Katie Carroll: The Wheeland Brothers
If You Go...
What: Bud Light Rocks the Boat Free Music Series featuring The Wheeland Brothers
When: 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 28
Where: Gondola Square
Steamboat Springs — It’s been so warm in Steamboat lately that it feels like summer has arrived early. In that case, bringing “beach rock reggae” to the base this weekend seems like an excellent move. The Wheeland Brothers, bonafide surfer/rock musicians/SoCal natives, are playing the Bud Light Rocks the Boat Free Music Series this Saturday. Don’t worry: you can dance to beach reggae rock in ski boots, snowboard boots, and flip-flops (here’s to hoping!).
The Wheeland Brothers — comprised of Travis Wheeland (vocals, guitar), Nate “Frogg” Wheeland (vocals, guitar, ukulele), Marcu Agundes (bass) and Eric Bumb (drums)— came about because Travis and Nate “Frogg,” the actual siblings, took a trip to Hawaii and like everybody else on the planet, were inspired to create. They took a backpacking trip on Kalalau five years ago, and eleven miles is a long way to go when you’re taking your time. So during the Wheelands’ stay on the island, they wrote their first album Toast to the Coast. Upon their return to southern California, the duo synced up with some other friends and immediately began touring and spreading the Wheeland Brothers sound in the local and national festival circuits.
Their first single, “Sand in my Sheets,” encourages you to follow the Big Kahuna way of life: “And tomorrow is going to be the same/Tomorrow is going to be the same/Tomorrow tomorrow is another day/Well today if you’re waiting for something to change/Tomorrow is going to be the same/Tomorrow is going to be the same.” Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow – it’s not so empty as Macbeth would have you believe; instead, endless days of sun, sand, sunsets and ukulele playing are comforting, empty only in the sense that days in the sun lack the chaos in the everyday world.
Since then, their freshmen and sophomore albums continue the “beach rock reggae” vibes with rhythms you can sway to even if you’re not a great dancer. If you love the beach, then you’ll love to dance to this music. “The Hideaway” waxes about the mysterious state of the surfer and the power of the waves — who doesn’t “gotta hideaway, ride with the tide?” “Beans and Rice” calls out their self-professed love for trashy Mexican food (wait until they try Tacos del Barco!) but naturally it’s also a profession of love for ladies on the beach: “We wrapped up just like seaweed /We rolled up just like sushi.” Provocative? Delicious? It’s beach reggae, Mon. Ladies and food and the ocean are all one. Now, we just have to see if Meteorologist, Joel Gratz will predict sunrays for us in Gondola Square.
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Summer is around the corner and Steamboat Springs is gearing up for a busy one.