As we've featured over the past few months, the eighth annual MeadowGrass Music Festival has been steadily announcing its headlining performers. Indeed, as the festival opens in just over a month, Rocky Mountain Highway has announced the final lineup.
Friday, May 27, brings the Jeff Austin Band, Fruit Bats, Matt Flinner Trio, Strawberry Runners and Jeremy Facknitz to the La Foret stage, plus a late-night performance by Leopard & the Vine. Saturday, May 28, sees Jackie Greene, The Barr Brothers, Jalan Crossland, Wendy Woo, Free the Honey, Justus League, Smith House and, for the late-night show, Mike Clark & The Sugar Sounds. Sunday, May 29, finishes off the proceedings with Judah & The Lion, Mandolin Orange, David Wax Museum, Megan Burtt, Chauncy Crandall, Moors & McCumber and The River Arkansas, with a final late-night reprise by Chauncy Crandall and friends.
In the meantime, if you're too excited to wait a month, good news: Rocky Mountain Highway is presenting a series of concerts leading up to the festival, titled "On the Road to MeadowGrass." On Saturday, April 23, you can catch Lancaster, Pennsylvania-based Americana trio The Stray Birds in the Ivywild School gymnasium, presented in conjunction with the Black Rose Acoustic Society. The Stray Birds put on an excellent performance at last year's MeadowGrass festival, and their latest release on Yep Roc Records, Best Medicine, has received considerable critical notice for their instrumental chops, songwriting prowess and powerful vocal harmonies.
Later, on Saturday, May 14, singer-songwriter Steve Poltz performs at Friends House. Poltz began his career as lead singer for indie-rock band The Rugburns and later collaborated with Jewel, co-writing the hit ballad "You Were Meant for Me" and many other tracks on her debut solo effort, Pieces of You. As a solo performer, Poltz is regarded as an eccentrically masterful storyteller and fingerstyle guitarist. Plus, you can always ask him about his incredibly colorful road stories, which include run-ins with Elvis Presley and David Cassidy.
However, for fans of Americana, country and folk music, MeadowGrass is just the beginning of what's shaping up to be an excellent concert season for southern Colorado: Legendary alt-country icon Steve Earle and singer-songwriter Shawn Colvin are joining forces for a show at Pueblo Memorial Hall on Saturday, June 4.
Earle is regarded as a near-sacred figure by fans of alt-country and roots rock, assembling an insanely strong body of work over the past three decades, from crowd-pleasers such as "Guitar Town" and "Copperhead Road" to the more poignant and introspective "I'll Never Get Out of This World Alive" and "Jerusalem." The singer has made multiple concert stops at Chico Basin Ranch over the past few years, so his often politically charged blend of country, rock and blues will already have won over plenty of local fans.
Shawn Colvin likely needs no introduction, thanks to her popular 1997 single "Sunny Came Home." Much like Earle, the alumna of the Buddy Miller Band has earned both popularity and critical acclaim with her folk-inspired sound, and has collaborated with artists as diverse as Suzanne Vega, Bela Fleck, James Taylor and Sting. Colvin won a Grammy award for her album Steady On, received considerable recognition for her collection of memoirs, Diamond in the Rough, and is considered to be one of the major progenitors of the "new folk movement" from the late 1980s onward.
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