Free Summer Concert Series: End of Summer Jam – 5 bands, 2 stages, 1 historic hill |

Free Summer Concert Series: End of Summer Jam – 5 bands, 2 stages, 1 historic hill

Fruition, the Portland, Oregon-based quintet known for venturing into a diverse array of musical territory, is back in town to headline the Free Summer Concert Series End of Summer Jam this Sunday.
Cameron Browne
End of Summer Jam Schedule: 3:15 to 4 p.m. | Yer State Birds | Second Stage 4 to 5 p.m. | Small Town World | Main Stage 5 to 5:30 p.m. | Wheelhouse | Second Stage 5:30 to 7 p.m. | Soul Rebels | Main Stage 7 to 7:30 p.m. | Wheelhouse | Second Stage 7:30 to 9 p.m. | Fruition | Main Stage

Sidenote from Fruition’s Mimi Naja

• Musical influences? “We all love classic rock classic soul music but we all love classic R&B music,” said Naja. “It’s interesting songwriting because we all have diff inspirations but how we play, we like that soul.” • Who does the songwriting? Jay Cobb Anderson, Kellen Asebroek and Mimi Naja “We all bring something unique to the table and that’s why we like shape shifting musically and honing in on different sounds,” said Naja. “That’s why we don’t commit to just one genre.” • Who do you guys see as the next up and coming band? The Deer – Austin-based band “We were lucky enough to swoop these guys up for our upcoming fall tour and we both have major band crushes on each other,” said Naja. “We have a similar vibe of music and they have a killer female lead with a folk roots harmony rock sound that’s just amazing.”

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Closing out the end of the 2017 season, the Free Summer Concert Series will introduce a combustion of music Sunday at the inaugural End of Summer Jam.

As the newest addition to the series, the mini-festival will kick off on two stages that will alternate performances at the Howelsen Hill Amphitheater venue. The second stage will be mid venue, and the main stage will be in the same location. Gates open at 3 p.m.



Yer State Birds

Steamboat’s own Southern roots, “dirty blues rock” band, Yer State Birds, is a four-piece band that has garnered a reputation for rocking the house, playing local venues and, more recently, venues along the Front Range. In 2016, the band released its full-length album “Build A Fire,” which featured nine originals from its repertoire.


Small Town World

With a sound described as “retro, older songs of the world,” this local group of musicians is composed of Solange Guenier Chambers, Willie Samuelson, on bass, Cary Kamperschroer on percussion and Randy Kelley on guitar. Before the start of Small Town World, Guenier Chambers, Kelley and Kampershroer had been part of a local seven-piece, Afro-Cuban jazz band called Caliente.


Hailing from Wisconsin, this nationally touring Americana and bluegrass band performs more than 220 shows per year. Frank Busch, on vocals, said the group started as a side project three to four years ago and quickly became their main gig. Thus far, the group has released three records, but its live performances feature a high-energy rhythm section, and Busch noted the band likes to add an element of comedy to its live show.

“We look like a bluegrass band but kind of sound like red dirt country, but our show is definitively a rock and roll show with lots of harmonies and string leads,” Busch said. 

Soul Rebels

This eight-piece band is known for its unique blend of funk and soul, with elements of hip-hop, jazz and rock added to the mix. According to the group’s bio, it’s built a career around an eclectic live show that harnesses the power of horns and drums in a deep-pocket funk, party-like atmosphere. This year, the group has been on tour throughout Europe and Australia and debuted in China and Japan, selling out shows and collaborating with artists such as Nas, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Raekwon, G-Eazy and more.


Fruition, the Portland, Oregon-based quintet known for venturing into a diverse array of musical territory, will be back in town after its recent performance at the Winter WonderGrass Festival during the winter.

“That night we performed there, it turned into magic,” said Mimi Naja, singer/guitarist/mandolinist for Fruition. “I remember rolling into town during that crazy snowstorm and getting there just in time to load all of our gear up the gondi. Winter WonderGrass has been something that’s really special and a pivitoal festival for us. We hope to bring that kind of vibe back this weekend, but without the snow.”

From a rootsy, string-centric outfit to a full-fledged rock band with an easy, but powerful, grasp of soul, blues and British Invasion era pop, Naja said the group is known for its exploration of new sonic terrain, especially as their new album is in the works.

“We really pride ourselves on not succumbing to boundaries or catering to one genre but more to what serves the song,” Naja said.

With a grueling touring schedule, Naja said the group of band mates and friends tries to keep things light and silly on the road, but it’s their shared passion for the music and their grassroots following of fan that keeps them going.

“We’ve never been a bluegrass band, but the community around that genre and the jam-based genre has absolutely helped us get to where we are now,” Naja said. “That community welcomed us with open arms, and we are so grateful for it.”

The group is composed of members Jay Cobb Anderson on vocals, lead guitar and harmonica; Kellen Asebroek on vocals, rhythm guitar and piano; Naja on vocals, mandolin, electric and acoustic guitar; Jeff Leonard on bass; and Tyler Thompson on drums and banjo.

“We really trust each other and know where we are going and trust that we can hear each other,” Naja said about their onstage chemistry as a group. “We’re not a jam band, but we can tell when someone wants to explore a space. We can read it in the body language or hear it with a simple note.”

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

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