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Brew Glass Boys call it quits

Autumn Phillips

The lyrics carried extra weight Thursday night as the Brew Glass Boys played its final public gig after years as a staple of Steamboat Springs nightlife. The band played for the last time Saturday night at a private party.

News spread quickly across town that the Brew Glass Boys were breaking up and, despite the pouring rain, the fans came out in droves.

The Brew Glass Boys decided to call it quits after four years when frontman Mike Yob announced he was moving to Fort Collins. Bass player Tim Cunningham had been out of town and heard news of the breakup Tuesday, two days before the final Mahogany Ridge Brewery and Grill show.

Yob plans to move in with three friends outside Fort Collins who are “serious pickers.” He hopes to keep playing bluegrass and enroll in school within a year. If he returns to Steamboat, he said, it won’t be without a degree.

If members of the Brew Glass Boys continue to play together, it will be under a different name, guitar player Graham Waters said. “It wouldn’t be the same. Yob wrote 95 percent of our original material.”

On Thursday night, the band pulled out songs it hadn’t played in years, mixing them with songs Yob had written during the summer as he contemplated his decision to leave. With sets of hands flying across the strings of their instruments, it was a retrospective full of mountain musings, love and heartbreak.

The Brew Glass Boys started playing together in 1998.

“We found a cassette recording of our first jam, and it was rough,” Yob said.

The band almost chose the names “Green Mountain Moonshine Boys” or “Groggy Yob and the Slim Pickers,” but settled on a simple mispronunciation of bluegrass when the name Brew Glass Boys stuck.

The band played its first gig in the spring of 2000 at Mazzola’s. In 2001, members heard a rumor that a great acoustic bass player named Tim Cunningham was moving to town.

Cunningham had a place in the band before he even arrived. He was with the band when it played its second gig, again at Mazzola’s, in 2001.

“I remember having this revelation when Tim joined us,” Waters said. “I was listening to us play and I thought, ‘Wow. We’re in a band.'”

Since 2001, the band has played at the Wolf Den Tavern, Old Town Pub, Cantina, Riverbend Roadhouse, Milner Roadhouse, Levelz, The Tugboat Grill & Pub and Mahogany Ridge Brewery and Grill, in some cases outlasting the venues. This summer, the band was invited to open for the South Austin Jug Band as part of the Free Summer Concert Series.

“We learned as we went,” Yob said. “Those were formative years, and we’re still forming.

“I wouldn’t even be able to consider music as a way of life if it weren’t for these guys.”


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