Winter Park / Live Music: Finding the muse through trial and error, pushing the envelope | SkyHiNews.com

Winter Park / Live Music: Finding the muse through trial and error, pushing the envelope

by Cyndi Palmer
Sky-Hi Daily News

Each weekend, the Derailer at the Winter Park Ski Area hosts live music, creating a place for people to gather and relax apre ski. This Saturday, the weekend tradition continues with Angie Stevens.

The singer/songwriter plays Americana and folk rock on guitar and sings lead vocals, usually with band members Susan Phelan on upright bass, Carlos Newman on drums, Jon Wirtz on keyboard and Johnny Waggoner on electric guitar.

Stevens began her pursue her music during college in St. Cloud, Minn.

“I had so much to say, music was my outlet to do so,” she said.

Her biggest influence growing up was her brother Steven, who was also a musician. Unfortunately, his life ended early (when Angie was 11) and she took his name as the last part of her stage name in his honor.

Life experience, she explains, is her biggest inspiration.

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Like many artists who lived through difficult childhood years, she has taken some of that pain and created something positive out of it. She said she wrote quite a bit about those years on her 2006 album “Stand Up Girl,” with song “Skyline Drive” about herself and her best friend dealing with her brother’s death.

In fact, most of her lessons “come from trial and error and always pushing the envelope,” she said. “I have an obscene amount of drive because I think to me there is no room to fail.”

She describes her music as alternative country, “Janis Joplin meets Patty Griffin with hints of Johnny Cash.

“I love the energy and the uniqueness to its sound. Also it’s very reminiscent of old style country – like Cash and Waylon.”

Her first guitar was her brother’s Fender Strat Electric, which is now in a glass frame on her mantle at home. She loves her Gibson J100, a big “jumbo-bodied, bellowy, gorgeous lil’ thing;” but hasn’t named it. Yet.

Stevens loves to play everywhere “from the small smoky bars to Red Rocks Amphitheater – anywhere the crowd connects. Connection is number one to me,” she said. “I love the smiles, the dancing and even the tears. It means I’ve done what I set out to do.”

She’s played with Sheryl Crow, the Allman Brothers, Joe Firstman, Charlotte Martin, Lucy Kaplansky, Tony Lucca and Ernie Halter.

Stevens, who was named Denver’s best singer/songwriter 2007 in Westword, said she can’t wait for the performance Saturday. She and the band also have an upcoming performance at the Soiled Dove Underground in Denver April 4 before heading out (for the first time ever) to New York for a concert at Madison Square Park.

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