Preliminary 2018 Line up
April 20, 21, and 22, 2018
In 2016, Becky Buller was chosen to make bluegrass music history by becoming the first person ever to win in both instrumental and vocal categories at the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) awards. That’s right, folks. EVER!
As is usually the case, Becky’s is an overnight success story almost 20 years in the making.Her songs, on the lips of the industry’s best, preceded this fiery-haired fiddling St. James, Minn., native to prominence in the acoustic music world. Now audiences are connecting the composer with her compositions…to the tune of five IBMA awards in the last two years, including the 2016 Fiddler and Female Vocalist and 2015 Songwriter Of The Year nods.
Since 2015, the Becky Buller Band has toured extensively throughout the United States and Canada. The group has an exciting 2017 planned, beginning with the release of Becky’s fourth solo album on the Dark Shadow Recording label. Check the band’s online tour schedule for a performance near you.
Reluctant as she might have been to start her own band, Becky had no qualms about entrusting her songs to the consummate artistry of Ricky Skaggs (“Music To My Ears”), Rhonda Vincent (“Fishers of Men”), Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver (“Be Living”), Josh Williams (“You Love Me Today”), Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out (“My Angeline”, “Rest My Weary Feet”, “Cottontown”) and now The Infamous Stringdusters (“Freedom”), just to name a few.
Becky was featured on the cover of the Spring 2012 issue of Fiddler Magazine and penned the title cut of Special Consensus’ album Scratch Gravel Road, which was nominated for the 2013 Best Bluegrass Album Grammy.
Becky’s own recordings include: Little Bird (2004) and Rest My Weary Feet (2000). She also released a duet album with Valerie Smith: Here’s A Little Song (2007). Becky is featured on several of Valerie Smith & Liberty Pike’s recordings as well as three albums from the award winning Daughters of Bluegrass: Pickin’ Like A Girl (2013), Bluegrass Bouquet (2008), and Back To The Well (2006), which won the 2006 IBMA Recorded Event Of The Year award.
Becky’s third solo album, ‘Tween Earth And Sky, was released in October 2014 on the Dark Shadow Recording label. It was the #1 album on the National Airplay Chart in the March and April 2015 issues of Bluegrass Unlimited magazine. The singles “Nothin’ To You” and “Southern Flavor” both reached #4 and each stayed on the chart 13 months. Her 2015 Christmas single “Gingerbread House” topped the BluegrassToday.com radio airplay chart both Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.
Becky’s cover of Bill Monroe’s “Southern Flavor” (including new lyrics by DeWayne Mize and Guy Stevenson and featuring members of Bill Monroe’s Blue Grass Boys) garnered the 2015 IBMA Recorded Event Of The Year award.
She was featured in the July 2015 issue of Bluegrass Unlimited and honored as a 2016 SPBGMA Songwriter Of The Year nominee as well as being chosen as 1st Runner Up for the 2016 IAMA Country/Bluegrass Song of Year for her composition “Nothin’ To You”. “Wait a minute,” you say. “Bluegrass music in Minnesota?!” Yes, indeed! And it’s a large, diverse and very vibrant
community, too. Becky grew up playing fiddle with her parents and Gordy and Roxy Shultz in their group Prairie Grass. She studied classical violin with both Patti Tryhus and Charles Gray and participated in the Mankato Area Youth Symphony and even the Minnesota All-State Orchestra while in high school. But Becky’s heart was always that of a fiddler.
She graduated in 2001 with a public relations degree from East Tennessee State University (ETSU), where she took part in their Bluegrass, Old-Time and Country Music program. That same year, Becky’s songwriting nabbed a first place finish in the bluegrass category of the prestigious Chris Austin Songwriting Contest at MerleFest in Wilksboro, NC.
Becky’s journey as a professional musician included a ten-year stint with Valerie Smith & Liberty Pike, touring internationally, writing for and recording with the group, producing several of Val’s most recent records. In 2011, she decided to take some time off, but was back on the circuit from late 2012 through 2014 with Darin & Brooke Aldridge and their fine band. She can be heard on their album Flying (2013) on the Organic Records label as well as Snapshots (2015) on the Mountain Home label.
In addition to her heavy touring schedule, Becky teaches instrumental music both in her adopted hometown of Manchester, Tenn., and online around the world via Skype and Facetime. She also currently serves on the IBMA Board of Directors and just finished up a three-year term as chair of that organization’s Songwriter Committee. She is a Leadership Bluegrass alumna, class of 2003.
A virtuoso multi-instrumentalist and award winning songwriter with a distinctive voice, Molly Tuttle has turned the heads of even the most seasoned industry professionals. Since her performing debut at age 11, she has been featured on the cover of Acoustic Guitar Magazine (April 2017) and Flatpicking Guitar Magazine, and graduated from the Berklee College of Music, which she attended on a Hazel Dickens Memorial Scholarship.
Her lovely voice, impeccable and fiery guitar playing, and sensitive song writing make Molly Tuttle a star on the rise.She has toured extensively and has been featured on many prominent festivals including Rocky Grass Festival, Wintergrass Festival, and many others, and received a 2016 IBMA Momentum Award as Instrumentalist, singling her out as one to watch in the genre. 2017 has seen even more growth, with the release of Tuttle’s solo debut EP, Rise, debuting at #2 on the Billboard Bluegrass chart and garnering prominent features for Tuttle in Premier Guitar Magazine, Guitar Player Magazine, and NPR Music. In September 2017, Tuttle was recognized as the 2017 Guitar Player of the Year by the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA), becoming the first woman to receive this honor in the history of the organization.
Born in the shadow of the Great Smoky Mountains, springing to life with all the zest and zeal you’d expect from a 1940s-style Tennessee bluegrass band, The Po’ Ramblin’ Boys have rambled far from home, touring throughout the United States and Europe.
Yet, these four friends – C.J. Lewandowski (Vocals, Mandolin), Jereme Brown (Vocals, Banjo), Josh ‘Jug’ Rinkel (Vocals, Guitar) and Jasper Lorentzen (Bass) – remain close to their musical roots by cranking out some of the tightest and hardest-driving traditional bluegrass you’ll find anywhere.
“We want to be known for keeping the old music alive, and making some new music that’s still close to the roots,” says Lewandowski, a native Missourian who is the group’s eldest member as well as its lead singer and mandolin player. “A tree can’t stand without its roots. So we are just trying to keep those roots alive. We want to complement and not take away.”
“We want to take the best from all the bluegrass pioneers,” added Brown, the band’s youngest member and a fourth-generation banjo player whose own roots include a grandmother raised just a stone’s throw from Bill Monroe’s hometown of Rosine, Ky. “That’s why C.J. plays the Monroe-style mandolin, and I play a Ralph Stanley-style banjo. It all ties together. It works.”
It works, all right. It works like a Missouri mule. Just ask the band’s fast-growing legion of fans. Whether they’re playing a standard by bluegrass giants Bill Monroe or Ralph Stanley or a new heartbreaker penned by rhythm guitarist Rinkel, there’s an unmistakable energy to it. The hard-driving bass pounds like a jackhammer as it keeps time; the melodic rhythm hooks you deep with the first note and doesn’t let go until the last playful note of the banjo.
“We are all on the same musical footing,” says Lewandowski. “We’re all big into rhythm and timing, so we build off of that.”
Mile Twelve is a fresh, hard driving young band beautifully walking the line between original and traditional bluegrass. Fast gaining recognition for their outstanding performances in bluegrass and folk circles, Evan Murphy, Bronwyn Keith-Hynes, Nate Sabat, BB Bowness and David Benedict write captivating songs and daring instrumental pieces from diverse influences. Banjo luminary Tony Trischka says, “Mile Twelve is carrying the bluegrass tradition forward with creativity and integrity.”
Since their formation in the fall of 2014, Mile Twelve has quickly been on the rise. They’ve performed extensively throughout the U.S., Ireland and Canada, including sets at major festivals such as Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival, FreshGrass Festival, Thomas Point Beach Bluegrass Festival, and Joe Val Bluegrass Festival. Their music is in rotation on the Bluegrass Junction Sirius XM channel, and their rendition of the Stanley Brothers classic “Our Last Goodbye” was featured on a Spotify “Fresh Bluegrass” playlist. The band was the winner of the 2017 Momentum Award by the International Bluegrass Music Association and will be heading out on a month long tour of New Zealand and Australia in the fall of 2017. Mile Twelve is set to release their debut full-length record “Onwards”, (Oct. 27, 2017) produced by Stephen Mougin.
“In recent years, Boston’s Berklee College of Music and New England Conservatory have added extra fire to that city’s already churning cauldron of traditional string players. Out of this spicy soup jumps Mile Twelve, a group of five accomplished bluegrass musicians who write, sing, and play like the wind. Serious players who have serious fun, Mile Twelve is a group to watch in the coming decade.” – Tim O’Brien
“Mile Twelve’s instrumental skills reflect natural abilities enhanced by serious study of bluegrass tradition and a fearless desire to create fresh pathways. From the opening number of their new EP, it’s plain that their vocal skills are equal to their picking prowess. Their trio blend is as tight as it gets. Their duo and solo singing is equally praiseworthy. The arrangements often surprise with subtle twists and turns… delicious false endings, dropped beats, arco bass and fiddle duets, and on and on. Mile Twelve is carrying the tradition forward with creativity and integrity.” – Tony Trischka
“Mile Twelve has Bluegrass’ best interests at heart. Really good songs that mean something, picking that makes you grin and twitch, plenty of scalp-zinging moments… what more could you ask for America’s best drivin’ music? I’d be fine sending this to aliens.” – Darol Anger
Round up a country band and an early R&B group with three lead vocalists, weave in a hefty amount of vocal harmony and witty turns-of-phrase, and let ‘em rock out like The Band. The sound of roots music mavericks Western Centuries sits at these crossroads, and their debut album Weight of the World introduces a band as skillful in their musicianship as they are innovative in their writing. With upbeat, barroom dance numbers, lilting, introspective tunes of heartbreak, and everything in between, the album strikes an oft-strived-for but rarely achieved balance between genre-busting experimentation and thoughtful continuity.
Comprised of Seattle-based country musician Cahalen Morrison, jam band veteran Jim Miller (co-founder of Donna the Buffalo), R&B and bluegrass-by-way-of-punk rock songwriter Ethan Lawton, pedal steel player Rusty Blake, and bassist Dan Lowinger, Western Centuries are clearly a diverse bunch. The band is collaborative in nature, but they are – albeit subtly – helmed by Morrison. After years of performing in prominent roots duo Cahalen Morrison & Eli West (whose music made fans of Tim O’Brien, Jim Lauderdale, Dirk Powell, and BBC Radio’s Bob Harris along the way), Morrison formed and led the band Country Hammer, made up of members who have mostly crossed over into Western Centuries.
Produced by Bill Reynolds (Band of Horses) and recorded in his Nashville studio, Weight of the World features three different songwriters and lead vocalists (Morrison, Miller, and Lawton); the result is a sound that deftly defies neat categorization. Yet the album doesn’t come off as scattered. Instead, it feels like the natural confluence of the band’s wide-ranging influences, laced together by the interconnected histories of the musical styles at its foundation, and by its writers’ commitments to imaginative songwriting.
The progressive, almost psychedelic nature of the album’s lyrics infuses the 12-track record with a distinctly modern sensibility. Sure, there’s ample pedal steel and plenty of country telecaster twang, but Western Centuries elevate these neo-traditional two-stepping tunes into transcendental, rootsy rock ‘n roll doused think-pieces.
Upon first listen, Weight of the World provides all the familiar satisfaction of traditional country lyricism – rife with simultaneously hilarious and heart-breaking one-liners, tales of hitting the bottle and scraping bottom, and so on – but these songs yield new and deeper meaning with every listen. Each songwriter brings his own flair to Weight of the World, but there is a deeply literary approach to the songwriting woven throughout. The metaphors cleverly extend on, sometimes for an entire song as with Lawton’s “Off the Shelf” — a love song written for a bottle of booze.
While its lyrics are impressively layered with meaning, Weight of the World will appeal to just about any fan of roots music; the album certainly showcases the band’s great range and ability to blend influences ranging from early rhythm and blues, all the way to straight up country. But it’s also marked with a profound ingenuity – the type that feels instinctual rather than intentionally labored for, the kind that continues to flourish and snake into new realms as time wears on. This is just the beginning for Western Centuries, and it’s not likely their creative well is going to dry up any time soon.
James Reams has been a bluegrass bandleader for over 20 years. Coming from a family of traditional singers in southeastern Kentucky, James has played both old-time and bluegrass music since he was just a little sprout. James is known as an “ambassador of Bluegrass” for his dedication to and deep involvement in the thriving bluegrass and Americana music community. To date, he has released nine CDs including a special DVD documentary about the band. His 2016 release, Rhyme & Season, is receiving high acclaim. In 2002, his self-titled album featuring Walter Hensley received an IBMA nomination for Recording Event of the Year and earned James an IBMA nomination as Emerging Artist of the Year. A single (Almost Hear the Blues) from his 2011 CD, One Foot in the Honky Tonk, charted nationally and the CD made 2 Top Ten Lists of 2011. His original songs are important additions to the bluegrass repertoire, keeping this tradition alive with contemporary issues and new sounds. And he’s no slouch on the guitar either! His guitar playing was highlighted in Flatpicking Guitar Magazine’s “Masters of Rhythm Guitar” column.
Jeff Scroggins & Colorado is a high-energy five-piece bluegrass band located in the Western Frontier state of Colorado. Their distinctive sound showcases an eclectic range of influences that marry second and third generation bluegrass, delivering a unique experience that captivates audiences and keeps them guessing: It’s a powerful, high mountain “bluegrass explosion” that features world-class banjo and mandolin playing, incredible vocals, a solid and energetic rhythm and an easy stage banter that has delighted listeners all over the world.
Fronted by internationally acclaimed two-time National Banjo Champion Jeff Scroggins, their distinct style is immediately recognizable due to Jeff’s unique and diverse range of influences, which include Alan Munde, Don Reno, Jimmy Page and Eric Clapton. His fiery style and lightning-fast licks have earned him worldwide recognition and have left many a first-time listener in stunned disbelief!
The band also features the award-winning mandolin playing of Jeff’s son Tristan Scroggins. At only 20 years old, Tristan is an award-winning instrumentalist and accomplished songwriter in his own right while the instrumentals he shares with Jeff play a large role in the band’s unique and energetic style. In 2016, Tristan was nominated for the Instrumental Momentum Award by the International Bluegrass Music Association . West Virginia native Greg Blake provides powerful bluegrass vocals steeped in country heritage, bringing a truly authentic sound developed from a lifetime of singing bluegrass, gospel, and country. Twice nominated for the Society for the Preservation of Bluegrass Music in America’s (SPBGMA) “Traditional Male Vocalist of the Year” award, Greg’s phenomenal guitar playing has earned him nine nominations and five consecutive wins as SPBGMA’s Guitarist of the Year. They are joined by Oregon native and festival favorite, Ellie Hakanson on fiddle and vocals as well as champion multi-instrumentalist and veteran musician Isaac Calender on bass. In addition to their individual accomplishments, the band was featured as the California Bluegrass Association’s Emerging Artist of the year, an honor given into the past to bands such as Della Mae, and Chris Henry & the Hardcore Grass.
Bluegrass has become a mainstay in Colorado. The music of the mountains speaks to us and we can feel it in our souls. When a band like Wood Belly comes along to channel it, the clear blue skies are the limit. Led by a pair of prolific songwriters, their songs are carefully and collectively crafted to ring out with honesty and passion. Wood Belly blends traditional bluegrass with modern songwriting and whether you’re spinning around your partner or hanging on every word, the result is the same. You’re left smiling and wanting to hear more.
The band was born when Chris Weist (Mandolin) met Craig Patterson (Guitar) and Chris Zink (Dobro) at the Rockygrass Festival in 2015. Within a year they had teamed up with Aaron McCloskey(Banjo) and Taylor Shuck (Bass) and the music immediately fell into place.
The Blue Canyon Boys are equal parts purists and innovators when it comes to bluegrass: they stay true to the form’s roots while constantly reimagining their relationship to tradition. The result is a toe-tapping mix of haunting standards, genre-bending arrangements, and catchy original numbers—all built on the bedrock of their collective bluegrass mastery.
They bring it all: seamless brother-duet style, crisp instrumentation, unvarnished lyrics and subversive humor. After winning first place at the 2008 Telluride Bluegrass festival band contest, the Blue Canyon Boys went off at full tilt, taking the bluegrass circuit by storm, performing in illustrious venues across the country as well as internationally.
Their distinctive sound, honed from over a decade of performing together, moves easily from instrumental wizardry to playful ribbing. Whether calling on their old timey musical roots or reconnoitering the future, the band’s musical prowess never wavers. This is high lonesome sound at its best: a driving pulse that weaves through harmonies and fierce rhythms, always with the reminder that as long as the music plays we are never quite alone.
The seasoned quartet features Gary Dark on mandolin, Jason Hicks on guitar, Drew Garrett on bass, and Zach Daniels on banjo. Their latest album, eponymously called The Blue Canyon Boys, is perhaps their most polished and poignant yet. Classic bluegrass, clean and raw, blends effortlessly with the band’s homegrown compositions, then peppered with a judicious cover or two, such as the band’s riveting take on Pink Floyd’s “Time.”
Savage Hearts are a rising bluegrass-meets-honky-tonk band on Colorado’s musically innovative Front Range. Featuring string pedagogue Annie Savage along with songwriter/educator Kevin Slick, Old Town Pickin’ Parlor owner Kit Simon, fiddle phenom Nancy Steinberger and the driving bass boogie of Keith Summers, this Southwestern Bluegrass band specializes in high energy performances and has a passion for providing educational outreach. It’s all twin fiddles and twin female vocals, with an explosive mix of Bluegrass, Western Swing and Honky Tonk. It is a sound all its own, a kind of retro fabulous grassy blend of Hank, Patsy, and Johnny with a powerful hit of Sriracha-inspired, Latin-flavored instrumentation, and peppered with engaging stage banter and surprising dance-ability.
The Bluegrass Ensemble at Colorado College consists of six students performing with all acoustic traditional bluegrass instruments. By audition only, the students immerse themselves in the traditional style of bluegrass, incorporating its full musical spectrum of vocal harmony, tone, and timing. They have the privilege of performing on the main stage at the Bluegrass Meltdown in Durango, CO, Steve’s Guitar’s in Carbondale, CO, and the Black Rose Acoustic Society in Colorado Springs. The group also performs two yearly recitals, as well as a host of events at Colorado College.
This unique opportunity to be a part of The Colorado College Bluegrass Ensemble is a way to enhance their lives and inspire others.
Jessica Wright grew up in the bay area of Northern California and is now a Junior at Colorado College. She began playing electric guitar during her freshman year of high school and by her senior year she had switched to playing mostly acoustic. Her interest in folk-americana music led her to take bluegrass guitar lessons during her freshman year at CC, which she progressively became more involved with. She has been playing in an ensemble for two years now, and hopes to continue playing and performing.
Isaac Radner, a junior Political Science major from Colorado College, began playing the violin at age six. He was classically trained throughout most of his violin career, and participated in various orchestras, symphonies, and ensembles—including the Colorado College orchestra. During his sophomore year he joined the Colorado College Bluegrass Ensemble and quickly fell in love with the music, welcoming the challenge of playing in a style with which he is unfamiliar. Bluegrass offers a more intimate and energetic performance experience than classical music, and allows him to travel and play all around the state and country. The one downside is that he has only one more year left with the CC Bluegrass Ensemble!
Ben Pitta is from a small Massachusetts town called Hadley, famous for its asparagus. Ben started playing the upright bass in 5th grade and takes influence from Edgar Meyer and Paul Kowert.
Jeremy Becker grew up near San Francisco, CA and became interested in bluegrass and old time music at the end of high school. After being inspired by Bela Fleck and Noam Pikelny, he started playing banjo when he got to Colorado College.
Michael Hasson grew up in Sausalito, California and is currently a sophomore double majoring in geology and history. He played California fiddle contests for several years before making the transition to bass in high school, where he was introduced to playing jazz and bluegrass. He switched to mandolin at the beginning of his freshman year of college and has been playing in a bluegrass ensemble since then. Adam Steffey, Chris Thile, and Tim O’Brien are among his primary influences.
Old Time music enthusiasts count themselves among a small subculture within the acoustic genre. With similar instrumentation although often pre-dating bluegrass, old time can be characterized by unique regional styles that draw from influences ranging from Africa to western Europe and even indigenous America. The Six Dollar String Band has been a mainstay of old time music in the four corners for six years and consists of Tony Holmquist playing fiddle; Stephen Sellers, bass; Robin Davis, guitar; and Brendan Shafer, clawhammer and fingerstyle rolling banjo. The band is celebrating the release of their newest recording, ‘Mayday’, a vinyl-only album documenting musical spaces and sounds collected on-site in Mayday, Colorado at the mouth of La Plata canyon.
It seems at every turn, there are changes. The Badly Bent is certainly no stranger to changes. 2017 brings a new lineup to the band, one that takes us to a new level. We have so much history in and around Durango, from winning the Telluride Bluegrass Band contest in 2005 to playing festivals scattered from California to Indiana. But, without a doubt, our favorite stage and setting is a Friday night set at the Henry Strater Theatre for the Meltdown. We love playing for our friends as a hometown band.
The new lineup brings new music, new energy, and new spirit. Sticking to our roots in traditional bluegrass, we are adding songs to our repertoire that keep us motivated and excited. Some of the new songs you will recognize, some you will not. That’s what makes it fun.
The Badly Bent is Cindi Trautmann (fiddle, vocals), Mark Epstein (banjo, vocals), Robb Brophy (mandolin, vocals), Fred Kosak (guitar, vocals), and Cody Tinnin (bass, vocals).
Come help us celebrate our tradition at the Meltdown.
La La Bones is a five-piece bluegrass band that draws inspiration from the wild landscape and western history of southwestern Colorado. Rooted in Durango with a vocal arsenal shared by two women and three men, La La Bones delivers a diverse, original, and dynamic bluegrass sound. The ensemble features Tommy Frederico on banjo, Jimi Giles on bass, Kathy Hilimire on fiddle, Scott Roberts on mandolin, and Kyle Siesser on guitar.
The Lawn Chair Kings bring it back to their country & bluegrass roots with acoustic guitar, mandolin, stand-up bass and fiddle. They’re right at home as an acoustic band, although they can often be found throwing down electric western garage rock. Erik and Dan founded LCK sixteen years ago. Their friendship and musicianship have grown stronger each year. The Lawn Chair Kings are pleased to make their third appearance at the Meltdown. Erik Nordstrom plays guitar, harmonica, writes songs and sings lead vocals. Erik’s songs are sometimes poignant, whimsical, quirky, often surprising and always enjoyable. He takes country, bluegrass, rock and punk influences and mixes them into a style all his own. Dan Leek plays bass and sings harmony. He brings a sense of joy and musicality from his Louisiana roots. Patrick Dressen plays mandolin. Pat is a veteran of many local bands. Alissa Wolf is the new Lawn Chair Ace fiddler. She is classically and bluegrass trained. Alissa is the executive director of The iAM Music Institute, bringing music education to the next generation of Durango musicians. Alissa will please your ears and win your hearts. Please give a great-big Meltdown welcome to Durango’s own Lawn Chair Kings.
Returning for their fifth appearance at the Meltdown, Last Nickel, from Dolores, Colorado, combines the drive of bluegrass, the grit of Americana and the lyrical heart of folk. Playing original songs and some old favorites, Last Nickel sits the traditional and the contemporary down at the table to arm wrestle. Grown from a weekly living room jam in Dolores, Last Nickel is Nikki Sargent on bass, Chris Bouton on lead guitar, Bobby Wintringham on mandolin, Andy Hutchinson on banjo and John Chmelir on rhythm guitar.
Lost Souls plays an intriguing mix of old and new country, bluegrass, swing and American folk tunes. This trio keeps it tight, singing many a tale of cowboys, dogs, horses and the outlaw west, with shared vocals and fine picking. They have played in the Durango area for about two years and were proud to be part of last fall’s Meltdown on the Mesa. This is the second year they will play together at the Durango Bluegrass Meltdown.
Don Cooke has travelled a long road as a musician and, for over 40 years, has played rock, bluegrass, country and swing. As a Lost Soul, he deftly moves between fiddle, guitar, and mandolin to help keep the band’s repertoire surprising and fresh. Marc Katz hails from New York and has been picking guitar from a young age. For the last 7 years, he has focused solidly on mandolin and moves between the two instruments with ease, lending rock and blues-influenced guitar licks as well as sweet mando leads and rhythm in the best bluegrass tradition. Charlotte Overby plays the double bass and sings a lovely harmony part. She has played bass for in a number of string bands and with an 8-piece klezmer band—and was inspired and taught by Mitch Jayne and Forrest Rose, two of the best. She hails originally from Columbia, Missouri but has lived in the West for more than a decade.
The Blue Moon Ramblers
The Blue Moon Ramblers are comprised of five Durango musicians, who have been performing professionally for nearly 40 years each in Colorado, primarily in the Four Corners’ region. The band is known for being the Sunday Night House Band of the Diamond Belle Saloon at the Strater Hotel in Durango, CO, and this marks the 29th year of members of the Ramblers performing at that same venue. All the musicians have been friends and have played together in a variety of groups, going back to the 1970’s. The Blue Moon Ramblers are also the only band to perform at every single Durango Bluegrass Meltdown!
Holding the bottom together is Glenn Keefe on bass, Red (Marlon) Greer has been an integral and founding member on fiddle, Donny Johnson on guitar, George Usinowicz on banjo, Mario Dobbs on lead guitar, lap-steel, mandolin and vocals.
From somewhere in the mountains around Durango, Clods spring up from the ground to play their own brand of Dirty Bluegrass. Featuring local members from local turn-of-the-century era OuttaHand String Band, four vocalists, guitar, mandolin, banjo, and bass come together in a time-tested groove.
StillHouse Junkies… Fred Kosak, Alissa Wolf, Cody Tinnin, Bruce Allsopp. Their paths happened to cross in Durango, Colorado, winter of ‘17. After months of being addicted to playing Fridays at Durango Craft Spirits, a local distillery, a name emerged… a festival was booked… and another talented acoustic string band was turned loose. They are multi-instrumentalists, singers, songwriters, seasoned musicians who have turned their formidable skills and talents to the delicious, delirious deep wells and traditions of roots, rock, blues, funk, jazz, country and bluegrass music. Sometimes they blend, sometimes they bend, sometimes they play it straight and true. But it’s always direct with deep respect to the heart of the song. With soulful singing, precision picking and plenty of improvisation every performance is fresh. With lots of energy they can wind it up and turn it loose or wind it down to the quiet of the space between notes where emotion lives. They know that music is the best medicine. So get addicted. It’ll cure you. It’s tasty. It’s delicious. It’s delirious. Don’t miss. StillHouse Junkies.
The Fellowship of the Strings have embarked on a quest to bring to life the most moving, powerful, and epic bluegrass music the world has ever seen. This five piece string band is comprised of Dylan Ruckel on the guitar, Tyler Rice on the Banjo, Jeff “Birdman” on the bass, Dennon Jones on the fiddle, and Patrick Storen on the mandolin. Each member brings their own strengths to the table, imbuing the band with elements of celtic, rock, old time, jam band, and others. They are all thankful to call Durango Colorado home. . One does not simply shred strings with such flair and style, yet the Fellowship of the Strings will see it done.
The Bar D Wranglers are a western music-singing group from the Bar D Chuckwagon Suppers in Durango, Colorado. The group has performed for over 2.5 million guests at their Durango location as well as countless other stages and venues around the United States. The group began performing at the Bar D Chuckwagon in June of 1969 and continues the tradition nightly throughout the summer months. When the Bar D Wranglers take their show on the road, they perform the classic cowboy- western music for which they are so well-known, as well as award-winning instrumental and comedy songs and crowd-pleasing stories that will delight the entire family. The Bar D Wranglers include Gary Cook is a two-time national flat pick champion guitar player and sings tenor, Matt Palmer plays a hot fiddle and sings baritone, Joel Racheff sings funny and plays the upright bass, Richard Espinoza sings lead vocals and plays rhythm guitar. We hope you enjoy the show as much as the Wranglers enjoy performing for you!