Rambling on | SteamboatToday.com

Rambling on

In its 16th year, Free Summer Concert Series covers new ground

Margaret Hair

— Variety has been the goal of the Free Summer Concert Series for each of the 16 lineups it’s presented.

The five-act roster for this year’s series sticks to that theme, proving that a list of past performers that includes Sam Bush, Susan Tedeschi, Los Lobos and Cracker always has room for expansion.

“Something new for us is to have a tribute act, Lez Zeppelin, which is something that we haven’t had before because there aren’t a lot of tribute acts that are of that quality,” said John Waldman, who runs Great Knight Productions and books the series. The 2008 lineup features a wide range of possible genre classifications, including bluegrass, rock, folk, hip-hop, blues, country, dance and soul.

“They were chosen primarily to give diversity to the series,” Waldman said. “Every year we try to get the best available talent, and then, hopefully, there’s diversity.”

The concerts will be held at the base of Howelsen Hill again this summer, with construction at the Steamboat Ski Area blocking off the former Headwall stage site. Waldman encourages concert-goers to walk, bike or take the bus to the shows to avoid traffic jams made testier by numerous downtown construction projects.

Artist fees and production costs for the Free Summer Concert Series are covered by local business sponsorships and funding from the city of Steamboat Springs, as well as beer sales.

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– To reach Margaret Hair, call 871-4204 or e-mail mhair@steamboatpilot.com.

2008 Free Summer Concert Series

Who: Drew Emmitt Band

When: 5:30 p.m. Friday

Sounds like: Bluegrass music set to a bar dancing tempo.

Is best known for: Fronting Colorado jam legends Leftover Salmon.

Might play a cover of: “Tangled Up in Blue” by Bob Dylan

Can be found at: http://www.myspace.com/d…

Who: Michael Franti and Spearhead

When: Friday, July 18

Sounds like: Classic rock made by someone who has hip-hop soul and reggae ideals.

Is best known for: The 2006 release “Yell Fire!” and Franti’s preceding reputation for socially conscious rapping.

Might play a cover of: Franti actually never has recorded a cover, so he might not play one at all.

Can be found at: http://www.myspace.com/s…

Who: Lez Zeppelin

When: Friday, July 25

Sounds like: Led Zeppelin

Is best known for: Rocking. And the tagline, “All girls. All Zeppelin.”

Might play a cover of: Lez Zeppelin is a tribute band, so playing covers is kind of what they do.

Can be found at: http://www.myspace.com/l…

Who: Cross Canadian Ragweed

When: Thursday, Aug. 7

Sounds like: The American South, despite hailing from Oklahoma.

Is best known for: Touring extensively.

Might play a cover of: “Hey, Hey, My, My” by Neil Young

Can be found at: http://www.myspace.com/c…

Who: Kenny Wayne Shepherd

When: Saturday, Aug. 16

Sounds like: A battered bluesman.

Is best known for: Having a valid and undying interest in traditional blues music and showing that in his one-time status as a child prodigy on the blues guitar and, more recently, in his album/documentary, “10 Days Out (Blues from the Backroads).”

Might play a cover of: “I’m Leaving You (Commit a Crime)” by Howlin’ Wolf

Can be found at: http://www.myspace.com/k…