2017 FirstGrass Concert: June 14, 5-8pm

Festivarians at FirstGrass (photo Benko Photographics)
2017 FirstGrass poster

For 16 years now Yonder Mountain String Band has officially "kicked-off" Telluride Bluegrass with their Wednesday night show at the Telluride Conference Center. Nine years ago we decided that kick-off needed a kick-off of its own...

On Wednesday, June 14 we invite you to board the free gondola from Telluride to Mountain Village for this free outdoor show in the inspiring Sunset Plaza. From 5-8pm, we're excited to present the stunning vocals of powerful acoustic duo Freddy & Francine followed by the hilarious GrassHipPop family Bluegrass band The Cleverlys. What better way to begin your Telluride Bluegrass than with this cherished Festivarian tradition in Mountain Village.

Sunset Plaza in Mountain Village

Sunset Plaza is located along Mountain Village Boulevard in the heart of it all -- the Village Center. Well-located with easy access of the gondola, Sunset Plaza is aptly named because of its west-facing orientation resulting in great sun exposure and amazing sunset views.

Sunset Plaza in Mountain Village (photo Benko Photographics)
Sunset Plaza in Mountain Village
(photo Benko Photographics)

Sunset Plaza is easily accessible by foot or gondola. Once in the Village Center, stroll through Heritage Plaza and Conference Center Plaza where many of the town’s shops and restaurants are located before following the cobblestone walkway to Sunset Plaza.

As always, the gondola from Telluride provides a breathtaking (and free) means of traveling to Mountain Village. Plan to spend the evening in Mountain Village - dining at one of the numerous great restaurants, wandering the shops, taking in the spectacular views, and enjoying the official first bluegrass of the 44th Annual Telluride Bluegrass Festival.

2017 FirstGrass Artists

The Cleverlys
We are a family Bluegrass band from a remote thicket of Stone County Arkansas. We hope you enjoy our GrassHipPop Fusion music! I am Digger Cleverly Sr. I have two boys, Digger Jr, and Digger Jr.Jr.. I hate to name drop, but I have played music with everyone from Terk Blitzer to Diamond Cherry. You might remember my #89 hit record "Dry Huntch" from Stabbin Cabin records. I also wrote "Good thang you got two" for the Rickets, and toured all over the county with them for three solid days back in the '80s. I took over my daddy’s band the Cleverly Trio, which was founded by him and his four brothers. I decided to really make something out of the group. I play Guitar and do most of the lead sangin. [more...]

Vernon Dean "VD" Cleverly is my oldest brother. He left home as a teenager, didn’t leave momma a note or nothing, and run off with a bunch of "long hairs" called the Rainbow Family. He ate dirt and roots, run around naked wearin' nothing but his banjo and a cowboy hat. He plays banjo, guitar, jaw-bone and sangs the low harmonies.

Munk is our youngest brother. You might remember him from being the power forward on Unites States Olympic Donkey Basketball team, till he bit his tongue off during a game. His name was Mark till he bit that tongue off. Now its…Munk.  Munk plays Mando, and bout anything with strings on it. He sangs the best harmonies in the family, guess its cause of that new bionic tongue.

Ricky Lloyd is our sister Delva’s boy. He goes by Lloyd, the first L is silent. He loves nature, and chemical dumps. He loves to give back, in fact, he wants me to tell you about his charitable exploits. He wants to invite you all to his annual benefit squirrel hunt to raise money for save the whales. Y’all come out to Cleverly Mountain, second week of October, and for three days we kill the crap outta every squirrel we see! We donate a dollar fifteen to Save the Whale for every mutilated tree rat, then we eat em. So have a heart…kill a squirrel and save a whale. Lloyd plays Bass, phonograph sound machine, and is our spoken word expert. He is huge in the Amish Rave Scene. [less...]

Freddy & Francine
Freddy & Francine is an Americana-Soul duo comprised of Bianca Caruso & Lee Ferris.  With voices reminiscent of Aretha Franklin & Van Morrison, their songs blend Soul, R&B, Folk, and Americana with a modern, yet timeless appeal to all ages. "Ferris and Caruso have found their respective vocal soulmates, the kind of perfect harmonies that send a gripping shiver down the backbone of the listener" says The Deli Magazine. No Depression says, "Freddy & Francine currently top my list.  There is definitely a palpable chemistry between these musicians, with their vocals blending like milk and honey." Freddy & Francine have released 2 EPs & 3 full length records since 2008.  Their latest, "Gung Ho" was produced by renowned producer Todd Sickafoose (Ani DiFranco, Andrew Bird, Anais Mitchell) and featured members of Ryan Adams, Rufus Wainwright, and Andrew Bird’s touring bands. ​National audiences continue to be drawn to the duo as they “bring it all out on stage from a lullaby so sweet you’d swear a choir of angels were harmonizing just for you; to gut-busting, foot stomping tunes befitting a New Orleans gospel choir" (Flagstaff AZ Daily Sun).

The FirstGrass Concert is completely free thanks to a partnership between Planet Bluegrass and the Town of Mountain Village.

Planet BluegrassTown of Mountain Village