2015 Wildflower Schedule

Rich, inspiring, and fresh music will again fill the Wildflower Pavilion starting early this Spring. 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) 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.

Friday, March 27
Ellis
Reopening celebration with whole-hearted singer-songwriter...
  • Friday, March 27, 2015
  • 8pm show / 7pm doors (All Ages)
  • Tickets: $15 advance / $20 door Purchase Now
There's just something about Ellis. She is at once funny and wise, thoughtful and uninhibited, and her captivating voice is matched by her uplifting lyrics. If you looked up the definition of open-hearted in the dictionary, you just might find her photo there. Ellis' performances are transformational; she leaves her audiences better than she finds them, with softened edges & opened hearts. A veteran of both the Telluride Bluegrass and the Rocky Mtn Folks Festival stages, a longtime instructor at The Song School, and a beloved member of the Planet Bluegrass musical family, we are thrilled to welcome Ellis to christen the reopening of the Wildflower Concert Series after the September 2013 flood. Top
Friday, April 10
Head for the Hills
Post-bluegrass, progressive stringband...
  • Friday, April 10, 2015
  • 8pm show / 7pm doors (All Ages)
  • Tickets: $17 advance / $20 door Purchase Now
Head for the Hills has a simple but continuing dilemma they can't seem to resolve. Specialists have been hired to no avail and the predicament persists: how does one describe the multifarious music of Head for the Hills? Among the top contenders are catchy turns of phrase like post-bluegrass, progressive string music, modern acoustic noir, and bluegrass bricolage. "On top of modern string music," (Bluegrass Today), "Cutting edge," (Drew Emmitt) or "Best in Colorado Bluegrass" (Westword Showcase Readers Poll)—those are up there too. [more...] Strip away the artful descriptors and you have a forward thinking group of {mostly} acoustic musicians drawing on eclectic influences, tastes and styles. They didn't grow up immersed in bluegrass music but came to it later in life, with each other. The result is a sound based in bluegrass that reaches into indie rock, jazz, hip hop, world and folk to stitch together fresh songs that bridge the divide between past and future acoustic music. Head for the Hills—Adam Kinghorn on Guitar and vocals, Joe Lessard on violin and vocals, Matt Loewen on upright bass and vocals and Mike Chappell on acoustic and electric mandolins—has been bringing their music, whatever you'd like to call it, to audiences from the Telluride Bluegrass Festival to South by Southwest and a multitude of stages in between since 2004. The band has independently issued two studio records and one live, been featured on NPR Ideastream and eTown, co-released a beer with Odell Brewing Company in May 2013 and charted on the CMJ Top 200 (Blue Ruin, 2013 and Head for the Hills, 2010).  Blue Ruin, an all-new album of original material is available now.

Meta-fictional sea shanties.  Pop-infused newgrass murder ballads and urbane lyricism. Twang and punch. Head for the Hills' fourth record, Blue Ruin, fuses bluegrass, jazz, hip-hop and indie rock into songs inspired by love and misery and comic books. Featuring twelve new original songs marked by moving narratives and stellar musicianship, Blue Ruin showcases the quartet's contemporary take on acoustic music; embracing the bluegrass pedigree while looking forward. Recorded and mixed in Fort Collins, Colorado at Swingfingers Studios with ace engineer and banjoist Aaron Youngberg (Martha Scanlan, Cahalen Morrison and Eli West), Blue Ruin features contributions from Andy Hall (The Infamous Stringdusters), James Thomas, Gabe Mervine (The Motet), and more. Renowned screen print artist Timothy Doyle (Muse, The Black Keys, Lucas Films, NASA) created the stunning cover art and Grammy Award-winning mastering engineer David Glasser rounds out the production team. This is Head for the Hills at their most artistically fulfilled: self-produced and in top form. Blue Ruin is more than just a "bluegrass" record—it's a Head for the Hills record.

A quintessential Colorado band, Head for the Hills has been fortunate to work with many of the area greats, starting with Grammy Award winning Dobroist Sally Van Meter, producer of 2007's Robber's Roost. Legacy Colorado musician and LeftoverSalmon mandolin player Drew Emmitt came in to produce 2010's Head for the Hills. The list goes on, with a bevy of talent from Colorado and beyond surrounding 2010's Head for the Hills; including Grammy Award winning mixing engineer Vance Powell (Jack White, The Raconteurs), technical wizard and Pink Floyd re-master engineer Gus Skinas, Anders Beck (Greensky Bluegrass), Kyle James Hauser (Sonablast! Recording Artist) and keyboardist James Thomas, with String Cheese Incident guitarist and Colorado mainstay Billy Nershi rounding out the lineup as studio host and collaborator. In 2012 Head for the Hills released their first live record (Live). Captured in high fidelity sound & culled from 5 great nights in Colorado, Live is just that; the band live and unadorned, performing favorite original material and select covers.

Here are a few of the things people all over the country have been saying about Head for the Hills: "Cutting edge. Listeners will fully enjoy this unique sound," Drew Emmitt (Leftover Salmon); "Head for the Hills possesses that secret ingredient," Ryan Dembinsky (Glide Magazine, Hidden Track); "Critics Picks-What we think you should hear at SxSW," (Austin Statesman/360.com); "Summer Stars" (Relix Magazine); "Fiery and precise – what modern bluegrass should be," City Weekly (Salt Lake City, UT); "A very modern indie rock approach to bluegrass," Daily Herald (Provo, UT); "Colorado Neo-bluegrassers Head for the Hills combine old and new and carry the torch for a new generation," Ryan Heinsius (Flagstaff Live); "Rising stars of the acoustic string scene," (BluegrassLA); "The band is standing shoulder-to-shoulder with many of their predecessors, and in the process creating their chapter in the ever-continuing story of bluegrass," (Marquee Magazine); "Reshaping the genre as a whole," Sam Sanborn (Oregon Music News); "The name Head for the Hills connotes hightailing it, running away. Yeah right. From the growing crowd of fans in hot pursuit," Susan Viebrock (Telluride Inside & Out); "Supremely satisfying," Eric Podolsky (Jambase.com). [less...]
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Friday, April 17
Smart bluegrass from Michigan and Montana...
  • Friday, April 17, 2015
  • 8pm show / 7pm doors (All Ages)
  • Tickets: $15 advance / $20 door Purchase Now
Greensky Bluegrass mandolinist Paul Hoffman raves about Lindsay Lou: "Lindsay's soulful voice, intriguing lyrics and creative melodies are passionate and captivating. The interplay between dobro and mandolin is elegant and so sonically pleasant that it's deceptively simple. It's sexy. Unique harmonies elevate amazing songs to unexpected heights." On their new album, Ionia, blazing hot Michigan roots ensemble Lindsay Lou & The Flatbellys rest on the cusp of change, poised at that moment where everything shifts into high gear and time rushes forward. [more...] As a tight-as-hardwood stringband, these ace players know how to sustain this moment expertly, relishing the tension between the past, which keeps pulling them backwards, and the future they're about to rush into. You can hear this tension musically on their new album, especially on the leading song "Hot Hands," which rabbits playfully between off meters, rapid-fire picking, stop-and-go bass lines, and steamy vocals that surge back and forth. There's incredible kinetic motion in this music, a sense of movement so exacting and precise that it's almost architectural. The instruments and the bedrock of the band may come from bluegrass, but the music that Lindsay Lou & The Flatbellys present on their new album Ionia can best be described as Americana. This is music that's caught between the pull of the past and the push of the beckoning future, ready to leap forward bursting with new ideas and youthful energy. David Grier sums up how we fell about the Flatbellys: "Phrasing, tone, emotion, it's all there. Effortless seemingly. Simply mesmerizing. Riveting! Don't miss the musical force that is Lindsay Lou."

Hailing from the utopian garden city of Missoula, MT, The Lil' Smokies exploded onto the progressive bluegrass scene in the winter of 2009 and haven't shown any signs of fatigue since. Sharing the stage with heavyweights like Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers, The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Keller Williams, Greensky Bluegrass, The Emmit-Nershi Band, Yonder Mountain String Band, The Travellin' McCourys, Sam Bush Band, Fruition, Infamous Stringdusters, Bradford Lee Folk and The Bluegrass Playboys, and dozens of others, The Lil' Smokies have no problem captivating large audiences. With a unique blend of traditional bluegrass, newgrass, unique original compositions, and sheer raw energy, The Lil' Smokies weave seamlessly through genres, leaving something for everyone. Most recently, they were honored by the International Bluegrass Music Awards (IBMA 2014) with a nomination for the Momentum in Bluegrass Band Award. This six-piece bluegrass ensemble features, Pete Barrett (guitar), Andy Dunnigan (dobro), Scott Parker (upright bass), Matt Cornette (banjo), Cameron Wilson (mandolin), and Jesse Brown (Fiddle).[less...]
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Friday, May 1
The Railsplitters
Special CD Release celebration...
  • Friday, May 1, 2015
  • 8pm show / 7pm doors (All Ages)
  • Tickets: $15 advance / $20 door Purchase Now
From their home in the Colorado Rockies, The Railsplitters have been scaling new heights with a refreshing and charming range of bluegrass and beyond-bluegrass music. For a debut album, The Railsplitters sound remarkably assured, playing with the kind of abandon their live shows are known for. Bringing real depth and formidable talent, this group draws influences from all the greats--from Bill Monroe and Earl Scruggs to modern groups like Uncle Earl and Crooked Still. [more...] The Railsplitters are nothing if not enthusiastically bluegrass and contagiously so, with rapid tempos, unusual instrumentals and good-time breakdowns! Using powerful female and male vocals, enchanting harmonies, and masterful instrumentals, The Railsplitters have the kind of raw power that can raise mountains and even a few eyebrows.

The Railsplitters' debut album starts off with a nostalgic homage to lead singer Lauren Stovall's hometown of Jackson, Mississippi, "The City With Soul." As a singer, Lauren has certainly got soul, and plenty of it! And while Lauren is giving Alison Krauss a run for her money, Peter Sharpe andDusty Rider are masterfully pickin' the mandolin and banjo (respectively). Lauren, Peter, and Dusty, along with innovative upright bassist Leslie Ziegler, all sing on the album and are now joined by the group's newest member, world class fiddle player, Christine King, who adds to The Railsplitters' impressive songwriting.

The quintet usually starts by writing their songs individually and then come together to develop them as a group. This songwriting interplay adds a special addition to an already broad diversity of styles and genres on the album. From dance numbers like "Lonesome Feeling," to modulated instrumental numbers like "Longs Peak," to sweet ballads like "Where You Are," The Railsplitters have a song for every kind of mood.

The Railsplitters have a musical range that sets them apart from other up-and-coming bluegrass bands. Calling on genre influences from Roots/Americana, Country Twang, 50's doo wop, modern pop, and of course, good ol' fashioned Rock 'n' Roll, they've been wowing listeners at home in Colorado and beyond. Since their beginning in early 2012, The Railsplitters have won two major contests: 2012 Pickin' In The Pines in Flagstaff, Arizona and 2013 Rockygrass in Lyons, Colorado!

At the core, The Railsplitters are a high energy, bluegrass roots quintet whose vocals soar well above all the blue in the sky. With luminous vocal clarity, unclouded songwriting talent, and exceptional musical range, this high energy group will be growing far beyond Colorado's Front Range in no time!  [less...]
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Friday, May 8
Front Country
Telluride and RockyGrass band contest winners...
with special guests
  • Friday, May 8, 2015
  • 8pm show / 7pm doors (All Ages)
  • Tickets: $15 advance / $20 door Purchase Now
Coming out of the California Bay Area's red-hot roots music scene, Front Country first made waves with a rare double band competition win at both the Telluride and Rockygrass music festivals. Following national tours and invites to prestigious events like Wintergrass and IBMA, anticipation has been mounting for their debut full-length album. Wanting to create something that pushed their sound even further, Front Country recruited renowned instrumentalist, composer, and songwriter Kai Welch (Abigail Washburn, Bela Fleck) to produce Sake of the Sound. [more...] With Welch at the helm, Front Country were able to unite their many far-reaching musical influences and inspirations and do credit to their electrifying live show. The songs on the new album are sourced from all across the Americana spectrum (Utah Philips, Bob Dylan, Kate Wolf), but each cover brings a fresh, new perspective. Front Country truly shines when the original songs of lead singer Melody Walker give them room to flex. "Colorado" is a gorgeously crafted showcase to both Walker's voice and the understated power of each instrumentalist in Front Country. Melody's songs draw out Front Country's furthest reaching interests in music. Her title song "Sake of the Sound", a song about the rapture of music set in the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, references Paul Simon's "Graceland" or Michael Jackson's "Thriller" as easily as new-wave progressive bluegrass bands like Crooked Still or The Punch Brothers, and even dips into Melody and Jacob's interests in ethnomusicology and Afro Pop. With a global span of interests, and world-class talent, it's no wonder Front Country's bluegrass sounds like it was born in a new century.

From the first notes of "Gospel Train," as Melody Walker's soaring voice entwines around the phrase "I woke up with heaven on my mind," you'll hear that Front Country isn't your usual bluegrass band. When the fiddle and distorted acoustic guitar come crashing into the song like roaring waves, rushing back and forth withswelling ferocity, you'll know that this is bluegrass unleashed, American roots music that refuses to be constrained. Each song on the album points to traditional influences, but it's clear that Front Country views these traditions as a launching pad for grander explorations. On their highly anticipated debut full-length album, Sake of the Sound, Front Country blend everything from high-lonesome mountain music to new-wave power pop, newgrass picking, oldgrass harmonies, and just plain glorious musicality. This is Americana at its best: music with deep roots and wide-ranging vision. [less...]
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2013 Wildflower Concert Series

2012 Wildflower Concert Series

2011 Wildflower Concert Series

2010 Wildflower Concert Series

2009 Wildflower Concert Series

The 2008 Wildflower Concert Season

The Inaugural 2007 Wildflower Concert Series

View photos from these special evenings on Planet Bluegrass.