Greensky Bluegrass makes a stand at Boulder Theater

Greensky Bluegrass plays three nights at the Boulder Theater, March 12-14. (Jamie VanBuhler / VisualLife Photography)
Greensky Bluegrass plays three nights at the Boulder Theater, March 12-14. (Jamie VanBuhler / VisualLife Photography)

By Quentin Young

Greensky Bluegrass, from Kalamazoo, Mich., somehow seems to fit right into the Front Range music scene.

“The funny thing was everyone thought we were from Colorado, even when we were playing in Michigan,” guitarist Dave Bruzza said.

These days, though, when people think Bruzza is from Colorado, they’re right. He relocated a year and a half ago to the Capitol Hill neighborhood in Denver, where his wife, Monica, was living.

Greensky is made up of bluegrass lovers with rock in their blood. The group’s star really started to rise after it won the 2006 Telluride Bluegrass Festival band competition. Greensky is a direct descendent of such seminal Front Range acts as Hot Rize, The String Cheese Incident, Leftover Salmon and Yonder Mountain String Band.

A common milestone for such bands is to get a three-night gig at the Boulder Theater. Greensky will be thus anointed March 12 through March 14.

“That’s pretty exciting,” Bruzza said by phone from a tour bus in the bluegrass state of Kentucky a couple of weeks ago. “Colorado has always been really good to us.”

Greensky Bluegrass includes Bruzza, Anders Beck on dobro, Michael Arlen Bont on banjo, Mike Devol on bass and Paul Hoffman on mandolin. Hoffman and Bruzza write much of the band’s material. Greensky’s latest album, “If Sorrows Swim,” a name that Hoffman thought of while thinking about the futility of treating sadness with drink, came out in late 2014.

Greensky Bluegrass is nestled in those greener pastures of jamband world where fans come out to every show they can. That means the band has to treat a three-nighter like one long show, when the sun’s up, with lengthy set breaks.

“We keep it fresh every night,” Bruzza said. “We try to mix it up.”

Denver fans sometimes catch Bruzza on low-key neighborhood stages. He often guests at the Thursday night Grass for that Ass bluegrass shows at Cervantes’ Other Side in Denver. He said the area is lush with opportunity.

“It’s an amazing place for any musician to come to, because people really love to go support music.”

The Denver bluegrass band Trout Steak Revival is one of his favorite local acts, he said.

Rayland Baxter will open the Boulder Theater shows. The members of Greensky saw him perform at the Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival in San Francisco.

“We really like his music,” Bruzza said, “so we asked him to go on this tour with us.”

To illustrate how the band feels about Baxter, Bruzza put it like this: “We’re in a position to have anyone we want.”
Watch Greensky Bluegrass perform in Second Story Garage.

Quentin Young: 303-684-5319, or

If you go

What: Greensky Bluegrass

When: Thursday, March 12, through Saturday, March 14

Where: Boulder Theater, 2032 14th St., Boulder

Tickets: $22.50-$60


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