Salem is no stranger to playing some of the biggest ski and snowboarding events in the country, from Winter X to the U.S. Freeskiing Open, so it comes as no surprise that the Boulder-based band is heading to the High Country on Thursday, Dec. 12, to play an unofficial Dew Tour kickoff party at The Gold Pan Saloon in Breckenridge.
“Two years ago, we did a show similar to this at The Motherloaded, and Fuel TV came and shot some of that and split-boarding and that aired a few times over the season,” said Todd Anders Johnson, drummer and singer for Salem. “Last year, we did the same thing at The Gold Pan; some of the pros were out, and we had a good party.”
This week’s show at The Gold Pan marks the start of a new touring season for Salem, which has been dubbed Voile Manufacturing’s official house band. Johnson has worked for the backcountry ski and snowboard company in a less formalized fashion for about three years, he said, riding their split-boards and performing with Salem at their booth at the Outdoor Retailer convention in Salt Lake City and SIA in Denver, among other places.
“As of this year, I stared working for Voile as a tech rep in Colorado and Alaska,” Johnson said. “So we expanded on things, and I recorded a couple of songs recently for Voile. It was really fun — one is available on their site for a free download, and the other you can hear on ReverbNation, for now.”
From Breckenridge, the Salem-Voile promo tour will head to Steamboat on Friday, Dec. 13, for a film premiere and then it’s off to British Columbia for a few shows and the Canuck Splitfest in Revelstoke.
“We went to British Columbia four or five years ago and toured in a similar fashion,” Johnson said. “I love going up there. I’ve been going up to Alaska for so long, annually, but British Columbia is sunshine and some really great mountains and glaciated terrain, but it’s accessible and has sunlight throughout the season, so it’s a nice alternative to Alaska.”
The Salem shows combine songwriter Johnson’s original blend of hip-hop, jazz and neo-soul with the Voile backcountry ski culture, promoting “good vibes, great powder and Voile skis, split-boards, bindings and avalanche safety equipment,” the company said. And each stop comes with a chance to win some gear.
“We’re going to have some giveaway items — avalanche shovels, gloves — and we’ll be doing that along with the tour,” Johnson said.