Long-time local musician not to be missed
Whether hes in the midst of bubbly bachelorettes drinking buttery nipple and purple hooter shots, or performing for his loyal local crowd, musician Steve Cormey can always be found playing requests and original tunes with a smile. What began as a skill to meet girls has made this long-time local a musician not to miss.Folks can tune in to Cormey playing mostly in the Grand Lake area, including three free shows this Friday, Saturday and Sunday at The Lariat Saloon. Cormey and Friends (whoever joins him) are scheduled to play at 9:30 p.m. on Friday, Oct 19 and Saturday, Oct. 20; and Cormey joins Larry White Light Bishop of Back Porch Light for a performance at 9:30 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 21.Hell be the one usually spotted wearing a Hawaiian T-shirt, a signature which complements his laid-back, upbeat grooves and persona. His songs are what I picture as a mix between the Colorado-inspired John Denver and the fun of Jimmy Buffet.Ive always enjoyed playing music, he said. People like listening to it and they have a good time.Cormey, born and raised in Denver, is self-taught and has been playing guitar since college. In the dorms, everyone was playing, he said. He started coming up to Grand County after he graduated from the University of Northern Colorado (with a degree in geography).He said he loved the area and immediately set on figuring out a way to come up and work year round. Hes been in the county since the 1970s, living mostly in Grand Lake he said, and playing a lot in Winter Park back in those early days. I got lucky because Ive always had work.In the summers he lent a hand out at the Heritage Ranch and tended bar at the Foghorn (now Grumpys) before he found a place to play at Squeaky Bob Wheelers. He recalls Chuck Schmuck, who used to play the gut bucket with him there, was a big influence.So were locals Bert McLaren and John Rhone, he said.In fact, nowadays Cormey attributes most of his success to Grand County and its people, which he says inspire him the most. A lot of my music comes out of Grand Lake and around the park, he said, I like to write about stuff Ive seen.Cormey said hes also been inspired by all the guys up here playing, including Gary Key, Peggy Mann and Arnie J. Green. John Cooks really coming out now, he added. And we cant forget the well-known non-local musicians who inspired Cormey to pick up the guitar in the first place, including James Taylor, Jim Croce, Cat Stephens, John Stewart, and definitely John Prine. Cormey has already released an impressive collection of CDs with original songs, including Colorado Blue, Never Summer … Forever Home, Somewhere, Walking Stick, Pure & Simple, Rude Awakening, and Its Hard to Say Goodbye.Local friend Dave Messinger also helps Cormey put together video collections. Some CDs and videos contain singles, others are tributes to close friends like I Want to be Like Louie (Heckert), which helped raise funds to restore Louie Heckerts Jeep for loud speaker announcements during town events. Pure & Simple is his latest CD release and his most recent tribute tune is called Ribbons of Hope which he unveiled at this years Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. He wrote it in support of Team Grand Lake and his girlfriend, who is a breast cancer survivor who helped create the local teamIt just came together real fast, he said. The best songs are always that way. Its really neat. There are so many people involved with that. Mann sang a duet of the song with him the day of the race. Cormey said he hopes to record it this winter, along with about 20 songs just waiting to be set at a studio he shares with Bishop. Ive got a whole bunch of stuff written overdue for recording, he said. Also in the works is a new Web site, which Cormey hopes someone will come help him put together.In the meantime Cormey will keep writing, he said. One day, he said, it would be cool to have Jimmy Buffet do a song of his (instead of the other way around).He said he used to worry about coming up with new material but doesnt anymore. It seems to come in little spurts. You got to just get it when its there. If something comes to me Ill try to write it down.Now that hes quite an accomplished musician, Cormey said hed like to do more of his own stuff. He said he hopes to look into offering more living room concerts and places where its more of a listening crowd.Cormeys CDs run for about $15 and, along with the videos, are available at the Grand Lake Art Gallery. Or better yet, check him and his friends out at The Lariat Saloon; Cormey usually has copies of his tunes at his regular shows.
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