Katie Carroll: Shakedown Street shakes Schmiggity’s
Steamboat Springs — Shakedown Street is a Grateful Dead tribute band and is actually — according to them — one of the longest running Deadhead bands in the world. That means since 1987, this crew has been jamming out to our favorite Jerry Garcia hits. We’re lucky we live in their homebase: the Rocky Mountains.
The band’s name comes from the Grateful Dead studio album from 1978, one that is maybe considered the least-loved out of the Dead’s repertoire. It is also the name for the area outside of a Grateful Dead concert – parking lot, field, whatever – where people sold everything from tacos to T-shirts.
Whether the Shakedown Street has an affinity for the three decades old album, title track or outdoor drug supermarket is unknown. However, the under-adored album has fans in Taylor Goldsmith (lead guitar and vocals) of Dawes and one very passionate Entertainment Weekly writer, so we can assume the name comes from a combination of both.
Shakedown Street is Rocky Mountain to the core — they got their start in Manitou Spring’s famous Ancient Mariner bar in 1987. Likely, the band was just as inspired by the freshwater springs throughout Manitou as the idea of Xanadu in the legendary bar. Since then, Shakedown has garnered such a following that their fans are affectionately known as “Shakeheads” (which in my opinion, has a much better connotation than Deadhead).
As any true Grateful Dead tribute band would do, Shakedown Street has learned over 200 Dead songs and completely mastered the art of improvising. That means that these talented musicians can play any song for minutes and minutes, and their dedication is so great to the Dead’s style that it’s likely you won’t even hear a repeat song from their last gig in Steamboat. They’re that good, people. And if you’re enjoying the show in a Colorado fashion (wink wink), it might not even matter.
Shakedown Street is Josh Rosen on lead guitar and vocals from Fort Collins; Smokey Joe Weisiger on keyboards, organ and vocals from Arvada; Edwin Hurwitz on bass from Boulder; Scott Swartz on rhythm guitar and vocals from Moffat; and Christian Teele drums and percussion from Boulder.
Shakedown Street plays at 10 p.m. Friday, June 12 at Schmiggity’s with a $5 cover.
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The 20th anniversary season of Opera Steamboat will kick off this month with a new series, the “Variations Piano Series,” bringing world-class pianists from across the country to Steamboat Springs.