Last weekend, bluegrass fans and musicians alike flocked to The 44th Annual Telluride Bluegrass Festival, the annual bluegrass gathering nestled in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado. The festival saw virtuosic super-pickers and all-star collaborations grace its stage, putting on masterful performances across its four days. With dozens of sets in one of the most scenic locales in Colorado, the festival is always a highlight of the summer, solidly ranking as one of the favorite destinations for bluegrass enthusiasts nationwide.
Thursday had one of the biggest surprises of the festival. Country star Dierks Bently, who was already performing with The Travelin’ McCourys, was joined by none other than Del McCoury, who flew out as a surprise for the set. He was also joined by Chris Thile of the Punch Brothers and Sam Bush, making for a truly all-star collaboration and a stellar way to start the weekend. You can listen to the audio from the set below.
Dierks Bently with The Travelin’ McCourys and Del McCoury
Ahead of this major surprise, Portland’s Fruition put on a fiery performance of their own, which topped many folks lists of favorite sets across the weekend. You can listen to their set below, courtesy of Terry TLP Lapointe.
The first night of the festival closed out with a performance by the Telluride House Band, which tapped Sam Bush, Béla Fleck, Jerry Douglas, Edgar Meyer, Bryan Sutton, and Stuart Duncan and saw surprise visitor Del McCoury perform as well. On Friday, as the festival kicked into high gear, Telluride saw stand-out performances by Lindsay Lou & The Flatbellys, Peter Rowan Dharma Blues featuring Jack Casady, and the Punch Brothers. Perennial favorite Greensky Bluegrass was charged up for their day-closing set on Friday night, putting on an energized performance that saw Sam Bush sit in for “Fixin’ To Ruin” and “Midnight Rider” and Bryan Sutton sit in for “Ain’t No Bread In The Breadbox.” You can listen to Greensky’s set below.
After making an appearance with Yonder Mountain String Band during the day, Sam Bush rocked his own band’s performance to help end Saturday ahead of Dispatch’s day-closing set. The Sam Bush Band was a highlight of many attendees’ weekends, with the King of Telluride proving exactly why he’s earned that title. You can watch his performance below, courtesy of Owen Perkins (and click here to find video of the rest of Sam Bush Band’s show).
With the weekend of musical celebration coming to its close, Sunday saw performances by Béla Fleck & Chris Thile, Hot Rize (joined by Jerry Douglas), and Elephant Revival end the 44th Annual Telluride Bluegrass Festival on a high note. You can watch Hot Rize’s performance below, courtesy of Owen Perkins (and click here to find video of the rest of the set).
This year’s Telluride Bluegrass was one for the books, and we’re already looking forward to what 2018 has in store. To relive some of this year’s magic, you can check out Conrad Meyer’s photo galleries from the weekend below!