Keystone’s Winter Bluegrass Weekend stars Sierra Hull and more
If you go
What: Winter Bluegrass Weekend
When: Friday, Jan. 23, and Saturday, Jan. 24; open jam starts at 5:30 p.m., and doors open at 6:30 p.m. for concerts, which begin at 7
Where: Warren Station Center for the Arts, 164 Ida Belle Drive, Keystone
Cost: Adult single-day passes start at $12, or two nights for $20; discounts available for children
More information: Advance tickets are on sale at www.warrenstation.com
A top-notch lineup of bluegrass musicians will make its way to Warren Station at Keystone on Friday, Jan. 23, and Saturday, Jan. 24, for Keystone’s annual Winter Bluegrass Weekend. Celebrating its fourth year, the event brings together acoustic roots and mountain culture to benefit the Dercum Center for the Arts and Humanities.
On Friday, Jan. 23, catch familiar favorites such as Summit County’s Local Folk, The Pine Beatles and Colorado’s own tempo-kicking Railsplitters. Saturday, Jan. 24, features popular pickers including Finnders & Youngberg, the Haunted Windchimes and bluegrass big shots Sierra Hull with Justin Moses.
To add a bit of spice, bluegrass lovers are invited to tote their instruments and strum with fellow players at 5:30 p.m. each afternoon during the event. Led by local musicians, the acoustic jam takes place in the Warren Station ballroom just before the bands take the stage. All pickers and grinners are welcome, though standard bluegrass jam etiquette applies. If you can tune your instrument, make basic chord shapes like G, C, D and A and can maintain rhythm, you will fit right in. Camaraderie and meeting other musicians is all part of the fun. Although donations are appreciated, participants do not have to purchase a concert ticket to join in the jam, so pick on.
These two nights of stacked concerts star amazing string bands and will entertain listeners with music new and old, all to raise funds for a cultural legacy left by Keystone’s founders, Max and Edna Dercum. Tickets start at $12 for an adult single-day pass and $20 for a two-night pass.
Local Folk is an up-tempo mountain-grass party playing a fresh mixture of bluegrass, old-time, Western swing and fiddle tunes from local Summit County musicians with an arrangement of guitars, bass, fiddle, mandolin, banjo and dobro.
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. Playing private parties, nonprofit fundraisers, cookouts and weddings, this community-based band soon became known around Summit as a fun component of any friendly gathering.
From their home in the Colorado Rockies, The Railsplitters have been scaling new heights with a refreshing and charming range of bluegrass and beyond-bluegrass music. The Railsplitters are nothing if not enthusiastically bluegrass and contagiously so, with rapid tempos, unusual instrumentals and good-time breakdowns. Using powerful female and male vocals, enchanting harmonies and masterful playing, The Railsplitters have the kind of raw power that can raise mountains and even a few eyebrows.
Colorado’s Finnders & Youngberg proudly swim in the deep currents of American music — classic bluegrass, tried-and-true honky tonk, country swing and skillfully spun folk tales. While their sound evokes timelessness, it is a decidedly contemporary, well-traveled, 21st century sensibility that informs their songwriting. Their tunes draw on the bumps, bruises and laugh lines earned when we find ourselves in the “bogs” of backroads, dive bars and long, lonesome nights
The Haunted Windchimes’ sound is very traditional folk and blues and the songs have a vintage quality, as if they might have been written yesterday or 75 years ago. It’s the vocal harmonies that really set them apart, a three-headed juggernaut of Desirae Garcia, Chela Lujan and Inaiah Lujan. When their voices blend, it’s nothing short of beautiful. The sound is often moody and melancholy but is always deeply affecting. That sound is embroidered by the instrumental mastery of Mike Clark and the standup bass foundation of Sean Fanning.
Sierra Hull has already earned considerable respect in the bluegrass world, the International Bluegrass Music Association’s voting members having nominated her for no fewer than five awards over three years, and there’s a good chance she’ll be the first woman to win the mandolin category. But as a player, a singer and a songwriter, she also has remarkable range, the potential to win over ears unfamiliar with Bill Monroe and give performances of broad cultural importance, as she’s done at Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center and the National Prayer Breakfast.
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