Telluride Americana Music Weekend starts July 23, 8 p.m.

Telluride Americana Music Weekend starts July 23, 8 p.m.

[click “Play” to hear Steve Stagner on Americana Music]

In Telluride, Grammy winner Tim O’Brien is the poster child for a hodgepodge of country, folk, bluegrass, blues, rock, and swing simply described as Americana music. The rootsy genre tends to have a comfortable back porch feel – but with a modern twist. Something like a Pendleton blanket fashioned into a jacket by Ralph Lauren only better.

Eric Bibb

At the Sheridan Opera House this weekend, starting July 23, Austin native Steve Stagner adds other names to the list of singer-songwriters and multi-instrumentalists who take old music and serve it up as something familiar yet fresh, be it a honky tonk shuffle from the 1950s or an original bluegrass-inflected tune. The line-up for the 3rd annual Telluride Americana Music Weekend includes North Carolina native Shannon Whitworth, two of Austin’s best songwriters, Kevin Welch and Walt Wilkins, troubadour Slaid Cleaves, Tift Merritt, Nashville writer Irene Kelley and acoustic blues musician Eric Bibb.

Steve Stagner is a part-time Telluride local. In Austin, he and his wife, both music buffs, built a small amphitheater in their backyard (seating for 125 give or take) for house concerts featuring friends who happen to be acoustic musicians. Several years ago, the couple started bringing some of their talented friends to Telluride to play the Sheridan Opera House. Stagner is passionate about Americana music, which he defines as “Story-driven acoustic music.” KOTO musical director Suzanne Cheavens sums up in her blog:

“It can be argued that, in popular music, the song is the highest form of the craft. The best writers of Americana songs pen miniature novels into a few verses and a chorus. Couple that with some heartbreak-gorgeous voices and solid guitar chops, and the listener is captivated. Americana-roots-alt-country music is hugely popular in Europe, particularly in England, Scotland, France and Scandinavia where American acts are often better-known overseas than in their own country. “

To learn more about Stagner and his mini festival, press the “play” button and listen to his podcast.

Download Eric Bibb – The Soul of a Man.mp3 (4243.1K)

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