About the band
STEAM! offers the intuitive musicality of a seasoned and exciting contra dance band; power sets, uplifting elegance, quirky fun tunes and beautiful waltzes.
These four great friends now spend most of their time spread separated in two by the Rocky Mountains, but have spent every September at Carp Camp of the Walnut Valley Festival in Winfield for years. Jamming for 16 hours a day for 2 weeks straight gives room for experimenting and touring through the odd and wonderful permutations of each tune, not to mention the tie dye and general silliness that may ensue. All of that is along for the ride when STEAM! comes to town.
mandolin, bouzouki, mandola
Originally a drummer, Dave has a well-developed sense of rhythm. When playing stringed instruments, this strong sense of rhythm is the foundation of his playing. He can access his sensitive side when playing waltzes and beautiful melodies. He can also play in a “take no prisoners” style, driving tunes to their full potential and beyond. Dave has also held the post as a Senior Gyzmologist building lightning detection systems in Boulder CO and Tucson AZ.
Alice is known for her joyful fiddle style and inventive harmonies. Formerly a professional violist, she left that behind to immerse herself in the tunes and fiddle styles of traditional North American and the British Isles. Embracing old and new approaches, her inventive twists and turns lend a bright top end to the band’s driving dance tunes and her harmonic sensibilities add depth to more contemplative sets. When she’s not playing fiddle, she teaches and researches birds in the tropics and the prairies.
Robert’s guitar establishes a rock solid rhythmic foundation while his interesting chord choices and flat-picking leads add texture, mood, and variety to the band’s sound. Robert played bluegrass music until his reawakening to contra dance melodies. When he is not playing guitar or banjo (or the latest, his cool Brazilian pandeiro), he is probably humming a tune that is his latest inspiration.
bodhrán, concertina, clogging, vocals
Claire fills out the bass of STEAM’s music with the rich heart-beat of her bodhran (Irish drum) plus other percussion including clogging. Her extensive background in singing allows the band to feature vocal numbers in concerts and during dances as sung waltzes. We joke that she is the “Nashville Certified Utility Musician” because she also sometimes pulls out her anglo concertina, or steps away from the band to call contras or ceilis. When not playing music, Claire is a Sustainability and Water Planning Director at a Council of Governments, a dance organizer, and handles STEAM bookings; firstname.lastname@example.org (520) 869-8553.