Trout Steak Revival to return to Steamboat Springs for New Year's Eve weekend show |

Trout Steak Revival to return to Steamboat Springs for New Year’s Eve weekend show

Trout Steak Revival has played at WinterWonderGrass, and this year, will be in Steamboat Springs for a New Year’s Eve weekend show. (Photo by Katie Berning)

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — There’s a subculture, an experience that’s attached to the genre known as bluegrass.

It’s especially present at the Telluride Bluegrass Festival, and for Trout Steak Revival, the experience there was a turning point for the band.

In 2014, they won the Telluride Bluegrass Festival band competition and since then, have swiftly become one of Colorado’s quintessential string bands, winning an Emmy Award for a soundtrack contributed to Rocky Mountain PBS to touring the country headlining at other festivals like the WinterWonderGrass Festival in Steamboat Springs.

If you go

What: Trout Steak Revival
When: 10 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 29
Where: Schmiggity’s, 821 Lincoln Ave.
Cost: $15

While they won’t be performing at WinterWonderGrass in February, Trout Steak Revival will help Steamboat celebrate the start of 2019 when they take the Schmiggity’s stage at 10 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 29,  for a New Year’s Eve weekend show.

In advance of that show, Explore Steamboat caught up with the band’s Casey Houlihan, who plays stand-up base. Other members of the band include Steve Foltz on mandolin and guitar, Will Koster on dobro and guitar, Travis McNamara on banjo and Bevin Foley on the fiddle.

Explore Steamboat: Can you remember the first bluegrass song or show? What was it about the music that drew you in?

Casey Houlihan: My first bluegrass show was in 2001 with the Yonder Mountain String Band at The Caboose in Minneapolis, a 350-person club, for $12 a ticket, close to the University of Minnesota campus. I had never seen anything like that before. How deep they take a song or how they change the grooves or use various effects for a light show, it was all a big moment. That and the bass player Ben Kaufmann was playing and singing — the first time I saw a bass player singing lead.

ES: What is it about bluegrass/bluegrass festivals that you love most?

CH: During the day and evening you get to pick and choose which band you want to see. If inspired by a particular band, you get to go back to your camp, pick up your instrument and play a little bit, instead of waiting to practice what you learned or saw until you get home. It allows us as a band to take an idea or concept and apply it to our music to build a better show. Each time, we take away what we want to present at our show as entertainers and as a band.

ES: Who or what inspired you to listen to, and then pursue, bluegrass music?

CH: Although I grew up as a hip-hop kid and didn’t start playing guitar until freshman year of college in Michigan, it was Will (Koster) actually who introduced me to Ricky Skaggs by sharing an album with me in 2002. From there, we went from playing at an old mining bar, the Buck Snort in Pine Junction, Colorado, in 2007, to the Telluride Bluegrass Festival, which was a big influence.

ES: What is it about bluegrass music that lends itself to create this subculture, that experience?

CH: I’m not entirely sure. Through the picking and jamming, I think you learn by doing. I don’t know if there’s any other way to do it. Acoustic music is also especially popular in our state. The Colorado summertime festival scene involves people jamming in campgrounds everywhere you go. We formed our band on a camping trip, so when we tour, we camp, and it suits our lifestyle. I think it’s something that’s created differently with each band.

ES: What is it that makes you guys unique? The lyrics? Harmonies?

CH: I feel like we’re doing our best to be genuine, through the music by sharing who we are, what we stand for and what we want to put out into the world. We work hard on and continue to develop with new harmonies and instrumentation.

ES: What can the Steamboat audience expect for you upcoming show?

CH: It will be fresh, a totally different show than what people saw last winter.

To reach Audrey Dwyer, call 970-871-4229, email or follow her on Twitter @Audrey_Dwyer1.

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