Liver Down the River brings funkadeligrass party to Schmiggity’s
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Liver Down the River is a five-piece funkgrass group out of Durango, adding more dance parties to the world since 2012. Explore Steamboat chatted with LDTR’s co-founder and mandolin player Patrick Storen to learn more. Hear the group at Schmiggity’s on Friday, Feb. 14.
Explore Steamboat: LDTR came into existence when you and Emily Winter started playing tunes together. When did you realize this would turn into a project as major as it’s become?
Patrick Storen: I think we always knew we had really good musical chemistry, and we always had a really similar musical vision. I don’t know if there was a moment of epiphany, but we booked our first gig on Feb. 22, 2012. It went really well, and eight years later, we still get to do this.
ES: Introduce us to the whole band! What does everyone bring to the group, both musically and as a human?
PS: Michael Todd (keyboard, vocals) — He definitely brings more funk and soul. He can cover any song from the ‘60s to the ‘90s.
Emily Winter (violin, vocals) — Emily had a classical upbringing on violin and viola, and she brings a pretty, polished sound. She’s also the best singer.
Derek Abt (bass, vocals) — He also brings the funk. He’s a businessman as well, and he knows how to fix our bus.
Patrick Storen (mandolin, vocals) — Me, I’m probably the most versed in the scene we’re trying to play, the bluegrass circuit. I like writing the set lists.
Cy Fontenot (drums) — He’s really into jazz and brings forth new musical ideas that are unique to him.
ES: What’s Liver Down The River’s spirit animal?
PS: River otter!
ES: Is there one show that LDTR has played that best represents the band?
PS: When we get to headline in our hometown theater, the Animas City Theatre in Durango, we have a lot of freedom for shenanigans. Once, a show had like 20 people in banana suits with river paddles, all dancing away.
ES: LDTR isn’t confined to a traditional concert stage — the band is known for playing shows on river float trips, around campfires and in other outdoor spaces. How does playing outdoors affect the music?
PS: You have a lot more opportunity to vibe off the trees or when the moon comes out — that can change things.
ES: When LDTR is on tour, how do you like to explore new places?
PS: It’s nice when we can make friends when we go through towns. We go rafting a lot; we go hiking a lot. Having a bus is handy for facilitating adventures and making friends. Everyone wants to show us how cool their town is.
What: Liver Down the River
When: 10 p.m. Friday, Feb. 14
Where: Schmiggity’s, 821 Lincoln Ave.
ES: If someone’s never heard LDTR’s music before, what three songs would you recommend they listen to to get a sense of your music?
PS: 1. “Shape We’re In;” 2. “Lonesome Fiddle Blues;” 3. “Yeoman’s Treasure.”
ES: What’s coming up for the band that you’re all especially excited for?
PS: We’re booking our summer tour right now. We’ll be in the Northwest and the four corners. We’ve got a live album coming out soon, too.
Julia Ben-Asher is a contributing writer for Steamboat Pilot & Today.
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