At the Telluride Bluegrass Festival, the spotlight is always on the Main (Fred Shellman) Stage, which this year features the likes of newcomers Della Mae, Laura Marling, Run Boy Run, Seryn, and Devil Makes Three, plus superstars –  and regulars who are superstars: Tim O’Brien, Jerry Douglas, Edgar Meyer, Mike Marshall, Bela, Peter Rowan, John Prine, John Fogerty, Alison Krauss, and kd lang. However, there is lots of show to see outside Town Park: workshops in Elks Park and late night shows at NightGrass.

Last year at NightGrass, for example, the crowd went wild when a modern acoustic quartet from Golden, Colorado, performed for over three hours to a sold-out house at Fly Me to the Moon Saloon. The show 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.

Same thing happened when Head for the Hills played the Sheridan Opera House during the Christmas season. The joint was jumping. And it wasn’t just holiday cheer. It was Head for the Hills’ new spin on acoustic music.

Head for the Hills, performs in town once again – three’s the charm, right? –  at the 39th annual Telluride Bluegrass Festival. On Thursday, the group leads a free workshop in Elks Park on Friday, 2:30 – 3:30 p.m. Friday, June 22, 1:00 p.m., they appear on the Main (Fred Shellman Memorial) Stage in Town Park. Later that same day (Friday), HFTH plays an encore concert at NightGrass at Fly Me to the Moon Saloon, starting at 11:00 p.m.

The past year was explosive for the quartet. They are once again in the running for Westword’s “Best Bluegrass” band in Colorado award, which H4TH won in 2010 and 2011. And the group traveled nonstop, performing shows and festivals such as SXSW and crossing paths with a motley assortment of  top tier artists: Sam Bush, Built to Spill, Blitzen Trapper, Railroad Earth, Leftover Salmon, and other greats, largely Telluride Bluegrass alums, a number of whom meet again this year at the Festival.

At Telluride Bluegrass, count on H4TH to showcase tracks from the group’s very first live album, (their third album), Head for the Hills – Live.  Recorded in 2011 over eight months, five concerts, and four venues—including Fort Collins home bases the Aggie Theatre and the Mishawaka Amphitheatre—the new record features keyboard work by special guest James Thomas and includes one fresh, unreleased original song, “Bosun Ridley. “Live” showcases the range of the band’s songwriting, the depth of their improvisational chops and the some of eccentricities that mark every H4TH performance.

For background on the band, listen to this interview recorded last year.

To learn more about what to expect from H4TH this year, click the “play” button and listen to what Mike Chappell, mandolin, has to add.

Oh, and you can link to this video to preview the show: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2kuR4KZ-4To&feature=plcp

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