FestiVAL! There are still a lot of cold days in between now and June 21st when the Telluride Bluegrass Festival kicks off, but the good folks at Planet Bluegrass announced a good chunk of the lineup a while ago. It’s looking good with the usual suspects like Alison Krauss, Sam Bush, Bela Fleck, Del McCoury, Peter Rowan, Punch Brothers and more ensuring that tickets will sell quickly (and the best camping tickets are long gone).
However, there are a few fresh young faces that are worth checking out…
Run Boy Run (Tucson, AZ) – This band of six, which was assembled at The University of Arizona a few years back, won last year’s Telluride band contest to earn their spot on the main stage this year. The band falls in the old time Americana mountain tunes category (even if they are from Arizona) and will be a favorite of traditional bluegrass folks. They released a self-titled five track album/EP back in September that sounds really polished. Here’s a great clip of a performance from Flagstaff last fall: Run Boy Run at the Pines Blugrass Festival Flagstaff.
Della Mae (Boston) – Every now and then I fall in love while trying to write about a band. The latest victim: Celia Woodsmith of Boston’s Della Mae, a legit, polished traditional bluegrass band of six ladies who assures everyone that being a lady band “is not what it’s about.” I believe them. Della Mae features 2-time National Fiddle Champion Kimber Ludiker, flat pick guitar player Courtney Hartman, mandolinist Jenni Lynn Gardner, bassist Amanda Kowalski, and powerhouse vocalist Celia Woodsmith. The band, which was formed in Boston in 2009, released their first album, I Built This Heart (Bandcamp), in October. The album features a ton of amazing tracks with great solos. I can’t wait to see these girls live. Check out a few videos here: “Blessed Hands” (below), “Jaime Dear” & “Polk Country”