Meet your local musicians: Three Wire Winter
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — You may have heard Three Wire Winter playing its bluegrassy, energetic tunes around Steamboat Springs; if not, you can catch the local band’s next show Friday evening at Schmiggity’s, in which the group opens for Trout Steak Revival, winners of the Telluride Bluegrass Festival Band Competition and an Emmy Award.
Three Wire Winter features Alex Rocha on guitar and vocals, Colby Smith on mandolin and vocals, Fritz Boniface on dobro and vocals, Kay McKenzie on fiddle and Mike Martinez on bass and vocals. Explore Steamboat chatted with Colby Smith to learn more about the band.
The interview has been edited for length and clarity.
Explore Steamboat: Where does the name “Three Wire Winter” come from?
Colby Smith: There’s an old local magazine called the Three Wire Winter (from the 1970s and ’80s) — (organizers) have just finished archiving all of (the magazines’ oral history and interviews). A three-wire winter is when the snow reaches the third wire on a ranch — it’s kind of cool piece of Routt County history. We want to take one of the stories from the magazine and turn it into a song, at some point.
ES: Three Wire Winter is going to open for Trout Steak Revival on Friday night at Schmiggity’s. What’s special about this show?
CS: When we get these opportunities to open up for bigger, mainstream bands, it gives us an opportunity to show our face in the music scene. This is our solid year of this lineup of the band, and we’re so excited. Also, the owner of Schmiggity’s has offered to do a full audio-video recording of our set, which will be our first quality recordings available.
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ES: What’s coming up for Three Wire Winter in the next few months that the band is excited about?
CS: After the Schmiggity’s show, we have several shows at Timber and Torch in January and a show at Old Town Pub on the Thursday before WinterWonderGrass — the official, unofficial opener for WinterWonderGrass. We’re also opening for Hot Buttered Rum again in February; we love their music. Also, with the audio and video we’ll have, we’ll send that out to festivals and other venues around the state. We’re looking to book a spring tour, Colorado-based, and really try to get into Yarmonygrass at Ranch — that’s our main goal.
What: Trout Steak Revival with Three Wire Winter
When: 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. Friday, Dec. 27
Where: Schmiggity’s, 821 Lincoln Ave.
Tickets: $20 at schmiggitys.com
ES: What do you think fans enjoy the most about TWW shows?
CS: We have an incredible stage presence. I’m always jumping around, and people seem to really vibe with seeing the musicians really enjoy themselves. We play a lot of very fast music, which is enjoyable for the grass-goers to enjoy. I’m hugely influenced by Jeff Austin, so I want to carry on his ridiculous banter and stage presence and bring it to stage myself.
Julia Ben-Asher is a contributing writer for Steamboat Pilot & Today.
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