Iowa Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame inductees The Nadas bring 25 years of music to Steamboat |

Iowa Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame inductees The Nadas bring 25 years of music to Steamboat

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS – There's no magic formula. Guidelines and roadmaps – those wouldn't help either.

When it comes to keeping a band together for 25 years, there's no saying what could happen.

But for Jason Walsmith, who started the group with Mike Butterworth in 1995, it takes saying “yes.”

"One thing we did early on that I think grows out of that place where a lot of bands never get past is we really said ‘yes’ to everything," said Walsmith, a member of the Nadas, a folk rock group hailing from Des Moines, Iowa. "Nothing was beneath us, and we weren't too good for any venue."

Recently inducted into the Iowa Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame, the indie folk rock group was described as "The Best College Band You've Never Heard Of" by Playboy Magazine, and this weekend, they plan to take listeners on a road trip full of stories from their travels and years of touring the country.

Back in town, The Nadas will bring their show to the Chief Theater stage at 7 p.m. Saturday.

Recommended Stories For You

"When someone asks me what kind of music The Nadas play, I generally respond with they are an all American rock 'n’ roll band that makes you want to drink whiskey," said a booking agent with B. Smith Presents. "Their songs are generally true life experience stories that make you want to laugh at times. A lot of them related to what you have experienced in your life ,and they just put the experiences into songs."

As the last song on their newly released album "One Louder" reminisces, "I remember clearly having to make a choice: tell stories with a camera or with my voice, but I played guitar and I stayed up late – that was 1998." The song is named "I'm Still Here."

"I think if people stopped listening and stopped caring I would still be making music, but it's that energy, that fuel that keeps us out there in the public doing this," Walsmith said.

When the group started at Iowa State University, the band was a no name and was merely a way to pass the time between studying and life as a college.

"We were playing anywhere we could," Walsmith said. "Anything from sports bars, cafés, shops, malls, nursing homes, even a golf course.

"We never had a record deal or anything," he said. "We kept doing what we were doing, and now, we have this really great, supportive fan base that's stuck with us and kept us going since the beginning."

Recording and releasing albums has forced the group to get creative.

"People say the industry has evolved," Walsmith said. "I think it's evolved 10 different times. At first it was record an album on tape and now you can record a song on your phone and within five minutes have it on iTunes. We didn't have to rely on traditional marketing of a record through record companies because everyone who was a fan was paying attention all along and then telling their friends about it. "

At the band’s 10th anniversary, Walsmith said he was blown away and thought that alone was a good run. Now, here they are 25 years later. Still making records and selling out shows across the country.

"It's wild to think back about the past 25 years," he said. "But it's always been about the music. So many fans fall victim thinking they should be further along than they are, but in reality at the most basic level, you really just have to do it for the joy of music."

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


If you go:

What: The Nadas acoustic duo

When: 7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 3

Where: Chief Theater, 813 Lincoln Ave.

Tickets: $15