- Dean Dillon - Here is my first rookie mistake of the fest. I didn't know you needed tickets to get into the tribute they were doing for him this year. Which meant I couldn't get into to see it. (womp, womp) So I missed that. What I didn't miss was him song swapping with some of my favorite songwriters and performers. First with Stoney and Paul Thorn. I knew some of Dean's song catalogue, and I wasn't expecting Dean to be this compelling character on stage. To hear him sing his own words was quite an emotional and humbling experience. In another life I had a Kenny Chesney cd (I know! Stop judging me right now.) On this cd, it featured the Dillon penned song A lot of things different. To be honest I hated the song. Kenny talking for most of the lyrics. No, just shut up. When Dean did this song, you knew this was written by a man who believed those things he said he wanted to do and didn't. The people in the crowd were quiet. People were crying to the lyrics, including me and my buddy Spencer who were in the back corner of the room. When the song was over a ballroom of three hundred people gave him a standing ovation. In awe of what they just witnessed. Paul Thorn had to follow that up and he himself was just as amazed as we were.
- Will Hoge - We all know Will is like my Bruce Springsteen. I was at the front of the stage for the whole show. Which I completely forgot was on stagehop. So there I was in the front row, singing and dancing like a crazy woman. It was worth it though. Will put on a stellar and memorable show as always. His band is soooo soooo good. They are also the nicest guys in the world too.
- Lincoln Durham - This one man band did nothing but impress everyone everywhere he went during musicfest. This guy can do it all from one spot on the stage. One of the coolest things to see was happening off stage almost every band member that wasn't playing this evening was standing by the sides of the stage to catch this man do work. The cool thing was to see all the folks in the ballroom really get into the show and actually pay attention. Kudos to Lincoln. Also don't forget Lincoln is going to be at Sam's burger joint on the 23rd. If you haven't gotten to see him yet, I suggest you get on it.
- Dung Beetle Saloon - This to me was the place to be. From open mics everyday to cool acoustic performances by bigger name artists. There was something for everyone there. It apparently was the most popular place to be, because once you left there was no way you were going to get back in. This is designed to be a listening room. If you were in early enough it was. In the evening though, it was a little harder to listen, everyone was full of drinks and ready to chat.
There is a lot to take in when you get to Steamboat. I never even made it to the big tent for what is always the big names. Truth be told, I probably won't next year either. If there was one show I felt like I really missed out on it was the Uncle Lucius tent show. The power went out and the band proceeded to play acoustic for a grateful audience. I got to catch Gary P. Nunn jamming on the piano more than once. Also it was really cool to see the artists come out and support each others shows. You could tell they were just as big of fans as the rest of us. It was a fun experience, I am gearing up for again next year. If I ever recover from this sickness. Below are some of the pics from my trip.
Braun Brothers at Carl's Tavern
Wade and Cody at Carl's
Wade watching Zane taking the stage.
Host of the Dung Beetle Open Mic Matt Skinner and his band.
Jack Ingram Barefoot and Crazy on the outdoor stage while snow comes down.
Open Mic at Dung Beetle Saloon
Stoney acoustic with Dean Dillon and Paul Thorn.
Kelly, Jason Eady, and Jamie Wilson
With Courtney Patton
Dirty River Boys on the outdoor stage.
BJ from American Aquarium helping the guys out on stage.
Cameran Nelson chats with Rebecca Creek Radio.
Micky from the Motorcars chats with Rebecca Creek Radio.
Walt Wilkins listens as Bruce Robison, LeeAnn Womack, JD Souther, and Dean Dillon swap songs.
Walt's turn at the mic.
American Aquarium at Dung Beetle Saloon.
Turnpike on the outdoor stage.
John D. Hale