Award-winning band begins winter tour Dec. 28 in Buena Vista
Kicking off their winter tour in Buena Vista, the award-winning musicians of Trout Steak Revival will take the stage at 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 28, in the Ivy Ballroom at Surf Hotel in South Main. These talented musicians are no strangers to the Ark Valley, having recorded a music video in Buena Vista, performed at every Elevation Beer Co. anniversary celebration, played at venues like Salida Cafe and The Lariat, and performed at local festivals, including Vertex and Campout for the Cause.
Trout Steak guitar and dobro player Will Koster said he first discovered the Ark Valley years ago, lured here by the natural hot springs. Once he’d experienced the area, “It became a spot that I would come visit for fun – a little vacation from the Front Range. … And Salida was one of the first mountain towns where we started playing outside of Denver.” Koster likes the area so much, in fact, that he and his fiance “just bought some land in BV where we plan to build.” Bassist Casey Houlihan already lives in Salida.
All five of the band members contribute lead vocals and weave their voices into incredible harmonies. They are just as accomplished on their instruments – Houlihan on bass, Koster playing guitar and dobro, Bevin Foley on fiddle, Steve Foltz playing mandolin and guitar, and Travis McNamara rounding out the quintet on banjo.
After winning the Telluride Bluegrass Festival band competition in 2014, Trout Steak Revival was named Best Bluegrass Band in 2016 and 2017 by Denver Westword. They also have an Emmy to their credit for the soundtrack of a PBS documentary. And the band has expanded beyond its bluegrass roots, establishing themselves as a quintessential Colorado band, amply demonstrated by their 2017 album, Spirit to the Sea.
The album expands Trout Steak Revival’s repertoire to encompass a more progressive musical realm that includes jam, rock, folk and wide-ranging Americana influences. The album reflects these diverse musical influences while honoring the band’s bluegrass roots and sustaining the playful vibe and positive energy that have earned the band a devoted following. With meaningful lyrics, polished melodies and danceable rhythms, Spirit to the Sea offers a lot to like for a broad musical audience.
Koster said of the album, “It’s been fun playing all those songs live, but I think we’re probably most excited about all the new stuff we’ve been working on. We’ve recorded five new songs, and we’re going back in the studio pretty soon to record more. I feel like there’s an evolution that continues to happen with our songwriting. … Our lyrics keep getting more real, more true … and a lot of the new sounds that we’re making keep getting further and further away from what people would call bluegrass.”
Spirit To The Sea was produced by Chris Pandolfi, who has also worked with the Infamous Stringdusters, and is producing the new Trout Steak Revival album. Koster acknowledged the benefits of working with a pro like Pandolfi. “He’s taught us a lot about what to think about when we’re arranging a song – how to consider the listener so that the music moves throughout the song and keeps the listener’s attention, also how to get the most out of us while we’re in the studio, how to be efficient, how to recognize when we have the best take. And aside from just working with songs, he’s been a great mentor.”
While no release date has been set for the new album, Koster said, “We’re working up a lot of the new songs and material for our New Year’s run.” The tour will focus on the Rocky Mountains, with shows booked in Colorado, New Mexico and Montana, in part because Foltz needs to stay close to home after he and his wife recently welcomed a new member of the family. “I’m looking forward to starting off our tour in BV. It really feels like home there with all the friendly people.”
Koster added, “A lot of festivals have been throwing offers our way, so it’s looking to be a pretty busy summer, coast to coast.” And while it’s too early to know for certain, he said he hopes to return to Buena Vista this summer for Campout for the Cause. “I love that festival, and I think that location is such a great spot. Everything that Scotty (Stoughton, Campout organizer) puts on is a good-feeling event.”
Tickets for the Dec. 28 show are available at https://tickets.twoparts.com/events/trout-steak-revival-at-the-ivy-ballroom/tickets.