2015 Wildflower Schedule
Rich, inspiring, and fresh music will again fill the Wildflower Pavilion this Fall.
The Pavilion is a cozy all-season indoor venue, with free parking on the Ranch; beer, wine, and other drinks at the bar; and bonfires and jams (weather permitting) by the river.
Tickets are available for all shows at shop.bluegrass.com or 303-823-0848. As always, Planet Bluegrass charges no fees on any tickets. Be sure you're signed up for the Wildflower email newsletter for all the latest news.
"All of these songs are definitely a product of being on the road," says multi-instrumentalist/singer Emily Frantz of Mandolin Orange's gorgeous new album, 'Such Jubilee,' "but they're not about the road."
"They're about home," explains songwriter/multi-instrumentalist/singer Andrew Marlin. "Not because we were missing it, but because when you're gone so much, you start realizing what you have and what's waiting for you. You realize there's this place to come back to at the end of the journey, and that's where a lot of these songs come from."
The road has been good to Mandolin Orange since the 2013 release of 'This Side of Jordan.' NPR called the album "effortless and beautiful," naming it one of the year's best folk/Americana releases, while Magnet dubbed it "magnificent," and American Songwriter said it was "honest music, shot through with coed harmonies, sweeping fiddle, mandolin, acoustic guitar and the sort of unfakeable intimacy that bonds simpatico musicians like Gillian Welch and David Rawlings." The record earned them performances everywhere from the iconic Newport Folk Festival to Pickathon, as well as tours with Willie Watson, Gregory Alan Isakov, The Wood Brothers, and more.
"When you play these festivals, you start meeting all these other people doing what you're doing," says Marlin. "There are so many musicians together in one place and you become part of this community. We got to hang out with Tim O'Brien and Peter Rowan and Norman Blake. Sitting down and talking to them and playing with them, you get to see the personal side of them rather than the hero side."
"With all the touring and festivals, you look around and realize, 'OK we're actually doing this now,'" adds Frantz. "We're not just trying to do it, it's what we do, and that ties into a lot of the themes on the record."
It's at the heart of album opener 'Old Ties and Companions,' which takes stock of such rewarding moments.
"A good friend of mine and I were talking about this time in our lives - we've got all these friends playing music and everybody's playing with everybody and trading songs and it's really special," explains Marlin. "But you don't know how long that's going to be around, so we don't take this time for granted."
"Old man give me endless time," he and Frantz sing in stirring harmony. "Never let these ties sever / Cause heaven knows in all this foolin' round these times won't last forever."
To make the most of such magical, ephemeral moments, the duo set up facing each other with just a vocal and instrumental mic each in Asheville's Echo Mountain studio for the 'Such Jubilee' sessions. It proved to be the perfect setup to capture the undeniable chemistry of their live performances.
"I think a lot of times when people set out to layer tracks on a recording, they want the rhythm or a click track first," says Frantz, who initially met Marlin at a 2009 bluegrass jam in Carrboro, North Carolina. "But we've just played together for so long that subconsciously we know where all the spaces need to be and what's going to fill in afterwards. When it's just the two of us in there, we don't have to orchestrate as much ahead of time because it all just falls into place so naturally."
On "Settled Down," Marlin looks at what it takes to find that level of comfort in a relationship, singing, "Moments, just fleeting times with little wings of gold / remind us of how real we find true love in every sign of getting older." "Daylight" looks for peace in long-term companionship and trust, "That Wrecking Ball" meditates on the sometimes ravaging passage of time, and album closer "Of Which There Is No Like" is a delicate, wistful duet about coming home, literally and metaphorically.
Not all of the songs are purely introspective, though. "Jump Mountain Blues" takes its name from a town in Virginia where Marlin spent weekends growing up. According to local folklore, a Native American girl threw herself off of the mountain rather than give up her true love to marry the man of her father's choosing. Marlin conjures up a haunting vision of the father, forced to watch her ghost rise and fall again every night when he looks at the peak. "Rounder" is written in the cowboy tradition and can be heard as a statement against capital punishment, while "Blue Ruin" was penned in response to the horrific violence at Sandy Hook.
"I was thinking about all those kids who wouldn't be there on Christmas morning," says Marlin. "People can get so heated and so serious about change and addressing gun violence when something that traumatic happens, but a month or two afterwards, they've all cooled down and it's not in the forefront of their thoughts anymore. But two years later, those kids still aren't around on Christmas morning and their parents are still dealing with that."
It's a weighty moment on an album that doesn't shy away from grappling with difficult topics: intimacy, death, distance, regret. 'Such Jubilee' is a record about home, both the place and the idea. Some days it's a safe, warm, loving refuge from the world outside. Other days it's cold and empty and too quiet. Either way, it's always waiting for you at the end of the road. [less...]
For over 15 years Joshua has made his living sharing his songs, stories and knowledge across the US and Canada at festivals, concert halls, coffeehouses and dives - as a solo act, front man for roots ensemble "Steppin' In It", classic swing band "Shout Sister Shout", songwriter showcase band "The Starlight Six" and frequently as a workshop facilitator, presenter or instructor.
His music is steeped in ragtime blues, sweet jazz and real country but Davis's broad schooling in the cultural, political and musical roots of American tradition has resulted in more than a simple retelling of universal themes. Dubbed, "the Michigan version of the Great American Songscape" (Chris Reitz, Elderly Instruments), his catalog is a seamless snapshot of American past and present. Joshua has shared stages with a diverse list of luminaries, such as Tim O'Brien, Greg Brown, The Indigo Girls, Leftover Salmon, The Dixie Hummingbirds, Corey Harris, John Gorka, Jeff Daniels, Ellis Paul, The Blind Boys of Alabama, Jimmy LaFave, Ray Bonneville, Arlo Guthrie, Abigail Washburn, Larry McCray, Sunny Wilkinson, Catie Curtis, Bill Kirchen, Peter "Madcat" Ruth, Bernie Leadon, Wayne Hancock, The Verve Pipe, John Hammond, Pete Seeger and Preservation Hall Jazz Band.
Davis has released three critically acclaimed solo albums, five albums with Steppin' In It, a record of jazz standards with Shout Sister Shout, and has appeared on too many albums to count. His most recent album, "A Miracle of Birds" is inspired by his travels in the Palestinian West Bank with non-profit organization On the Ground. About the album, Revue magazine says, "His heartfelt documentation of 'people as people' offers up compassionate songs of hope, darkness and perseverance."
Joshua has performed live on the internationally syndicated programs Mountain Stage, Woodsongs Old-Time Radio Hour and Backstage Pass. His songs have been featured on NPR's All Songs Considered, Folk Alley and The Mix and he has played scores of prestigious festivals and venues not to mention every festival Michigan has to offer.
His music receives regular airplay across the US and has been heard in at least 180 countries. His records have consistently appeared on major independent and free-format radio charts. Among other honors, "Fool Rooster" earned the album of the year slot from Progressive Torch and Twang, a cult favorite Americana show on WDBM, "Magnolia Belles" won Americana album of the year from WYCE, "Simple Tunes for Troubled Times" was one of Folk Alley's best albums of 2009 and Shout Sister Shout's "Hit That Jive" reached #1 on the Roots Music Report jazz chart and was the longest charting jazz album of that year.
Davis has gained recognition as an enthusiastic and successful songwriting and guitar instructor and folk historian. He has studied under greats such as Guy Clark, Steve Earle, John Hartford, Greg Brown, Tim O'Brien, Lyle Lovett, Michael Smith, and Tom Paxton and Dr. Bruce Conforth as well as Bela Fleck, Casey Driessen, and Roy Book Binder.
Joshua is a respected producer and has built a small but excellent home studio, pointing to his work with Grammy and Oscar winning producers and audio engineers Glenn Brown, Sally Van Meter and David Glasser.
Josh is especially interested in the ways in which music brings individuals and communities together, to foster peace and understanding. He's noticed that songs can re-soundtrack people's lives and peoples' lives too. In February of 2012, he travelled to Palestine and Israel with non-profit org On the Ground to participate as "cultural emissary" in the Run Across Palestine, a fund raising ultra-marathon in support of fair trade farming communities in the West Bank.
Davis has just released "A Miracle of Birds", an album inspired by his experience in the Holy Land. Half of the proceeds will mean olive trees and educational scholarships for the farmers and families he encountered during his travels. The songs are deeply personal and deal with his struggle between his Jewish identity and the oppression and confusion he found in the Middle East. Josh brings a unique program to schools and communities that combines his music and stories about the trip as well as club dates with a world-class six-piece band.
His greatest honor as a writer came recently when the Michigan Historical Museum recognized his work in "Put It On Paper", an exhibit examining the creative process alongside legendary creative minds such as Ernest Hemingway and Laura Ingalls-Wilder.
Joshua and his lovely and brilliant wife live in Traverse City, Michigan with their daughter and son. [less...]
2015 Wildflower Concert Series
- Friday, March 27 - Ellis w/ Justin Roth
- Friday, April 10 - Head For The Hills w/ Rumpke Mountain Boys
- Friday, April 17 - Lindsay Lou & the Flatbellys and The Lil' Smokies
- Friday, May 1 - The Railsplitters CD Release show (Sold-out!)
- Friday, May 8 - Front Country w/ Ragged Union
- Saturday, September 19 - 8th Annual Mabon Concert featuring Adam Aijala & Ben Kaufmann
The never-ending sound of backhoes, dump trucks, excavators, and construction crews as we rebuild the Planet Bluegrass Ranch from the September 2013 flood.
2013 Wildflower Concert Series
- Saturday, April 27 - Rob Ickes & Jim Hurst
- Friday, April 26 - Danny Shafer w/ Lindsay Lou & the Flatbellys
- Friday, April 19 - Mountain Standard Time w/ Gipsy Moon
- Friday, April 12 - Peter Mayer w/ Bella Betts
- Friday, April 5 - The Hillbenders w/ Finnders & Youngberg
- Friday, March 29 - Whitewater Ramble w/Caravan of Thieves
- September 11 - Epic 500-year flood devastates Planet Bluegrass and the Wildflower Pavilion
2012 Wildflower Concert Series
- Friday, November 2 - Pert Near Sandstone with Trout Steak Revival
- Friday, October 26 - Abigail Washburn & Kai Welch with Cahalen Morrison & Eli West (sold-out!)
- Saturday, October 20 - Jesse Winchester (*Cancelled*)
- Friday, October 19 - Grant Farm with Interstate Stash Express
- Saturday, September 22 - Mabon Celebration featuring Adam Aijala & Ben Kaufmann
- Sunday, September 9 - Sierra Hull & Highway 111
- Friday, March 23 - Danielle Ate The Sandwich & Haunted Windchimes
- Friday, March 9 - Girlyman (sold-out!)
2011 Wildflower Concert Series
- Friday, October 7 – Solas
- Saturday, September 17 – Mabon Celebration featuring Adam Aijala & Ben Kaufmann (sold-out!)
- Friday, September 9 – Bill Monroe Centennial Celebration featuring Long Road Home, Blue Canyon Boys, Pete & Joan Wernick, The Stanleytones, Mountain Holler & The Jaspers (sold-out!)
- Friday, May 6, - Greensky Bluegrass (sold-out!)
- Friday, April 15 - Ellis w/ special guest Driftwood Fire
- Friday, April 8 - Missy Raines & the New Hip w/ special guest Jayme Stone & Room of Wonders
- Friday, March 25 - Packway Handle Band w/ special guest Whitewater Ramble
- Friday, March 18 - Elephant Revival w/ special guest Reed Foehl (sold-out!)
- Friday, March 11 - Girlyman w/ special guests Coyote Grace (sold-out!)
2010 Wildflower Concert Series
- Saturday, October 2 - Fourmile Community Fundraiser featuring Raomano Paoletti Band & Spring Creek
- Saturday, September 18 - Mabon Celebration featuring Adam Aijala & Ben Kaufmann
- Saturday, March 27 - Chatham County Line w/ MilkDrive
- Friday, April 9 - Pete Wernick & Flexigrass and Long Road Home
- Friday, April 16 - Head for the Hills and Town Mountain
- Friday, May 14 - Anne & Pete Sibley w/ Martha Scanlan
2009 Wildflower Concert Series
- Saturday, November 7 - David Grier & Mike Compton
- Saturday, October 24 - Greensky Bluegrass
- Saturday, October 17 - WPA (Works Progress Administration) w/ Dan Craig Band
- Friday, October 9 - Boulder Acoustic Society & Gregory Alan Isakov
- Saturday, September 19 - Mabon Celebration with Adaim Aijala & Ben Kaufmann with special guest Darol Anger
- Friday, September 11 - Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros w/ Ian Cooke
- Friday, September 4 - Romano Paoletti w/ Gin Wagon
- Friday, May 15 - Cadillac Sky w/ Kort McCumber
- Thursday, May 7 - John Jorgenson Quintet
- Saturday, April 25 - The Moody Sisters & Elephant Revival
- Thursday, April 16 - Michelle Shocked
- Saturday, April 11 - Reed Foehl, Jefferson Hamer & Jami Lunde
- Thursday, March 5 - John Cowan Band
The 2008 Wildflower Concert Season
- Saturday, October 18 - The Greencards
- Friday, October 10 - Darrell Scott
- Friday, October 3 - Packway Handle Band w/ Riverbend
- Saturday, September 20 - Mabon Celebration with Ben Kaufmann & Adam Aijala
- Thursday, September 11 - Paper Bird w/ Gregory Alan Isakov
- Thursday, July 17 - William Eaton
- Friday, May 2 - More Pretty Girls Than One...II: Colorado Women in Bluegrass
The Inaugural 2007 Wildflower Concert Series
- Saturday, October 20 - Michelle Shocked
- Wednesday, October 10 - Mountain Heart
- Wednesday, October 3 - Mindy Smith
- Thursday, September 27 - Stephen Kellogg & the Sixers
- Saturday, September 22 - Mabon Celebration with Ben Kaufmann & Adam Aijala
- Thursday, September 13 - Drew Emmitt Band
- Friday, September 7 - Tim O'Brien (Wildflower grand opening Celebration!)
View photos from these special evenings on Planet Bluegrass.