Music returns to the mountain this weekend

Head for the Hills will kick off the Steamboat Mountain Music Series presented by Bud Light from 4-6 p.m. Sunday on the Torian Plum lawn. The series will continue for the next three Sundays in August. (Courtesy photo)

Live music will echo through the mountains once again in August, as the Steamboat Mountain Music Series presented by Bud Light kicks off Sunday.

The concert series, which has been offered in Steamboat Springs for the past seven years, will see four different bands and singers perform from 4-6 p.m. every Sunday afternoon for four weeks in August on the Torian Plum lawn. All concerts are free to the public.

“It’s exciting to see the return of live free music on the Torian Plum lawn in Steamboat this summer,” said John Waldman, who is producer of the four concerts. “I would expect to see lots of smiles with the energy that these great bands bring.”

Head for the Hills will be the first band to perform this Sunday. The Colorado-based band was formed in the early 2000s when members Adam Kinghorn, Joe Lessard and Matt Loewen were at Colorado State University and discovered their shared interest in bluegrass.

“None of us were raised on that kind of music,” Lessard said. “It was just fun for us to play that music, and we explored it together.”

With different backgrounds — Lessard had an interest in hip hop while Kinghorn was more punk rock — the group came together to create a blended style, playing their first shows at backyard college parties.

Since then, the group has been awarded Best Bluegrass in Colorado four times by Denver’s Westword Magazine and has been called one of Colorado’s most innovative bands.

Quinn Sullivan Trio will perform as part of the Steamboat Mountain Music Series on Aug. 8. (Courtesy photo)

With a progressive style, the group has been experimenting with different sounds for the past two decades.

“We’ve never felt beholden to any style or any group of people who have expectations for what we’re going to do,” Lessard said. “The innovation came organically. With bluegrass, there are so many bands who play that traditional style better than we ever could; that’s not us, and we don’t need to try to do that.”

Lessard said that when the band formed, its members had no goal in mind; rather, they just enjoyed playing music together and being on the road.

“Part of our journey has been exposing people to our influences and showing people what made us want to play this kind of music. Over time, it formed into something that was more of its own identity,” he said.

If you go

What: Steamboat Mountain Music Series presented by Bud Light: Head for the Hills

When: 4-6 p.m. Sunday

Where: The lawn at Torian Plum Plaza, 1855 Ski Time Square Drive

Cost: Free

He also acknowledged the band’s identity is still evolving. While they have gotten farther away from a traditional bluegrass sound in the past few years by incorporating drums and different sounds, the original style is one that they hold in high regard.

“We still have the bluegrass energy in there,” he said. “We’ll have all the flavors represented in Steamboat this weekend.”

The Goonies 80s Rock will perform as part of the Steamboat Mountain Music Series on Aug. 22. (Courtesy photo)

The group’s latest EP, “Say Your Mind,” was released in 2019, and they are looking forward to being back on the road, performing their music once again.

“It’s rewarding beyond what we even remember,” Lessard said. “Not taking it for granted has been highlighted over the past year, and we’re really looking forward to coming back up to Steamboat. It’s always a good music scene.”

Other bands scheduled to perform during the series include: Quinn Sullivan Trio, Aug. 8; Eminence Ensemble, Aug. 15; and The Goonies 80s Rock, Aug. 22.

Eminence Ensemble will perform as part of the Steamboat Mountain Music Series on Aug. 15. (Courtesy photo)

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