Carolyn Sills Combo

Carolyn Sills Combo

I’m the weird sentimental type who remembers seemingly random, yet personally significant dates and milestones in my life. For example: I know exactly what weekend I came up to Telluride in August of 2005 to see String Cheese Incident. That’s when I fell in love with Michael Franti and Spearhead.

This week marks a pretty big anniversary for me. Four years ago was my first Warren Commission in this space. Save for one week when I was loopy on pain relievers after my foot surgery last year, that’s 207 weeks of writing about music and events in Telluride and the San Juan Mountains.

That is absolutely nuts. In my wildest dreams I never would have thought that I would ever be able to call myself a music columnist. Sure, I studied journalism, but it was always a pipe dream to cover music. During my time as a reporter I covered local politics and news more so than music.

I hope readers have enjoyed reading this space as much as I have enjoyed writing these columns over the years. It really is a total treat being able to do this.

In my first-ever Warren Commission I talked to Americana Music Series organizer Steve Stagner about perhaps the mellowest of Telluride’s summer music festivals. This week marks its 13th year of Americana folk artists playing in the most intimate of settings, the Sheridan Opera House.

What he said in 2015 about Americana music in general, still rings true

“The term Americana is often used to describe the intersection of folk, country and blues,” he said. “But over the years, we have gravitated more and more to the singer-songwriter-storyteller tradition within that. The Sheridan Opera House is perfect for this kind of music. And the stories will be great.”

This year’s festival kicked off Wednesday with the Summer Song Swap and continues tonight with country soul queen Bonnie Bishop and Jeff Plankenhorn, known for his unique slide guitar playing and engaging onstage presence.

Friday night features the Grammy-nominated writer and performer John Fullbright with Beat Root Revival, a multi-instrumental duo that combines folk, blues, country and rock for a powerhouse sound.

The festival wraps up with iconic Texas singer-songwriters Jack Ingram and Kevin Welch — that show is officially sold out.

Tickets and more information can be found online at And please note that Stagner does not operate his shows on Telluride time, and the music will begin promptly at 8 p.m. each night (so come early for a drink when the doors open).

This week’s installment of Music on the Green features the Carolyn Sills Combo, a classic country-western swing outfit. They play from 5-7 p.m. in Reflection Plaza, adjacent to Hotel Madeline in Mountain Village. The show is free and drinks and food are available for purchase from the M Lounge.

In addition to this week’s impressive lineup of shows (see the Beat Sheet), it’s also a very big week for the Telluride art community.

Friday night marks the 27th annual Ah Haa School for the Arts Art Auction featuring auction items at all price points. All funds raised benefit Telluride’s beloved art school. The event will also feature food and drinks and performances and a live auction. The major ticket items include a guitar signed by Led Zeppelin’s Robert Plant, tickets to see Lady Gaga in Las Vegas, tickets to see the Rolling Stones and much more.

The doors and silent auction begin at 6 p.m. and the live auction starts at 7:30 p.m. in the big tent outside of the Ah Haa. To buy tickets visit

This week is also the Telluride Art + Architecture Weekend, a celebration of art, food, architecture and design. The weekend officially kicked off earlier this week, but culminates with home tours in the town of Telluride on Saturday, and Mountain Village on Sunday.

For a full schedule, and tickets to the home tours, visit

And if that weren’t enough, this week is also opening weekend of Telluride Theatre’s Shakespeare in the Park, on the Fred Shellman Memorial Stage in Telluride Town Park. This year’s production is “The Tempest” directed by Collin Sullivan, and I cannot wait to see what he does with this script.

The show opens this Saturday at 8 p.m. and continues on Sunday with a 2 p.m. matinee. It will then run Monday and Tuesday at 8 p.m. and is dark Wednesday night so the actors can rest. It will wrap up with a four night run Thursday, July 25 through Sunday, July 28 at 8 p.m. nightly.

Tickets are limited to 100 per night so be sure to purchase yours in advance at