For more than 10 years, RockyGrass has remained free of Knuckleheads. But late next Saturday night in the Wildflower Pavilion, that will all change as the Western and country quartet from the border town of Wyoming, Montana returns to the festival.
Today's Longmont Times-Call asked Tim O'Brien about the band that has ridden in the back of the Hot Rize bus for decades: “I see that RockyGrass has scheduled them after-hours on a side stage. That seems to endorse my opinion of them. I’ll be staying in that evening.”
But for lucky Saturday ticket-holders to this year's sold-out festival, the choice will be theirs: retire to the campsite for some late night pickin', or hang out with Red, Wendell Mercantile, Waldo Otto, and newest member Swade in the Wildflower.
As if Steve Earle & the Bluegrass Dukes and the legendary Earl Scruggs weren't enough for a fulfilling day of music, Red Knuckles & the Trailblazers will take the Wildflower Pavilion stage at 11pm on Saturday - a half hour after music ends on the main stage. Your Saturday ticket (or 3-day pass) gets you into the show.
We'll continue to serve New Belgium beer inside the Wildflower Pavilion. But if you're not camping with us, be aware that the shuttle buses to the parking area will not run late on Saturday night. So you'll need to plan for the 10-minute walk back to your car after the Trailblazers show. Don't worry about missing your tarp line number for the following day, we promise not to hand those out until sometime after the show has let out.
If you're planning to wait in line next week for on-site camping (and it's certainly not necessary), please take a look at our new camping line policy. In particular, note that you may not begin lining up until 4pm on Sunday, July 19.
Enough about rules and regulations, let's talk about bluegrass... Sarah Jarosz's excellent debut CD was just named the #29 best album of 2009 by the Amazon music editors. Check out the video interview with Pete "Dr. Banjo" Wernick as he talks about and tours his riverside music cabin in Niwot. Finally, expect an announcement of the RockyGrass "TBA" spot at around 6:40pm on Sunday, July 26.
As a sustainable festivarian, please remember: pack your "festivarian toolkit" (vintage beer cups, reusable water bottle, reusable utensils, sturdy festival chair, reusable bag); plan to carpool or ride your bike to the festival (we'll have carbon-free bicycle parking on-site); and organize a creative, clean, sustainable campsite for the 3rd Annual Campsite Challenge - nominate yourself or one of your camping neighbors for a chance to win a pair of 2010 on-site camping passes and other prizes.
If you missed out on tickets to this year's sold-out RockyGrass, be sure to tune in to the live Saturday morning broadcast on KGNU (88.5fm / 1390am, www.kgnu.org) from 9am to 1pm. They'll be featuring interviews and live performances from the festival, including some Friday highlights.
And keep an eye on our Facebook page (become a fan at facebook.com/planetbluegrass) and Twitter feed (follow us at twitter.com/planetbluegrass). We'll be sharing a variety of updates throughout the festival.
After listening to nearly 700 submissions to the Folks Festival Songwriter Showcase, our panel of industry experts is convinced the art of the song is alive and well in festivarian nation. Congratulations to the 10 finalists who will be performing for us Friday, August 14 on the Folks Festival stage.
Tickets and camping are still available for our celebration of songs, stories, and summertime - the 19th Annual Rocky Mountain Folks Festival (Aug 14-16) at the Planet Bluegrass Ranch in Lyons.
Folks Fest is the perfect festival to share with a friend who has never known the magic of the festivarian life. Gather your family (12 and under are free, as always), rally a couple neighbors, and plan to join us for our summit on the song. Tickets are available at shop.bluegrass.com or 800-624-2422.
Need more reasons? How about Susan Tedeschi, Brett Dennen, Madeleine Peyroux, Rufus Wainwright, and the legendary Don McLean ("Miss American Pie"). Or mention the names Gillian Welch, M. Ward, and Blind Pilot to your hip/indie friends and watch their eyes light up. Or simply share a photo of yourself, reclining in the river, watching the kids playing on the beach, soaking up the musical magic... Pretty close to paradise.
For your Folks Fest prep: Check out the video interview with Gillian Welch talking about her and David Rawlings' new albums; or set aside some time and watch Peter Himmelman's online show "The Furious World". Reviews are appearing for the premiere of Rufus Wainwright's opera last week in Manchester, England. If you've never listened to the gorgeous vocals of Over the Rhine, fire up the free "Record Player" on their website to quickly find out why they're so beloved.
We're less than a month away from our "summit on the song." You make your plans; we'll work on the weather...
NPR named Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros a Song of the Day (and eventually Song of the Week), calling their joyous folk-rock "a freewheeling celebration rooted in unmistakable affection." The 10-member band from L.A. will be making their Colorado debut on Friday, Sept. 11 in the Wildflower Pavilion. Their debut CD is one of our favorites of the summer and their live show is a glorious sight to behold. Unlike anything we've ever seen. Tickets are available now at wildflowerpavilion.com.
Then on Friday, October 9 we welcome two of Colorado's hottest bands - the old-time meets punk of Boulder Acoustic Society and the gorgeous songwriting of 2007 Telluride Troubadour winner Gregory Alan Isakov & the Freight. Both of these bands won our hearts on last year's Folks Fest stage; both of these bands are attracting enormous buzz around the country; both of these bands make us proud to be living in Colorado... and even more excited to be living near the Wildflower Pavilion in October.
We're busy confirming more shows for the fall, including a special evening of bluegrass duets. For the latest Wildflower info, subscribe to our "Words from the Wildflower" email and watch our Facebook page.
The Del McCoury Band will be arriving in Colorado a day early for a special live taping of the etown radio show at the Boulder Theater next Thursday, July 23. He'll be sharing the broadcast with the exciting (and unique) pairing of Eddie Kowalczyk from the rock band Live. Tickets are available now at BoulderTheater.com.
Finally, it's not too late to share your thoughts about Telluride Bluegrass in our online survey. Your feedback is vitally important to us as we strive to improve all our events year after year. We'll be listening for your comments again after RockyGrass. Look for a link to that RockyGrass survey at bluegrass.com right after the festival.
If you're still looking for RockyGrass tickets, don't give up hope - have a look at our Festivarian Forum. Ticket trades are still happening. We really hope to see you in Lyons next week.
The Folks on Planet Bluegrass