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Steamboat Magazine

WinterWonderGrass Artist Spotlight - The Lone Bellow

02/14/2023 08:00AM ● By Ski Town Media
(Photo: The members of The Lone Bellow, (from left to right) guitarist Brian Elmquist, lead vocalist Zach Williams, and multi-instrumentalist Kanene Donehey Pipkin.) 

This year, WinterWonderGrass will celebrate its 10-year anniversary in Colorado, set to take place right here in Steamboat Springs on March 3-5. Each week, we will be featuring artists who are performing at this year's festival. Get an inside look at what this weekend is like for the artists and bands, and find out what goes into creating an iconic festival. 

The Nashville-based trio that is The Lone Bellow makes their WinterWonderGrass debut this year for the festival's 10-year anniversary. For The Lone Bellow, the triumph of completing their first self-produced album (Love Song for Losers) at the end of 2022 marks the start of a thrilling new chapter in the band’s journey as they are eager to bring everything from arena-ready rock anthems to the gorgeously sprawling Americana tunes, that the band refers to as “little redneck symphonies,” to a live audience. We had the pleasure of speaking with two of the three members of The Lone Bellow, lead vocalist Zach Williams and multi-instrumentalist Kanene Donehey Pipkin, as they prepare for their first trip to Steamboat Springs.

Ski Town Media: This will be your first WinterWonderGrass correct? Can you talk about what got you interested in playing an outdoor music festival in the Rocky Mountains in early March? 

Kanene Donehey Pipkin: It’s outdoors?!

Zach Williams: I knew it was outdoors… Yeah man, I’m excited about it! It sounds frickin’ cozy… and fun! 

STM: Have you guys ever been to Steamboat Springs before? 

KDP: No….

ZW: No, I don’t believe so. But it sounds like a fun town, man. 

STM: Outside of performing, is there anything specific about Steamboat you’re looking forward to experiencing? 

KDP: All of the Steamboats and all of the springs? No, I really just want to find a fireplace… A couple years ago I thought I could just figure out how to ski as an adult with no instruction and I learned my lesson, so… maybe if somebody wants to give me some sort of lesson, I’d do that, otherwise I’m just going to stay comfortable. 

KW: The snow….there will be snow right? I mean, I want to ride a frickin’ snowmobile. I’ve never done that. I want to ride it up to the stage…through the middle of the crowd…in my underwear….rage! That’s my thing… 

STM: What goes into getting ready and creating a set list for a festival like this? 

ZW: A cage fight usually… no… we’ve been a band for over a decade, we’re on our 5th album, and that’s a lot of songs to choose from. We really choose the setlist like per-night, every night. We get somewhere and kinda feel the vibe of the town and the setting and kinda curate the setlist based on that. Usually we wait until about an hour before the show and then put it together. 

STM: You guys have been on tour basically all of 2022, you released your 5th studio album this year, and 2023 will likely be an even busier year for you all. What motivates you to continue writing music and growing as a band while managing your fast-paced schedule?

KDP: Money! Prestige! [Laughs]No, we just love doing it. Can’t stop. 

ZW: Yeah, money! We’re just raking it in… Really though, we love hanging together. We love meeting new people, and playing shows and writing songs. Especially this latest record. It’s the first record we’ve ever self-produced, so it’s been so fun making those sounds live with the same band. We really believe in the songs, we believe in what we do and we consider it just an honor to be able to do it. 

STM: What are some of The Lone Bellow’s goals for 2023? 

KDP: Goals? I know Zach wants to bench-press 250 right? Um… the ultimate goal is to play SNL (Saturday Night Live), so if you know anyone there… 

ZW: Goals? Shit… mm… therapy? [Laughs]Joke! Joke! I have a goal this year of putting together my own festival, and there’s like an 80% chance it’s going to happen now. I’m really excited about that. I’ve never done that before. I also started writing a movie. It’s a rom-com. I’m serious as a heart attack… Man, we released this latest record just a couple months ago and we’re living in that time where it’s just like… we’re kinda in a moment of celebration. We’re celebrating the work that we did and we have an opportunity to recreate that work live. So I think, just like trying my best to live in the moment, take it all in, not be worried about money and the future too much, and just try to do things with my friends… and maybe less carbs. And I want to find a snowsuit that matches Kanene’s snowsuit for the festival. 

To learn more about the upcoming Colorado 10-year anniversary of WinterWonderGrass, visit: 

To learn more about The Lone Bellow, visit:

WinterWonderGrass 2022, Steamboat Springs, CO. Courtesy of WinterWonderGrass Festival / Molly McCormick.