Keystone hosts sixth Winter Bluegrass Weekend to benefit Dercum Center
Back for the sixth consecutive year, the Keystone Winter Bluegrass Weekend returns Friday and Saturday night. This year’s lineup features four bands from Colorado: Thunder and Rain, The Pine Beetles, Meadow Mountain Bluegrass and Caribou Mountain Collective. The weekend’s headliners are The Lil’ Smokies from Missoula, Montana, and Horseshoes and Hand Grenades from the Stevens Point area of Wisconsin.
It’s no secret that Colorado is a hotbed for string music. Nationwide, there is an ongoing shift in the genre once firmly defined as bluegrass, as string bands all over the country are incorporating bits and pieces of other genres into their songs.
Arguably, Colorado is an epicenter for the progressive bluegrass scene that encapsulates so many of the string bands touring the country right now.
“As string musicians we think about returning to Colorado often. There is a good scene there,” said Adam Greuel, the guitarist and vocalist for Horseshoes and Hand Grenades.
Bluegrass can possibly be better described as Americana music. It is music that is very specific to our country and the many different landscapes within.
“The bluegrass tradition is a rich one in Colorado,” said Karina Wetherbee, general manager and co-founder of The Dercum Center, a local nonprofit.
A portion of the weekend’s revenue will benefit the Dercum Center, dedicated to bringing world-class musicians, artists, lecturers, filmmakers and authors to the Summit County community.
“Our hope is to showcase some of Colorado’s rich musical depth, especially bluegrass, which is a genre that really speaks to the people,” said Wetherbee.
Bluegrass is truly an American tradition, as complex in its sound as the cultures that it’s emerged from.
“Bluegrass was derived from mountain culture way back when and erupted from a blend of cultures by people from all over the world,” said Maja Russer, director of events and marketing for the Keystone Neighbourhood Co., one of the organizers of the Winter Bluegrass festival.
String music directly reflects the playful, carefree mountain lifestyle here in Summit County. The progressive bluegrass scene is one that’s constantly changing and the bands on Keystone’s Winter Bluegrass lineup are at the forefront of that movement, both locally and nationally.
Friday, Jan. 20
Times are approximate and subject to change.
7 p.m.: Thunder and Rain. A Golden, Colorado-based band specializing in Mountain Made Colorado Country
In their brief tenure together as Thunder & Rain, the band has captured a sound that accentuates their talents and is accessible to fans both young and old. depth and unforgettable melodies are putting meaning back into modern country music.
8:15 p.m.: The Pine Beatles — a community based band in Breckenridge
The Pine Beatles are as cheeky and irreverent as their name. Born from the simple desire among friends to play and share music with others, the band was born out of spontaneous Sunday evening jams.
9:30 p.m.: Horseshoes and Hand Grenades — Progressive high-energy string band with roots in old-time, folk and bluegrass
Hailing from the river town of Stevens Point, Wisconsin, HHG plays something like progressive high-energy old-time folk music. With strong roots in old-time and bluegrass, the band has formed its own unique style born from the diverse musical backgrounds and interests of the five friends who make up the band.
Saturday, Jan. 21
Times are approximate and subject to change.
7 p.m.: Meadow Mountain Bluegrass — Denver-based bluegrass and new acoustic seeking to align the visions of hipsters, hillbillies, and hippies
All five members of this band have an unwavering love of American roots music. They combine strong compositional elements with an ability to improvise and create melodic ideas in the moment.
8:15 p.m.: Caribou Mountain Collective — Winners of the 2014 Rockygrass Bluegrass Band Competition!
Caribou Mountain Collective is a quartet from Nederland, Colorado. Their extensive original repertoire channels the rich traditions of both Appalachia and Colorado bluegrass. Their original lyrics and instrumental compositions present unique facets into Americana.
9:30 p.m.: The Lil’ Smokies — 2016 International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) Momentum Award for Best Band
With their roots submerged in the thick buttery mud of traditional bluegrass, The Lil’ Smokies have sonically blossomed into a leading player in the progressive acoustic sphere, creating a new and wholly unique, melody driven sound of their own. This five-piece bluegrass ensemble features Andy Dunnigan (dobro), Scott Parker (upright bass), Matt Cornette (banjo), Jake Simpson (fiddle) and Matt Rieger (guitar).
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