Steamboat Springs n Roster McCabe’s Facebook page is a series of family photos of the reggae rock quintet. At least that’s what Alex Steele, lead vocalist and keyboard player of the Minneapolis-based band, calls them.
Their family has thousands of members in multiple cities across the United States. Each photo was taken at a different music venue, from the vantage point of the stage out into the crowd, with the entire room of music lovers gathered around the band, sweaty and smiling, at the end of a show.
“We want to take pictures on stage so people can A) remember what they did last night, but B) so we can familiarize ourselves with the people in different cities,” Steele said. “Everyone’s a part of it. It’s totally symbiotic.”
Armed with the inclusive nature of its “funky dance reggae rock” vibe, Roster McCabe will make its third appearance in Colorado and its first in Steamboat Springs this weekend, playing at Old Town Pub on Saturday night. The free show starts at about 9:30 p.m.
Roster McCabe, comprising Steele, Mike Daum on guitar, Scott Muellenberg on bass, Jeff Peterson on drums and Drew Preiner on guitar and synthesizer, was born into the Midwestern music scene in 2007.
Fresh out of college, the quintet never actually went out and got day jobs. Instead, its members dove headfirst into Roster McCabe, recording an EP right off the bat and touring relentlessly.
Their upbeat tunes draw from a wide range of influences, most noticeably the reggae beats that stem from Steele’s Jamaican heritage.
But throw in heavy rock riffs, jazzed-up chords, a knack for improvisation and their decision to give their recorded music away for free online (www.rostermccabe.com), and McCabe becomes a multi-dimensional group that’s growing right alongside the modern music world.
In less than four years together, the band found itself opening for Stephen Marley at a festival this summer and sharing a stage with Matisyahu.
The band finds time to rehearse on weeklong retreats away from touring. But on stage is where the energy, the music and their family of fans come together.
“The shows, that’s the vacation part,” Steele said. “That’s the most fun. We all strive for perfection, and we all work hard. But it’s little things that change for all of us, and we try to figure out what the other person is doing or saying, and we try to pick up on those things.”
The band has been playing about 150 shows a year, keeping band members on the road in their 15-passenger van for weeks on end. But Steele said he doesn’t mind it.
“It keeps life interesting,” he said. “It makes the world a little bit smaller.”
It’s really the people who come to the shows, he said, that represent their own little corner of the world to the traveling troubadours of reggae rock.
“It gives me a lot of faith in humanity in general,” Steele said. “Not to get super out there, but to see all the people that we get to meet … there’s a lot of great people out there. I think a lot of people catch on to the positivity we’re trying to spread in our music.”
To reach Nicole Inglis, call 970-871-4204 or email ninglis@SteamboatToday.com