Margaret Hair: Time for tunes outside


Margaret Hair

Margaret Hair's column appears Fridays in the 4 Points arts and entertainment section in the Steamboat Today. Contact her at 871-4204 or e-mail

With ski season over, a couple of sunny days behind us and a handful of outdoor concerts already set for Steamboat this summer, I'm having trouble holding a thought on anything that isn't related to listening to live music while simultaneously burning my pasty face off.

This is probably because I'm going to Coachella music festival - and seeing Prince. Prince! - in a California desert next weekend. And it also might have something to do with my all-time favorite music event, the Shakori Hills Grassroots Festival in Chatham County, N.C., going on this weekend, way over on the East Coast.

Mostly, it has me plotting ways to make it to festivals happening around Colorado this summer, along with those a little further away that have Steamboat ties. Here's a quick rundown on who's playing some of the biggest bills:

¤ Free Summer Concert Series (June through August, Steamboat Springs): This doesn't really meet my or anyone else's definition of "festival," but the series does offer cheap Friday evening entertainment to locals throughout the summer. So far, Drew Emmitt (of Leftover Salmon) and Michael Franti and Spearhead are nailed down to play on June 27 and July 18, respectively. Three more acts are expected to be set fairly soon.

¤ Westword Music Showcase 2008 (June 14, Denver): Even if you don't buy in advance, tickets to this one stay under the $20 mark. Headliners are Ra Ra Riot and Drive-By Truckers. They're joined by about 50 Colorado music acts, all vying for recognition from Denver's branch of Village Voice Media.

¤ Telluride Bluegrass Festival (June 19 to 22, Telluride): Ring in the longest day of the year with The Frames, Sam Bush, Yonder Mountain String Band, Tift Merritt, Brett Dennen and Steep Canyon Rangers. Elsewhere on the festival schedule, catch performances by Arlo Guthrie, Del McCoury, Ani DiFranco, Ricky Skaggs, Bela Fleck and The Swell Season (that adorable couple from the movie "Once"). And if you've never seen the beautiful train wreck that is Ryan Adams performing live, he's set to play with The Cardinals on Thursday, June 19.

¤ Deep Blues Festival (July 18 to 20, Lake Elmo, Minn.): Along with a set from Steamboat's own blues boys American Relay, the lineup for the second annual Deep Blues fest features The Legendary Shack Shakers, Dex Romweber Duo, The Moaners, Richard Johnston, T-Model Ford, Cedric Burnside and Charlie Parr. In general, it's evidence that people will be playing the blues, or at least music inspired by it, for a long time.

¤ RockyGrass (July 25 to 27, Lyons): Anchored by bluegrass mainstays Sam Bush, Edgar Meyer, Bela Fleck and Darol Anger, this year's festival touts performances by Natalie MacMaster, Chatham County Line and the Carolina Chocolate Drops (I know I am biased, but those last two are among the best musical distillations of old and new).

¤ Folks Festival (Aug. 15 to 17, Lyons): The full lineup isn't set, and it's probably safe to hold off on buying tickets to this one. But confirmed acts include KT Tunstall, Amos Lee and Jakob Dylan.

¤ NedFest (Aug. 22 to 24, Nederland): Jam-a-rama. Confirmed acts include The Motet, New Monsoon, Great American Taxi and ONDA.

¤ Four Corners Folk Festival (Aug. 29 to 31, Pagosa Springs): So far, the bill features Earl Scruggs, Punch Brothers featuring Chris Thile, The Waifs and The Belleville Outfit.

¤ Monolith Music Festival (Sept. 13 and 14, Red Rocks Amphitheatre, outside of Denver): In its second year, Monolith still is in the planning stages. But it's the only festival of its kind in the state (last year's headliners included The Flaming Lips and Spoon), and it's got a sweet venue to host.

Plan ahead and buy your tickets now for the bigger ones, if you want to go. Or scalp your way in. Your call.

- To reach Margaret Hair, call 871-4204

or e-mail


corduroy 8 years, 11 months ago

don't forget all the amazing shows at Red Rocks, and Mishawaka right on the Poudre!

Also happening this July is the first Mile High Music Festival headliners are Dave Matthews Band, John Mayer, and TOM PETTY! not to mention MANY other bands like moe. Michael Franti & Spearhead etc etc



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