Bye-bye, Miss American Pie. Those words make us smile; they touch us deep inside; and this August they will echo off the cliffs of the St. Vrain River on a starry, starry night as we sing that immortal refrain with its legendary composer, Don McLean.
Between now and then we'll share in the musical magic of Telluride's 36th; we'll pick some tunes together at RockyGrass; and maybe even bond around a Wildflower Concert bonfire with some new festivarian friends. The music is very much alive; and it's going to be an amazing summer here on Planet Bluegrass...
While the music on the main stage defines the Telluride Bluegrass experience, for many, the warm memories created at the intimate indoor shows are some of the most cherished.
This year's NightGrass lineup, promises another batch of warming, late-night memories. From the festival-closing Punch Brothers set (a modernist companion to their traditional bluegrass set on the main stage), an epic Saturday night show from rising jamgrass stars Greensky Bluegrass, festival debuts of Cornmeal and Oakhurst, intimate shows with Crooked Still and Railroad Earth at the Fly Me to the Moon Saloon and Sheridan Opera House. And for the 8th consecutive year, festivarians will board the gondola Wednesday night for Yonder Mountain String Band's festival kick-off show in Mountain Village.
The complete NightGrass schedule was announced last Tuesday, followed quickly by an online lottery for several of the most sought-after Sheridan Opera House shows. All other NightGrass tickets go on-sale at 10am MDT on Wednesday, April 8 at shop.bluegrass.com.
Elvis Costello just confirmed the lineup for his Telluride band, The Sugarcanes. The group of bluegrass all-stars includes: Jerry Douglas, Stuart Duncan, Jim Lauderdale, Mike Compton, Dennis Crouch, and Jeff Taylor. The acoustic band will be performing songs from Elvis' forthcoming album, 'Secret, Profane & Sugarcane.' The album will feature songs written with Loretta Lynn and the album's producer T-Bone Burnett. Elvis Costello & The Sugarcanes cap a Telluride Bluegrass Friday that includes Railroad Earth, Béla Fleck & Toumani Diabate, Jenny Lewis, and much more.
Sunday night we're proud to close the 36th annual festival with the Telluride House Band - this year featuring Sam Bush, Béla Fleck, Jerry Douglas, Edgar Meyer, Bryan Sutton, and the recent addition of fiddler Luke Bulla. Check out several videos of the House Band's spectacular 2008 set - including a soaring version of "Same Old River" and a Waldo Otto cameo during "Green Slime." We've been adding new videos every week from last year's festival, including Del McCoury Band, Uncle Earl, Yonder Mountain String Band, and more. Keep checking back for our latest additions.
Tickets for Telluride Bluegrass (June 18-21) are on-sale now — including family camping at nearby Telluride High School and spaces at the Lawson Hill and Mary E campgrounds just outside Telluride. Make yours plans now to spend the summer solstice with the festivarian family - shop.bluegrass.com or 800-624-2422.
There's less than two weeks left to submit your songwriting entry for this year's Telluride Troubadour contest. This nationally recognized contest showcases songwriters from around the world, with performances in Elks Park and a Saturday main stage set from the Troubadour winner.
Or, if the written (okay, typed) word is more your creative style, enter the Telluride Bluegrass blogging contest at NoDepression.com. Share your thoughts about this and past year's festivals in the form of blog posts at the new No Depression community site (registration is free). At the end of April, the editors of No Depression will select two writers to blog from this year's festival - including 4-day passes and camping. Be creative: recount your favorite Telluride musical discovery; talk about some of this year's new performers; share your slice of the festivarian experience.
Can music save your mortal soul, and can you teach me how to dance real slow? We are oh so excited to welcome one of America's most legendary songwriters, Don McLean, to the 19th Annual Folks Festival (August 14-16).
We're also thrilled to welcome the French-American Madeleine Peyroux, a vibrant songwriter and cool swinging jazz-folk singer who finds her inspiration in the singing of Billie Holiday and Edith Piaf.
This latest round of lineup additions also includes one of our favorite roots rock troubadours Will Hoge; and Mary Gauthier - a richly insightful and triumphant songwriter who the LA Times calls "a unique, intrinsically valuable musical voice." Mary will be spending the entire week with us in Lyons, as a songwriting instructor at The Song School (Aug 9-13).
These new artists join a Folks Fest lineup that already includes Rufus Wainwright, Susan Tedeschi, Brett Dennen, Dougie MacLean, and many more for our "summit on the song." We'll have more major lineup additions in the coming weeks.
Tickets and camping — including the coveted on-site campground — are available now at shop.bluegrass.com or 800-624-2422. Single-day tickets will go on sale later this spring, with the announcement of the complete single-day lineup. Reservations for The Song School continue to sell at a record pace. Don't wait much longer if you're planning to spend a week immersed in song with Pat Pattison, Mary Gauthier, Steve Seskin, and many others.
This weekend we welcome three fine Colorado songwriters to the Wildflower Pavilion. Reed Foehl (Acoustic Junction, Fool's Progress) just completed a new solo album, with the help of producer Jefferson Hamer (Wayfarer's, Great American Taxi). Listen to two tracks from this new album, as well as from Jami Lunde's upcoming release, at WildflowerPavilion.com. Tickets are available now to spend a gorgeous spring evening with these three songwriters this Saturday, April 11.
Then next Thursday night (April 16), Michelle Shocked returns for her second-ever show in the Wildflower. Two years ago Michelle gave an unforgettable off-the-grid candle-lit performance in the Pavilion, opening with a strolling acoustic version of "This Little Light of Mine." Michelle returns next week to feature songs from her latest album, Soul of My Soul, which you can now preview at her myspace. Tickets are still available.
To stay completely up-to-date on happenings in the Wildflower Pavilion — including upcoming shows from Cadillac Sky and the masterful gypsy jazz of the John Jorgenson Quintet — subscribe to our new "Words from the Wildflower" bi-weekly newsletter.
Sorry, we're not going to reveal any more details about this year's RockyGrass "To Be Announced" spot. There's nothing more we can say, except to remind you that the "Already Announced" bands include Steve Earle & the Bluegrass Dukes, Hot Rize, Sam Bush Bluegrass Band, Del McCoury Band, and many more.
Camping at Meadow Park is still available for the 37th Annual RockyGrass (July 24-26). RockyGrass tickets sold-out in May last year, and we expect something similar this year. If you're waiting to buy your Saturday single-day tickets, don't wait much longer — they're becoming scarce.
If you were able to reserve a spot at this year's RockyGrass Academy, don't forget to pay your remainder (due last week). It would be a shame to lose your opportunity to spend a week learning from Dan Crary, Jens Kruger, Byron Berline, Mark Schatz, Claire Lynch, Rob Ickes, and many others this July.
Finally, our friends at ETown are celebrating their 18th birthday later this month with special guests Ralph Stanley and Ramblin' Jack Elliott. These two icons of American music join hosts Nick and Helen Forster for a live taping at the Boulder Theater on Thursday, April 23. We'll see you there.
The Folks on Planet Bluegrass