"Home is where I want to be, Pick me up and turn me round...
(Yes, David Byrne is playing the 36th Telluride Bluegrass Festival. We'll give you a minute to catch your breath...)
For over thirty years David Byrne has crafted remarkable music by finding the sacred in the profane, whether as the frontman of Talking Heads, as an eclectic and acclaimed solo artist, as an inspired visual artist, writer, and fascinating intellect. When David joins us in June in our spiritual home in Town Park, a place that is dearly sacred to so many festivarians, he will help us all to dig a little deeper to find creativity and art in every moment we share. Together we will dance; together we will sing out; and together we will create something truly magical in our sacred place.
The Telluride lineup additions continue... Conor Oberst, the leader of Bright Eyes and the artist Rolling Stone magazine called the best songwriter of 2008, joins us in Telluride with the Mystic Valley Band. Indie darling (and co-founder of Rilo Kiley) Jenny Lewis shares the same stage as one of her biggest admirers, Elvis Costello (watch them duet).
Most bands would have peaked with a performance in the film Titanic (the Irish pub band), 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 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. USA Today writes: "No one captures the eerie, gorgeous menace of classic Anglo-American folk ballads like [Crooked Still]." After personally screening his award-winning film, Throw Down Your Heart, Bela Fleck returns in June with Toumani Diabate, the Malian master of the kora (a 21-string West African harp).
And we're not done yet. Look for more major artist additions in a couple weeks along with the announcement of single-day lineups - and the release of single-day tickets. But there's no need to wait - four-day passes and camping are on-sale now. Forward this email along to your festivarian family, purchase your tickets, then start sharing the "festivipation" at the Festivarian Forum.
Gosh, we have so much exciting news to share...
With the confirmation that Rufus Wainwright will be playing the 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." We call him one of the most boldly original artists of our day.
He'll be joined in Lyons this August by the expressive singer/songwriter/guitarist Susan Tedeschi; one of the most important songwriters to ever call Scotland his home, Dougie MacLean; the youthful grooves and exuberance for life of Brett Dennen; the Southern soul of JJ Grey & Mofro; and a couple of our favorite young troubadours Joe Pug and Chuck E. Costa.
Tickets, camping, Forum, holiday tix.
Last fall we decided that there simply wasn't enough music on the Planet Bluegrass Ranch throughout the year. So a lot of welding and woodworking later, we finished construction of seasonal doors for our cathedral of bluegrass, the Wildflower Pavilion. As we christen the first-ever winter/spring concert series, we couldn't think of a more perfect artist to fill the (newly enclosed) Pavilion with sound than the voice of newgrass, John Cowan. Tickets for the John Cowan Band on Thursday, March 5 are available now.
We continue the new series in 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.
We're just about ready to announce the final single-day lineups for RockyGrass. Look for that in our next "Notes from the Planet." We've been busy.