folk bluegrass" sound has evolved and their songs have grown more complex.
"Trouble," the band's third album, has 12 original tracks and will debut Saturday evening at a release party at the Chief Theater. Tickets are $15 and include a copy of the album at the door.
Missed the Boat will perform two sets of music, with one being the new album in its entirety.
"We've all matured as musicians over the years, and as a band as well, and I think it shows," drummer and vocalist Pat Waters said.
"The songs have a lot more depth" than the earlier albums, guitarist and vocalist Ryan Cox said. "We put a lot of thought into the collection of songs so the album would hold together more thematically."
As far as trouble goes, most of the songs have some shape of conflict or strife.
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"The troublesome songs on this album range from not-so-traditional murder ballads to high-octane love stories gone bad," Cox said.
The six-man band, formed in Steamboat in 2006, has been through a lot of transition during the past few years, Cox said.
Waters said that losing original bass player Bryan Joyce was a setback. Joyce left the band in 2012 to move home to New Orleans. From a musical and a personal perspective, "It took a while for us to get back into our rhythm," Waters said.
Skip Warnke, who has lived and played music with various bands in Steamboat since 2002, replaced Joyce on bass.
Andrew Henry (four-string electric mandobird, tenor banjo and vocals) said that Warnke brought a different style with a little more funk.
Waters said that Warnke also brings a different approach to playing — "not better, just a different flavor; a little more rock and kind of funky at times."
Since their last album (self-titled and released in 2010), the band also added Jonathan Huge, on the Dobro (resonator guitar) and five-string banjo, as a full-time member.
The band also includes Pete Hall on harmonica and vocals.
Cox said the making of "Trouble" was more of a collaboration than past albums, and that every band member made contributions from both a performance and a composition standpoint.
"It fosters more creativity and pushes us to think about songs differently when we have different input," he said.
The album, which took about four months to complete, was recorded in part at Scanhope Sound in Littleton. The band also recorded part of the album on a tape machine in Steamboat.
"It lends to a more organic sound with the instrumentation," Cox said.
Henry said he is excited about how the album turned out.
"We put a lot of energy and a lot of heart into it," he said. "The songs deserved that time and attention to detail."
Touring and playing live shows has been a big part of the band's history.
Since the band was born, they've played more than 250 shows in more than 30 cities in seven states.
They've got their favorite venues and festivals, but the band is also bonded by their love for Steamboat — the people, and everything the mountains have to offer.
Whether he's on the hill or at the grocery story, Henry said he loves the connection he has to the community through the band.
"Steamboat is what launched the boat," he said.
The name Missed the Boat, of course, alludes to the town they proudly call home. It also tells the story of how the band got started.
"We'd all just moved here when we met — living the ski bum lifestyle," Cox said. "At that time, a lot of our friends were going out and getting corporate jobs and falling into the 9-to-5 routine and that lifestyle. We weren't quite there."
While there's trouble throughout, the new album is anything but a downer.
For newcomers to the band's sound, Cox describes their genre as "jamgrass," mixing traditional bluegrass with Americana and jam band music.
Waters said the new album holds a wide appeal that goes beyond bluegrass. He describes the band's sound as "rock with bluegrass instruments."
And even after all the trouble, everything is OK, Waters said. He points to the introductory lyrics of the last song, "Breathe": "Breathe, you have no worries now. Leave none of them around, you're standing on firm ground."
The release party begins at 8 p.m. at the Chief Theater, 813 Lincoln Ave.
Chain Station will open, playing at 8:30 p.m. after the Winter Carnival fireworks.
For tickets (also available at All That Jazz, 601 Lincoln Ave.) and more information, visit http://www.chieftheater.com.
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