Music is much more than entertainment. It can be found in the aspects of life we often lose in the daily turmoil of things, if we allow it. We find it easy to cluster and organize things into groups in order to simplify the hectic schedules we create or the numerous tasks we wish to accomplish in a day. By doing so, we place music in a category that usually remains separate from the tasks in which lose ourselves. It is no longer a passion of ours and becomes something we do in our downtime, or use as background noise during the times in which we find ourselves preposterously busy. It invades our sub-conscious in commercials and loosens our grip on reality when we see shows after a long week of work. I am here to tell you fellow music fans, that I am no longer a fan of music. Instead, it has embodied more of a religion, a visionary path that allows me release from my cultured and structured mind, and into the true depth of life that broadly cascades itself across the planes of my wandering soul.

As a recent mountain man, I can attest to the fact that music is part of a living, breathing world. To wake in the morning, brew some fresh Colorado coffee, and listen to upbeat music truly revitalizes my energy for the day. I walk outside and hear the birds singing their morning tune, wings fluttering furiously and gliding through the whistling wind that bristles across the pine trees and devours the edges of the valley. I hear the rumble and bustle of a society dedicating itself not only to it’s daily tasks, but the pure enjoyment of a town rooted in history and alive with constant chatter (which is highly evident after new snowfall). You can hear the tapping of ski boots in Gondola square and the sandwich shops are alive with sizzling morning melts and frying eggs. The lift lines crunch and squeak with snow-pack, and the ride to the top fills your ears with sharp skis sliding over morning ice or hoots and hollers of those falling (in love) with the fresh powder.

Sometimes I go an entire day without even putting my earphones into my ears, because the world has opened them up to new possibilities. Nature and society have their own tunes to dance beside, and it engulfs me sometimes to the point I am part of a grand symphony playing out our daily existence. To not listen to a single recorded song from the point of waking to the point of going to sleep is something I had not done in probably years, and although you cannot help it when going into stores or restaurants, you can stop yourself from listening to digital music and opening your ears to the sound of your  city. It has its own kind of soundtrack, its own genre of music, and its own set of lungs to belt out the groans and melodies that have influenced our artists. If you want to find out where something came from, you have to seek out its roots.

That being said, I started listening, learning, watching my town and discovering the little secrets it has to offer. Ski runs where impassable trees open up into beautiful meadows of powder reveal themselves through local eyes. Thrift stores and tiny eclectic coffee shops where tourists never go lead me to interesting arts and people with passions similar to mine. Small town bands with a funky vibe and bluegrass roots have me slapping the kid next to me on the back and dancing in circles until I need another locally brewed beer. These bands play almost weekly around here, and on the weekends, it’s impossible to hit one of the good local bars and not find live music, mostly consisting of bluegrass or jam rock.

I saw the band Missed the Boat last weekend at our own Mahogany Ridge Brewery here in Steamboat, and was blown away by the turnout this local group attracted. There was a line out the door due to capacity, and the place was packed with wacky personalities and dancing tourists-which is exactly the type of people you find in Steamboat. The band played well into the 2 a.m. hour, and had people chanting more as they ushered our rowdy asses out the door. You can tell they really play from the heart. In my eyes, some of these bands have more talent than the pop artists we hear on the radio, and you can tell where they came from by the instruments they play and the scraggly clothes they wear. By putting their passion and soul into their music, they exemplify the town in which they live. If you listen closely enough, you can hear the birds chirping as they pick away at the strings on their guitars-the same guitars made from the woods which nature has so gracefully supplied.


Louie Garramone is a ski bum currently living up in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. He loves chasing reindeer, doing donuts in the local parking lot, and climbing unbelievably high mountains for no reason at all. As an outdoor enthusiast, he loves nature and has a massive rock collection. Read more about his escapades and natural highs, or follow him on WordPress.