Friday, May 28, 2010

MeadowGrass Music Festival

My Dad surprised my mom and I with a BBQ picnic dinner and tickets to the MeadowGrass Music Festival in Black Forest, CO this evening. What a treat, especially with the unusually warm Colorado weather! This bluegrass festival is hosted at La Foret Camps, with the beautiful Black Forest and Rocky Mountains as a back drop.

Tonight's line-up was sponsored by the Black Rose Acoustic Society, a community that hosts an open stage concert bi-weekly at the Black Forest Community Center. My parents are members and are looking forward to going to more shows now that their youngest chickling is leaving the nest.

The concert kicked off with Changing Colors, a Manitou Springs based band of two brothers (Conor and Ian Bourgal
) that sounds like a cross between Glen Hansard of The Frames and Guggenheim Grotto, with s sprinkle of old school Ryan Adams. In other words, my kind of sad folk music.

Next, we were in for a treat with a special jam session of a group of instructors from the Colorado Roots Music Camp called "The Uncamped Band." The group included Cary Black on Bass, Raul Reynoso and Cyd Smith on Guitar, and Fiddle virtuoso Kailin Yong. This group of talented musicians played a variety of music and jazzy solos that gave a peek into what happens when you put a room full of talent together and see what happens. Their rendition of Nuages by Django Reinhardt brought the crowd to their feet with a standing ovation.

The final band to take the stage is a Colorado Springs treasure called Grass it Up! This fun bluegrass band lit of the stage with a mixture of old blueglass covers and original music. It was hard to stay in your chair with their fast picking tunes sung by lead David Jeffrey and the fantastic fiddling of "Black Beard," aka Ben Lewis.
Grass It Up performs every Wednesday in Colorado Springs at the Front Range BBQ, a venue that has grown into a hub for bluegrass music in Colorado and a showcase for nationally touring bluegrass bands. If you are in the Colorado Springs area on a Wednesday evening, I recommend you check them out.

As it was getting late when Grass It Up wrapped up their jam session, we didn't stay for the BonFire post-show picking contest with the various bands. I am sure it was a ton of fun! As the La Foret camps have both cabins and campsites available for the weekend as part of the entrance fees, I told my parents that next year we should make plans to camp-in at least one night. Either way, I am planning to go back on Sunday night and hopefully see my old friend, Brock Gleeson. (Shameless plug, check out Brock's new EP "Water" at his website linked here.) With the Sunday line-up including the Great Lake Swimmers and The Greencards, I am sure it will be a ton of fun! If you are in the area, check it out!

To hear songs from last year's line up, click here.

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