Bradford Lee Folk and the Bluegrass Playboys perform ‘Denver’

Bradford Lee Folk and the Bluegrass Playboys perform “Denver” at Second Story Garage music video studio in Boulder, Colorado.

There aren’t many farmers left in the country, let alone bluegrass musicians who are actually farmers. But Bradford Lee Folk has always been the real deal.

He first came to national attention in the early 2000s as part of Open Road, a Colorado bluegrass group that was noted not just for its instrumental and vocal skills but for how defiantly it hewed to the revered traditions of the genre. While other Colorado bluegrass acts increasingly added electricity and drums to their sound, Open Road donned matching suits and Stetson hats.

Folk left Open Road and the road to open the Swing Station honky tonk in Laporte, northwest of Fort Collins. But now, by day, he’s a working farmer outside Nashville and, by night, the leader of Bradford Lee Folk and the Bluegrass Playboys.

His latest band has deep roots in bluegrass, but, unlike Open Road, it takes an exploratory approach with the genre. The ‘Boys play around with Americana, roots and folk elements, as can be heard in the three songs they performed at the Garage, “The Lion’s Den,” “Denver” and the moving “Soil and Clay,” which Folk wrote in response to the Sandy Hook massacre. The band also sat down with Quentin to talk about their recent efforts.

What they brought us: A signed can of Busch Light, a Playboys comb and a Playboys sticker.

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Your host

Your host Quentin Young, reporter at the Times-Call (Longmont), and Daily Camera (Boulder) respectively.

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