The Tres Amigos bring trop-rock to Steamboat Springs |

The Tres Amigos bring trop-rock to Steamboat Springs

The Tres Amigos will be performing a show of original music, storytelling and banter Tuesday, July 2, at the Chief Theater. From left are Kelly McGuire, Mark Mulligan and James “Sunny Jim” White.
courtesy of Adela White

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — The tropics are coming to the mountains. On Tuesday, The Tres Amigos will share their blend of trop-rock, storytelling, banter, sing-along and good vibes with Steamboat Springs at the Chief Theater.

Each of the Tres Amigos is an individual musician and performer. Prior to knowing each other, Mark Mulligan, Sunny Jim White and Kelly McGuire had each contributed a song to the compilation CDs “Sailing” and “Thongs in the Key of Life.”

When they ended up at the same festival in 2002, Mulligan and McGuire became instant friends with a similar story. Mulligan had moved to Mexico from Arizona a quarter century ago, and White had lived in the Cayman Islands for 12 years. Both were married to women named Adela, and both were playing their own original music.

Texas-based McGuire, whose music is closer to country, joined in about six years ago, after meeting White in Galveston. While the three live hundreds of miles apart, they frequently come together to play shows across the U.S., Caribbean and Latin America.

The musicians bring their own work to the show, and all three men play in every song.

“Every song has a different songwriter, a different singer and a different sound,” McGuire said. “It’s a nice variety.” 

“Each guy really adds something new to the other guys’ songs,” Mulligan added. 

Right in line with a relaxing tropical beach vacation, the show has no strict schedule or plan.

If you go

What: The Tres Amigos
When: Doors open at 6 p.m. and show starts at 7 p.m., Tuesday, July 2
Where: Chief Theater, 813 Lincoln Ave.
Tickets: $20 at or All That

“We don’t walk in with a set list. It’s unscripted and spontaneous,” Mulligan said. “Probably the most fun for me and Sunny Jim is picking on Kelly.” 

It’s the first time that White will play steel pans in concert, and the first time McGuire will play in Steamboat. Mulligan and White played a show together at the Chief in 2017. It was during that visit that White walked into a role of The Chief Players’ “The Secret of Yonder Mountain: A Live Western Melodrama.”

“That was my stage acting debut,” White said. “It was really, really fun.” 

The Tres Amigos perform “Cabana Boy” in Ambergris Key, Belize, in October 2017.

Some songs the three might play include “Skeletons on the Beach,” by White, about a young girl who goes with her older sister to the Caribbean and goes wild. Years later, her fiance wants to honeymoon on the island, but because of her history there, the girl can’t return.

“Nautical Man” by Kelly McGuire is about a couple living on a boat that takes off to try to escape their debt, and “Back to Laid Back” by Mark Mulligan is about a life of simplicity and experiences over material items. 

Mulligan also donates a portion of his profits from shows, CDs and his book, “The Three Miracles,” to nonprofits in Mexico, Haiti and the communities that host his shows.  

Arty Smith, with the Chief, is looking forward to welcoming The Tres Amigos to Steamboat and offers a piece of advice.

“The audience can get into (their happy, summer music) even more by coming to the show in Hawaiian shirts and flip flops,” Smith said.

Julia Ben-Asher is a contributing writer for Steamboat Pilot & Today.

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