The Glorious Return of Bluegrass | Art and entertainment

The summer solstice is on Tuesday, but Telluride’s celebration began a little earlier this year with the 49th Telluride Bluegrass Festival. The first festival of this sunny season of the year always welcomes the start of the season, but after two years of unknown global pandemics, including the first cancellation of the festival in 2020, Bluegrass returned with renewed vigor. weekend.

With the aim of spreading the green light without any restrictions, they once again approached San Juan to celebrate a genre born in a similar high country. The indifferent spirit of the party-goers was noticeable and they passed through the village as many of the sights and sounds of Bluegrass have returned this year. Although no one said it too loudly, the collective whispers were heard because the festival felt “normal,” as the last two years finally woke us all up and shook us from our memories as if it were just a bad dream.

Scott Spencer, a longtime local and Bluegrass fan, who was removed from us too soon in 2019, was once again in the front row, holding a campground with lovely notes in his memory, holding on to the canvas before the opening day.

Buskers were splashed around town offering pockets for free entertainment. An acoustic guitarist and fiddler did not give anyone a particular serenade on Thursday evening near Elks Park. While there was a larger crowd in Town Park enjoying the scenery of Bela Fleck, who had the appearance of Sam Bush Bluegrass teammate, the sun-burned couple who wore dirt-covered clothes didn’t care. They played with their eyes closed. A couple of people stopped by to briefly thank the performance. As far as I know, two street performers continue to play.

Along the San Miguel River walk, it was not uncommon to see people resting and immersing themselves in the water, whether they needed a quick clean-up or not, as the melodies of the nearby Country Park provided a soothing soundtrack.

Next to the ticket office, outside the post office, a group of boys set up a picnic table with an umbrella to protect them and the product from the heat. They couldn’t be more than 10 years old, but their friends excitedly pasted a handwritten poster in front of a local stall claiming the price of lemonade: $ 2.

Walking next to them sparked déjà vu. I saw this scene earlier, a few years ago, on a previous Bluegrass weekend. I think the boys were the same as they used to be, with their jack-o’-lantern smiles, their sandy blond hair, and their freshly covered Grateful Dead sticker. Their sincere bustle added to the community spirit of the festival.

Peter Rowan’s Bluegrass Band played in the park. Even at 3pm on Thursday, the crowd was healthy and continued to grow. The patches of mud-covered grass creating a quilt of good times, turning the park into a Planet Bluegrass.

The night ended with a high-energy set of Tenacious D rockers. Actor-comedian Jack Black and ax-cutter Kyle Gass played in a packed park and shared some laughs and smiles, and some stories.

It seemed as if the sun was waving goodbye to Down Valley that first night.

In the fishing pond on Friday morning, impatient fishermen pulled the lines and threw them quickly, rather than catching a more important conversation.

A little girl was resting her fishing song on her shoulder and asked a local boy, “Will you be here next year, Owen?”

Owen, who seemed to be the same age, shouted, “Hey, Mom! Will we be back next year? ”

A row of parents resting in the shade of the trees not far from the edge of the pond shared a small laugh.

“Yes, we’ll be here next year,” his mother replied.

“Very well, I’ll be here next year or tomorrow,” Owen told his new fishing friend.

On Main Street, Elks Park was packed in the preliminary round of the team competition, with local Birds of Play favorites. The finals were held on Saturday after the newspaper’s Friday afternoon press release, but the Bluegrass competition has helped launch the careers of many groups, including the Greensky Bluegrass Festival favorite after the team won in 2006.

The players held on to their chosen instruments and waited patiently for their turn on the sidewalk next to the stage, receiving ghostly notes and preparing for what could be their big break for the main stage next year.

Town Park events on Friday included Rising Appalachia, Tyler Childers and Greensky Bluegrass. Again, most of them played after the press, but the people dressed well for their music choir this weekend, as they always do, like catching up with an old friend after a long time without seeing each other.

As the world has changed since 2020, this year’s Telluride Bluegrass Festival has provided everyone with the support they need for normalcy and comfort, even if it’s just for a weekend full of music.

“Tuesday Letter,” a Greensky Bluegrass tune, says so well, “Hold your hand forever in your palm and eternity within an hour.”


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