If asked to pick a specific musical genre that Denver and Colorado specialize in producing, bluegrass music would be a top contender. From Telluride’s thriving annual Bluegrass Festival to the supportive community of artists and bands active in the Colorado Bluegrass Music Society, there is clearly an emphasis on fostering this creative community. With no lack of talent or opportunity to attend a live show, you can get your boot-stomping, string-picking fix almost daily if you wanted. Find a few of Colorado’s most original and talented bands listed below.
The Blue Canyon Boys
The Blue Canyon Boys have been called one of the premiere bluegrass bands in the Rocky Mountain region. Since winning the Telluride Bluegrass Band Contest in 2008, this four-piece powerhouse group has been invited to traverse regions of the world. It was given the honor of representing the United States and bluegrass music at the 14th annual Rainforest World Music Festival in Sarawak, Malaysia on the island of Borneo. It is a festival that has been consistently rated in the top 25 International Festivals by Songlines magazine. The Boys will be playing all over our beautiful state this fall and a complete list of performance dates and locations are on their website.
Produced by one of the industry’s most trusted names and recording its mature and polished sound in esteemed Nashville studios, Oakhurst is a band that represents the elite talent the Mile High City generates. Founded in 1999 by bass player Johnny James Qually and vocalist Patrick Hill, Oakhurst has released five albums and achieved the status of a full-time nationally touring and celebrated band. Fueled by its accomplished and progressive bluegrass sound, the group reaches new audiences and fans both nationally and internationally. Stream 2012 release “Barrell” on the Oakhurst website or visit the band’s Facebook page to find out where you can catch the group playing live next.
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The Highland Ramblers have entertained Denver-based audiences since 2008. Its catalogue includes a fun mix of originals, covers and what’s been dubbed “boot stomping bluegrass Americana” music. This group has performed all over the state of Colorado and released an original EP. Its upcoming itinerary will take the band all over the metro area this fall, giving you plenty of opportunities to see Highland Ramblers play live. Check the website for all of the latest performance dates and locations.
Bonnie And The Beard
Free spirited, whimsical and other worldly are all good ways to describe the music of Denver’s Bonnie and the Beard. This group’s nomadic sounds take you on a sonic journey of the soul. The three-piece band eloquently captures not only the feel of bluegrass, but seasons it with gypsy rock and spirited ramblings. Its independent artistry has captured the city and it has recently been broadcast on PBS’s “Sounds On 29th.” Visit the website for a current schedule of shows and booking information.
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Marian is a freelance writer with a passion for music, entertainment and nightlife. She writes regularly on assignment for Examiner.com as their Pop Music Journalist. You can view her page here.