Early January in Steamboat Springs, Colorado is called, “Texas Week” by locals. Folks from the Texas Music Scene refer to this week as simply, “Steamboat.” Are you going to Steamboat? I’m going out of town for Texas week. 2012 was my first year doing all five nights of Texas Week at Steamboat. Yes, I am still stoned. Still sleep deprived. And, still a little drunk. According to Steamboat Today (the local newspaper), half of the alcohol consumed in the little tourist ski town is done so in the first week of the year. I know I drank my share. Inside the music rooms and bars the Texas twang transplanted me back to Ft. Worth circa 2003. Thank You Steamboat for helping me get my crazy out. My wife thanks you. My family thanks you. I survived and can now reach my goal of living a life in balance. I would also like to Thank my sponsor, Beat Pharm (twitter.com/beatpharm) for making my trip possible. And, of course my brother who will remain nameless.
Arrive in town, check in (kick ass condo, Thanks Jason Diller!). After flipping for rooms, jumping up and down on the bed, and seeing just how hot the hot tub can get, we spend $710 total at the grocery and liquor store (Note to self: Next year eat before going to the store and smoke up afterward). After putting everything away and arguing about whether or not “Big Bang Theory” is this generations “Seinfeld” we head out to hear some music. There are no official shows on Wednesday, but there are always parties to be found. Room numbers and condo names are texted my way like cigarette lighters being thrown away at the airport. 314, 708, 622, Timberline, Timber Ridge, Timberview, Timber Run. I decide to follow a Road Manager’s opinion and end up in a room with Stoney Larue and a couple of Braun brothers. Those Braun brothers are everywhere. Do they ever sleep?
Two words. Adam Carroll. He is one my favorite songwriters of all time. I seriously and sincerely put him up there alongside Tom Waits, Townes Van Zandt, and Bob Childers. He’s an ambassador. The force is strong with this one. I sat in the front row of the little acoustic room called The Dung Beetle and watched him perform Hi Fi love. It was even better than I had imagined when I saw his name on the lineup. I love the acoustic, songwriting element of the Texas Red Dirt scene. The songs come alive when performed by the original songwriter. Jason Eady. Owen Temple. Adam Carroll. I could have spent my entire life in that room, but then Jonathon Tyler gave me the fear.
It occurs to me that I am writing in memorlogical order as I do not have a schedule in front of me. I don’t remember what day Jason Boland & the Stragglers played but I loved it. I forget when Cody Canada &The Departed rocked the Grand Ballroom, but it was awesome. I can’t say for sure what night Stoney and friends played at the top of the ski lift gondola.
“You say, Gondoe-la, I say Gondawl-a…Gondoe-la, Gondawl-a, Gondawla, Gondoe-la…let’s call the whole thing off”.
I am pretty sure Friday was the day I lost my wallet. I do remember the legendary Gary Floater making an appearance. If you don’t know Gary Floater find out now. Truly magnificent.
I wanted to fish the Yampa River as I had heard there was a Midge Hatch the day before, but this was Texas Week so I didn’t get to sleep until early Saturday morning. Long Friday nights. I could write a book based on the thoughts and events of any day or night at Steamboat. Thoughts of driving to Denver for the Fly Fishing Show. Dreams of taking A.K. Best’s fly tying class. I still didn’t sleep very long. Did I see Michael O’Connor on Saturday? Damn he was good. When was that whole ‘My Brother and me’ show? It was nice and warm in that room. The songs were outstanding. Those Turnpike Troubadours represent. Those Braun brothers are everywhere. Do they ever sleep?
The Artist Lounge. Words together. I spent most of my early mornings in this room. The secret room. The place where the already legendary Hag off happened. FYI, Jason Eady can cover the shit out of a Merle Haggard song. Blessed, lucky, stoned. Somehow I ended up in the right place at the right time at the beginning of every morning and the end of every night. Staring down myself into myself into another song. I realized there are two types of bands, acts, musicians, songwriters, poets, dreamers, etc. A bit of insight escaped from out there into here – my brain reminding me there were hippies and rednecks everywhere. In a world full of ball caps, cowboy hats, and beanies I choose the latter. I wonder how hard it would be to write a song with the word, “beanie” in it. Teeny, weeny, yellow polka dotted beanie?
Monday night of Texas Week in Steamboat is only for the fearless. The well trained. It’s a marathon not a sprint, and I was the fucking hare at the end of the race. I know I cried a few times. Some people watched. I danced. I was a puppet for the universe. I could not control myself when I meandered into the tent. I received double X’s on my wrists as I could not provide the proper identification needed for the establishment. Marked by great bureaucracy. Branded an outcast by a black marker. Fuck those guys. I was tripping balls on my own. I had an epiphany. I had two. Those Braun brothers are everywhere. The Turnpike Troubadours took the stage and I was the token hippie in the place. I could not control myself. I ran into my brother. I told him I loved him. He seemed annoyed. I ended up back in the secret Artist Lounge at 4:20AM. Stoney sang “Hope You Make It.” I went back to my condo to pack and pass out. I thought about Bob Childers and smiled.