From Beyond

Abbott Letter

Letter- George W. Bush

George W. Bush

I send greetings to those gathered for the 2009 MusicFest at Steamboat. 

Music plays a vital role in exploring ideas, expressing emotions, and conveying the diversity of the human experience. Over the years, the MusicFest at Steamboat has captured the imagination of our citizens and spotlighted the creativity, talent, and hard work of musicians from across the Nation. This event is an opportunity to foster an appreciation of music and inspire young performers and artists to pursue their dreams. 

I appreciate all those involved with the MusicFest at Steamboat for supporting the arts and helping preserve America’s rich musical legacy for future generations. Your efforts advance music appreciation and enhance the creative spirit of our Nation. 

Laura and I send our best wishes.
George W. Bush


From MusicFest Founder/Organizer- John Dickson

We are honored that the 43rd President of the United States of America has provided words that express the importance of the arts and the preservation of music in relation to this festival. Such accolades serve as an important reminder of the magnitude and positive impact furthered by MusicFest and the artistry that it embraces. We reach out to our elected officials to support the creative spirit of the independent music and to recognize organizations such as the Center for Texas Music History.

John Dickson
Dickson Productions


Jason Woody- FlagsJason Woody – US Army

My name is Jason Woody. I attended last year’s Big Music Cruise and had one of the best experiences of my life. Unfortunately, I am currently serving in Afghanistan and will be unable to attend this year. I have enclosed this American flag, which was flown over my base, to go on the cruise in my place. My hope is that you will take it along and display it in remembrance of those fighting for freedom. The many different events that Dickson Productions arranges are perfect examples of what America is all about, and I would gladly fight for the rest of my days to ensure such freedoms are always available. We are living in a dangerous and ever-changing world. With conflicts abroad and a dismal world economy, celebrating what we do have with our friends and family becomes even more important. This year’s event looks to be as exciting and fun-filled as those of the past, and I wish everyone a great voyage. And while you’re engulfed by the beauty of the sunsets and basking in the rays of the sun, please take a moment to look at this flag and know you live in the greatest nation on earth, and remember those that defend it. God willing, I will see you all at Steamboat this coming winter.

With Highest Regards,

1LT Jason K. Woody
US Army
Konduz, Afghanistan


Kinky FriedmanFrom The “Governor”

Welcome to the MusicFest at Steamboat! The last time I was here, I drank a glass that, apparently, contained my girlfriend’s contact lenses. This irritated her but it did give me some new insights into myself. One of the things I learned was that MusicFest is a great way to raise hell and awareness at the same time.

Whether on the stage or on the ballot, independent voices are rare enough in this increasingly homogenized world. It’s not terribly surprising that many of these voices emanate from the Lone Star State. Deep in our hearts, all Texans are independent. In music, this has manifested itself in the rugged, righteous individualism of artists such as Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Bob Wills, Buddy Holly, Billy Joe Shaver, Townes Van Zandt, Guy Clark, Jerry Jeff Walker, Doug Sahm, Ray Benson, Lyle Lovett, Robert Earl Keen and Cross Canadian Ragweed to name only a few. Some are dead and some are living. In my life, I’ve loved them all. Not sexually of course.

If I were governor, Texas would be run by musicians instead of politicians. We may not get a lot of work done in the mornings, but Texas would be a better place. Steamboat already has most of our musicians of course, so Colorado doesn’t really need any help. Wish I could be there, but somebody’s got to mind the store.

I ran a spiritual campaign for governor, not a political one. In the words of my spiritual adviser, Billy Joe Shaver, “If you don’t love Jesus, go to hell.”

In the meantime, hang on tight, spur hard, and let ‘er buck. And may the God of your choice bless you.

Kinky Friedman


Bill Owens - CO GovGovernor Bill Owens – Colorado

On behalf of the State of Colorado, it is my pleasure to welcome all the MusicFest participants to beautiful Steamboat, Colorado. MusicFest at Steamboat has become the largest group ski trip in the nation, and for a good reason. 

By blending the best in country, blues, and rock music with the breathtaking beauty and abundant activities fo the Rocky Mountains, MusicFest offers a unique experience to all those involved. It’s also good news that portions of funds raised from the trip will also benefit The Center for Texas Music History. It is my sincere hope that all of this year’s participants will enjoy the Rocky Mountains as much as we do here in Colorado. I wish you all the best of luck, now and in the years to come. 

Bill Owens, Governor


Rick Perry - TX GovGovernor Rick Perry- Texas

Welcome to the Steamboat MusicFest! 

Through the ages, the gift of music has been one of the most time-honored ways for Texans to express their joys and sorrows, their dreams and disappointments, their hopes for the future. Music is a hallmark of the Lone Star State and one of our most renowned and treasured forms of cultural expression. 

This year, for six days and five nights, Texas music fans will come together in Steamboat, Colorado, to experience some of Texas’ finest musicians. All will hear why “You can’t hear American music without hearing Texas.” I commend the participants, organizers and sponsors for your ongoing support of the Center for Texas Music History at Texas State University. This relationship will benefit and preserve Texas’ rich musical heritage for generations to come. 

Anita joins me in sending best wishes for an enjoyable festival. 


Rick Perry- Governor