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  • Bluegrass roots run from Lyons to Kentucky by way of Brooklyn

    Bluegrass roots run from Lyons to Kentucky by way of Brooklyn

    5:15 p.m. July 28, Planet Bluegrass, Lyons – Bluegrass has a lot of ironclad rules. You have to sing around one microphone. You have to wear suits and ties. Only certain instruments are acceptable and that certainly excludes drums. The final rule is that none of the above applies if you love bluegrass, body and soul. Mandolin legend Andy Statman truly loves bluegrass, and has since the early ’60s. He also loves jazz, rock and roll and klezmer. And if all […]

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  • What is the sound of two dobros in the rain?

    What is the sound of two dobros in the rain?

    3:20 p.m. July 28, 2013, Lyons, Colorado (in a steady drizzle) – Following a power outage, drenching rains and double dobros, the Andy Statman Trio is onstage at Rockygrass playing jazzy, klezmer-inflected string band music as the sun pokes through. This is my kind of bluegrass festival. The final day of the festival commenced with a truly rare set by the two top dobroists on the planet: Jerry Douglas and Rob Ickes. The set was in part a tribute to the late, great Mike […]

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  • When Del met Sam: ‘The Monroe Brothers of new millenium’

    When Del met Sam: ‘The Monroe Brothers of new millenium’

    7:45 p.m. July 27, Planet Bluegrass, Lyons – It was one of those cool Rockygrass moments. Del McCoury, the greatest tenor voice bluegrass has ever produced, was onstage in a rare duet set with mandolin king Sam Bush. McCoury was once a member of the Bluegrass Boys, bluegrass dad Bill Monroe’s legendary band which gave its name to the genre. He introduced a Monroe song noting that he had learned it from a subsequent Bluegrass Boy vocalist, Peter Rowan, who was […]

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  • Cellist Rashad Eggleston performing Curtis Mayfield's "People Get Ready" with Darol Anger and Bruce Molsky in the Old-Time Kosmik Trio July 27 at Rockygrass. Photo by John Lehndorff)

    Americana? Folk? Old-timey? Bluegrass? It’s all rock-n-roll to me

    4 p.m. July 27, Lyons – It was an old-timey Americana  afternoon at Rockygrass although not a traditional one. “Old timey” is both the “country” music that preceded bluegrass and a genre that co-exists in that string band universe. The hypnotic clipclop of the clawhammer (versus the Scruggs-style five string) separates old-timey from bluegrass. First up today was I Draw Slow, a jaw-dropping Irish band with an unmitigated reverence for Appalachian music inflected with the Celtic music that immigrants brought from […]

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  • The Rockygrass "office" of the Camera's correspondent comes with live background music on July 27 in Lyons. The band includes Tim O'Brien (bass), David Grier (guitar), Noam Pikelny (banjo) and Shad Cobb (fiddle). (Photo by John Lehndorff)

    Another day at the office, Rockygrass-style

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  • Front Country performs July 27 at the Rockygrass Festival in Lyons, Colorado. (Photo by John Lehndorff)

    At Rockygrass, the same old instruments yield brave new sounds

    High Noon July 27, Lyons – Standard bluegrass instrumentation, band to band, at the 41st Rockygrass Festival, is virtually identical: guitar, mandolin, bass, banjo and fiddle with an occasional dobro. That’s the way bluegrass deity Bill Monroe said it had to be. You – meaning non-bluegrass geeks - would think it would get incredibly boring to hear set after set. It isn’t, at least here in Lyons. Take the band playing right now on the main stage. The Deadly Gentleman are a fine, youthful progressive […]

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Your hosts are Ashley Dean and Quentin Young, reporters at the Colorado Daily (Boulder) and Times-Call (Longmont), respectively.

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