Musicians storm stage for annual MS benefit |

Musicians storm stage for annual MS benefit

Autumn Phillips

This is how bands form, but members of the Storm Mountain Moonshiners are in full denial that this weekend’s show is anything more than a one-time gig for charity. They just happen to be having a really good time practicing for it.

The Storm Mountain Moonshiners is a five-member, old-timey bluegrass band that looks from one angle like the Humble Pickers and from another angle like the Brew Glass Boys, with Walt Seabert on bass, John Aviza on guitar, Betsy Seabert on mandolin and vocals, Von Wilson on fiddle, and Greg Zulevich on fiddle and mandolin.

“Four of us were in the Humble Pickers. Three of us were in Shenanigans (a popular Irish group that disbanded years ago). Two of us were in the Brew Glass Boys,” Walt Seabert said.

Saturday night at the Depot Art Center will be the first time the group will play together under this name, which isn’t to say they haven’t all played together before. Putting together a set list was as easy as pulling out a pen and a notebook. As long-time members of the bluegrass and folk music scene in Steamboat, they know all the same tunes.

The Storm Mountain Moonshiners is part of a long lineup of music that promises to be a who’s who of Routt County acoustic music. The Brew Glass Boys, 3 Wire and Incognito also will be taking the stage Saturday. At the end of the night, the stage will come alive with an open jam session welcoming all the musicians back on stage as well as a few struggling musicians who will arrive after finishing gigs at other venues.

The same thing happened last year at the annual fund-raiser Wes Dearborn hosts to pull together the entry fee for the Jimmie Huega Vertical Express race day Feb. 12.

For the past eight years, Dearborn Builders has put together a ski team (called Airborn/ Dearborn) to race for three hours doing laps on Sitz and See Me ski runs. Because the runs are closed, racers can ski at any speed. Last year, Dearborn’s goal was to break 80 mph; he achieved it by hitting 82 mph.

Proceeds from the Vertical Express benefit the Huega Center in Vail, which works to improve the lives of people with multiple sclerosis.

The Airborn/Dearborn team has raised $37,000 for the Huega Center in its years of racing. Last year, it raised $9,100, which was its largest single-year figure.

This year, Dearborn’s goal is to take the team to the nationals, which will be held in Vail in April. To get to nationals, a team must raise a minimum of $15,000.

“This is the 20th anniversary for the (Jimmie Huega Vertical Express), and it seems like as good a year as any to get to nationals,” Dearborn said.

Races similar to the one in Steamboat are held at 21 other resorts across the country. In celebration of the 20th anniversary of the event, organizers of the Vertical Express are holding events at 20 resorts on the same day.

“We’re going for the world record for the largest on snow fund-raiser in history,” Express spokesman Mark Santini said.

It is not too late to register a race team. Register by visiting or register on the day of the race.

— To reach Autumn Phillips call 871-4210

or e-mail

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