Chief Theater announces ambitious line-up for 5th annual Songwriter Series

The Chief Theater’s Songwriter Series kicks off on Dec. 1 with Esmé Patterson, formerly with the Denver-based band Paper Bird. (Courtesy photo)

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — The Chief Theater has announced its 2018-19 Songwriter Series, now in its fifth season, and the line-up is impressive.

The musicians, who were selected for their unconventional lyrics and compelling musicianship, include Esmé Patterson, former member of Paper Bird, Peter Yarrow of the Grammy Award-winning trio Peter, Paul and Mary and Grammy Award nominee John Fullbright.

“We’ve really moved it up a notch,” said Arty Smith, creator and producer of the series. “It’s our most ambitious season to date. The talent this year is incredible.” 

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Singer Songwriter Series lineup:
Dec. 1:
Esmé Patterson
Dec. 22: Kathleen with special guest Gabrielle
Jan. 26: Peter Yarrow of Peter, Paul and Mary
Feb. 8: Corey Harris
March 9: Beth Nielsen Chapman
April 5: John Fullbright

Created to offer original music at an affordable price, each show provides perspective into the life of a musician and how and why the featured songs were written.

The series kicks off Dec. 1 with Patterson, who will be welcomed back to the Chief with her new band.

“Her voice is smooth and sweet when she wants it to be and then fully rock ‘n’ roll when you least expect it,” Smith said.

Then, on Dec. 22, Steamboat Springs native Katie Ross, now known as Kathleen, will be back for the first time since her performance during the 2016 series. That was also the year she was selected from 14,000 applicants as the grand prize winner in Guitar Center’s Singer Songwriter 5 Competition, which included the right to record with Grammy Award winning producer Ariel Rechtshaid.

Yarrow will perform Jan. 26, followed by Denver-based musician Corey Harris, who will take the stage on Feb. 8. Harris, a niche blues musician, has appeared at venues throughout North America, Europe, Brazil, The Caribbean, West Africa, Asia, Australia and New Zealand.

Songwriters Hall of Famer Beth Nielsen Chapman will take the Chief stage March 9. She’s known for writing songs for top artists including Elton John, Neil Diamond, Martina McBride, Michael McDonald, Amy Grant, Keb Mo’, Roberta Flack, Waylon Jennings, Faith Hill, Ute Lemper, Willie Nelson, Bettye LaVette and many more.

The finale of the season will be Fullbright on April 5.

“His performances are stark and direct, a deliberate approach meant to deliver the songs in their purest and most honest form,” Smith said.

Season tickets for the 2018-19 lineup are now available for $140 and $165. The more expensive tickets include a meet-and-greet event with Yarrow.

Individual tickets range from $25 to $75 and can be purchased online at or at All That. All shows are at 7 p.m., with doors opening at 6:30 p.m.

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

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