Telluride Bluegrass: The Railsplitters Debut Thursday, Jump In!

Telluride Bluegrass: The Railsplitters Debut Thursday, Jump In!

The 45th Annual Telluride Bluegrass Festival takes place June 21-June 24. The event is completely sold out. But tune in to the live Festival stream at And learn more about other Planet Bluegrass festivals at

The Railsplitters debut on the Main Stage at Telluride Bluegrass on opening day, Thursday, June 21, 12:15 – 1:15 p.m.

Please scroll down to listen to a podcast featuring the band’s Lauren Stovall and Peter Sharpe.

Like Leftover Salmon, the band has deep roots in Colorado and ties to Planet Bluegrass.

Unlike Salmon, at just five years young, the quintet is, relatively speaking, the new kids on the block.

The Railsplitters features Lauren Stovall and her ‘Emmylou-esque’ vocals in the lead, plus Dusty Rider’s melodically intricate banjo licks, Peter Sharpe’s Brazilian and bluesy flare on mandolin, Joe D’Esposito’s New England- and Italian-inspired fiddling, and the ever-so-groovy Jean-Luc Davis on the double bass.

Just one year after its first gig at a LoDo watering hole in Denver, in 2013, the band won Planet Bluegrass’s RockyGrass band contest in Lyons, but opening day of the 45th annual Telluride Bluegrass Festival, Thursday, June 21, (12:15 – 1:15 p.m.), marks the group’s very first appearance on the Main Stage in Telluride’s Town Park.

However, the ’Splitters are already making waves, getting raves:

“Led by vocalist Lauren Stovall, the ‘Splitters write some of the catchiest, most creative songs in contemporary bluegrass,” said Brian Eyster, musician and marketing whiz, Planet Bluegrass.

“The Railsplitters are one of the most exciting bands to come on the scene in a long time. The complexity of their arrangements, the beauty of their vocals, and excitement in their performance should put them right in the center of your radar. Catch the Railsplitters, you’ll dig ’em!,” said Stephen Mougin, Sam Bush Band.

“The Railsplitters embody two of my favorite musical elements: high quality musicianship and great original songs. They use both to make them, without a doubt, one of the best bluegrass bands to emerge in the last few years,” Andy Hall, The Infamous Stringdusters.

“The Railsplitters are building their own links with listeners, continuing to push traditional bluegrass boundaries while staying true to the genre’s roots-one song, one note, one memorable riff, and one heartfelt harmony at a time,” David MacPherson, No Depression.

Although rooted in traditional bluegrass and old time music, The Railsplitters are always pushing the boundaries of the genre. With their lush harmonies, instrumental virtuosity and non-conformist songwriting, the group deftly demonstrate what happens when musical influences ranging from samba to pop and hip-hop merge with traditional Appalachian sounds.

What happens apparently is that it works. (See above big praise from some big names.)

Now from the Rocky Mountain Front Range in Boulder, CO, The Railsplitters spend much of their time on the road connecting with audiences across the US and Europe.

The Railsplitters have won multiple awards including first place in the aforementioned RockyGrass Band Competition.

They have also successfully crowd-funded all three of their studio albums, including their latest, Jump In.

“With Jump In, Colorado-based band The Railsplitters do exactly what’s expected of them, creating a bluegrass bonanza that finds their penchant for ambling, rambling melodies fully at the fore. Its an amiable set of songs to be sure, consistently pleasing and instrumentally astute. ‘You never worried about me … Or any I song I sung,’ they chide on the lilting ‘Lessons I’ve Learned,’ and indeed those lyrics seem like a mantra for the entire album…,” wrote No Depression.

By the way, there is little in that release or in the ‘Splitter’s sound today that screams “bluegrass.”

Yes the group is acoustic. But that’s where old school bluegrass comparisons end: The Railsplitters’ are decidedly progressive – which, in this apolitical context, is a good thing.

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