2016 Meltdown Events
Friday, 5 – 7 p.m., Powerhouse Science Center,
1333 Camino Del Rio, along the Animas River
The warm-up for the Meltdown has become one of our festival’s more popular traditions. This free, two-hour concert is held at the Powerhouse Science Center on Friday afternoon, when the festival opens. Powerhouse Science Center is the Four Corner’s hands-on, interactive science center, providing innovative learning and unleashing human potential. Located on the banks of the Animas River in a historic coal-fired, steam-generated AC powerplant, Powerhouse Science Center presents a wide range of programs, exhibits, and activities for curious minds of all ages. They are committed to developing a science center that is welcoming and engaging to all communities in the Four Corners and beyond. They strive to be inclusive because we believe science and technology are for everyone.
Enjoy exceptional bluegrass music and help us kick off the festival for the weekend with Colorado College Bluegrass Ensemble and Running Out of Road. Please use the crosswalk at 12th street and Camino Del Rio.
Saturday, Noon – 6 p.m., Elks Lodge, 9th St. & East 2nd Ave.
Since the early years of the Meltdown, the Band Showcase has provided a stage for bands that want to participate but for whatever reason aren’t ready or willing to play the ‘main stage’. ‘Bluegrass Band Criteria’ are severely bent for the Band Showcase. This year we will kick it off with performances by up-and-comers the Next Generation Fiddlers, a group of over 10 fiddlers who played the Showcase last year, a group of Escalante Middle School bluegrassers, then Colorado College will debut two new and fresh bluegrass ensembles. We will also be featuring the Mountain Top Pocket Pickers, who played at the Meltdown on the Mesa in September 2015, and rounding out the afternoon are a couple of local outfits, the lovely female trio, the Cannondolls and a newer southwest Colorado bluegrass group, The Great Contention. The Band Showcase never lacks for entertainment, not to mention the youngest Band Showcase Emcee in the four corners area, Drew Allsopp. This perpetual Meltdown favorite continues to be free to the public and always takes place at the Elks Lodge dance hall from noon to 5 pm on Saturday.
Saturday, 7 – 10 p.m., Henry Strater Theater, 7th St. & Main Ave.
Join the spontaneous fun of the Meltdown’s Superjam. The event has become a festival tradition and no two are ever the same. Local, regional and national talents come together to collaborate and inspire on the stage of the Henry Strater Theatre. The bluegrass community is a small circle of incredibly talented musicians. It’s often amazing to witness how individuals from different bands are sometimes old friends, past band mates, or just like-minded individuals. It’s impromptu magic, so sit back and see what happens! Finnders and Youngberg will be hosting the event and are sure to throw together some incredible collaborations for the stage.
OLD TIME BARN DANCE with SIX DOLLAR STRING BAND
Saturday, 7:30 – 10 p.m., Elks Lodge, 9th St. & East 2nd Ave.
Admission free with Saturday or Weekend Meltdown Wristband or $10 at the Door.
Do you know how to tell the difference between old time fiddle tunes? They have different titles.
In 2006, after recognizing the popularity of the old timey music scare with bands such as Reeltime Travelers and Sweet Sunny South, the Meltdown introduced the Old Time Barn Dance, at the Elks Lodge dance hall. With the perfect setting of the Elks Lodge and it’s hardwood dance floor and great old timey band, Six Dollar String Band, this has evolved into a “don’t miss” event. Nobody has more fun during the entire Meltdown weekend than the kids of all ages that pack the Elks’ dance floor.
LATE NIGHT SHOW WITH THE GRANT FARM
Saturday, 8 – 10 p.m., Durango Art Center, 8th St. & East 2nd Ave.
The Durango Bluegrass Meltdown presents an evening with The Grant Farm.
Admission free with Saturday or Weekend Meltdown Wristband or $10 at the Door)
Former members of The Drew Emmitt Band, Emmitt-Nershi Band, Donovan Frankenreiter and Hot Soup, these fine young players have been featured on stage with the likes of The String Cheese Incident, Yonder Mountain String Band, The Infamous Stringdusters, The Motet, Head For The Hills, Sam Bush, Jerry Douglas, Tim O’Brien, Dumpstaphunk, Tony Rice, Larry Keel, Keller Williams, Jon Oates, Gillian Welch and David Rawlings, Disco Biscuits, Abigail Washburn and Peter Rowan.
The seeds of Grant Farm were planted in 2009 by Tyler Grant and Andy Thorn (Leftover Salmon). Tyler was fresh off the boat from Nashville, TN and Andy from Chapel Hill, NC. The duo found themselves in Boulder, CO as members of The Emmitt-Nershi Band, and were eager to showcase some of their original music. When Tyler gave his notice to ENB at the end of 2010 he was driven to make a bigger statement with his music so he dusted off his Telecaster guitar, rounded up a core band, plugged in, turned up, and watched the sprouts of the Grant Farm concept grow.
With the help of Thorn and stellar bassist Keith Moseley of The String Cheese Incident, the electric Grant Farm started rehearsing in early 2011. Their concerts in Denver, Boulder and the mountains beyond caused a ripple in the local music scene that led to some fine festival plays the following Summers, including Northwest String Summit, Suwanee Springfest, SCI Horning’s Hideout, Yarmonygrass, Four Corners Folk Festival, NedFest, Chattanooga Riverfront, Fort Collins Bark n’ Bluegrass, French Broad River Festival, WInterWonderGrass and Campout for the Cause. With a country-disco (Cris-Co), roots-rock, booty-shakin’ jam-tastic concept fully formed, Grant Farm prepared to annihilate audiences across the country.
The permanent lineup of Grant Farm is Tyler “The Champ” Grant on electric guitar and vocals, uber-talented Adrian “ACE” Engfer on bass and vocals, rock solid Sean “Magic” Macaulay on drums and the phenomenally prodigious Kevin “Money” McHugh on keyboards and vocals. Look for them Spring and Summer 2015 at a Festival near you and for the Plowin Time album from Grant Central Records on CD, Vinyl, iTunes, and DSD Pure formats. Also check out Meeting on the Mountain on iTunes. C’mon, it’s PLOWIN’ TIME!
Sunday morning, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. Durango Art Center, 8th St. & East 2nd Ave.
You don’t want to miss the gospel set on Sunday morning. This set highlights the versatility of at least three of the bands performing at the festival. There’s no reason to fret about missing church during the Meltdown, the a cappella vocals bring out heavenly harmonies. God is definitely present on Sunday mornings!
Spring Fever Bluegrass Band, Steel Pennies and Chokecherry Jam will host the morning congregation at the Durango Arts Center.
The Meltdown features many indoor and outdoor (weather permitting) locations for informal jamming. The management of the Strater and Rochester Hotels welcome musicians to gather and play for their own enjoyment as well as that of the hotel guests. Numerous downtown bars and restaurants also encourage musicians to play at their discretion, and may offer complementary food and drink. Spring afternoons in Durango are often very pleasant and jamming on the sidewalks and at outdoor cafes can be a pleasant way to make new friends and expose the general public to the joys of bluegrass. Look for the Meltdown Flyer in the windows of participating establishments.
The Strater Hotel lobby is open for jamming until midnight, late night jamming is open in the Pullman room in the basement of the Strater Hotel into the wee hours.
Friday & Saturday nights, see program guide for location
Part of the fun during the Meltdown is enjoying live bluegrass music while sampling great food and drink at some of Durango’s finest downtown bars and restaurants. See schedules on side bar for locations and times.