Hometown band kicks off WinterWonderGrass in Steamboat
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Steamboat Springs band Buffalo Commons and Love Canon, a group based in Charlottesville, Virginia, kick off Steamboat Springs’ third WinterWonderGrass festival weekend with a free concert. The Western Welcome Pick is from 2 to 5 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 21, at Gondola Square.
“The free show is a way to say thank you to the people in the community who work really hard and who maybe can’t make it to the whole festival,” said WinterWonderGrass founder Scotty Stoughton.
Buffalo Commons began playing casually together in 2015 and were focused on playing original songs in a unique blend of genres, representing the musical backgrounds of the band’s members.
What: WinterWonderGrass Welcome Pick
When: 2 to 5 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 21
Where: Gondola Square stage
“Tyree (Woods, guitar/lead vocals) had never really heard of bluegrass until he met me,” the band’s banjo player Gabe Riding said. “His background is more Jack Johnson, rock ‘n’ roll, and he listens to hip hop and R&B, so he brings a fresh set of eyes to the music.”
Also in the band are Denton Turner on bass and vocals, Eric Baker on mandolin and vocals and Randy Kelly on violin and vocals.
They quickly became one of Steamboat’s favorite hometown groups, claiming first place in the 2018 Best of the Boat contest.
They played a show during WinterWonderGrass 2018 and are feeling honored to be part of this year’s festival.
“It’s special, being the hometown band at the start of this festival,” Woods said. “As a band, we had Steamboat’s support even when we were getting paid in coffee beans to play in coffee shops. We wouldn’t be anywhere without the community.”
“I think a big part of Buffalo Commons is this unity, taking part of something bigger than each one of us individually,” Riding said. “Steamboat really comes out and supports us, and it feels like we’re all in this together, doing the same thing, being friends and family.”
After Buffalo Commons’ opener, Love Canon will take the stage. Love Canon specializes in “bluegrassifying” nostalgic hits from the ’80s and ’90s, showing serious musicianship of pop songs not typically known for that.
The group is composed of Jesse Harper on lead vocals and guitar; Adam Larrabee on banjo; Andy Thacker on mandolin; Darrell Muller on bass; and Jay Starling on resonator guitar.
A satellite box office will also be open during the Welcome Pick for festival-goers to pick up their wristbands.
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