A glimpse at tomorrow night (October 3) in the Wildflower Pavilion: "The crowd is spellbound. A night of frivolity and revelry has morphed into an old-time East Texas brush arbor meeting. One thing is obvious to all: The Packway Handle Band is not your father's bluegrass band" (Bluegrass Now). Combining 4-part gospel harmonies, a sophisticated sense of humor, and a decidedly 21st Century approach to alt-bluegrass songwriting, the 3-time Telluride Bluegrass band contest make music around a single mike like no one else.
Last winter The Packway Handle Band was invited to Glasgow, Scotland to perform at the prestigious Celtic Connections festival (watch that performance online). This past summer the Georgia-based band played to a packed audience in the Wildflower during RockyGrass. And this Friday (October 3) they'll be headlining a night of modern bluegrass in the Wildflower Pavilion on the Planet Bluegrass Ranch in Lyons.
Progressive Colorado bluegrass band Riverbend gets things started at 8pm followed by a long set of post-modern bluegrass — perfect for maniacal dancing and pavilion festivating. Tickets - just $12 - are still available online at shop.bluegrass.com or 800-624-2422, and they will also be sold at the door (cash only). We'll be serving New Belgium beer, wine, hot drinks, and popcorn all night, capping things off with a bonfire along the banks of the St. Vrain River just behind the Pavilion. Get your tickets now, then arrange a ride share with fellow festivarians on the Festivarian Forum.
Just a few months ago, Darrell Scott kicked off our 2008 festival season in Telluride saying, "I gotta start with a Colorado song." The refrain to that song - "Colorado, I need healing" - set the tone for the unforgettable summer of music we all shared. Next Friday night (October 10) we welcome Darrell back to the Wildflower Pavilion, for a night of soulful solo virtuosity - songwriting, vocal, and instrumental. We reserve the word "genius" for musicians like Darrell: musicians who are intuitive, inventive, and connected to something deep.
Plan to arrive a little early (gates open at 6:30pm) to enjoy some curried broccoli soup or tender beef burgundy stew. We'll be uncorking our reserve of Chappellet wines, as well as New Belgium beer and hot drinks to be enjoyed around the bonfire or inside the cozy Pavilion. Tickets ($25) are available now at shop.bluegrass.com or 800-624-2422.
We close our 2008 Wildflower Concert Series with the international roots music of The Greencards (October 18). Australia, England, and America collaborate to create a vibrant acoustic music, one that has earned them a Grammy nomination, an Americana Music Award, and encores on our Festival stages for the past several years. Tickets ($20) for this finale show are available now. Folks are still talking about Michelle Shocked's candle-lit finale last year; we're excited to see what mother nature and the musical muse have in store for this year's finale.
Thanks to everyone who joined us for the Mabon celebration with Adam Aijala & Ben Kaufmann or our opening night with Paper Bird and Gregory Alan Isakov. Autumn is a beautiful, peaceful time on the Planet Bluegrass Ranch, ideally suited to intimate acoustic music along the banks of the St. Vrain River. We hope you're able to join us for these three remaining shows in the Wildflower Pavilion in the coming weeks.
Of course, for dedicated festivarians, fall also means the time to begin preparing for next year's Festivals, and our 2009 online lotteries. Due to overwhelming demand for our most popular tickets, we will again be using an online lottery to sell these tickets in as fair a manner as possible. Mark your calendars now for the following important dates:
We'll have lots more details in the coming weeks. For now, just make sure you've scribbled these dates on a calendar somewhere, and maybe help out a fellow festivarian by forwarding those dates along to them so no one misses out.
Finally, the Planet Bluegrass "sustainable festivation" initiatives were again honored at this year's Americana Music Festival as Planet Bluegrass' Steve Szymanski was featured on several conference panels about greening the music industry, including a case study on "The Greening of Telluride" with fellow panelists Meredith Giske of New Belgium Brewing and the King of Telluride Sam Bush. Thanks for helping make sustainable festivation possible. We'll have lots of data and analysis to share in the coming months as we complete our wrap-ups of this year's efforts.