Certain occasions and venues tackle distinctive standing in music merely due to the moments that occurred there, the recollections made and the artists found. Over time, with all of the historical past that accumulates, these locations tackle a gravity of their very own the place it turns into one thing value experiencing simply to face of their midst.
Such is the case of the Telluride Bluegrass Festival, which celebrated its forty ninth anniversary in 2022. It’s on no account a pure bluegrass pageant – and traditionally recognized for giving extra progressive gamers within the self-discipline like newgrass and jamgrass artists a spot to showcase, they’re removed from restrictive on who they e-book.
That was made clear when Jack Black music venture Tenacious D 2022 was introduced as Thursday night time’s headliner. Totally inappropriate and unintuitive, however totally sensible on the similar time, the duo’s assured and satirical tackle heavy steel dad-rock was undoubtedly well-received at their first present for the reason that pandemic — set in a quaint and distant mountain city in entrance of 10,000 (principally) bluegrass crowds followers.
That openness and emphasis on showcasing expertise no matter style was additionally mirrored in two of the weekend’s different headliners – Tyler Childers and the Turnpike Troubadours of the impartial nation music world. Arguably the 2 hottest names from this aspect of music (Zach Bryan however), the 2022 Telluride Bluegrass Festival made it the right alternative to discover this historic gathering from a rustic perspective. You can learn an in depth evaluate of the Tyler Childers set HEREand the identical goes for the Turnpike Troubadours HERE.
But a lot of the remainder of the 4-day pageant was dedicated to artists equivalent to Béla Fleck, who introduced his Grammy-winning ensemble My Bluegrass Heart to Telluride, together with Sierra Hull, who additionally had quite a few solo performances over the weekend, guitarist Bryan Sutton and the superb Fiddler Michael Cleveland, who is probably the perfect within the enterprise proper now.
It was these award-winning and scrumptious assemblages of bluegrass expertise that made Telluride so distinctive. Maybe you hear these artist collaborations within the studio. But to justify getting everybody on the identical stage directly typically takes an occasion like Telluride. This was additionally underlined on Sunday when the home band of Sam Bush, Béla Fleck, Jerry Douglas, Edger Meyer and Bryan Sutton took the stage.
You may see that when Grateful Dead bassist Phil Lesh carried out together with his Lesh and Friends venture. When Béla Fleck and Sam Bush joined in on a rendition of “Cumberland Blues” from Workingman’s Dead, the Dead’s cult nation document, it was a type of once-in-a-lifetime moments you simply needed to be there for. Members of Greensky Bluegrass additionally carried out with Phil Lesh, and Sam Bush’s Saturday night time set ended with so many individuals on stage jamming to Bob Marley’s “One Love” that it may be simpler to record the Telluride artists of 2022, who missed it.
Speaking of Sam Bush, he by no means will get sufficient credit score for the leisure worth he brings dwell. And though his profession has centered on newgrass, Bush has appeared on lots of of nation recordings through the years. Ditto for Jerry Douglas who has over 1,600 albums on his credit together with virtually each nation album with Dobro within the final 30+ years. You could also be a bluegrass participant, however so lots of the songs you like in nation music have been carried out by gamers who’re regulars on the Telluride Bluegrass Festival.
Still, the Telluride Bluegrass Festival appears made for bands like Greensky Bluegrass, who ended Friday night time, and the Infamous Stringdusters, who ended Saturday. Too “out there” for the tradgrass circuit however excellent for that candy spot between conventional bluegrass and jam band music, they signify the spirit of what Telluride and pageant promoter Planet Bluegrass are all about.
And in fact, no pageant is full with out creating moments of discovery. The Lil Smokies most likely already should headline their very own festivals – that is how good they’re. Big Richard was most likely the largest discovery of the weekend. The pageant bought them a first-rate spot on Saturday, and so they made essentially the most of it with their mixture of old-school conventional songs and killer ballads and modern music executed as a bluegrass cowl. You can definitely contemplate them a contender for the funniest band in bluegrass, as evidenced by how a sequence of inflatable penises, as they took the stage, progressed to being tossed round within the crowd. Read a extra detailed evaluate and see extra pictures of their set HERE.
And in fact Molly Tuttle had essentially the most anticipated and finest set of the pageant. Much like Billy Strings, she extends far past the bluegrass circles together with her skillful and enthusiastic strategy to music. You can learn a full account of her set and the way Dierks Bentley bought concerned HERE.
The Telluride Bluegrass Festival itself is a nicely organised, nicely produced, lovely pageant in a scenic location nicely definitely worth the journey. However, it’s not essentially a leisure occasion. From the rig marole you need to undergo to safe area on the tarp out within the area, to inclement climate that may severely have an effect on issues at 10,000 toes – blistering sizzling solar to close freezing showers – it’s essential to be dedicated and be versatile. Telluride is not precisely inexpensive as of late both.
But the recollections made there, the careers cast, the “moments” relieved, together with in 2022, make the Telluride Bluegrass Festival definitely worth the effort and worthy of the status it holds for people all through the bluegrass, nation and roots world Has.
Apologies to artists not pictured/credited. For extra protection and particular person evaluations, see Saving Country Music Instagram web page.
Béla Fleck’s My Bluegrass Heart with Sierra Hull, Bryan Sutton, Michael Cleveland and others.
Sierra Hull, who made quite a few appearances all through the week.
The incomparable Michael Cleveland
Jack Black by Tenacious D
After being so manic on stage, Jack Black (on a number of events) known as for oxygen
A view from the Telluride Festival website
Leah music from Rising Appalachia
Bluegrass legend Tim O’Brien
The Lil Smokies
Paul Hoffman of Greensky Bluegrass
Festival website with a waterfall within the mountains within the distance.
Jerry Douglas, with the title of a Uvalde taking pictures sufferer on his dobro. Each member of the Jerry Douglas Band had a sufferer’s title inscribed on their instrument as a tribute.
Chris Thile, The Punch Brothers and a microphone
dr Joy Adams from Big Richard
As Big Richard took the stage, the Big Richards got here out within the crowd.
Music additionally passed off in a metropolis park in downtown Telluride, free to the general public (Big Richard performed).
Leonard Podolak of the Duhks
The Telluride House Band that includes Jerry Douglas, Sam Bush, Bela Fleck, Bryan Sutton and Edger Meyer
Phil Lesh closes the pageant on Sunday night.
City of Telluride