Back in Steamboat: The Lil Smokies return for another free show |

Back in Steamboat: The Lil Smokies return for another free show

The Lil Smokies return to Steamboat on Monday, Jan. 17, for a free concert at the base of Steamboat Resort immediately following the Cowboy Downhill event.
Courtesy photo

The Lil Smokies will return to Steamboat Resort once again for a free concert Monday, Jan. 17, immediately following the Bud Light Cowboy Downhill.

Explore Steamboat caught up with lead singer Andy Dunnigan to hear about what the band has been up to lately, where he’s drawing inspiration from right now and tour rituals that keep him sane on the road.

Explore Steamboat: What have you guys been up to in the past few months since we last spoke?

Andy Dunnigan: We had an incredibly busy summer and fall, playing festivals all over the country. Things are going really well.

We are facing the ostensible hurdles of the pandemic and had to cancel a few shows … like a New Year’s Eve show, which was a bummer. But we’ve had some great festival plays. We got to go to Mexico a few weeks ago for a festival, and it was good to get some vitamin D.

In the past year, we had some lineup changes — last winter, we lost our banjo player and our bass player — so we added in some new guys and got them up to speed. We’ve been writing new tunes and working out new songs and feeling really tight as a unit. That usually takes a little time, and it usually works itself out while we’re on the road. But yeah, it’s just been great to play again.

ES: When you’re writing songs, what’s inspiring you right now?

AD: The way that the last few years have permeated every nook and cranny of our lives is obviously seeping in there. It’s been really hard for everyone, so I’ve been writing about that — it would be hard not to. … It’s an interesting time.

ES: It looks like you’re on tour right now and have a lot of shows coming up — do you guys have any tour rituals?

AD: I’m a big proponent of exercise. We do a lot of sitting and traveling, and it’s important to move around. I try to get in a sauna or steam room if I can, too.

Also, solitude, trying to find a little bit of peace and quiet — which can be a scarcity on the road — is important to me. But other than that, no weird rituals. … Maybe we should come up with some more.

ES: While you’re on tour and playing multiple times per week, how do you keep each show different and stay energized?

AD: That’s a good question. We like to mix up the set list. It keeps it interesting for the fans but for us, as well. Fresh ideas, mixing it up, spontaneity … that all helps keep things different.

ES: You’ve been to Steamboat Springs a lot. What’s one thing you like to do while you’re here?

AD: We always hit up the hot springs — that’s a must for us. We love Steamboat; it’s such an awesome place.

The Lil Smokies will perform a free concert Monday, Jan. 17, at the base of Steamboat Resort.
Courtesy photo

What: Bud Light Concert Series presents The Lil Smokies

When: 2:30 p.m. Monday, Jan. 17, following the Cowboy Downhill

Where: Steamboat Plaza at Steamboat Resort, 2305 Mount Werner Circle

Cost: Free

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