Exit 232 paves way for Cinco de Mayo | SummitDaily.com

Exit 232 paves way for Cinco de Mayo

BRECKENRIDGE – Most musicians spend their adolescent years plunking instruments and imagining a life filled with endless gigs, but for Exit 232 lead guitarist Todd Musselman, being in a band was an afterthought.

Musselman’s musical career started out of boredom when he was 24 after he injured himself playing rugby.

“I was laid up with too much time and no to direct my energies,” Musselman wrote on his Web site. “So, with little training and absolutely no clue, I began to pluck around on an old Fender acoustic I’d had since I was I kid. After two years of honing my skills and subjecting my family and friends to an enormous amount of forgettable music, I felt I was ready to give a live performance a shot.”

“I hate him for that,” percussionist Scott Schroeder said. “The rest of us were those dorks who were playing since we were 7 or 8. And to top it off, he’s a nice guy. He has a natural charisma and honestly cares about people out there.”

The members of Exit 232 pride themselves on being down-to-earth guys – and their comfortable, boy-next-door American-rock transfers to audiences.

“These guys are 100 percent my family,” Schroeder said. “I love their wives and their kids. We found that’s what our audience is too – family. We’re a very tight group. There’s no egos on stage.”

The Denver-based band named itself after the ramp off Interstate 70 that leads to Winter Park and eventually to Grand Lake Lodge, where the musicians wrote most of their first CD. The name fit their outdoor-oriented lifestyles. Schroeder has worked in the ski industry for most of his life, electric guitarist Mike Edmondson lives and breathes fishing and bassist Spencer Pyne and keyboardist Tom Richards spend nearly every weekend in Summit County.

Exit 232 melds the essence of American rock in the styles of the Eagles, Bruce Springsteen and the BoDeans. Each player adds a distinct element to the original tunes – Richards was classically trained, Pyne spent almost 20 years playing in country bands, Edmondson loves funk, and Schroeder was into the hair-metal bands of the 1980s.

“It all sort of morphs itself together and spits itself out,” Schroeder said.

Exit 232 has opened for Paul Simon and Brian Wilson at Fiddler’s Green and Better Than Ezra at the Hard Rock Cafe in Aspen. It also has performed at the Cherry Creek Arts festivals and at the Dillon Amphitheatre (where the musicians pulled about 50 people up on stage to dance with them last summer).

The band continues its tradition of feel-good music at 9:30 p.m. Monday at the Cinco de Mayo celebration.

Kimberly Nicoletti can be reached at (970) 668-3998 ext. 245 or by e-mail at knicoletti@summitdaily.com.

Cinco de Mayo

The 20th annual Cinco de Mayo Celebration starts at 5 p.m. with an all-you-can-eat Mexican buffet including appetizers, salads, desserts and the main entrees – chile rellenos filled with asadero cheese, tamales, pumpkin-seed-encrusted tilapia with cilantro, red chile and creme fraiche, flank steak roulade and rock shrimp Vera Cruz.

The silent auction features ski passes, a signed John Elway jersey, round-trip

airfare, rounds of golf and a scenic ride in a biplane.

Tickets are $17 for adults and $5 for children 11 and younger. All proceeds benefit the Breckenridge Outdoor Education Center. The celebration has raised more than $200,000 for the BOEC, and the organizers’ goal is to raise an additional $25,000 this year.

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