Stars head to Pagosa for Outlaw Snowdown

Twenty-year-old Lydia Loveless will take the stage Jan. 14 ahead of Hellbound Glory and The Supersuckers at Outlaw Snowdown next weekend in Pagosa Springs. Enlarge photo

Courtesy of the Ely Brothers, Bloodshot Records

Twenty-year-old Lydia Loveless will take the stage Jan. 14 ahead of Hellbound Glory and The Supersuckers at Outlaw Snowdown next weekend in Pagosa Springs.

Festivals aren’t just for summer anymore.

Although we’ve come to associate the “F-word” with a warm-weather event giving music lovers the chance to wear sandals and carouse to acoustic music, it’s a terrible stereotype really because festivals are bound to cater to neither a specific music crowd nor the seasons. Why not a wintertime festival, with rowdy country and rock music for musicians and music lovers not afraid of a chill that’s easily wiped away by a little bit of brown liquor?

Pagosa Springs’ “Outlaw Snowdown” will do just that next weekend (Jan. 13-15), featuring Americana and roots rock-and-roll bands inside a heated tent. The event will feature The Supersuckers, The Band of Heathens, Stoney Larue, Jason Boland and the Stragglers, Lydia Loveless and more.

Loveless released my favorite record of 2011, her sophomore effort called “Indestructible Machine.”

Both the Supersuckers and the Band of Heathens have gotten words in this column; other acts are unfamiliar to me. The one musician I’m looking most forward to seeing will play at 5 p.m. Saturday. Loveless, a 21-year-old rock and country musician from Ohio, just might steal the show and leave town with the recognition she deserves. Joining Loveless, who plays guitar and sings, will be Todd May on guitar, Benjamin Lamb on bass and Parker Chandler on drums.

Loveless is a musician whose career aspirations came before any attempt to master an instrument – like a child who dreams of NASCAR long before acquiring a driver’s license.

“I had a lot of unrealistic goals as a child, like being a musician,” Loveless said from her home in Ohio.

“I wanted to do that long before I knew how to play any instruments. I just sort of daydreamed about being on stage.”

Her first release came out on a small Columbus, Ohio-based label. “Indestructible Machine” was put out by Bloodshot Records, a Chicago label that’s home to scores of bands that specialize in aggressive, insurgent country. Bloodshot is one of the blueprint labels after which other indie organizations model themselves.

“I was not actively looking for a label, but my manager knows a whole lot of people and his cousin got my record to them,” Loveless said. “Bloodshot is a record label that I thought was really cool, and I like a lot of bands from there. I perked up when I saw that email and got really excited.”

She’s now labelmates with acts like The Waco Brothers and Supersuckers frontman Eddie Spaghetti and joins a roster of Bloodshot bands such as The Old 97’s and Split Lip Rayfield.

Tickets for Outlaw Snowdown are offered as single days or a weekend pass, and packages are available that include tickets, lift tickets for skiing at Wolf Creek or soaking at the hot springs.

Bryant Liggett is a freelance writer and KDUR station manager. Reach him at Liggett_b@fortlewis.edu.