TJ Horton, of Grand Junction, raises his arms and shouts as Band of Heathens finishes a song during the 2009 MusicFest at Steamboat in the music tent set up at the ski area’s Knoll Parking Lot.

Photo by Matt Stensland

TJ Horton, of Grand Junction, raises his arms and shouts as Band of Heathens finishes a song during the 2009 MusicFest at Steamboat in the music tent set up at the ski area’s Knoll Parking Lot.

Music festivals hit mountain

MusicFest and Ski Jam offer variety of concerts in January

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Band of Heathens performs during the 2009 MusicFest at Steamboat in the music tent set up at the ski area’s Knoll Parking Lot.

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Get more information about festival acts, ticket pricing and schedules at www.themusicfest.com, www.skijam.net and www.steamboat.com/concerts.

Public MusicFest and Ski Jam concerts

Jack Ingram and Doug Moreland: These country musicians perform in the only open-to-the-public MusicFest concert. The free event also features a Cajun-style cookout. Listen to Jack Ingram at www.myspace.com/jackingram and Doug Moreland at www.myspace.com/dougmorelandshow. 1:30 p.m. Jan. 8 in Gondola Square.

The Wailers: Returning to Ski Jam after performing hits from the legendary album “Exodus” in 2009, The Wailers offer a traditional reggae vibe with an easy dance vibe. Listen to the band at www.myspace.com/wailers. Opening the show is Texas roots rock group Jonathan Tyler & The Northern Lights. Listen to that band at www.myspace.com/jonathantylermusic. Tickets are $20. Doors open at 6 p.m. Jan. 14 at the Music Tent.

Keller Williams: One-man jam band Keller Williams comes to Steamboat promoting his new album, “ODD,” a mash of acoustic styles, funk rhythms and wry lyrics. Listen to Williams at www.myspace.com/kellerwillams. Tickets are $15. Doors open at 7 p.m. Jan. 15 at the Music Tent.

The Molly Ringwalds: English band The Molly Ringwalds gives an all-out tribute to the 1980s with each show, touching on all the hit songs from an excessively dance-worthy decade. Listen to the band’s renditions of songs such as “Material Girl” and “Under Pressure” at www.myspace.com/themollyringwalds. Tickets are $15. Doors open at 7 p.m. Jan. 16 at the Music Tent.

Super Diamond: San Francisco-based tribute band Super Diamond does everything it can to put out extremely lush versions of Neil Diamond’s greatest hits. Listen to the band at http://superdiamond.com/music.html. Tickets are $15. Doors open at 7 p.m. Jan. 17 at the Music Tent.

— Two multi-day music festivals will bring thousands of fans and almost 50 performing groups to the Steamboat mountain area this month.

The MusicFest at Steamboat starts today and features close to 40 alternative country, rock and Americana acts, many of them based in Austin, Texas. The festival, now in its 25th year, officially closes Saturday, and includes a few “extended set” shows through Jan 11. Ski Jam, which is presented by the same production company, is Jan. 14 to 17.

Tickets to MusicFest are sold as ski travel packages, including lodging, lift tickets and concert access. Those tickets sold out in record time for this year’s MusicFest, festival organizer John Dickson, of Dickson Productions, said in an e-mail. The vast majority of MusicFest concerts are not open to the public.

Country musicians Jack Ingram and Doug Moreland will play a free, public concert at 1:30 p.m. Friday in Gondola Square. Dickson Productions and Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp. are presenting the concert, which also features a Cajun-style cookout.

At ticketed MusicFest concerts, pioneers and new additions to the Texas “Red Dirt” alternative country movement including Robert Earl Keen, Reckless Kelly, Cross Canadian Ragweed and Band of Heathens will play large-scale shows at The Steamboat Music Tent in the Knoll Parking Lot.

Singer Lee Ann Womack is scheduled for an acoustic show with Ray Wylie Hubbard, Wade Bowen, Randy Rogers and others at The Steamboat Grand. MusicFest musicians also are set to perform at Bear River Bar & Grill, at smaller stages in The Steamboat Grand and at the top of the gondola.

Wailers, Williams to play

As country-styled MusicFest performers and fans clear out after Jan. 11, contemporary music fans and acts will move in for Ski Jam. The seventh annual festival offers four ticketed concerts for Steamboat residents and visitors from Jan. 14 to 17 at The Steamboat Music Tent in the Knoll Parking Lot.

Reggae staples The Wailers return to Ski Jam for their second consecutive year Jan. 14. Texas roots rock group Jonathan Tyler & The Northern Lights will open the show.

On Jan. 15, former Steamboat Springs resident and one-man jam operation Keller Williams will deliver a mash-up of acoustic styles, funk rhythms and wry lyrics.

English band The Molly Ringwalds gives an all-out tribute to the 1980s on Jan. 16, touching on all the hit songs from an excessively dance-worthy decade. Keeping with the tribute band theme, the Neil Diamond adorers of Super Diamond will close the festival Jan. 17.

Doors for most Ski Jam concerts open at 7 p.m.; doors for The Wailers concert Jan. 14 open at 6 p.m. Tickets are available in advance at Steamboat Ski & Sport, All That Jazz and Christy Sports in Central Park Plaza; by calling Steamboat Central Reservations at 800- 922-2722; or buying online at www.steamboat.com/concerts and www.skijam.net.

Full festival passes include access to “After the Hill Chill” shows from 3 to 6 p.m. Jan. 14 to 17 at Bear River Bar & Grill. Retro soul act T-Bird and the Breaks plays Jan. 14 and 15, and classic radio tribute band Skyrocket plays Jan. 16 and 17. Festival passes are $49 through Tuesday, and $59 Wednesday and after. Passes are available at www.skijam.net. “After the Hill Chill” shows are also free and open to the members of public if they arrive early. Once the venue starts to fill up, only Ski Jam pass holders will be allowed in, Dickson said in an e-mail.

Part of Knoll Lot closed

The Steamboat Music Tent is an 80-by-180-foot indoor, heated concert space with full light and sound setups. The tent was scheduled to go up Saturday in the north portion of the Knoll Parking Lot and will remain standing through Jan. 20, Ski Corp. spokeswoman Loryn Kasten said.

About half the parking spaces in the Knoll Lot will not be available during that time, Kasten said. Full parking is expected to return by Jan. 23, she said.

Free parking will remain available in the south portion of Knoll, in the Lower Knoll Parking Lot and by shuttle at the Meadows Parking Lot; paid parking will be available in the Gondola Square parking structure, Kasten said.

Personal cameras without flashes are allowed at all Music Tent shows; professional photography equipment is not allowed, according to the Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp. Web site. All concerts are open to all ages, with general admission and no seats, according to the Ski Corp. Web site.

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