Singer songwriter Sean Kelly from the Boulder-based band the Samples to headline Chief Theater |

Singer songwriter Sean Kelly from the Boulder-based band the Samples to headline Chief Theater

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Writing and touring is a life Sean Kelly knows well, which is to be expected when living the life of a musician for more than 25 years.

The New England singer is known for his role as the songwriter and frontman for the Samples, the Boulder-based band that dabbles in blues, reggae and folk with more than 20 albums and one million records sold.

Kelly will be bringing his timeless lyrics to the Singer Songwriter Series taking the stage at 7 p.m. on Friday at the Chief Theater. Local musician Ryan Fleming will be the special guest opening the show.

Before his show in Steamboat, Explore Steamboat caught up with Kelly to ask him about life on the road as a singer songwriter.



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Explore Steamboat: At what point did you decide pursuing music was what you needed to do?

Sean Kelly: When I was 15 years old. My oldest brother had a banjo that I used to pick around on. I just never set it down. I then taught myself how to play guitar, and the rest is history.


ES: What are some of the stories present in your music? What are those inspired by?

SK: I write a lot about the passing of time. It’s amazing to me that living on earth expires at some point. I like to write about the moments in time that we are alive. It’s all gone before you know it.


ES: What is it about your songwriting that makes you stand apart from other singer songwriters?

SK: I feel that my music does not have a shelf life. I have always written songs that are thought provoking, ethereal and melodic.


ES: From what you've learned through the years, what does it take to be a singer/songwriter?

SK: Less is more and simplicity is key.


ES: What advice would you give to an aspiring singer/songwriter?

SK: Good luck!


ES: What is your songwriting process?

SK: I always start with the music first. Then I add lyrics after, usually when the music is playing in my head. I don’t think that I have written a song that didn’t take me five minutes. But if I’m stressed out, under a lot of pressure and anxious, you can guarantee that no music will be created. Creativity is the top of "Maslow’s Law of Hierarchy." If all the other needs are taken care of then the creative juices flow. At least for me.


ES: Have you been to Steamboat Springs before? What can the audience here expect for the show this weekend?

SK: Yes I have. Many times. We used to play at the Inferno. There’s a bar up there with a picture of a girl on the wall. It’s a painting. I always stop in and stare at it because one day I’m going to find that girl and marry her. I will live in that painting happily ever after. I don’t know the name of the bar. But I’ll find it when I’m up there.

This Acoustic show is going to rock.


To reach Audrey Dwyer, call 970-871-4229, email or follow her on Twitter @Audrey_Dwyer1

If you go…

What: Sean Kelly

When: 7 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 2

Where: Chief Theater, 813 Lincoln Ave.

Tickets: $25 available online or All That (601 Lincoln Ave.)