David Royko Psy.D
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Telluride Bluegrass Festival 2014
Telluride Bluegrass Festival 2014
Prepared and on the way
Overpacked? Nah. Just thorough. June 18, 2014
On The Line
Jake viewing from the Continental Divide with a gale at his back. June 18, 2014.
Opportunities for a photo are constant in the Rockies, as Jake discovered. June 18, 2014.
Not What It Should Be
It ain't a house of ill repute in Nevada, but a gas station in Leadville, a former silver mining town, along the way to Telluride if you don't take the interstate. June 18, 2014.
Arrival on Colorado Avenue
Downtown Telluride at twilight. June 18, 2014.
Tap Into Telluride
Nothing like a Spinal Tap flag (or in this case, "Spinal Tarp") to suggest that this ain't your granddad's bluegrass fest. June 19, 2014.
Clowning in Telluride
Telluride Bluegrass Festival is a kid-friendly place, even as clouds of newly-legal smoke whirl around, June 21, 2014.
JPJ and the Family
John Paul Jones joins Nickel Creek's Sara and Sean Watkins at the Telluride Bluegrass Festival's Watkins Family Hour on the Elks Park Workshop stage, June 22, 2014.
Bicycles park outside the festival grounds. June 22, 2014.
Only in Telluride
Noam Pikleny (banjoist with the Punch Brothers) and fiddler Stuart Duncan perform a duo "workshop" (in this case, a performance) on the Elks Park stage, with listeners (some visible) like Gillian Welch, Chris Thile and the rest of the Punch Brothers -- in other words, an audience as impressive as who's on stage. June 22, 2014.
Bridge Over Happy Water
The path along the river to and from the festival and our place was as enjoyable a stroll as can be imagined. June 21, 2014.
Another from the Elks Park workshop stage, this time with the guitarists who have been (Bryan Sutton, right) and are (Chris Eldridge) Punch Brothers. Try to find better 6-stringers anywhere, I dare ya. June 20, 2014.
JPJ and Jake
Jake with none other than John Paul Jones, who spent the weekend with mandolin in hand and, as a member of the Dave Rawlings Machine, performed a superb rendition of his former band's "Going to California," that old group being, of course, Led Zeppelin. June 22, 2014.
Bela Fleck and Brooklyn Rider
A different kind of String Quintet that Schubert never wrote for, doing a Sunday morning main stage set. June 22, 2014.
You should bring clothes for all seasons and conditions when going to the Telluride Festival. It can be hot as hell during the day, like into the 90s, and when the sun sets or it gets cloudy, the temperature plummets, and can be in the 30s when the last set ends. And it ain't always sunny... June 22, 2014.
The last set of the weekend on the Elks Park stage featured a workshop delivered by five of the best singers/songwriters around -- Nicki Bluhm, Aoife O'Donovan, Tift Merritt, Sarah Jarosz, and (the back of) Sara Watkins. June 22, 2014.
Just a Creek
A stream by the old Telluride mining station is one of countless beautiful sites in and around town. June 23, 2014.
Absolutely nothing personifies the range of the Telluride "Bluegrass" Festival like Bela Fleck's Friday night set with the Colorado Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Scott O'Neill. With the main work being his "Imposter" concerto for banjo and orchestra, here he is joined by Sam Bush for Fleck's New Grass Revival-era "County Clare." Hearing Sam's fiddle solo from New Grass Revival's 1984 "From The Boulevard" album, transcribed by Bela note-for-note for the orchestra's string section, was very, very cool. June 20, 2014.
In the morning before the gates open, those who got in line at 7:00 am (like me) were way back, compared to those who arrived at 1:00 am. The sign outside one of the town's marijuana shops lets you know that you're not in Kansas any more. Or Chicago. Or any other state besides Colorado (or Washington). June 20, 2014.
Yet another of those Telluride sets with enough talent combined on stage to put together a week of shows, this time with Sara Jarosz, both Nickel Creek Watkins sibs (Sara and Sean), Aoife O'Donovan, Gillian Welch and members of the David Rawlings Machine. June 21, 2014.
Watching and Listening and Learning
A crowd at an Elks Park workshop. June 21, 2914.
Small but Mighty
An Elks Park gathering hears the FrazierBand's "New Newgrass From Nashville" set. June 21, 2014.
Telluride is full of waterfalls, and here are two of them. June 23, 2014.
Sam Bush is always The Man, the King of Telluride being his unofficial, official monicker (Sam's the sole image on the cover of the hardcover, lavish photo book commemorating the fortieth anniversary, fer Pete's sake). Never accepted by Sam himself, nonetheless, the thought of a Telluride without him seems impossible. This year, following last season's 40th for the festival, is the celebrated 40th for Sam, as in consecutive years, since the 2nd in 1975 that made it a real festival, instead of a strictly local event. To celebrate, Sam put on a riveting set with his band and some guests, including ten other mandolinists for 'Russian Rag,' a piece he recorded (with Mike Marshall) on his "Late As Usual" solo album, dubbing multiple mandos. Here, it was eleven live mandolins -- AKA eighty-eight strings. June 21, 2014. Photo by Jake Royko.
The 41st Annual Telluride Bluegrass Festival wrapped up at 2:00 AM with a Nightgrass set at the Sheridan Opera House anchored by the Punch Brothers that eventually brought out, among others, the entirety of Nickel Creek and the Dave Rawlings Machine, ending with 15 musicians on stage in a rousing and creative "Will the Circle Be Unbroken," after which Thile, with several others, moved to the center of the rabid crowd to send everyone away with un-amplified gospel music. This is the beginning of the night with the Punch Brothers, before my camera battery died. Farewell for now... June 22, 2014.
Clouds on the flight back from Telluride, 9000 feet, to Chicago, 579 feet. Yeah, it's easier to breathe, but there sure is less to look at. June 24, 2014.