- Saturday, September 27, 2008, 10 p.m.
- Mahogany Ridge Brewery & Grill, 435 Lincoln Ave., Steamboat Springs
Ryan Cox, along with the rest of local band Missed the Boat, has mountains on his mind.
In one of four songs on the band's demo CD, Cox proclaims, "living in the mountains sets my soul free." That fits well with the way Missed the Boat's sound and audience have evolved since the group's first big gig seven months ago.
Relying on a blend of bluegrass-infused folksy ballads and rollicking, feel-good rock tunes, Missed the Boat - with Cox on guitar and vocals, Andrew Henry on mandolin and vocals, Pat Waters on drums, Peter Hall on harmonica and vocals and Brian Joyce on bass - has drummed up a considerable catalogue of original songs and a loyal local following. The response has been positive enough to motivate the band to start looking for gigs outside of Routt County. Cox said the group is in the beginning stages of sending demos to venues on the Front Range and in Western Slope mountain towns.
"Steamboat's small. We have a lot of support from our friends, and we were able to create a fan base really quickly," he said. "So we're eager to get outside of Steamboat and kind of see how we're received."
Cox talked with 4 Points about building local support, writing songs and drifting toward the jam-session style everyone in his band supports.
4 POINTS: The first time I talked to you guys you were just starting out, and hadn't really played too many gigs yet. What's happened since then?
RYAN COX: I think at the time, we had kind of just released our demo CD and we had played a couple house parties just to try and generate some buzz, and we were kind of waiting to hear back from the bars. So obviously, we heard back. We had a gig at the Old Town Pub in February; that was our first gig, and the place was totally packed.
We got really good feedback. The bar was totally full and people were dancing their faces off and having a good time, and from there a buzz developed.
4 POINTS: Do you think the kind of music you guys play has changed or evolved in that time?
RC: You know, I think we still classify ourselves as kind of rockin' folk bluegrass, as far as all those different styles of music are kind of wound up and you can hear it in our songs. : We're getting kind of more jammy and experimental with our playing and kind of broadening the focus of our music.
We've written tons of new, original material, and we actually just got a new bassist. So we are kind of getting him - his name is Brian Joyce - up to speed on all the new songs. : You can definitely hear different little styles in some of our newer songs, maybe taking on a little bit more of the jam-based kind of sound.
4 POINTS: Why do you think you've drifted into that jam-based sound?
RC: I think we're all into the Grateful Dead, and we love Phish and String Cheese (Incident), and we're just kind of drawn to that music. So I think we kind of started with the more traditional elements, but we're certainly not limiting ourselves to anything. We're just kind of finding our sound as we go.
4 POINTS: How do you figure out what you want to sound like?
RC: Just playing together, kind of spittin' around and jamming. Every practice we have some structure in the sense that we go through all our songs, but we like to leave parts of our practice to just kind of wing it and jam out.
4 POINTS: How does writing your own songs play into that?
RC: Andrew (Henry) and I do all of the writing for the original material, and he and I will often write songs on our own and bring them to the band, and everyone kind of adds their own touch and element to it.
A lot of it is inspired by the kind of mountain town lifestyle. I think we're all up here because we love spending time outside and really enjoying life to the fullest. : In a lot of our songs, a lot of the lyrics kind of revolve around the mountain and nature and past relationships. So you know, just kind of pulling inspiration from different channels of life that we're all passionate about, I guess.