Music legend to headline first free summer concert in Steamboat
If You Go...
What: Booker T. Jones presents: A Stax Revue
When: Openers Zac Wilkerson and The Wayward Souls begins at 5:30 p.m., Booker T takes the stage at 7 p.m., Friday, June 24
Where: Howelsen Hill
50 passes are still available for the Butcherknife Brewing Company Local Lounge
Steamboat Springs — At the age of 4, child prodigy and now legend Booker T. Jones was wishing for musical instruments instead of the more common bicycle or electric train set.
“When I was very small I begged for a ukulele and drums,” Jones said. “I grew up listening to music in the church, and there was always a desire for me to create music.”
The four-time Grammy winner and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee will share his legacy with the Steamboat Springs community while headlining the first show of Steamboat Springs’ 2016 Free Summer Concert Series.
“Booker T is a musical legend,” said John Waldman of Great Knight Productions. “He’s written hits like ‘Green Onions’ and ‘Time is Tight.’ This weekend’s show will feature sort of an ontology of his musical career. It’s called a Stax Revue — it is a journey through soul, blues and R&B.”
“My music is from Memphis, Tennessee, and it was kind of the start of soul music,” Jones said. “I think there’s a heritage here (Memphis). it’s different; it’s unique. There’s a large musical tradition.”
Many credit Jones with defining the Memphis soul sound while paving the way for the rise of soul music.
Jones is the notable leader of Booker T and the MGs.
The MGs, which stood for “Memphis Group,” came together in the early ’60s at Stax Records. Booker T. and the MGs went on to become the record label’s house band for over a decade.
“I started my music career at a record store,” Jones said. “Just dropping by after school to listen to the music. Now my music is heard all around the world — Brazil, Africa, Australia, Europe, Japan, Canada.”
“Booking Booker T was a great opportunity that kind of fell in our lap,” said Coleman Cook, president of the Summer Concert Series board. “Routing is key to the series success. By that I mean when acts are in the region or the state, and we are able to tie into that. There was no hesitation. We just jumped on it. It will be a fun show to kick us off.”
“Music for human beings is like a language for life,” Jones explained in a telephone interview Wednesday. “I have this burning desire always to create music. I hear new musical ideas in my mind, every day.”
Friday night’s concert will feature Jones on the organ, which is perhaps what he is best known for and the instrument he said resonates with him the most. He’ll also be performing with a 10-piece band, two back-up singers and a three-piece horn section.
The nonprofit Free Summer Concert Series was able to raise its talent budget to over $100,000 for this summer’s shows.
“One thing we are really excited about this year is our line-up. We think it’s one of our best line-ups, top to bottom, ever,” said Cook. “The sky’s the limit from here.”
When Jones takes the stage Friday night, the crowd is sure to be entertained.
“I think my show is successful when I can make the audience feel like they received something that makes them feel good, that they didn’t have before they got there, a fulfilling feeling,” Jones said. “It is fun dance music that I think people will enjoy.”
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Explore a mix of in-person and virtual events happening this weekend in Routt County.