Steamboat’s Free Summer Concert Series lineup set |

Steamboat’s Free Summer Concert Series lineup set

Country act, Grateful Dead tandem added to schedule

— John Waldman, promoter for the Steamboat Springs Free Summer Concert Series, said it takes months of research and scheduling, budget checks and phone calls to piece together the lineup for the annual series.

After powering through that process again, he's confident this summer's recently announced complete lineup is about as strong as he's seen.

Waldman said the most recent additions to the schedule are also the summer series' biggest names.

Country artist Big Kenny — also known as Kenny Alphin, half of the Big and Rich duo — will open the five-show series June 26, and the Rhythm Devils will play July 23.

Those two bands join the previously confirmed lineup of the Easy Star All-Stars on July 30, JJ Grey and MOFRO on Aug. 13 and The Emmitt-Nershi Band on Aug. 20.

All the concerts will be at the base of Howelsen Hill in downtown Steamboat Springs, and all except Big Kenny's will be on Fridays.

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"I'm really excited," Waldman said. "It's a really strong lineup for the summer. We're thrilled about that."

Big Kenny is working on a solo career and his "Big Kenny's Love Everybody Traveling Mus­ical Medicine Show" tour this summer after several different stints in successful country bands. He plays in Lonestar, which has released a series of chart-topping country songs, including "Amazed" in 1999, which hit No. 1 on the country charts and the Billboard Hot 100.

He later joined John Rich to form Big and Rich, which released three albums between 2004 and 2007.

He was also an active solo artist in those years, releasing the album "Live a Little" in 2005 and "The Quiet Times of a Rock and Roll Farm Boy" in 2009.

The Rhythm Devils, meanwhile, formed around Grateful Dead drummer Bill Kreutzmann and percussionist Mickey Hart.

In addition to their work as a part of the Grateful Dead, the pair released albums of their own in 1980, 1991 and a concert DVD in 2008.

They joined four other artists to take their show on the road in 2006 and are back at it this summer, playing with Keller Williams, Davy Knowles, Andy Hess and Sikiru Adepoju.

"Together, they will take music beyond the horizon to a universe where rhythm is in constant flux and sound has infinite potential," the collaboration's website boasts. "They'll rock."

Color Waldman a believer.

"They are really on either side of the musical spectrum," he said about the two late additions to the summer series. "They really round the series out, and it's actually one of the strongest lineups we've had for the series. We have a lot of pretty big names that I feel good about."

The country act and jam band join a reggae band known for its classic rock renditions in the Easy Star All-Stars; the southern rock and blues band that is JJ Grey and MOFRO; and The Emmitt-Nershi Band's modern bluegrass jazz and rock-infused stylings.

"The concert series has sort of become a staple for the summer in Steamboat Springs, not only here but people around the state now know about it," he said. "It really has become not just something for locals, but for locals, it's still certainly a big community gathering. But it's starting to reach outside of Steamboat and is taking on an identity of it's own, and that's great."

If you go

2010 Steamboat Springs Free Summer Concert Series lineup:

June 26: Big Kenny

July 23: Rhythm Devils featuring Mickey Hart, Bill Kreutzmann and Keller Williams

July 30: Easy Star All-Stars

Aug. 13: JJ Grey and MOFRO

Aug. 20: The Emmitt-Nershi Band