Steamboat Springs James and the Devil drummer Matt Stoner admits that the first album he ever purchased was of Ace of Base.
But as he grew, so did his musical tastes. It wasn’t long before Metallica and Alice in Chains filled his headphones.
Stoner said the evolution of his preferences can be heard in the music of James and the Devil, his five-piece, Denver-based band scheduled to perform at 10 p.m. today and Saturday at The Tugboat Grill & Pub. The band also played Thursday night.
The band members describe their music as “rock ’n’ roll with mountain grass, funk, hip-hop and rhythmic dance chemistry.”
Stoner said the band doesn’t like to be classified into one genre, instead taking a bit of each member’s tastes and blending it together into a show.
“It’s high-energy dance music and rock ’n’ roll,” he said. “We like to bend genres as much as possible.”
With Stoner, the band includes Jim Campbell (acoustic guitar and vocals), Buz Crutchfield (percussion, electric guitar and vocals), Adam Carpenter (bass and vocals) and Dave Ross (fiddle).
The band has played in Steamboat several times before.
“They have a unique sound,” Tugboat booking agent Todd Leestma said. “It’s a really fresh sound. It’s not rock ’n’ roll, county or bluegrass — it’s all over the place. It’s Sublime to Charlie Daniels. They can totally rock it out.”
It’s tough to listen to their funky sound, with hip-hop and rock influences heard throughout, and not move your body. The band will play original songs, including some from its soon-to-be-released album.
Stoner said James and the Devil loves playing in mountain towns, mostly because of the enthusiasm the crowds bring.
So for those looking to shed some leftover calories from their Thanksgiving feasts, Stoner said grooving to his band’s tunes makes perfect sense.
“It’s pleasing to the ear and you can’t not dance to it,” he said. “The fact is it’s going to be a good time for anyone that wants to come. It’s all about having fun and partying.”