Feeling Blue in Palisade

The Rockin’ Acoustic Circus is a band of teenagers and its former music teacher. The band be performing at the Palisade Bluegrass and Roots Music Festival from 1 - 2:30 p.m. on June 11.

6.10.11 SMG Pal Blue RAC

The Rockin’ Acoustic Circus is a band of teenagers and its former music teacher. The band be performing at the Palisade Bluegrass and Roots Music Festival from 1 - 2:30 p.m. on June 11.


Rockin’ Acoustic Circus

Who didn’t want to run away and join the circus at some point in life? Four teenagers from Oklahoma didn’t have to run far, and one even brought his mom along to serve as the circus manager, when they got together and formed the Rockin’ Acoustic Circus.

The band, playing at the Palisade Bluegrass and Roots Music Festival 1 to 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, is made up of four teenagers and their former music teacher. They were an official showcase artist of the International Bluegrass Music Association World of Bluegrass conference and they’re making their own mark on the genre.

“There aren’t many genres that are as fun and exciting to play as bluegrass,” said Zac Hardin, the 17-year-old bass player.

Hardin and his sister, Emma, both play in the band. They also both studied classical music at the Barthelmes Conservatory of Music in Tulsa, Okla. Emma plays the cello, which is an unusual instrument for a bluegrass band.

“The cello is coming out of its box,” said Emma, who’s excited to be one of the musicians bringing the cello out of its classical mold and using it to create beautiful sounds in other musical genres.

“Each of us plays from our own specific musical taste,” Emma said. “We’re blessed to be in a position to mix all of our taste to create music that’s turning into our own sound.”

The band will have its latest CD, “Lonestar Lullaby,” available for sale at the festival. During concerts, the band plays a mix of original tunes and covers.

“They’re eager, they’re talented, they come to work and they’re fun to travel with,” said Rick Morton, the teacher who mentored his younger band members. “It’s a pile of fun to get on stage and watch them.”

Where: Riverbend Park in Palisade, June 10-12
Ticket Prices:
Friday - $35
Saturday - $55
Sunday- $35
3-Day - $100
3-Day +Camp - $14

Friday, June 10
5-5:45 p.m
Way Down Yonder
6:15-7:30 p.m.
Blue Canyon Boys
8-10 p.m
Split Lip Rayfield

Saturay, June 11
11a.m.-12:30 p.m.
James Justin & Co
1-2:30 p.m.
Rockin’ Acoustic Circus
3-4:30 p.m.
David Lindley
5:30-7 p.m.
The Greencards
7:30-9:30 p.m.
Junior Brown

Sunday, June 12
11a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Della Mae
1-2:30 p.m.
Henhouse Prowlers
3-4:30 p.m.
Missy Raines and the New Hip

The Palisade Bluegrass and Roots Music Festival at Riverbend Park is kicking off the 2011 western Colorado summer music scene with a bang as the Greencards and Junior Brown appearing Saturday night and the Grascals closing the festival on Sunday.

The Grascals won the International Bluegrass Music Association’s Entertainer of the Year award in both 2006 and ‘07.

This is the third year Palisade has hosted the festival and organizers and town officials hope the weather cooperates with the festival this year. Last year, rain and soggy conditions may have kept festival attendance down. It didn’t take away from the great music, surroundings and sheer fun of the event itself.

“People didn’t know that the rain didn’t diminish the fun of the festival,” said Tim Sarmo, Palisade town administrator and one of the driving forces behind the festival. “The town recognized that when you get involved with these things, you’ve got to give them a chance to succeed.”

The festival offers plenty of room for everyone to relax in comfort and enjoy the shows and surroundings. The stage is big enough to see whether you’re up close dancing or sitting at a picnic table near the vendors sipping one of Peach Street Distillers popular bloody mary’s.

There’s also plenty of room in the camping area, where festival jam bands play long into the night.

The park also has extensive bike trails, so bring your bike when you come for the weekend. Its an easy way to get around the festival and ride into Palisade if you want to visit downtown. The town of Palisade will also be operating a free shuttle carrying festival-goers to town, circulating every half hour.

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