Telluride Town Park isn’t the only place to see live music this weekend. While the Telluride Bluegrass Festival stretches into its second week — a significant change this year due to planning and finalizing the event during the COVID-19 pandemic — Mountain Village is just as musical.
The return of the free Music on the Green concert series in Reflection Plaza each Friday from 5-7 p.m. has proved to be popular so far, according to event organizer Denise Mongan of Beyond the Groove Productions and Club Red.
“The first show last week went extremely well, and was very well attended,” she said. “It was a good artist to kick off our series, as Freddy & Francine is a local favorite, well liked and have played the series several times in the past. Overall, we were pleased with the response and reactions from our attendees and merchants. Reactions were enthusiastic from the audience, the band and the crew. Everyone was excited to have Music on the Green back both musically and socially.”
On Friday, the series will feature North Carolina’s Tall Tall Trees, which is the pseudonym for multi-instrumentalist Mike Savino, who loops his sounds in creating one-man shows.
His musical style is described as “psychedelic electric banjo music,” with influences covering Pink Floyd, Cat Stevens, Earl Scruggs and Bela Fleck. Savino is touring in support of his 2020 release and fourth studio album, “A Wave of Golden Things.”
“Savino, who self-records and produces his music, abandoned the heavily-layered textures of 2017’s ‘Freedays’ for a more organic, stripped-down approach, leaving his distinct voice and thoughtful lyrics as the centerpiece,” according to the album bio his website, which was written by David Gilbert. “Despite the sparse arrangements, Savino still manages to evoke the sonic imagery and pastoral landscapes that have often been hallmarks of Tall Tall Trees albums. Each of the eight songs that make up ‘A Wave of Golden Things’ suggest a world unto itself.”
Running through Sept. 10, the series, which is partnership between Telluride Mountain Village Owners Association and Beyond the Groove Productions finalized its lineup recently. Artists this year include, in order of appearance, Jim Parker, Wildermiss, Laurie Lewis & the Right Hands, West Side Joe and the Men of Soul, Cousin Curtiss, A.J. Fullerton, Brue, Kevin McCarthy Trio, The Cordovas, Cary Morin Duo, Emily Scott Robinson, and Daniel Rodriguez. Food and drinks will be available for purchase from local businesses, and all events are rain or shine.
The concert series isn’t the only live music in Mountain Village that has gotten Mongan, as well as audiences and artists, excited recently, as her Club Red at the Telluride Conference Center is the official venue of the festival’s NightGrass shows.
“We couldn't be more thrilled to be able to host these shows with Craig (Ferguson, festival organizer) and Planet Bluegrass. The NightGrass shows have been packed with great music, well received by all and well attended like the concert series,” she said. “As Chris Thile put it when I commented to him as he was leaving the venue Sunday night after his show, ‘You must be tired, since you played several times today.” He responded, ‘I am ready to play again right now.”
And luckily for everyone, there’s more late night shows this week. As of press time Tuesday afternoon, $30 tickets for each show were still available at bluegrass.com. Doors open at 10 p.m., and each show starts at 11 p.m. Proof of vaccination is required.
As Mongan put it, “The music isn't over yet.”
“We have four more incredible shows this week with Leftover Salmon Wednesday night, Yonder Mountain String Band Friday, Andrew Marlin of Watchhouse on Saturday, and The Del McCoury Band on Sunday,” she said.
With the gondola, which is free to all riders, operating until 2 a.m. on festival nights, heading up the mountain after the main stage goes dark allows fans to extend their Bluegrass slate.