Fusion band Steely Dead to play Old Town Pub
Colorado band Steely Dead, which blends the psychedelic sounds of The Grateful Dead with the melodic rock of Steely Dan, will play at 8 p.m. Friday, June 10, at Old Town Pub & Restaurant.
Owner Séan Regan explained he hopes to host several summer concerts at the restaurant to spice up Steamboat’s nightlife by “trying to do something that’ll get a bunch of people together.”
“The late night scene of Steamboat is not as strong in summer months as those winter months,” he said.
Steely Dead founder and guitarist Dave Abear explained that this gig is one stop on a regional tour for the band, which formed in 2019.
The concept for the band’s sound was formed during a 2018 jam session Abear had with keyboardist Dylan Teifer. The two were playing “Deal,” which was first performed by the Grateful Dead in 1971.
Part way through the song, the duo began to overlay the song with Steely Dan’s “Reelin’ in the Years.”
“We realized that they were essentially the very same tempo, the very same key,” Abear said. “So we started putting those two songs together, and we came up with the quirky little name ”Dealin’ in the Years.”
What: Steely Dead
When: Friday, June 10, 8 p.m.
Where: Old Town Pub, 600 Lincoln Ave.
A year later, Steely Dead was officially assembled with Abear on guitar, Teifer on keyboard, Dave Abear’s brother Matthew Abear on bass, drummer Chris Sheldon and Bill McKay as a second keyboardist. All five members are also on vocals.
“That’s how we cover those big Steely Dan harmonies,” said Dave Abear.
“It’s obviously mountain town type of music,” Regan said. “Anything that involves the Grateful Dead community can bring some people out, and Steely Dan is just such a classic favorite of so many people both young and old.”
Dave Abear added that they are Dan and Dead purists.
“Steely Dead is exclusive for Grateful Dead and Steely Dan,” he said. “We don’t even really mix in song selections from the Jerry Garcia band.”
Their repertoire includes Steely Dan and Grateful Dead covers in addition to their original mash-ups of music from the two bands.
The band toured throughout 2019 and up until the COVID-19 pandemic hit in 2020. Then they performed via live stream and other digital performances. They resumed in-person touring in 2021.
“We decided this year that we wanted to hunker down and do more regional gigs,” Dave Abear said.
He added that he’s especially excited to have all five of the band members performing at Old Town Pub.
“Sometimes we play without Bill, but this particular show we’re playing with him,” Abear said. “I’m really excited to bring the full band to Steamboat.”
Regan said he was excited for Old Town Pub to offer earlier and more frequent concerts throughout the summer, as the the pandemic and rising prices for lodging has made the process challenging.
“Being able to book bands on a regular basis has been a little bit difficult,” he said. “Expenses are all a lot higher than they used to be.”
He added that despite those difficulties, the culture and vibrancy of Steamboat is “very much alive.”
Doors open for the show at 7 p.m., and the music will begin an hour later, likely wrapping up between 11 p.m. and 12 a.m.
“It doesn’t have to be a super late night,” Regan said. “I think there’s really quality entertainment ahead of us.”
The concert is open to patrons 21 and over, and tickets are $20. They can be purchased at SteelyDead.com/shows.
To reach Katy Pickens, call 970-871-4208 or email her at kpickens@SteamboatPilot.com
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