Elliot Seng: String Board Surprise
Steamboat Springs — For the past five years, living here in Steamboat, I’ve seen local bands come and go, thrive and dive. It takes a special type of cohesion in a group to stay planted and still progress in a ski town. While great music may be made, most endeavors fade away. Except for String Board Theory.
Formed in 2008, String Board Theory came to fruition here in Steamboat. Giving way to a myriad of different sounds and styles, we’ll put them in the “jamband” category, but with an asterisk next to it. Heavily concentrated on a hard rock* and blues guitar style with long-winded solos, the symbiosis between Kimball and Edmonson’s back and forth tussle for lead guitar leaves a fan in awe over their level of musicianship. Although, Hayes’ versatility on drums truly shows the breadth of the band’s ability to play it all. With his heavy metal roots morphed amongst his band mate’s own styles individually, Hayes could be considered the bedrock driving their music. Barlow, the man behind the bass, drives their harmonies and gives ebb and flow it’s definition. Whether working a wandering, ambient tone or dropping bombs aimed at your chest, he delivers every time. In 2013, SBT digitally released their first album “String-Board Theory” for free ninety-nine. Download it now, it’s free. FREE. The album was even recorded right here in Steamboat at A Room With No View Recording Studio, thanks to local sound engineer Scott Singer manning the booth.
Fast forward to the present. String Board Theory is on hiatus for the time being and living in the Denver area working on individual projects, and living the family life — bummer right? Until one fateful Sunday night, right here in Steamboat.
Having been asked to play a friend’s wedding this past Saturday here in town, the guys got back together for the special occasion. The last time they played as a whole was their sold-out, farewell performance at Old Town Pub in April. After their wedding gig, the decision was made to have a surprise show at the new Colorado High Five, pizza and dance bar.
The band’s Facebook page got the word out last Saturday afternoon and by nightfall, CO High Five was teaming up with SBT faithfuls. Putting attendance at around 50 for the small bar/stage combo was an impressive feat for short notice. It made for an intimate set with an easy-going atmosphere for the band to slide into. As for the music, there was nothing easy going about it. Hammering down a set filled with original String Board tracks and some crowd-pleasing covers, the night reflected the same high energy it’s always had for long-time fans. Winding down the night led to several heartfelt thank-yous and a proclamation of a someday fateful return. The fans and friends from years past, couldn’t have been more appreciative.
Looking back on String Board Theory’s career and everything they’ve accomplished as an established group brings nostalgia. From playing basement parties to major clubs in Steamboat, Denver and beyond it’s been an experience watching them grow as musicians.
With that said, I will leave you with this: Take part in your local music scene. Whether you play an instrument or simply enjoy live music, get out there and be a part of it. The musicians of Steamboat deserve our attention and we should gladly oblige them.
Elliot Seng can tell a few stories. Especially the type where music takes the stage. His story started in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania back in 1987. At 27 years old, and residing in Steamboat Springs for the past five years, his dedication to music is more alive than ever. Whether at home in a robe harmonizing to a favorite vocalist or standing next to you at the weekend’s top gig dancing like a ninny, he cannot be ignored. In his short time on earth he’s a proven music junkie, and totally broke from it.
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Steamboat Free Summer Concerts announced Friday that it will return live music to the Yampa Valley this summer in the form of two concerts scheduled for August and September.