Westword’s “Best Bluegrass” band in Colorado 2010 & 2011

Planet Bluegrass outdid itself this year. With a megawatt line-up that included Mumford & Sons, Punch Brothers, Robert Plant, Bela Fleck, and Joe Pug, plus Darrell Scott & Friends for a glorious Gospel set, the 38th annual Telluride Bluegrass Festival was one for the books.

At Telluride Bluegrass, the spotlight was, as always, on the Fred Shellman Stage in Town Park. But when the lights went out, the action shifted to Night Grass and more ear candy, including sonic chocolate from Head for the Hills.

The joint was jumping when the modern acoustic quartet from Golden, Colorado, performed for over three hours to a sold-out house at Fly Me to the Moon Saloon. The set included originals such as “Telluride Song.” Covers such as Paul Simon’s “50 Ways to Leave Your Lover” and bluegrass staples featuring traditional, sensuous harmonies rounded out the not-to-be-missed dance party.

Bummer, you missed it. Or you were there and are jonesing for an encore. Here’s the good news. Head for the Hills is headed for the Sheridan Opera House on Friday, December 30, part of the bang up line-up for Sheridan Arts Foundation’s Holiday Concert Series.

Head for the Hills has worked with iconic musicians including David Grisman, Sam Bush, The Flaming Lips, Bruce Hornsby, Emmylou Harris, Little Feat, Nickel Creek, Yonder Mountain String Band, Tim O’Brien, Peter Rowan, Punch Brothers, Doc Watson, and Railroad Earth, most of whom are part of the Planet Bluegrass family. The group’s eponymous sophomore release, Head for the Hills, (2010), was produced by Leftover Salmon’s Drew Emmitt and recorded at Bill Nershi’s Sleeping Giant studio. The album garnered the group a charted position on the CMJ Top 200 national radio listings and earned a #29 position on Colorado Radio’s “Top 50 Albums of 2010.”

The name Head for the Hills connotes hightailing it, running away. Yeah right. From the growing crowd of fans in hot pursuit.

To learn more, click the “play” button and listen to what Head for the Hills’s fiddler Joe Lessard has to say about his life and his group.

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