Austin, Texas-based band the Wheeler Brothers will play a free show at 4:30 p.m. Saturday  in Gondola Square as a part of OktoberWest festivities.

Lobo Sucio/courtesy

Austin, Texas-based band the Wheeler Brothers will play a free show at 4:30 p.m. Saturday in Gondola Square as a part of OktoberWest festivities.

Wheeler Brothers to headline OktoberWest on Saturday in Steamboat


Past Event


  • Saturday, September 22, 2012, 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Gondola Square , 2305 Mount Werner Circle, Steamboat Springs
  • All ages / Free - $40


OktoberWest schedule

Friday in downtown Steamboat Springs

5:30 p.m. Pedaling Posse Parade

6 p.m. Suds & Grub beer tasting and food specials at participating downtown restaurants

Saturday at Steamboat Ski Area

10 a.m. Gondola open

11 a.m. Coca-Cola Adventure Zone activities

2 to 6 p.m. OktoberWest beer garden open

2 to 5 p.m. I Love Beef Cook-Off and tasting

2:30 p.m. FREE concert with the Mile Markers

4:30 p.m. FREE concert with the Wheeler Brothers

5:30 p.m. Announcement of I Love Beef Cook-Off winners

Sunday at Steamboat Ski Area

9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Gondola open

11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Coca-Cola Adventure Zone activities

Event pricing

OktoberWest festival admission: FREE

I Love Beef Cook-Off: Available for $15 the day of the event

Beer Garden tickets: $25 in advance, $30 at the door; includes stein and unlimited 4-ounce tastings

Beer Garden & Beef Combo: $35 in advance, $40 at the door; includes stein and unlimited 4-ounce beer tastings

Buy tickets online here.

— It’s the small wins that mean the most to Austin, Texas-based band the Wheeler Brothers.

Like when guitarist and pianist Nolan Wheeler looks out into the bars and clubs, which are getting fuller by the tour, and sees someone mouthing the words to one of the band's songs.

“We struggled for a long, long time,” said Wheeler, who founded the band with brothers Patrick, drums, and Tyler, bass. “The first 6 or 7 months, we tried so hard to get our foot in the door on a Wednesday at 5 in the afternoon.”

And then, there are the big wins, like opening for the Avett Brothers this summer and the upcoming chance to play at the Austin City Limits festival.

Now on a brief Colorado tour, the Wheeler Brothers will stop in Steamboat on Saturday to play a free concert at 4:30 p.m. at the base of Steamboat Ski Area during the annual OktoberWest festival. The Mile Markers out of Denver open the show at 2:30 p.m.

“We got a chance to rent some motorcycles and cruise through the mountains. The colors were changing, and it was beautiful,” Wheeler said in a Wednesday interview from Aspen. “There’s a lot of struggle, but I got to ride motorcycles today and check out beautiful Colorado. You get to see so many places you’ve never been and making music for a living, you can’t beat that.”

The Wheeler Brothers, which welcomed into the family Danny Matthews on guitar and A.J. Molyneaux on lap steel, last were in Steamboat in January for MusicFest, an annual destination music festival with a focus on Texas and Americana bands.

Now, they return in the heart of fall to play a festival centered on Colorado beers. It’s fitting that Wheeler's favorite beer is out of Fort Collins: Odell Brewing Co.'s 90 Shilling Ale, which he said he can really only find in Colorado.

Even though Odell won’t be represented Saturday in Gondola Square, Wheeler still is looking forward to the event.

“With the beautiful weather here in Colorado and being at the bottom of a ski lift like that … it’s nice to have a microbrew to wash it down with," he said.

Growing up in Austin, Wheeler said having friends over to drink beer and play instruments was a typical activity. But it wasn’t until after college that the three brothers took their hobby from an after-school pastime to a focused project. That was 2 1/2 years ago.

They took an indie approach to Americana music in their first album, 2011’s "Portraits," in which a bit of country twang soaks the reverberating vocals in the shade of modern Texas rock 'n' roll.

And at the heart of the rolling folk beats are the three brothers, for whom it never was a question whether they would play music together.

“They always say blood is thicker than water,” Wheeler said. “We have our scuffles every now and then, but as far as brothers go, we get along really well. Between the three of us, we build the rhythm section of the entire band. It’s important to have that kind of strong connection rhythmically with your family and your brothers to provide a definite foundation to build on.”

The Wheeler Brothers

To reach Nicole Inglis, call 970-871-4204 or email


Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Requires free registration

Posting comments requires a free account and verification.