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Steamboat Magazine

Q&A with Brett Dennen

02/01/2024 03:29PM ● By Sophie Dingle
Steamboat Springs, CO - Brett Dennen calls himself many things: a songwriter, performer, watercolorist, outdoorsman and environmental conservationist, to name a few. On Thursday, Feb. 15, he will perform at Strings and Steamboat Magazine caught up with him ahead of his show.

Steamboat Magazine: How did you discover your genre?
Brett Dennen: It just happened naturally. I do most of my writing with an acoustic guitar in my hand and I put a lot of emphasis on lyric and melody, so the rest of the music that accompanies me has to enhance what I’ve written. I’m a big fan of singer songwriters from the seventies so my music tends to sound like that a lot. 

SM: What was a breakthrough - or high point -  in your career?
BD: I played an acoustic concert at the base camp of Mount Everest 10 years ago. It was over 18,000 feet in elevation after days and days of hiking. It was surreal and I think about it all the time: the Himalayas all around me, standing on a glacier. That’s a figurative and literal high point. 

SM: Where are you drawing inspiration from these days?
BD: My father died recently and it has sent me into a world of thinking about life and the meaning of life and what we’re all here for, so that’s been a big thing for me. Mostly positive – it has made me want to write songs about how beautiful life is. Other than that, I always draw inspiration from nature. Especially the mountains. I always get ideas for songs when I’m in nature or if I’m just thinking about nature. 

SM: Tell us about Camp Dennen.
BD: It’s a friends and family camp retreat. You can come by yourself or with people you love. It feels and acts like a summer camp but it’s all about disconnecting from the city and our phones, and reconnecting with nature. We focus on who we are without all our distractions from home, work and social media. We create a community together and encourage one another to stay connected.

SM: What’s the next project that you’re working on?
BD: I just finished recording an album that will be released in a few months. I’m really excited about it. On one hand it’s a continuation of the albums I’ve made before but on the other hand it’s an album unlike all of the others. There are new sounds and themes. I think people are going to love it. I put a lot of love and energy into it and I’m proud of it. 

Buy tickets for Brett’s Strings performance online at