Telluride Bluegrass: Big Richard, Big Deal! Saturday on Main Stage!

Telluride Bluegrass: Big Richard, Big Deal! Saturday on Main Stage!

The 49th Annual Telluride Bluegrass Festival takes place June 15 – June 17. The event is sold out. There is no waitlist.  If you are looking for tickets, use the Festivarian Forum to connect with other festival goers. But tickets are still available for Nightgrass. (Click here.)

Learn more about other Planet Bluegrass festivals at

Please scroll down to check out our email interview with Emma Rose of Big Richard. The band plays the Main Stage on Saturday, June 18.

Go here for more on Telluride Bluegrass. (Podcasts with Bluegrass legends back to 2009.)

“Big Richard is new to the Bluegrass scene, but they’re absolutely on fire. This all-female quartet has made waves since they formed in 2021, and it seems like there is no end in sight. It’s incredible to see such talented young women coming into this space and making it their own. These ladies are going places, and we’re psyched to be along for the ride,” said Grace Barrett of Planet Bluegrass.

Who is Big Richard?

Platinum recording artist Bonnie Sims on mandolin and guitar grew up on bluegrass music in Texas, with a professional banjo player for a father and a family band.

Bonnie studied commercial music at South Plains College, double-majoring in mandolin and singing/yodeling. After graduation, she moved to Colorado where she has had over a decade of success in projects with her husband Taylor: Bonnie & Taylor Sims Band, Everybody Loves An Outlaw, Bonnie & the Clydes.

Big Richard has given Bonnie the opportunity to simultaneously return to her roots and defy tradition, two things this artist enjoys immensely.

Virtuosic, multi-genre cellist Dr. Joy Adams grew up on a farm north of Spokane, Washington. Equally at home improvising over fiddle tunes or playing a concerto with orchestra, she is also a composer, songwriter, educator, and a prolific recording artist. Dr. Joy also shares the stage with her spouse, Andy Reiner, in their trio Half Pelican.

Recent career highlights include touring with Nathaniel Rateliff/Darol Anger and performing on NPR’s “Live From Here” with Chris Thile, at the Newport Folk Festival and Red Rocks, on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert, and at the Telluride Bluegrass Festival with Bonnie Paine (of Elephant Revival).

Dr. Joy also played cello for the Emmy Award-winning soundtrack to “Godless” on Netflix, as well as on the Grammy- and Emmy Award- winning soundtrack to “The Queen’s Gambit,”and more.

Dr. Joy collects hats, both literally and musically: she has performed with Bruce Hornsby, Barry Manilow, Bobby McFerrin, Chic Corea, Kenny Loggins, Gloria Estefan, George Benson, Terrence Blanchard, Edgar Meyer, Darol Anger, Joshua Bell, Renee Flemming the Travelin’ McCourys, Mark O’Connor, Billy Strings, Sam Bush, among others.

A glutton for punishment, Joy is attempting to play all 36 movements of the Bach Cello Suites on top of 36 “14ers” (mountains over 14,000 feet tall). She has completed six so far.

Soulful Eve Panning has a storied history, inspiring crowds and classrooms with her music.

Eve began studying classically at the Indiana University String Academy when she was just a mere speck of a girl of six years old. She was also exposed to a rich culture of traditional folk music in the small town where she grew up. Her community of music provided a springboard for the Panning Family Ban – also known as FiddleFire – that became a large part of Eve’s life.

In 2018, Eve relocated to Colorado, where she spent five years teaching elementary and middle school orchestra, building a thriving music department. She also became a sought-after fiddle player on the Front Range.

In 2021, Eve began playing with Big Richard as a founding member. The group quickly gained momentum, selling out theaters and listening rooms, opening for Sam Bush, and booking festivals across the country.

Although she has a quiet allure on stage, Eve’s instrument speaks loud and clear.

Emma Rose is a vocalist, upright bassist, and songwriter, sought out for the vibrance and mystery she brings to solo and collaborative projects. Besides her own band (Sound of Honey), Emma Rose is also a founding member of Big Richard. And she regularly lends her talents to Daniel Rodriguez and Whippoorwill, as well as other musical projects.

“Emma’s music is dark, sweet, and smoky, like port and cigars next to a fire that you will smell on your clothes for days…,” exclaimed Big Richard’s website.

“Big Richard formed specifically to be the token all-female band at McAwesomefest in Colorado in May of 2021. Lucky for fans of bluegrass, authentic vocals and a little something different, what started as a token quickly alchemized into gold…,” said Bandwagon.

“Talented. Inspired. Spontaneous. Fresh. These are but a few of the descriptors being thrown around the conversation about the up-and-coming bluegrass talent the Big Richard Band… From the chops to the vocals and a camaraderie that just won’t quit, it is no surprise that their phones have been ringing off the hook to get them scheduled for festival sets and headlining slots across the land…,” raved Grateful Web.

And the next festival on their schedule is Telluride Bluegrass.

For more, listen to the following podcast featuring Emma Rose:

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