Home Lineup Announced2020-06-03T19:19:45+00:00

Keeping Music Alive — One Child at a Time!

Rhythms on the Rio is hosted by the South Fork Music Association.

SFMA is a volunteer and non-profit organization that provides musical instruments
and lessons, free of charge, to children throughout the San Luis Valley.


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Camping • RV • VW Bus

“Rhythms On The Rio is now my favorite festival. On the banks of the Rio Grande River, grass field camping and all night campsite picking circles, what’s not to love?”


The Infamous Stringdusters

With a nod to the past and a firm foot down on the gas toward the future, the ‘Dusters… don’t leave bluegrass behind; they’re stretching it from within.” – New York Times

“...these stellar bluegrass players are pushing the music forward.” – David Dye/World Cafe

The Infamous Stringdusters rise to new heights on their ninth full-length record Rise Sun. For the album, the GRAMMY® Award-winning quintet—Andy Falco [guitar], Chris Pandolfi [banjo], Andy Hall [dobro], Jeremy Garrett [fiddle], and Travis Book [double bass]—expanded their signature sound by perfecting their seamless fusion of All-American-bluegrass and rock.

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Once again sail into uncharted territory moored only by their expressive patchwork of All-American bluegrass threaded together with strands of rock, jazz, funk, country, old-time, and more.

As they approached this latest body of work, the group’s ambition matched their outsized creative curiosity.

“Rise Sun was sparked by the feeling of wanting something better for the world—more love, more awareness, and more compassion,” says Hall. “It’s a message of taking care of each other, our planet, and ourselves. We all shared this feeling as evidenced by the songs we brought to the project. It’s the feeling of a rising sun as opposed to a dark night. Sometimes a message of hope is less popular than one of despair, but it’s much-needed nevertheless.”

It’s also a message that 13 years, eight studio projects, and nearly 1,000 shows prepared the boys to properly present.

The Infamous Stringdusters stand out as the rare group who whose dynamic musicianship can be showcased with contemporary artists on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert one night and jamming on the legendary Red Rocks Amphitheatre alongside The Grateful Dead’s Phil Lesh the next.

Engendering a sense of impassioned fandom, they band have attracted a faithful audience that continues to grow. Moreover, their powerful music and performances paved the way for a GRAMMY® Award win in the category of “Best Bluegrass Album” for 2017’s Laws of Gravity.

When it came time to record what would become Rise Sun, they pushed themselves to evolve once more.

“Rise Sun is the latest chapter in the progression of our sound,” says Pandolfi. “It’s been a long arc that includes evolution on all fronts—writing, arranging, performing, and maybe most importantly, growing as humans who have more to say as the journey rolls on. New albums are the time when we write and introduce our strongest original material. On our last release Laws of Gravity, we really started to hit our stride with recording live in the studio. Rise Sun is another big step in that direction.”

For the first time, the band chose the song order before actually recording. Additionally, they maintained that order throughout the process, recording the songs in sequence which resulted in a natural flow. This choice, “gives it the feeling of a story as you listen down,” says Hall. It represented a moment of collective confidence.

“We self-produced the last album, so we felt validated in a sense that our instincts were sound,” adds Book. “We came into this one with some confidence. Any doubts about our band or our mission had dissipated. What remained was a deep sense of purpose and love.”

“The GRAMMY® put some high-octane gas in our tanks as well,” grins Garrett. “We also wanted to rise to the challenge of making a follow-up project worthy of what we had done in the past.”

The Infamous Stringdusters introduce the album with the handclap-driven gallop of the title track “Rise Sun.” High energy banjo powers an uplifting and undeniable refrain that immediately shines.

“It’s a hopeful anthem,” Book elaborates. “The sun is rising, and the light is overtaking the darkness. The idea for the melody, inspired by Southern gospel music, came to me driving out of the mountains into Georgia from my home in North Carolina. When we wrote it, I was feeling a deep sense of hope for humanity that the sun will rise again.”

Then, there’s the hummable instrumental “Cloud Valley,” which exudes a sci-fi spirit of wonder via sonic intricacy. “Science fiction can transport you to a place of deep imagination,” says Pandolfi. “We wanted to generate a soundscape for an imaginary mystical setting. It really came alive when we all got together.”

Everything culminates on a heartfelt send-off with “Truth and Love.” Its delicate musical backdrop transmits an important statement for The Infamous Stringdusters.

“I wrote that a few years ago and brought it back now, because I feel like the message has become more relevant today,” Falco states. “The world is polarized. Everything is so extreme, and partisan politics have become a culture war. The song is a reminder of what’s truly important in life– seek the truth, find your love, look up high, and aim above. Life is short, so keep your eye on what’s important while you’re here.”

In the end, that’s precisely what The Infamous Stringdusters do on Rise Sun as they boldly welcome yet another new day, new phase, and new chapter.

“We’re a brotherhood, but that family extends beyond the band even,” Falco leaves off. “Our music gives us an opportunity to bring some light in a world that can be dark sometimes.”

website: www.thestringdusters.com

Leftover Salmon

Few bands stick around for thirty years. Even fewer bands leave a legacy during that time that marks them as a truly special, once-in-lifetime type band. And no band has done all that and had as much fun as Leftover Salmon. Since their earliest days as a forward thinking, progressive bluegrass band who had the guts to add drums to the mix and who was unafraid to stir in any number of highly combustible styles into their ever evolving sound, to their role as a pioneer of the modern jamband scene, to their current status as elder-statesmen of the scene who cast a huge influential shadow over every festival they play, Leftover Salmon has been a crucial link in keeping alive the traditional music of the past while at the same time pushing that sound forward with their own weirdly, unique style.

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As Leftover Salmon nears their 30th year, their inspiring story is set to be told in a brand new book, Leftover Salmon: Thirty Years of Festival! that will be released February 2019 by Rowman & Littlefield. In this book, critically acclaimed author of Bluegrass in Baltimore: The Hard Drivin’ Sound & It’s Legacy, Tim Newby presents an intimate portrait of Leftover Salmon through the personal recollections of its band members, family, friends, former band-mates, managers, and the countless musicians they have influenced. Leftover Salmon: Thirty Years of Festival! is a thorough guide covering a thirty-year journey of a truly remarkable band. It is a tale of friendships and losses, musical discoveries and Wild West adventures, and the brethren they surround themselves with who fortify Salmon’s unique voice. Their story is one of tragedy and rebirth, of unimaginable highs and crushing lows, of friendships, of music, but most importantly it is the story of a special band and those that have lived through it all to create, inspire, and have everlasting fun.

Heading into their fourth decade Leftover Salmon is showing no signs of slowing down as they are coming off the release of their most recent album, Something Higher (released in 2018) which has been universally hailed as one of the band’s finest releases. Something Higher shows how even upon preparing to enter their fourth decade Leftover Salmon is proving it possible to recreate themselves without changing who they are. The band now features a line-up that has been together longer than any other in Salmon history and is one of the strongest the legendary band has ever assembled. Built around the core of founding members Drew Emmitt and Vince Herman, the band is now powered by banjo-wiz Andy Thorn, and driven by the steady rhythm section of bassist Greg Garrison, drummer Alwyn Robinson, and keyboardist Erik Deutsch. The new line-up is continuing the long, storied history of Salmon which found them first emerging from the progressive bluegrass world and coming of age as one the original jam bands, before rising to become architects of what has become known as Jamgrass and helping to create a landscape where bands schooled in the traditional rules of bluegrass can break free of those bonds through nontraditional instrumentation and an innate ability to push songs in new psychedelic directions live. Salmon is a band who over their thirty-year career has never stood still; they are constantly changing, evolving, and inspiring. If someone wanted to understand what Americana music is they could do no better than to go to a Leftover Salmon show, where they effortlessly glide from a bluegrass number born on the front porch, to the down-and-dirty Cajun swamps with a stop on Bourbon Street in New Orleans, to the hallowed halls of the Ryman in Nashville, before firing one up in the mountains of Colorado.

website: www.leftoversalmon.com

Ghost Light

“I think of this album like a bunch of abstract paintings,” says Ghost Light’s Tom Hamilton. “We present the songs as a series meant to be experienced in a certain order, but at the end of the day, whatever that series makes you feel is totally up to you.”

In that sense, Ghost Light’s brilliant debut album, ‘Best Kept Secrets,’ functions much like the band itself, drawing beauty and strength from both its complementary pairings and its unexpected juxtapositions. Formed in 2017, the group brings together five consummately talented artists from across the musical spectrum—guitarists/singers Tom Hamilton and Raina Mullen, pianist Holly Bowling, bassist Dan Africano, and drummer Scotty Zwang—and thrusts them into a wholly new context. The result is a record that transcends the sonic contributions and background of any single member, a collection that’s at once gritty and refined, sprawling and restrained, straightforward and psychedelic.

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Though the performances on the album are laser focused, the group’s live shows are a far looser affair, with tracks frequently blossoming into extended improvisational journeys dictated by the emotional temperature of the room on any given night. Songs turn into wordless conversations between all five members, a tide-like give-and-take that makes each show wholly engrossing and utterly unique.

“An album is…a document and snapshot of a particular moment in time,” Hamilton told Live For Live Music in a recent interview, “but when it comes to taking that album and bringing it into the live arena, that’s when we turn ourselves back into the improvisers that we all are. We get to really see what these songs can do and where they can go.”

With a formidable live reputation already preceding them, the band sold out the opening night of their inaugural tour and they haven’t looked back since, playing a slew of headline dates around the country in addition to entrancing festival crowds from Lock’n to High Sierra, Peach Music Festival, Electric Forest, and beyond.

website: ghostlightband.com

Kitchen Dwellers

“This all started as a series of jam sessions in the kitchen,” says Joe Funk, bassist for the breakout progressive bluegrass band Kitchen Dwellers. “We were getting together to play covers and traditional music and old-time tunes for fun after school, and everything else just really evolved from there.”

For Kitchen Dwellers, “everything else,” as Funk so modestly puts it, has been nothing short of remarkable. In the near decade they’ve been together, the Montana-based four-piece has performed for thousands at Red Rocks, shared bills with the likes of Railroad Earth, The Infamous String Dusters, and Twiddle, graced festival stages from Northwest String Summit to WinterWonderGrass, and transcended traditional genre boundaries, blending virtuosic bluegrass wizardry with ecstatic rock and roll energy and adventurous psychedelia.

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With their spectacular new album, ‘Muir Maid,’ the group has come fully into their own, seamlessly blending the past, present, and future of string band music to create their most daring and collaborative work yet.

“This is the first record with all four of us contributing to the writing together,” says guitarist Max Davies, “and the songs really reflect that. You can hear each of our different backgrounds and influences in the music, and you can also hear how much we’ve grown in the last few years, both as individuals and as a band.”

While much of that growth can be traced to the group’s relentless tour schedule, they’re also quick to credit the influence of The Infamous Stringdusters’ Chris Pandolfi, who produced ‘Muir Maid’ and helped the band reach new heights in the studio and beyond.

“We call it The Panda Effect,” says banjo player Torrin Daniels. “Just by hanging out with a musician like Chris, you absorb what he says and how he approaches songs, and all of the sudden you’re a better musician for it.”

‘Muir Maid’ follows Kitchen Dwellers’ acclaimed 2017 LP, ‘Ghost In The Bottle,’ which was produced by Leftover Salmon’s Andy Thorn and featured a slew of special guests, including Little Feat’s Bill Payne and Greensky Bluegrass’s Anders Beck. Tracks from the record racked up more than a million streams on Spotify and garnered rave reviews across the board, with The Huffington Post hailing the band as “a bluegrass phenomenon” and Relix praising the unique way the group’s songwriting “embrac[es] their love of electronica, metal…and everything in between.”

While those wide-ranging influences might not sound like typical fodder for a bluegrass outfit, they’re essential to Kitchen Dwellers’ eclectic identity. Mandolinist Shawn Swain grew up listening to and performing traditional roots music in Colorado, but his bandmates all come from decidedly different backgrounds: Funk studied classical and jazz as a youngster and cites Metallica among his biggest influences; Daniels spent his youth playing drums and listening to punk and metal before he ever picked up a banjo; and Davies found himself drawn to the intersection of rock and jazz, only stumbling upon bluegrass in middle school when he saw Bela Fleck perform live.

“The band came along at a pivotal time for each of us,” says Daniels. “Our tastes were changing and we were discovering all kinds of new stuff. Even before we started performing together, we were all going to tons of shows and becoming part of this tight knit musical community out here.”

While the Appalachians may be recognized as the birthplace of bluegrass, the Rockies boast their own vibrant roots scene, and Montana embraced Kitchen Dwellers from the very beginning.

“Bluegrass started out as music for and by hardworking, rural mountain folks, and that description fits Montanans perfectly,” says Daniels. “You’ve got a be a little tougher to get by out here, which is why I think this music resonates with everybody so much.”

When it came time to cut the new album, Kitchen Dwellers decided to tap into the intoxicating energy of their concerts and record everything live for the first time. They began by holing up in a New Hampshire cabin for a few days of preproduction, working out every detail of the performances and arrangements in advance, and then they headed west to Denver, where they captured the album raw and fast under Pandolfi’s deft direction.

“Chris isn’t the kind of guy who steers the ship,” says Davies. “He’s the kind of guy who helps guide you to a place you didn’t even know you wanted to go. He has this way of getting you to bear down and dig deeper than you ever realized you could.”

That depth is apparent from the outset of ‘Muir Maid,’ with album opener “Shadows” showcasing the band’s dazzling musicianship, airtight harmonies, and transportive storytelling. Like much of the record to come, the track features lightning-fast fretwork and brilliant solos, but far from showing off, the instrumental pyrotechnics here always come in service of the song, a guiding principal for the group.

“The person who wrote a particular tune isn’t always the one who ends up singing it,” says Davies, who shares vocal duties with his bandmates. “We base every decision off of what’s going to be best for the track, and to me, that’s the true definition of collaboration.”

With a title like ‘Muir Maid,’ it should come as little surprise that nature plays an important role on the record. The breezy “Woods Lake” looks back fondly on a life spent outdoors, while the charming “Driftwood” draws on memories of a summer spent kayaking around Alaska, and the rollicking title track pays homage to the boat Funk’s father sailed up the Pacific Northwest coast.

“That’s the kind of bad-assery we like to celebrate,” says Daniels. “I think we saw a lot of parallels to our own sometimes-harrowing journey in that story, as well.”

The trials and tribulations of the road are a frequent theme in Kitchen Dwellers’ songwriting. The jaunty “Broken Cage” spins a cowboy tail of life on the trail, while “The Comet” tackles the challenges of maintaining human connection when you’re always on the move, and the introspective “Phaedrus” takes its title from former Montana State University professor Robert Pirsig’s philosophical road-trip classic ‘Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.’ Perhaps, though, it’s “The Living Dread,” a song with no lyrics at all, that best encapsulates what Kitchen Dwellers are all about.

“That song is a perfect example of the way our different musical backgrounds can all come together as one,” says Funk. “The intro starts with this electronic dub vibe, and then it goes into a metal-influenced section, and then it turns reggae and moves into bluegrass and works its way back to dub by the end. It showcases everyone’s own little flavor.”

When you’re a band born in the kitchen, flavor is everything.

website: www.kitchendwellers.com

The Ghost of Paul Revere

The Maine-grown, foot-stompin’ holler-folk quartet create the type of music for which festivals are made.
— The Boston Globe

“We grew up listening to Radiohead and the Beatles and Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd,” says Griffin Sherry, guitarist/singer in The Ghost Of Paul Revere. “Everyone assumed we were a bluegrass band because we were playing these traditional instruments, but we weren’t writing traditional music. We were just writing songs with the instruments we had.”

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The result is a sound that the Portland, Maine-based band describes as “holler folk,” not because it involves a lot of hollering, per se, but because it invokes the rich communal tradition of field hollers, with their call-and-response melodies, sing-along hooks, and densely layered harmonies. That sense of musical camaraderie is essential to everything The Ghost of Paul Revere does, and nowhere is it more evident than their sophomore album, ”Monarch.’

The album builds on the success of the band’s 2014 debut full-length, ‘Believe,’ and their 2015 EP, ‘Field Notes Vol. 1,’ which was recorded primarily in a single day at Converse’s Rubber Tracks studio in Boston. The session was part of a prize package presented by the iconic Newport Folk Festival, which had invited the band to perform at the storied Rhode Island musical gathering earlier that year as part of a lineup featuring everyone from James Taylor and Jason Isbell to The Lone Bellow and Bela Fleck.

“The Monday before Newport we got a message saying to pack our bags and come on down,” remembers Sherry. “We hadn’t played much outside of Maine or started opening for any big acts yet at that point, and it was a hugely inspiring moment.”

Word began to spread about the rowdy pickers from the north. The Boston Globe raved that they “create the type of music for which festivals are made,” while No Depression said they “prove that superior roots music can come from anywhere,” and Dispatch Magazine wrote that they possess not only “the chops, but the heart to reach their audience and leave an undeniable impression.” Hitting listeners straight in the feelings has been the band’s M.O. since its inception in 2011, and they’ve used their powerful stage show to convert the masses at every stop along their long and winding journey, which has included shared stages with artists like The Avett Brothers, The Travelin’ McCourys, Brown Bird, The Revivalists, the Infamous Stringdusters, and more. The band sold out Port City Music Hall, Stone Mountain Arts Center, and the Strand Theater multiple times, won Best In Maine at the New England Music Awards, and capped off 2015 with an electrifying headline performance on New Year’s Eve at Portland’s State Theatre in front of 1,600 enraptured fans.

When it came time to record, ‘Monarch,’ though, the band knew they wanted to push the sonic envelope beyond the live-in-the-studio setup that had guided their previous efforts.

“Every other record has just been the three of us in a room with microphones until we got a take we liked,” explains Sherry. “We approached this one differently. It was the first time we did a lot of arranging and writing in the studio. We decided we’d worry about learning how to present the songs live after we’d recorded everything instead of the other way around.”

“It enabled us to get a lot more adventurous with our ideas,” adds bassist/singer Sean McCarthy. “We wanted to do something new and explore where we could take the sound while still staying true to who we are.”

The album opens with “Little Bird,” a playful, infectious foot-stomper that blends blues and soul and roots and perfectly reflects the communal, inviting nature of the band’s music.

Banjo player Max Davis takes over the songwriting and lead vocal duties for “Avalanche,” an emotional anthem featuring one of the album’s most lush arrangements along with driving drums from special guest Tony McNaboe (Ray LaMontagne, Rustic Overtones), while “King’s Road” finds the band expanding their sonic palette to include strings and electric guitar, and “Honey Please” channels 60’s R&B and Motown through old-school folk instrumentation. At the core of everything The Ghost of Paul Revere does, though, are their powerful, stop- you-dead-in-your-tracks harmonies. On songs like “Wild Child,” “Welcome Home,” and “Need Somebody,” the band conjures up whole worlds of shimmering sonic beauty in the blending of their voices.

“The album follows this arc where it starts very bright-eyed and optimistic and then hits a turning point where it gets really dark,” says Sherry, “like a relationship that starts beautifully and then grows sour. As we started to build the record and expand the sound, it had a place sonically and emotionally.”

By the end of the record, the song cycle reveals that traveling through the darkness is in fact a necessary step for positive growth. ‘Monarch’ closer “Chrysalides” evokes the imagery of metamorphosis, a transformation that represents rebirth and new beginnings.

“It’s about what happens in that moment of metamorphosis and change,” says Davis. “I was interested in combining different words into a new term that could capture that feeling, so ‘Chrysalides’ is a play on chrysalis. This was one of the first times that I allowed myself to bite into and really take advantage of that space in the writing.”

If there’s one takeaway from ‘Monarch,’ it’s that change is inevitable. Lovers, families, friends, instruments, sounds; they all transform with time. The key to thriving and surviving in a challenging world is to embrace those transformations, to accept them not as endings but as fresh starts. What comes next? Only time can tell. One thing’s for sure, though: by opening their hearts and souls with such artistic grace and humility, The Ghost of Paul Revere have created a rich, rewarding, passionate community, one that they can count on to join them for every step of the remarkable journey that lies ahead.

Max Davis // Banjo, Vocals

Sean McCarthy // Bass, Vocals

Griffin Sherry // Guitar, Vocals

website: www.ghostofpaulrevere.com

Head for the Hills

“HEAD FOR THE HILLS POSSESSES THAT SECRET INGREDIENT.” -Ryan Dembinsky, (Glide Magazine, Hidden Track)

Head for the Hills–Adam Kinghorn, Joe Lessard, Matt Loewen–come out swinging and invigorated with fresh sounds on their latest EP, Say Your Mind . Recorded at Swingfingers Studios in Fort Collins (Colorado), the band brought a larger band than ever before , including drummer Darren Garvey of Elephant Revival, Vocalist Kim Dawson, Dobroist Todd Livingston, a horn section and more. The material reflects both the turbulent social rhythms of our current era and more timeless moments of joy, growth, and change.

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Like a painter that starts in acrylic and graduates to oils, Head for the Hills is deeper and richer in their 15th year as a band, with a wider palette of sonic textures at their disposal. Dorm room jam sessions have turned into a decade plus on the road–from humble coffee shops to theaters, festivals, roadhouses and clubs all across the country. Over time those sounds and influences have crept more and more into the bluegrass beginnings of the band, morphing into the seasoned eclecticism of Say Your Mind . The new songs are quinnessential

Head for the Hills; genre-stradling, lyrically deep, and danceable, with a crew of collaborators bringing the best of Colorado acoustic, roots, and soul music together. Head for the Hills numerous festival appearances include notables Telluride Bluegrass Festival, High Sierra Music Festival, South by Southwest, FloydFest, RockyGrass, DelFest, Summer Camp Music Festival, WinterWonderGrass Festival, Blue Ox Music Festival, Northwest String Summit, Strawberry Music Festival, Chicago Bluegrass & Blues Festival, Folk Alliance, Grandoozy and many more. The band charted on the CMJ Top 200 twice, has been featured on NPR Ideastream and eTown, and was awarded Best Bluegrass in Colorado four times via Denver’s Westword Magazine.


website: headforthehillsmusic.com

Pixie and The Partygrass Boys

There is a feeling of unbridled life found in the wild corners of our world. In the expansive possibility of a mountain top, the chaotic familiarity of endless fields of snow, the roar of the ocean, or the solitary serenity of the most remote desert. It is in these places and moments that Pixie and The Partygrass Boys find inspiration, crafting music that channels the same highs, lows, and improvisational in-betweens.

Hailed as “the hottest band in the Wasatch” by the Intermountain Acoustic Music Association, Partygrass isn’t exactly bluegrass, or newgrass, or pop, or punk, or rock and roll. They fall somewhere in between it all, and that’s exactly how they like it.

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Drawing influence from the bluegrass roots of Appalachia and transporting it straight to the western edge of the Rockies, Pixie and the Partygrass Boys create a uniquely American sound. Inspired by landscapes from coast to coast, the group combines classical training with jazz, Broadway, pop-punk, and an unabashed love for having a damn good time.

Pixie and the Partygrass Boys have played for national audiences both on tour and at music festivals including High Sierra, DelFest, WinterWonderGrass, Sawtooth Valley Gathering, Hangtown, and ARISE, in addition to sharing the stage with names like Grace Potter, Billy Strings, The Lil Smokies, and The Jon Stickley Trio.

Vocals, Ukulele / Katia “Pixie” Racine

Fiddle,Vocals / Amanda B. Grapes

Upright Bass / Zach Downes

Mandolin, Vocals / Ben Weiss

Guitar, Vocals / Andrew Nelson

website: www.pixieandthepartygrassboys.com

Julian Davis & The Situation

Julian Davis Career Bio 

Julian Davis is a traveling musician, plying his trade through guitar and mandolin on the roads of this country. Since 2016 he has been proving that Bluegrass isn’t only an old man’s game, giving the traditional style a clean new treatment. Julian enjoys playing the classics that have stood the test of time, and ensuring they last a little longer by giving them one more spin on the dance floor.

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In 2017 he started traveling solo, singing to concert halls, theaters, select bars, music festivals, and pretty much anywhere a road can go. In 2018 Julian and his band toured many festivals and venues. In July of 2018 Julian was Artist at Large for Pickin’ On Picknic where he had the chance to sit in with the Jeff Austin Band. Magic happened that night and starting in 2019 Julian Davis was the lead guitar player with the Jeff Austin Band through June of 2019. With the untimely passing of Jeff Austin, Julian’s band got focused on getting into the studio and working on their upcoming studio LP full of original tunes. To satisfy the requests of fans, the band recorded their live LP: Live from The Ozarks. They will be touring in support of that album as they continue work on the studio LP. The tour schedule ending 2019 and starting 2020 became quite full in the months that followed with a variety of venues and events across 20 states on the tour schedule. 

With Julian Davis & The Situation’s tour schedule fully ramped up going into 2020, there are an abundance of opportunities to catch them playing across the United States. With Julian’s time in the Jeff Austin Band, The Situation’s sound has taken on a bit of the jam grass style married with traditional sounds of the good old timey music and Julian’s unique vocal stylings that are quintessentially bluegrass. He is also still booking solo shows as well as playing the occasional duet performance. Just look to your nearest live music venue that features bluegrass bands and you are likely to find Julian on an upcoming schedule. 

The Julain Davis Story 

Born and raised in Pittsburg, Kansas, Julian Davis is a test case for the modern era; everything he knows about playing instruments, he learned from YouTube. Self-taught, with help, he picked up the guitar when he was four, and in the last three years has learned the mandolin. From a young age he was drawn to the electricity of the stage, and the artistry that musicians wield while conducting a crowd. He recalls meeting Jack White when he was twelve, in Nashville, TN. The onstage persona of the musician was so engaging and electric, Julian knew that was the sort of performer he wanted to be. 

Julian wasted no time once out of school, immediately hitting the road with guitar and mandolin in tow. He traveled for a year with a band, and struck out on his own afterwards. From coast to coast and border to border, Julian puts his energy towards perfecting his craft and delivering joy, one song at a time. There’s nowhere he’d rather be than onstage, singing to a crowd. 

Looking forward, there’s an awful lot of wide-open ground to cover. Julian’s willing to chase his hunger down across the country, playing bigger festivals and more halls, more days of the week. Where most might be only starting out, Julian is ramping up, and if 19 years can take him this far, there’s no telling where he’ll land. 

website: juliandavismusic.com

Elder Grown

Family and community are the roots of the band Elder Grown. A band of brothers and sisters. Though the group is made up of five guys from Durango, Colorado, they consider every audience to be their 6th collective member; their heartbeat, medicine and reason for song.

Funk meets Pop, Rock meets Hip Hop, Jazz meets Reggae. Elder Grown uses the freedom of improvisational jams as their foundation to create their captivating, soul-inspired sound. From the set opener to the fourth hour, Elder Grown encourages you to break down your ideas of genre with your hips and heartbeat. The band takes listeners on a genre-bending rollercoaster through a menagerie of rule-breaking sound, often switching instruments mid-song. Start with groovy, funk inspired bass lines reminiscent of Motown meeting the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Then, add screaming soprano guitar and bossy sax lines reflective of Pink Floyd and Maceo Parker. Finish it off with inspiration from Rage Against the Machine, Atmosphere, and Sublime and you are beginning to understand the sound that is Elder Grown. Brothers and Sisters, you are invited to embark on a journey into the unrecognizably familiar.

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They have produced two albums to date. One full-length album, Fire On The Way, is the groups debut album featuring a variety of original works by the band. Album number two is an EP, The Motorhome Mixes, which features 3 songs that are still in the groups set today. The EP starts off with ‘Stay Groove’, a light funky tune followed by ‘Clarence,’ one of the groups hip hop tunes featuring our drummer Paul on vocals. The third and finial song on the EP ‘Loves Ten’ features Josh on vocals and piano and is a story driven soul pop tune.

The band is currently working on their next full-length self-produced and self-recorded album that should be dropping this spring. It will feature an array of songs that if listened to in full will truly give listeners an honest representation of the group’s authentic sound. The group is versed in such a variety of genera’s, so finally with this album people will get to experience the true Elder Grown sound.

In the early 90’s, brothers Joshua, John, and Paul Hoffman grew up watching their father perform as a singer-songwriter in Albuquerque, New Mexico with family and friends gathered around the proverbial table of art, musical composition and performance. Bearing witness to these artistic gatherings soon had the boys witnessing the art inside of the themselves, and themselves inside of the art. Once this door opened, there was no turning back. The sparks to catch, and the movement to become.

For the Hoffman brothers, music became time travel, teleportation, the ship that could carry them away into the beauty of life in seconds. By the time the brothers moved to Southwest Colorado in 1999, the sparks were flames and their own movement had begun.

Over the next few years, the boys each developed an interest in guitar, becoming closet singer-songwriters. As they each picked up the guitar their father reminded them, “You are not a guitar player, you are not a bass player, you are not a drummer…What you are is a musician.” Taking their father’s words to heart, one brother would compose a new song on guitar, and the other two would support him by picking up the accompaniment instruments. Soon all three were playing bass, drums and keyboards, free of the personified nouns that instruments can impose on a musician. It was in these moments, where Elder Grown was born. Deep in their Uncle’s jam room at roughly 3:00am after Thanksgiving dinner, the family torch was passed.

The role of family in Elder Grown’s development cannot be over-appreciated. There is no better environment in which to cultivate authentic, self-expression and begin a search for freedom-in-life through music, than in the arms of supportive family. Met with such support from their loved ones, they fell in love with songwriting and musical performance. Over time, this love grew beyond the songs, shaping their philosophy as performers and making their performance an act of service to their listeners. Their grandmother, Marion Elder, was the matriarch of the family, and the driving force behind this spirit of service and love in their music. Growing from this, naming the band was easy; Elder Grown. It seems by no coincidence that the name “Elder” is closely related to ancient Scandinavian words for flame or fire. The name was passed through the family from the ancestry of their grandmother, and is the name of their matriarchal lineage. This untraditional passing of names is somethings these guys are proud of, as they each are just as untraditional.

While studying Liberal Arts at Fort Lewis College, the Hoffman boys met the unfathomably talented Sam Kelly at a local band competition. Little did they know at the time that Sam’s love for grooving funk, classical and improvisational saxophone would change Elder Grown’s sound forever.

Sam first discovered his love for saxophone in elementary school within the grooves of his mother’s smooth jazz albums. In his Sophomore year of high school, his dad taught him guitar which sparked a whole new passion. Within a year, Sam formed his first band, Playing In Traffic, in which he was the primary songwriter. Influenced by the Caribbean calypso fused with American jazz, rhythm and blues of ska music, he started composing his first horn lines.

Sam’s passion for playing saxophone deepened when he joined a local group out of Cortez, Colorado, Blue Coyote. It was in this rockabilly- blues band where Sam really started to develop his unique sax sound which is now an integral part of Elder Grown.

After graduating from high school in Dolores, Colorado, he attended Fort Lewis College where he received a Music Business degree with emphasis’ in both Jazz Performance and Marketing. Sam now is an instructor at the iAM Music Institute in Durango, CO giving private lessons on a variety of instruments such as guitar, piano, clarinet, flute, voice, and saxophone. Being very involved in the Durango music scene he also plays in other bands such as Pants Party, Durango Funk Allstars, Afro Beatniks, Niceness and is also the principle saxophonist for the Southwest Civic Winds as if one band weren’t enough!

Soon after Sam joined Elder Grown, Brandon Clark, the youngest of the group, brought his raw, unbound talent to the group. Since the Hoffman brothers switch instruments frequently, Brandon, primarily a guitarist at the time, learned to play the bass and keyboard as well to keep the instrument trading alive.

Brandon started playing music during his freshman year of high school when his older brother, Andrew, a former member of Elder Grown, got a guitar for Christmas and they learned to play together. The Hoffman’s infectious way of sharing art and creativity ultimately lead Brandon to hone his musicianship and later join the band.

Brandon grew up in Pagosa Springs, Colorado where he was fortunate to have participated in a class throughout his tenure called the Americana Project. In this class, he learned a lot about American roots music and its evolution over time. The curriculum included songwriting classes giving Brandon the chance to perform his original tunes at school concerts.

Brandon listened to a lot of classic rock growing up with his brothers. He loves fast paced guitar driven songs, but also appreciates a soulful, slow-melodic tune. Much of his original music is being brought to the table these days, and the group is excited to see how his added creativity further molds and reshapes their sound. Brandon, AKA Branch, is not only excited to be a part of the music of Elder Grown, but a part of the extended family.

So, here we are. An ever-evolving family in a new year, with a new album on the way and so many new brothers and sisters to take on this journey with us. Thanks for being a part of our family and we’ll see you on the road!

website: www.eldergrown.com

Stay Tuned! More Announcements to Come!

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