For The String Cheese Incident in Boulder
From humble beginnings in small ski town bars to consistently selling out Red Rocks Amphitheater, The String Cheese Incident continues to reinvent themselves as they roll into their twenty-sixth year as a band.
After forming in Crested Butte in 1993, the buzz around SCI on the Western Slope quickly spread to the front range. On December 11, 1994 the band played their first official gig in Boulder, at Mountain Sun Brewery. Shortly thereafter, the upstart musicians decided that being closer to Denver, Boulder, and easier access to I-70, was crucial to their growth.
Bassist Keith Moseley, drummer Michael Travis, and mandolinist Michael Kang originally lived at a house on Jay Road with other notable musicians, Dave Watts (drummer for The Motet) and Tony Furtado.
“There were no more bedrooms available, but I paid a little money each month to sleep on the floor,” said Moseley.
“Back then, we were in between camping, and living in whatever communal situation we found ourselves in. I bought an old shorty Ford Bluebird school bus, put a stove and bed in it, and lived in that here in Boulder for a while,” said guitarist Billy Nershi.
After playing 22 shows in 1995, the band exploded into 1996 with 167 shows played, and never looked back. Twenty-two years later, four of the six members still call Boulder County home.
This July, Red Rocks Amphitheater will host SCI for a three-night run, which has become an annual tradition of sorts. Since 2002, the band has played 26 shows at the famed venue. Support for each of the shows, will be three different bands (Jyemo Club, Analog Son, Grant Farm) who like SCI, call Colorado home.
“This was Travis’ idea to have all three supporting acts be from Colorado,” said Nershi.
“We know what a special privilege it is to play Red Rocks, so we’re stoked to be the platform for these bands to experience that magic,” added Moseley.
As a sharp contrast to playing a 9,000 seat venue, String Cheese recently performed a twelve show Winter Carnival Roots Revival tour that focused on small venues, up and down the Rocky Mountains. SCI kicked off the tour in their hometown of Boulder, with two intimate shows at the Fox Theater, a venue the band had not played since 2004. For those lucky enough to get tickets to the March 4th show, they were treated to SCI playing their live album, A String Cheese Incident, in it’s entirety. Adding an extra dose of nostalgia, was that 2017 marked the 20-year anniversary celebration of the album, which was recorded from a live show at the Fox Theater in 1997.
On April 14th, The String Cheese Incident will release their seventh studio album, titled Believe. Produced by Jerry Harrison, (Talking Heads) the album was recorded and mastered at their recently purchased studio in east Boulder County.
“Before we acquired Sound Lab, we would rent studio space, or post up at someone’s house – loading everything in and out each time. It really took valuable time and energy away from music,” said Moseley.
Aside from adding auxiliary percussionist, Jason Hann, to the band in 2006, The String Cheese Incident has managed to keep their original lineup intact, which is quite impressive. While it’s not likely that String Cheese will be logging any 150+ show calendar years in the future, the passion and love for the music, and each other, is certainly still there. After having the privilege of catching several shows on their recent tour, I can definitely tell you that cheese with a little aging is certainly something to savor.