Triple Played: State music festivals are varied
Summer in Colorado means music festival season with something for every music loving festival-goer.
There already have been festivals in Denver, Greenwood Village, Black Forest, Georgetown, Dolores and, just last weekend, in Palisade.
Some of the upcoming festivals we have received promo posters for that look interesting are:
■ Jazz Aspen Snowmass’ June Festival with Jackson Browne, Ben Harper and Charlie Musselwhite at the Benedict Music Tent in Aspen from June 21 though July 6.
■ Westword Music Showcase with Dada Life, Trampled by Turtle and Nick Waterhouse at various venues in Broadway’s Golden Triangle neighborhood on June 22.
■ Ride Festival with David Byrne & St. Vincent, Big Head Todd & the Monsters and Rodrigo y Gabriela at Telluride Town Park in Telluride on July 13–14.
■ RockyGrass with the Del McCoury Band, Carolina Chocolate Drops and Keller Williams at the Planet Bluegrass Ranch in Lyons on July 26–28.
■ Rocky Mountain Folks Festival with John Butler Trio, Patty Griffin and Colin Meloy (of the Decemberists) at the Planet Bluegrass Ranch in Lyons on Aug. 16–18.
■ Jazz Aspen Snowmass’ Labor Day Festival with Jason Mraz, Keith Urban and Journey at Snowmass Town Park in Snowmass on Aug. 30 and Sept. 1.
■ Telluride Blues & Brews with the Black Crowes, Melissa Etheridge and Jim James at Telluride Town Park in Telluride on Sept. 13–17.
The Telluride Bluegrass Festival, set for Thursday through Sunday, June 20–23,is Bluegrass in name only at this point.
It is also one of the most popular outdoor music festivals in Colorado, if not the entire country. In my opinion, no other festival compares to Telluride when it comes to the quality and diversity of music at such a beautiful venue.
You might see anything from Del McCoury to Wilco to the Alabama Shakes to Peter Rowan because the festival always has been about the music.
Thursday through Sunday, June 20–23, also are the dates for Country Jam in Mack. This is one festival I have never attended and don’t plan to. As a customer who is in one of the valley’s most popular bands said on Thursday, “I have been offered free tickets almost every year and still haven’t gone.”
For a lot of folks, Country Jam is more about the “social” part of an event than it is about music. Dwight Yoakam and the Desert Rose Band are the only acts I would have liked to have seen there.
In my opinion, the most important concert of the summer in the Grand Valley is Bruce Hornsby & the Noisemakers on July 16 at the Colorado River State Park in Fruita. This concert is a fundraiser for the Riverfront Concert Series.
Without question, the free Riverfront Concert Series that has been going on there for many years is very popular and has allowed this valley to see artists they would not normally get to see. This series was originally funded by a private donation with the stipulation that the shows be free of charge. But the funding has run out for paying artists and putting on the concerts.
By purchasing a ticket for the Bruce Horsby show you can help ensure the future of this wonderful concert series.
I was working in radio in 1986 when Bruce Hornsby and the Range broke onto the charts with “The Way It Is.” I remember going to Charlie Michaels, the morning DJ at the time, and telling him that it sounded like something from the late 1960s or early ‘70s and it might actually endure time.
Even though his records don’t sell real well, Hornsby is an incredible musician and songwriter who spent some time with the Grateful Dead in the 1990s. His music really shines in a live setting.
This is your chance to see a great artist and support a wonderful cause. Please consider it.