Big ticket shows this summer
¤ The Infamous Stringdusters, June 5, The Infamous Stringdusters
¤ Cowboy Crush, June 19, Cowboy Crush
¤ Tab Benoit, July 2, Tab Benoit
¤ Hot Buttered Rum, July 9, Hot Buttered Rum
¤ Andy Griggs, July 10, Andy Griggs
¤ Lyrics Born, July 17, Lyrics Born
¤ Reverend Horton Heat, July 18, Reverend Horton Heat
¤ Confederate Railroad, Aug. 2, Confederate Railroad
¤ Appetite for Destruction, Aug. 7, Appetite for Destruction
¤ 40 oz. to Freedom, Aug. 8, 40oz. to Freedom
¤ Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Aug. 9, Dirty Dozen Brass Band
¤ Who's Bad, Aug. 27, Who's Bad
¤ Rhett Akins, Sept. 6, Rhett Atkins
¤ Shows scheduled as of May 20. For more information or to buy tickets in advance, go to Ghost Ranch Saloon.
Steamboat Springs More than a year after owners announced plans to bring a new music venue to Steamboat Springs, Ghost Ranch Saloon opens its doors to the stage-hungry public.
The project's scope has ballooned since co-owners Jean Sagouspe and Amy Garris first laid out their vision for a fully equipped, hard-rocking nightspot. Ghost Ranch is outfitted with a railed-off stage, a wall-length bar drawn up from a late 19th-century model, an array of top-of-the-line sound and lighting equipment, VIP rooms, a spectator balcony, a full kitchen and late-night takeout window, and two downstairs band rooms.
The venue's opening weekend lineup is true to its promise of offering live shows in a variety of musical styles: The Informants, a soul and rockabilly band from Denver, publicly christen the Ghost Ranch stage tonight with a dance-fueled set.
With a few dates still up in the air, Ghost Ranch's booking team has put together a list of concerts covering most weekends through the first part of August. That list, with acts confirmed as of May 20, is available in full at www.exploresteamboat.com and in part at www.ghostranchsaloon.com.
Rockabilly soul, 9 p.m. today, free
"First things first: We're a lot of fun, and we dance," bassist Mac McMurray said, describing the way his band, The Informants, takes the stage. Drawing on party music from the 1940s, '50s, '60s and '70s, The Informants cross the lines from swing-style lindy hop songs to rockabilly blazers to soul burners.
Everyone in the band has a huge record collection, McMurray said, and the vast swath of influences comes through in The Informants' high-energy set.
"A big percentage of it is, all of our parents were very much into music," he said. "I thank my mom and dad for having the LPs playing in the house all the time when I was a kid. My dad was a big jazz fan, and my mom played classical around the house. : I think that you kind of go back to what you knew as a kid and what you loved and may not have appreciated as fully at that point. We were exposed as a group to so many sounds early on."
The Informants know they're playing opening night of a new music venue, and the band is planning to dress the part, McMurray said.
"What we like to do is, when we play a big show like that, we all like to dress up nice and make it a show from a visual standpoint," he said. "We'll bring the style and the visual cues to the stage along with the good music, so it'll be a lot of fun."
Americana, 9 p.m. Saturday
$15 in advance and $20 at the door
Tony Furtado's path to Americana music growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area is a little unorthodox.
In sixth grade, a teacher assigned a report to research and make a musical instrument. Furtado had a pie tin, some fishing line, some rubber bands and construction paper.
What he ended up with looked like a banjo, so that's what he called it, and that's what he specialized in for years as a musician.
But Furtado listened to more than traditional bluegrass music, and eventually his tastes wandered and combined, to produce the mix of Americana styles he plays today.
"One thing led to another. My first banjo teacher when I was a little kid opened my eyes to the fact that banjo is played in a lot of different types of music and had me listening to everything from blues to rock to folk," Furtado said.
After a few albums playing backup to other musicians on the Rounder Records label, Furtado started recording his own material.
"I didn't really listen to a lot of bluegrass per se, but I played it mostly because that's what you do if you play the banjo. But I was listening to a lot of other types of music, and it got to the point where I was kind of frustrated and I just started playing what I was feeling and what I was listening to," he said. This was about 15 years ago - and aside from getting the word out about the evolution of his music during those first few years, Furtado has had an easy transition into making his own, unique brand of American music.
"I think it wasn't difficult for me, just because it felt natural. I wasn't turning my back and saying, 'I hate you guys, I'm going away,' it was more that I was making my own path, and I was not relying on that particular genre for my rules and regulations," he said. "There was never this page turning; this is now what I'm doing forever, it's always been a gradual metamorphosis. : If it stopped evolving, I might as well hang it up."
Furtado - who has lived in Boulder and has played in Steamboat before - comes to town as part of a power trio, with Tyrone Hendrix, of the Jimi Hendrix family, on drums and Tye North, formerly of Leftover Salmon, on bass.
Agent Orange w/ Amputators
Punk, 9 p.m. Sunday, $10
Longevity isn't usually a consideration for straight-ahead punk bands.
But for Agent Orange, it's a reality.
Since the late 1970s, the band has been a leading name in surf riffs, punk attitude and songs that last less than three minutes, riding the first part of the West Coast wave through too many new waves to count.
Agent Orange guitarist and leadman Mike Palm described the band's initial attraction to combining surf and punk rock this way, in an interview before the band played at Steamboat Mountain Theater in December 2007: "It's the same kind of thing - it's really honest and straightforward, and it's not pretentious."