Telluride Blues & Brews 2010

Sunday flag I’ve been a fan of the Telluride Blues & Brews Festivals for years. I’ve actually watched the event morph from a few tasting tents on Colorado Avenue to a full-blown, internationally renowned music festival with some of the best musicians on the planet, fabulous microbrews and a venue that simply blows the socks off most other blues festivals – outside of New Orleans, that is. And the 2010 TB&BF was no exception. It was, in fact, one of the best ever.

  Graced with magnificent, cerulean blue skies, mountainsides of glowing, golden aspen and temperatures in the 80’s, the stage was set for a weekend of stellar performance, outrageous weather and ecstatic experience.  Thursday evening opened the festivities with a free sunset concert at the Mountain Village Plaza featuring the Gold Kings – a talented local band of “brothers” – followed by on-the-rise British blues guitarist Matt Schofield – wow!

DanaF6*Friday was a day of fantastic blues guitar – Ronnie Baker Brooks [son of Hall of Fame inducBear creektee Lonnie Brooks], Jimmie Vaughn [brother of legendary bluesman Stevie Ray] and George Thorogood [of “One Bourbon, One Scotch and One Beer” fame] and the gutsy, heartful rockin’ blues vocals of Dana Fuchs, whose amazing voice, edgy style, stunning beauty and soulful moves were downright riveting.  

And, of course, the town rocked with the Juke Joint shows when the park stage darkened and the Moon rose up and over Ajax – Friday, Saturday and, this year, Sunday! nights.

On Saturday, the Grand Tasting on the festival grounds offered samples of 150 microbrews and crafted lagers from more than 50 brewers around the U.S. – fruity blends, bold flavors, pale ales, and rainbows of gold, amber, bronze and mahogany – delighting the crowd and maintaining the down-home integrity of the festival’s roots. The Best of Festival award – determined by votes from festival attendees – was given to Eddyline Restaurant and GailBrewery located in Buena Vista, CO, a mountain town not far from Telluride. The park was full of happy faces and full-then-empty glasses as the tunes of Cedric Burnside and Lightnin’ Malcom rocked the crowd with funky blues and rhythmic hip-hop. Then came Terrence Simien and the Zydeco Experience – New Orleans, reggae and accordions – followed by J.J. Grey and Mofro, Galactic and Cyrill Neville, Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeshi.

Peace tipisV Once again, warm, hot!!! weather, blue, blue skies and unbelievable audio-visuals. Ahhh…Telluride!

  Sunday began with the music of Otis Taylor and the Gospel Singers – what a way to start the day! – and ended with the unmistakable, rich voice of B.B.King and his legendary blues guitar, Lucille. He celebrated his 85th OtisTaylorbirthday on the Town Park stage with flaming candles and a guitar shaped birthday cake. Stellar, magic and magnificent…His Majesty, King of the Blues, B.B. King. The day was amazing, the music mesmerizing and the mystique intact. Here’s to another year!


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