2015 Main Stage Schedule


Coral Creek
Jun
28
5:30pm 5:30pm

Coral Creek

www.coralcreek.net

CORAL CREEK puts on a high energy show appealing to audiences across the bluegrass, blues and jamband spectrum, playing genre-bending original music and unique renditions of traditional bluegrass tunes and Americana classics.  

CORAL CREEK is an Americana band featuring the original music of Chris Thompson and Bill McKay.  With the addition of Bill McKay on keyboards and vocals (formerly of Leftover Salmon and Derek Trucks Band), Coral Creek will be back in the studio this winter, releasing and touring in support of a new record in 2015.

The Road Ahead (2010) and Watch Me Fly (2012)  - both produced by Bill Nershi of the String Cheese Incident – launched Chris Thompson & Coral Creek into the heart of the Colorado music scene, appealing to jam band and new-grass audiences alike.  Since forming in 2008, Coral Creek has performed on festival mainstages, concert series and clubs across the US, Europe and the Caribbean.  

Members of Coral Creek have performed and recorded with distinguished musicians including Bob Weir, Phil Lesh, Vince Welnick and Tom Constantin (Grateful Dead), Gregg Allman, Derek Trucks, Warren Haynes (Allman Brothers), Bill Nershi, Kyle Hollingsworth and Keith Moseley (The String Cheese Incident), Drew Emmitt, Vince Herman and Andy Thorn (Leftover Salmon), Ben Kaufman and Adam Aijala (Yonder Mountain String Band), Tim Carbone & Andy Goessling (Railroad Earth), Sam Bush, Col. Bruce Hampton, Big & Rich, America, The Infamous Stringdusters, Greensky Bluegrass, Dark Star Orchestra and more.  

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Front Country
Jun
28
3:45pm 3:45pm

Front Country

http://www.frontcountryband.com/

Formed in 2011 as a collective of the Bay Area’s finest young acoustic talent, Adam Roszkiewicz, Jacob Groopman, Jordan Klein, Leif Karlstrom, Melody Walker and Zach Sharpe joined forces to play a monthly gig with friends in San Francisco’s Mission District. They quickly found a musical rapport that was open to challenging arrangements, unique covers and original songwriting. Since then they have continued to expand their repertoire and push the boundaries of bluegrass on the national scene. In 2012 they won the Rockygrass band competition in Colorado and followed up in 2013 with a win at Telluride becoming the third band in history to win both contests. Also in 2013 lead singer Melody Walker won the Chris Austin Songwriting competition at Merlefest and mandolinist Adam Roszkiewicz was nominated for Grammy for his work with the Modern Mandolin Quartet on their album "Americana".

2013 and early 2014 has seen Front Country break onto the national scene with festival performances at Rockygrass, Old Settlers Music Festival, Wintergrass, Grass Valley Bluegrass Festival and many others along with headlining performances at the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco. In addition to performances at Telluride, Summergrass and IBMA's Wide Open Bluegrass Festival, 2014 will see the release of their highly anticipated debut album "Sake of the Sound" in September. Chris Pandolfi of the Infamous Stringdusters says of the album "Front Country have arrived, the latest acoustic ambassadors to emerge from the California coast. This first album will certainly serve them well, meeting all the technical criteria without getting lost in, focusing instead on the substance of these great songs. They represent their roots well, both musical and geographical, but the door is clearly open to transcend both. With 'Sake of the Sound,' Front Country are well on their way"

"Front Country draw on the ever valuable lessons of bluegrass while making music that is distinctly their own........Front Country have arrived, the latest acoustic ambassadors to emerge from the California coast" Chris Pandolfi (Infamous Stringdusters)

"Front Country's willingness to stretch the bluegrass boundary while maintaining the acoustic integrity of the music will solidify them as one of the top new bands on the acoustic / bluegrass scene" Woody Platt  (Steep Canyon Rangers)

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Phillips, Flinner, Grier
Jun
28
2:30pm 2:30pm

Phillips, Flinner, Grier

 Todd Phillips-acoustic upright bass, David Grier-acoustic six string guitar and Matt Flinner-mandolin, play the "dawgrass" mix of bluegrass and jazz that was defined by David Grisman. It's no coincidence that Phillips was the second mandolinist in the original Grisman quintet, but he's won two Grammy's as a bassist. Grier, a seven time Guitar Player bluegrass guitarist of the year, and Flinner a two time Winfield national champion, have their own accolades This pleasant sounding trio collectively carries on the Grisman legacy, without violin, and establishes a healthy tradition of their own. Writing chores on the nine tracks are split equally between the three, and they go perfectly in order of Flinner, Phillips & Grier. Flinner's "Paint It Shut" is the intro track and most energetic, Phillips three numbers vary from slow and deliberate on "Getting There" to a more bluesy "Dozing In The Sun Through The Window." Grier's meditative "A Long Time Ago" contrasts with the more country-ish "Car On Fire." The consistency and democratic approach makes this CD one that is easy to listen to all the way through, sporting equal portions of all three instruments, with no one player dominating on any level. and they do swing, not in a be-bop or "Hot Club" sense, but more like Bill Monroe might. Those who are fans of Grisman, Tony RiceMark O'Connor and Bela Fleck should be able to get next to this award winning ensemble. They are as balanced rhythmically and effortlessly melodic as any you'd care to name, no matter the category.

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Dr. Harlans Amazing Bluegrass Tonic
Jun
28
1:00pm 1:00pm

Dr. Harlans Amazing Bluegrass Tonic

Dr. Harlan’s Amazing Bluegrass Tonic provides a mixture of classic, contemporary, and original bluegrass music that is specially formulated to cure all your ailments!  In just a few short years, the band has developed a strong following across Colorado with an ability to play traditional bluegrass standards and craft original songs that range from traditional to newgrass.  Their creative arrangements, sharp vocal harmonies, and solid songwriting provide just the right ingredients for any crowd to enjoy.  Whether it be a festival, a house concert, a wedding, or a backyard party, when you need an instant pick-me-up, place an order for some of the good doctor's tonic! 

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Martin Gilmore Trio
Jun
28
12:00pm12:00pm

Martin Gilmore Trio

The Martin Gilmore Trio

Martin Gilmore is a man with stories to sing and tunes to play. His love of history is blended into original songs taking audiences on journeys to places in time that may have faded in memory.

Each time Martin performs listeners get to see a craftsman at work. Stellar musicianship, engaging stage presence and genuine passion for performance come together when Martin sings and plays.

Wrap a lifetime of exposure to musical genres of bluegrass, folk, jazz, Irish, classical, rock and roll and the influences merge when he steps on stage. Performing with the Colorado based bluegrass band “Long Road Home” (Pete Wernick, Gene Libbea, Justin Hoffenberg, Jordan Ramsey), Martin's lead singing gives that band it’s signature.

When he is not performing, he can often be found conducting workshops at festivals, teaching lessons at various venues around the Denver metro area or working as a studio musician and producer.

Nick Amodeo is a multi-instrumentalist who’s focus is making honest, soulful music. Playing everything from reggae bass to bluegrass mandolin to honkytonk guitar, Nick continuously reinvents himself, keeping an open ear and a welcoming attitude to all styles of music. He is the 2005 Rockygrass mandolin champion, and has performed over the years as a sideman for the celebrated blues artist Otis Taylor. Nick was featured on Downbeat Magazine’s 2007 Blues Album of the Year; Otis Taylors “Definition of a Circle” and has toured throughout North America and Europe, sharing the stage with such legends (and personal heroes) as Buddy Guy, Charlie Musselwhite, Chuck Campbell, and Ron Miles. Nick has also had the opportunity to teach music at Naropa University and Swallow Hill Music School, and is currently a popular instructor on Jamplay.com. Nick is originally from Des Moines, Iowa but now lives in Denver, Colorado.

Ian Haegele comes from Wauwatosa, Wisconsin and currently lives in Boulder, Colorado. In high school, while taking private lessons and studying the bass and playing in orchestra, jazz band, and a performing around Wisconsin in a bluegrass/folk trio, he decided that he wanted to pursue a career in music. After high school he moved to Boulder to study double bass performance at the University of Colorado, graduating with his Bachelor’s degree in 2014. When he wasn’t practicing and studying music at school, he was pursuing his love of bluegrass and American acoustic music, playing in various pickup groups, going to local bluegrass shows, picks, and festivals, playing music with friends gained from said events, and learning as much as he could about the Front Range bluegrass/acoustic music and it’s musicians and fans. Even though Ian graduated, you can still find him doing all of those things. Otherwise, you might find him hiking. Upon graduating, he began pursuing music more intently and started playing with Golden-based bluegrass/acoustic country band, Thunder and Rain. Even more recently, he joined forces with the Martin Gilmore Trio as well as Martin’s other band, Long Road Home and has really been relishing the many musical opportunities that have been coming his way, helping him start his career and live his dream. 

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Acoustic Mining Company
Jun
28
11:00am11:00am

Acoustic Mining Company

Acoustic Mining Company is a long-standing Colorado tradition that has, in most recent years, come into its own with its current line-up of versatile musicians and songwriters. Starting out as a trio in 2006, the band's taste for melodic, original arrangements exposed a need for a broader array of instruments. AMCo grew to a quartet by 2008 and a quintet by 2009. As the demand for AMCo's presence at Colorado venues and festivals grew, new musicians came and went until they landed a supergroup of string musicians and songwriters with a passion for creating something uniquely Colorado.

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The Travelin' McCourys
Jun
27
9:30pm 9:30pm

The Travelin' McCourys

http://www.travelinmccourys.com/

The Travelin’ McCourys do not stand still. They are on the road—and online—entertaining audiences with live shows that include some of the best musicians and singers from all genres. It’s always different, always exciting, and always great music.

No other band today has the same credentials for playing traditional and progressive music. As the sons of bluegrass legend Del McCoury, Ronnie McCoury on mandolin and Rob McCoury on banjo continue their father’s work—a lifelong dedication to the power of bluegrass music to bring joy into people’s lives. And with fiddler Jason Carter and bassist Alan Bartram, the ensemble is loved and respected by the bluegrass faithful. But the band is now combining their sound with others to make something fresh and rejuvenating.

They recently played with the Allman Brothers at Wanee Fest and then brought the house down at Warren Haynes’ Annual Christmas Jam, an invitation only Southern Rock homecoming.  Their jam with the Lee Boys was hailed by many as the highlight of the evening, and once word of the live video hit the streets, sent new fans online to watch a supercharged combination of sacred steel, R&B, and bluegrass. They’ve also performed with Warren Haynes, Phish, and have a tour scheduled with the aforementioned Lee Boys. Ronnie McCoury described it as “peanut butter and jelly.” It was just right.

They can push forward so far because their roots are so deep. The band has a confidence that only comes with having paid their dues with twenty years on the bluegrass road. Other groups and new fans hear this immediately—the tight rhythm, the soulful material, and the confidence in taking bluegrass from the safety of the shore into uncharted waters.

Ronnie says, “We like to go in and play traditional bluegrass music the way we do it with Dad, but we also like to be able to step into situations where we can really stretch out. If we need to plug in, we’ll plug in. We’re open to anything.”

It’s that attitude, backed up by talent, that marks great musicians, traditional or progressive. The Travelin’ McCourys are twenty-first century musical pilgrims and adventurers. They’re onto something new, just like Bill Monroe was in the 1940s, but now we can see and hear that adventure live or online. Go see them, or—if you hold still long enough—they’ll come to you.

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The Jeff Austin Band (featuring Ross Martin, Eric Thorin, and Danny Barnes)
Jun
27
7:30pm 7:30pm

The Jeff Austin Band (featuring Ross Martin, Eric Thorin, and Danny Barnes)

http://www.jeffaustin.com/

Mandolinist Jeff Austin is unstoppable. He is celebrated for his fleet fingers and penchant for improvisation on stage, but those qualities also speak volumes about how he chooses to live. Austin has cultivated his natural musical abilities and allowed himself to be driven by his boldest instincts.  In this way, he has been able to build positive, exciting momentum around his life’s greatest passion.

Austin’s enthusiasm for the vast, vibrant world of music was rooted in him as early as he can remember: “I was always raised very musically. My mom always had music playing; she always sang.” It’s no surprise then that Austin himself grew up singing too. From beginning to end of his years in grade school just outside of Chicago, he sang in classes, choirs, and musicals, allowing his musical influences to lead him where they may. “I started listening to Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings,” Austin says. “And then the Beatles, that turned into Bob Dylan, and then the Grateful Dead and Phish.”

Austin continued this fearless course of action, attending University of Cincinnati and majoring in Musical Theatre, until he a stumbled upon a crossroads that threatened to derail all of his plans. “I remember standing in front of the Grateful Dead three weeks before I dropped out of college and thinking, ‘there’s so much more to this music thing than being educated and being told what you are,’” Austin explains. “You can take what you think is your value and throw it at a crowd of people, and they will throw it back to you. The beauty is that nothing is black and white. It’s all grey; it’s interpreted at the moment.” Austin goes on to illustrate what this meant for his future: “At the time, I was auditioning for Broadway and off-Broadway shows. I walked away from everything I was set up to do because I realized that I just wanted to be in a band.”

Serendipitously, he met banjoist Dave Johnston around the same time. He encouraged Austin to try the mandolin so as to join his band The Bluegrassholes, so Jeff learned how to play the only way he knew how – with music: “I would listen to Not for Kids Only, which is a record of kids’ songs that Garcia/Grisman put out, nothing too fast. I would listen over and over and over and find the notes on my mandolin.” Picking up an instrument for the first time was exhilarating for Austin. “I never took lessons,” he admits. “I just threw myself in that world. I’ve always kind of learned in the line of fire.” The line of fire inspired Austin to be better, so he kept coming back. “For the better part of 3 years, I jammed night after night with these guys. There’s something about the pace, the speed, the aggressiveness, the chasing of the beat.” Austin was hooked.

In 1998, Austin and Johnston relocated to Nederland, Colorado. While working at a bar called the Verve, Austin met Adam Aijala and Ben Kaufmann, with whom he and Johnston would form the Yonder Mountain String Band. Together, the four musicians have created a wild, high-energy niche among the bluegrass legends of old and the up and coming jam band scene. Over fifteen years, Yonder Mountain String Band have built an intensely loyal fan base by playing festivals and venues across the nation, sharing the stage with legends like Jon Fishman, Phil Lesh, Mickey Hart, Bill Kreutzman, Earl Scruggs, Pete Thomas, and Jimmy Herring, and releasing five studio albums and five live recordings.

“My time with Yonder has taught me what is possible,” Austin says. “It has shown me that if you work hard at it and you believe in it and there’s a part of you that’s meant to do it, it will happen. It’s clichéd, but it’s true.”

It is with this rich personal history at his back that propels Austin into a new creative direction as he prepares to step into the spotlight as a solo artist. On his forthcoming debut project, Austin’s songwriting remains rooted in Americana inspiration and the frantic energy of the jam genre but also, reaches even further weaving in more mainstream themes, reminiscent of his co-write contribution “Fiddlin’ Around,” that was featured on the 2010 Grammy nominated Dierks Bentley album, Up on the Ridge. While the upcoming, untitled solo effort is still a work in progress, it can already be summed up succinctly as Austin’s love letter to storytelling.  “I love writing a three-minute song with a hook that would grab a five-hundred-pound marlin as much as I like writing something that goes, ‘okay, after the bridge, it’s going to open up and just go wide.’”

Indeed, “wide” is what Jeff Austin is all about. He wants new and different, complex and interesting. He wants everything the music world has to offer, and he’s willing to work hard to get it.

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Rapidgrass
Jun
27
5:30pm 5:30pm

Rapidgrass

http://www.rapidgrassquintet.com/

RAPIDGRASS IS...

THE TEAM IS MARK MORRIS(GUITAR/VOCALS) WHO WAS FEATURED IN POWDER MAGAZINE IN 2014 FOR HIS EXPLOITS BOTH ON GUITAR AND ON SKIS. MARK HAS TOURED THE WORLD EXTENSIVELY FOR THE PAST DECADE AS A MEMBER OF THE HICKORY PROJECT. KYLE JAMES HAUSER(BANJO/VOCALS) HAS SONGS APPEARING IN 6 FILMS AND 3 MTV SHOWS. HIS LATEST ALBUM WAS #1 ON COLORADO’S OPENAIR FOR 3 WEEKS AND VOTED AS A TOP TEN LOCAL ALBUM OF 2014 BY COLORADO PUBLIC RADIO LISTENERS. ALEX JOHNSTONE(MANDOLIN/VOCALS) IS A VETERAN OF REBEL RECORD’S SPRING CREEK WHO RELEASED 4 STUDIO ALBUMS AND TOURED INTERNATIONALLY WITH APPEARANCES AT TELLURIDE BLUEGRASS FESTIVAL, MERLEFEST AND STRAWBERRY MUSIC FESTIVAL AND WITH DEL MCCOURY, PETER ROWAN AND DREW EMMITT. COLEMAN SMITH(VIOLIN) HOLDS A DEGREE IN VIOLIN PERFORMANCE AND IS A 5 TIME WINNER OF THE BOB WILLS FIDDLE COMPETITION. HE HAS TOURED THE WORLD WITH STAGE/SCREEN’S RAMIN KARIMLOO AS WELL AS THE HICKORY PROJECT. CARL MEINECKE(BASS) HAS SUPPORTED DREW EMMITT AND PLAYED IN ORCHESTRAS, QUARTETS, AND JAZZ ENSEMBLES NATIONALLY.

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Gonzalo Bergara
Jun
27
3:45pm 3:45pm

Gonzalo Bergara

The all-acoustic Gonzalo Bergara Quartet plays a modern variant of 1930s Django Reinhardt-inspired gypsy jazz. Composer and lead guitarist Gonzalo Bergara mixes a cascade of arpeggios with the sounds of Paris and his native Argentina. His first CD, Porteña Soledad, was Editor’s Pick in Guitar Player Magazine, and Vintage Guitar Magazine called it a "masterpiece." The Gonzalo Bergara Quartet consists of Gonzalo Bergara on lead guitar, Jeffrey Radaich on rhythm guitar, Leah Zeger on violin, and Brian Netzley on upright bass. The music is heavily influenced by Django Reinhardt and the Hot Club of France, as well as the traditional jazz and music of Bergara's true home, Buenos Aires. "Gonzalo Bergara’s music exists in a way that very little music does. He has lavished such care on every phrase, built each arrangement with such lapidary precision and pared away anything extraneous, the music becomes sculpture. It has weight, density, gravity. This is serious….and deeply moving. 

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Phillips, Flinner, Grier
Jun
27
2:30pm 2:30pm

Phillips, Flinner, Grier

 Todd Phillips-acoustic upright bass, David Grier-acoustic six string guitar and Matt Flinner-mandolin, play the "dawgrass" mix of bluegrass and jazz that was defined by David Grisman. It's no coincidence that Phillips was the second mandolinist in the original Grisman quintet, but he's won two Grammy's as a bassist. Grier, a seven time Guitar Player bluegrass guitarist of the year, and Flinner a two time Winfield national champion, have their own accolades This pleasant sounding trio collectively carries on the Grisman legacy, without violin, and establishes a healthy tradition of their own. Writing chores on the nine tracks are split equally between the three, and they go perfectly in order of Flinner, Phillips & Grier. Flinner's "Paint It Shut" is the intro track and most energetic, Phillips three numbers vary from slow and deliberate on "Getting There" to a more bluesy "Dozing In The Sun Through The Window." Grier's meditative "A Long Time Ago" contrasts with the more country-ish "Car On Fire." The consistency and democratic approach makes this CD one that is easy to listen to all the way through, sporting equal portions of all three instruments, with no one player dominating on any level. and they do swing, not in a be-bop or "Hot Club" sense, but more like Bill Monroe might. Those who are fans of Grisman, Tony RiceMark O'Connor and Bela Fleck should be able to get next to this award winning ensemble. They are as balanced rhythmically and effortlessly melodic as any you'd care to name, no matter the category.

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Front Country
Jun
27
1:15pm 1:15pm

Front Country

Formed in 2011 as a collective of the Bay Area’s finest young acoustic talent, Adam Roszkiewicz, Jacob Groopman, Jordan Klein, Leif Karlstrom, Melody Walker and Zach Sharpe joined forces to play a monthly gig with friends in San Francisco’s Mission District. They quickly found a musical rapport that was open to challenging arrangements, unique covers and original songwriting. Since then they have continued to expand their repertoire and push the boundaries of bluegrass on the national scene. In 2012 they won the Rockygrass band competition in Colorado and followed up in 2013 with a win at Telluride becoming the third band in history to win both contests. Also in 2013 lead singer Melody Walker won the Chris Austin Songwriting competition at Merlefest and mandolinist Adam Roszkiewicz was nominated for Grammy for his work with the Modern Mandolin Quartet on their album "Americana".

2013 and early 2014 has seen Front Country break onto the national scene with festival performances at Rockygrass, Old Settlers Music Festival, Wintergrass, Grass Valley Bluegrass Festival and many others along with headlining performances at the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco. In addition to performances at Telluride, Summergrass and IBMA's Wide Open Bluegrass Festival, 2014 will see the release of their highly anticipated debut album "Sake of the Sound" in September. Chris Pandolfi of the Infamous Stringdusters says of the album "Front Country have arrived, the latest acoustic ambassadors to emerge from the California coast. This first album will certainly serve them well, meeting all the technical criteria without getting lost in, focusing instead on the substance of these great songs. They represent their roots well, both musical and geographical, but the door is clearly open to transcend both. With 'Sake of the Sound,' Front Country are well on their way"

"Front Country draw on the ever valuable lessons of bluegrass while making music that is distinctly their own........Front Country have arrived, the latest acoustic ambassadors to emerge from the California coast" Chris Pandolfi (Infamous Stringdusters)

"Front Country's willingness to stretch the bluegrass boundary while maintaining the acoustic integrity of the music will solidify them as one of the top new bands on the acoustic / bluegrass scene" Woody Platt  (Steep Canyon Rangers)

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Railsplitters
Jun
27
12:00pm12:00pm

Railsplitters

http://www.therailsplitters.com/

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. 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 and Dusty 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! 

-Mindie Lind, Hearth Music

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Monocle Band
Jun
27
11:00am11:00am

Monocle Band

Formed in the musically fertile slopes of Colorado’s Front Range, Monocle Band offers a fresh and vibrant take on the roots acoustic music that has made Colorado one of the most exciting music scenes in the country. Monocle Band is Rocky Mountain Indie Folk…brand new, original music rooted in the traditions of Telluride bluegrass and the troubadour wanderings that led Townes Van Zandt through the San Juan Mountains on horseback.  Always rooted in song, the group’s music flows from a stomping fiddle breakdown to a lost lover’s lament. This is original music, the acoustic sound of the spirit, innately authentic yet sonically aligned with the roots music revival enchanting the nation. Lighting up dance floors and breaking hearts across the Rocky Mountain west since 2011, Monocle Band blends stirring songcraft, flatpicked guitar, fiddle, mandolin, upright bass, and the most musical of drums into a sound that will move your body, mind, and soul.

Led by the sweet and soaring vocals of Monica Whittington, the Boulder, Colorado based quintet combines the best of song-craft and captivating performance. Monica (vocals, acoustic guitar) and songwriting partner Bill Huston (vocals, acoustic and electric guitar) have assembled an unparalleled ensemble of jazz-trained and roots-based musicians and have played over 250 dates since the bands the band’s inception.  Filling out the quintet are Eric Wiggs (vocals, upright bass, electric guitar), Ben Blechman (violin) and Josh Moore (drums, percussion). As Colorado music legend Danny Shafer says, “Monocle’s instrumental ability is as strong as their connection to the audience. They always are able to give an engaging performance whether to a dancing crowd or a listening room.” Indeed, the band’s noted performances have led them to the main stage band competitions of the Telluride Bluegrass Festival and Rockygrass, countless venues across the Front Range, and to opening slots for The SteelDrivers, The Samples, and Ralph Stanley.

Monocle Band released their debut self-titled CD in October of 2013 to enthusiastic acclaim, gaining them the 25th most played CD on the National Folk DJ chart for the month of September 2013. The CD was recorded and produced at The Distillery in Lyons, Colorado by David Tiller (Taarka, ThaMuseMeant), the man behind the sounds of Elephant Revival’s first two albums, and features contributions from Grammy award winning lap steel guitarist Sally Van Meter and other noted guests. As Denver Westword magazine says this affecting batch of heartrending songs...genuinely possesses the kind of pastoral charm that so many others seem to be striving for these days but rarely achieve.” It is a snapshot of a moment in time: an acoustic rhythm backed by crackling drums, a shimmering curtain of electric guitars and violin, all of it lifting up the yearning tones of Monica Whittington’s vocals. Marquee Magazine calls the record “splendidly written and performed.”

Monocle Band’s debut recording is a musical postcard made even more poignant when The Distillery Studio in Lyons was washed away in the recent Colorado floods, just months after the record was finished. The album captures a band in its creative stride, a young group with a firm command of their craft and a steady gaze to the mountains and plains that lie before them. 

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Jon Stickley Trio
Jun
26
to Jun 27

Jon Stickley Trio

http://www.jonstickley.com/

    The Jon Stickley Trio has earned a reputation for painlessly shattering expectations. The originality and sheer energy of this genre-bending ensemble serves as a welcome wake up call for those who experience it. With roots in bluegrass, gypsy jazz, and hip-hop, Jon Stickley, one of the worlds most innovative flatpickers, violinist Lyndsay Pruett (Futureman), and drummer Patrick Armitage (Atmosphere), have fused their collective styles into a repertoire of exciting, innovative original music, along with fresh takes on traditional tunes. While recording their latest album, producer Dave King (The Bad Plus) referred to the band’s imaginative sound as “this whole other thing”. The virtuosic trio’s compositions truly do not fit into any specific genre, but remain totally accessible and danceable to audiences across the board.


        In their short time together, the trio has shared the stage with The Infamous Stringdusters, Leftover Salmon, Larry Keel, and Leon Russell, and thrilled audiences at some of the nations top festivals including Merlefest, Floydfest, Four Corners Folk Fest. After building their fan base at home, and across the country, the trio successfully raised over $18,000 through Kickstarter to record their latest record with Dave King of The Bad Plus, to be released later this year. During the recording process the band honed their explosive, yet sensitive sound to create something that is uniquely the Jon Stickley Trio. 

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The Jeff Austin Band (featuring Ross Martin, Eric Thorin, and Danny Barnes)
Jun
26
9:00pm 9:00pm

The Jeff Austin Band (featuring Ross Martin, Eric Thorin, and Danny Barnes)

http://www.jeffaustin.com/

Mandolinist Jeff Austin is unstoppable. He is celebrated for his fleet fingers and penchant for improvisation on stage, but those qualities also speak volumes about how he chooses to live. Austin has cultivated his natural musical abilities and allowed himself to be driven by his boldest instincts.  In this way, he has been able to build positive, exciting momentum around his life’s greatest passion.

Austin’s enthusiasm for the vast, vibrant world of music was rooted in him as early as he can remember: “I was always raised very musically. My mom always had music playing; she always sang.” It’s no surprise then that Austin himself grew up singing too. From beginning to end of his years in grade school just outside of Chicago, he sang in classes, choirs, and musicals, allowing his musical influences to lead him where they may. “I started listening to Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings,” Austin says. “And then the Beatles, that turned into Bob Dylan, and then the Grateful Dead and Phish.”

Austin continued this fearless course of action, attending University of Cincinnati and majoring in Musical Theatre, until he a stumbled upon a crossroads that threatened to derail all of his plans. “I remember standing in front of the Grateful Dead three weeks before I dropped out of college and thinking, ‘there’s so much more to this music thing than being educated and being told what you are,’” Austin explains. “You can take what you think is your value and throw it at a crowd of people, and they will throw it back to you. The beauty is that nothing is black and white. It’s all grey; it’s interpreted at the moment.” Austin goes on to illustrate what this meant for his future: “At the time, I was auditioning for Broadway and off-Broadway shows. I walked away from everything I was set up to do because I realized that I just wanted to be in a band.”

Serendipitously, he met banjoist Dave Johnston around the same time. He encouraged Austin to try the mandolin so as to join his band The Bluegrassholes, so Jeff learned how to play the only way he knew how – with music: “I would listen to Not for Kids Only, which is a record of kids’ songs that Garcia/Grisman put out, nothing too fast. I would listen over and over and over and find the notes on my mandolin.” Picking up an instrument for the first time was exhilarating for Austin. “I never took lessons,” he admits. “I just threw myself in that world. I’ve always kind of learned in the line of fire.” The line of fire inspired Austin to be better, so he kept coming back. “For the better part of 3 years, I jammed night after night with these guys. There’s something about the pace, the speed, the aggressiveness, the chasing of the beat.” Austin was hooked.

In 1998, Austin and Johnston relocated to Nederland, Colorado. While working at a bar called the Verve, Austin met Adam Aijala and Ben Kaufmann, with whom he and Johnston would form the Yonder Mountain String Band. Together, the four musicians have created a wild, high-energy niche among the bluegrass legends of old and the up and coming jam band scene. Over fifteen years, Yonder Mountain String Band have built an intensely loyal fan base by playing festivals and venues across the nation, sharing the stage with legends like Jon Fishman, Phil Lesh, Mickey Hart, Bill Kreutzman, Earl Scruggs, Pete Thomas, and Jimmy Herring, and releasing five studio albums and five live recordings.

“My time with Yonder has taught me what is possible,” Austin says. “It has shown me that if you work hard at it and you believe in it and there’s a part of you that’s meant to do it, it will happen. It’s clichéd, but it’s true.”

It is with this rich personal history at his back that propels Austin into a new creative direction as he prepares to step into the spotlight as a solo artist. On his forthcoming debut project, Austin’s songwriting remains rooted in Americana inspiration and the frantic energy of the jam genre but also, reaches even further weaving in more mainstream themes, reminiscent of his co-write contribution “Fiddlin’ Around,” that was featured on the 2010 Grammy nominated Dierks Bentley album, Up on the Ridge. While the upcoming, untitled solo effort is still a work in progress, it can already be summed up succinctly as Austin’s love letter to storytelling.  “I love writing a three-minute song with a hook that would grab a five-hundred-pound marlin as much as I like writing something that goes, ‘okay, after the bridge, it’s going to open up and just go wide.’”

Indeed, “wide” is what Jeff Austin is all about. He wants new and different, complex and interesting. He wants everything the music world has to offer, and he’s willing to work hard to get it.

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Gypsy Cattle Drive
Jun
26
7:30pm 7:30pm

Gypsy Cattle Drive

Gypsy Cattle Drive is high octane gypsy swing with rhythms that borrow from Bluegrass, Latin, Western Swing, and Celtic music’s.  The trio was born in Silver Plume Colorado, 2013 and consists of Texas Fiddle Champion Coleman Smith, Texas A&M bass virtuoso Carl Meinecke, and free-skiing guitarist Mark Morris.  The group thrives off natural dynamics and energy while keeping a keen sense of musicianship in every song.  The strongest aspect of the trio is their ability to take songs to the limit while exploring rhythms and tones from around the world.  Gypsy Cattle Drive is set to release their first “EP” in May 2014, stay tuned…this is going to be a fun ride! 

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Railsplitters
Jun
26
6:00pm 6:00pm

Railsplitters

http://www.therailsplitters.com/

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. 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 and Dusty 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! 

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Thunder and Rain
Jun
26
5:00pm 5:00pm

Thunder and Rain

http://thunderandrainmusic.com/

In the spring of 2014 Thunder & Rain set out to make traditional American music more accessible to modern ears. As a new project out of Golden, CO they have performed at the Golden Music Festival, Clear Creek Rapidgrass Festival, opened for Peter Rowan at the Vail Bluegrass Series, and placed in the finals at the 42nd Rockygrass Band Competition. The fall of 2014 brought the success of T&R’s first Kickstarter campaign. With the support of their fans, the band recorded Holler Out at Swingfinger’s Studio (Head For the Hills, Cahalen Morrison & Eli West). Holler Out was co-produced by Stephen Ambrose (Asius Technologies, inventor of in-ear monitors, previous audio engineer for the Grammy awards and the Super Bowl) and studio engineer Aaron Youngberg (Finnders&Youngberg). The album was mastered by two-time Grammy award winner David Glasser (Airshow, NPR).The album encompasses T&R’s love of acoustic instrumentation, pop sensibility, and arrangements that lean on vocal harmonies that support the depth of their songs. “If traditional folk music is going to come back to its rightful place in the forefront of country consciousness, then bands like Thunder & Rain are going to be the ones leading the revolution.” (For the Country Record)With the release of Holller Out in February of 2015, the band will be touring nationally to introduce themselves to fans that share their excitement in an ever-evolving approach to modern acoustic music.

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