"Home is where I want to be, pick me up and turn me round...
We're excited to announce that David Byrne will be welcoming us home on our 36th Annual pilgrimage to Telluride this June. Whether as the frontman of the enormously influential Talking Heads or as an eclectic solo artist who has explored genres ranging from South American to opera to electronic gospel, the endlessly inventive musician/writer/artist/performer continues to find creative and colorful ways to elevate the mundane to the status of art. Set against the stunning backdrop of waterfalls and mountains and inspired by the energy of festivarian nation, we will have our heads in the sky - in song, in rhythms, in dance, in the treasuring of this magical moment.
We're thrilled to announce several other new additions to the lineup for the Telluride Bluegrass Festival (June 18-21)... Conor Oberst, the leader of Bright Eyes and the artist Rolling Stone magazine called the best songwriter of 2008, joins us with the Mystic Valley Band. Beloved indie-roots singer-songwriter (and co-founder of Rilo Kiley) Jenny Lewis shares the same stage as one of her biggest admirers, Elvis Costello (watch Elvis share a duet with Jenny last fall).
Most bands would have peaked with an on-screen performance in the film Titanic, but that was just the beginning for Gaelic Storm, the raucous Irish band that will have Festivarian Nation raising a glass and a voice in June. In the year since their Telluride debut, the quartet of Crooked Still has become a quintet with the addition of cellist Tristan Clarridge and fiddler Brittany Haas, but they remain beautiful and delightfully crooked. After personally screening Throw Down Your Heart, his award-winning film about bringing the banjo back to Africa, Béla Fleck returns this year with Toumani Diabate, the Malian master of the kora (a 21-string West African harp).
These new additions join Elvis Costello, Emmylou Harris, Sam Bush, Yonder Mountain String Band, Kasey Chambers, Railroad Earth, The Telluride House Band, and many many others. And we're not done yet. Look for more major artist additions in a couple weeks along with the announcement of single-day lineups.
But there's no need to wait. Four-day passes and camping (including Lawson Hill, Mary E, and family camping at Telluride High School) are on-sale now at shop.bluegrass.com or 800-624-2422. Forward this email along to your festivarian friends, purchase your tickets (of course with no handling or shipping fees), then start sharing the "festivipation" with your fellow festivarians at www.festivarian.com.
When we got word that Rufus Wainwright would be playing our 2009 Folks Festival, we couldn't keep our mouths shut any longer about this year's Folks lineup. Elton John calls Rufus "the greatest songwriter on the planet." His passion and bold originality are undeniable.
He'll be joined in Lyons this August by the expressive singer/songwriter/guitarist Susan Tedeschi; one of Scotland's all-time greatest songwriters, Dougie MacLean; the youthful grooves and exuberance for life of Brett Dennen; the Southern soul of JJ Grey & Mofro; and some of our favorite young troubadours Joe Pug and Chuck E. Costa. And we're really just getting started.
Tickets and camping for our "summit on the song" the Rocky Mountain Folks Festival (Aug 14-16) are available now. if you act quickly, you can still get the last few specially-priced holiday tickets - a $30 discount off 3-day passes. As always, we charge no handling fees and all Folks tickets are fully refundable prior to July 17.
As quiet crept over the Planet Bluegrass Ranch last fall, we decided we really need music here year-round. So hours and hours of welding and woodworking later, we finished construction of seasonal walls to turn our cathedral of bluegrass, the Wildflower Pavilion, into a cozy and warm winter venue.
As we christen the first-ever winter/spring Wildflower Concert Series on March 5, we couldn't think of a more perfect artist to fill the (newly enclosed) Pavilion with glorious sound than the voice of newgrass, John Cowan. Tickets for this special evening with the John Cowan Band on March 5 are available now.
We continue the series on May 7 with the masterful gypsy jazz of the John Jorgenson Quintet - whom USA Today calls "far-and-away the best interpreter of Django Reinhardt's material." Then Friday, May 15, we welcome back the dynamic contemporary bluegrass of Cadillac Sky, a band that has had us on our feet at Telluride and RockyGrass over the past couple years. Tickets for all 3 of these shows are available now. Look for the announcement of several more spring shows in the next few weeks.
We're just about ready to announce the final single-day lineups for RockyGrass. Look for that in our next Notes from the Planet. It's going to be a an amazing summer. We can't wait to share it with you.