This year, the Strings In The Mountains series brought The Infamous Stringdusters and Crooked Still to Steamboat Springs. Although both bands cleaned house, Crooked Still also mopped up the stage and cleaned the cob webs out of the stage lights. Amazing.

Rushad sat in front of me for a spell while the Stringdusters were on stage. His appearance was mostly normal save for the elven-sort of hat that he donned on his head like a top-knot. He shot out of his seat and disappeared once the Stringdusters left the stage. Once Crooked Still had been announced, wearing a bright and shiny pink satin suit with a red and white striped scarf around his neck, Rushad took to the stage as if he owned it.

Aoife was in prime form. Stunning voice. Stunning woman. Although I am in love with her voice, I am more in love with the entire sound that is called Crooked Still. Shaken by a low sound indeed.

Rushad was incredibly comical throughout the night. At one point, he was speaking as though he were an old gold miner (he was Railroad Bill I believe), as he explained to the audience about the gold rush of 1849. Aoife was surprised to learn that the term “forty-niners” refers to those who travelled west to California for the gold rush of 1849. Rushad went on prodding her when he asked her, “… Ever heard of the Denver Nuggets?” More comedy ensued when Rushad’s odd hat burst from his head in an explosion of brown and blond hair when he started “head-banging” during one of his instrumental solos. Visions of bass player Les Claypool (Primus) with a helicoptering Mohawk filled my head as Rushad seemingly scared the old couple in front of him up and out of their seats. I’m not sure if the couple ever returned or not. Aoife later commented on the incident stating that she felt bad and that she hoped that the couple would be back. After all, Strings is a somewhat classically-oriented music series. Rushad said multiple other things as well as performed a number of actions throughout the rest of the show that left me retching my gut in laughter. Aoife just kept looking puzzled as she kept asking Rushad, “…What are you doing???” Pretty funny.

Gregory Liszt’s banjo licks were on target with their music. Very spirited and all were a style of his own. Corey kept the music alive and off the ground with his bass.

Great show. I drove 3 hours to see Crooked Still and would do so again in a heartbeat. I wish that I had brought a camera with me to show Rushad’s pink suit. It was a sight to see. Perhaps we can get them to come to Fort Collins soon.