If I’ve learned anything from my years of working in the music business, it’s to listen to those in the industry when they rave about an artist, whether you are familiar with them, or not.
Case in point, when I interviewed the team from Planet Bluegrass prior to Telluride Bluegrass Festival a few years ago, both Brian Eyster and Steve Symanski raved about Robert Ellis. And those two know a thing or two about good music.
Ellis plays this week’s installment of the free Music on the Green series at Reflection Plaza in Mountain Village on Friday from 5-7 p.m.
Ellis is a 30-year-old Austin, Texas-based country singer-songwriter whose alter ego is the Texas Piano Man. He’s known to dress to the nines in a white tuxedo and has been recording and performing since 2009. His music today mixes over-the-top piano playing with country music and the occasional acoustic folk song.
If you visit his website texaspianoman.com you’ll see he also has a great sense of humor with early internet era-inspired graphic design. The banner labeled “Click here to buy happiness” leads to his album. Definitely put that in your shopping cart.
Music on the Green show are free, and Hotel Madeline’s M Lounge will have snacks and drinks available for purchase. The show is family friendly with kids games scattered throughout Reflection Plaza.
This weekend also marks the second big music festival of the summer in Telluride, with a little band by the name of Widespread Panic playing not one, but two nights in Telluride Town Park.
The festival starts off a night early this year on Friday with Widespread bringing their wildly popular jam-rock sound to Town Park with a show from 7-10 p.m. Friday. The gates for the park open at 6 p.m. Friday night.
Day two of the festival features returning Ride Fest favorites Big Something, Temperance Movement and Tyler Bryant and the Shakedown.
The lineup also features Thunderpussy, the all-female 70s influenced rock group based out of Seattle, and Los Colognes, a genre-bending Nashville-based rock outfit that pays homage to the likes of Fleetwood Mac, the Grateful Dead and Dire Straights through their music.
And the day closes out on Saturday with Panic playing from 8:30 to 11 p.m.
Sunday’s Ride includes Telluride favorites Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit along with Big Head Todd & the Monsters, Rose Hill Drive, Black Pistol Fire and more.
The day starts off with one of my new favorite bands of the past winter, Commonheart, who opened for JJ Grey & Mofro in February at Club Red.
For a full festival lineup and ticket information, including information about the festival’s late night shows at the Sheridan Opera House, Liberty, Wood Ear and O’Bannon’s be sure to visit ridefestival.com.
Looking into next week, the music is seemingly unending as the Telluride Americana Music Festival kicks off in the Sheridan Opera House SHOW Bar on Tuesday night with Carbondale based singer-songwriter Jackson Emmer playing at 8 p.m. Tickets are $15 and available in advance at Telluride Music or at the door, when they open at 7 p.m.
Americana Festival continues on Wednesday, with the Summer Night Song Swap featuring Danny Schmidt, Carrie Elkin and Wild Ponies. The festival continues through Saturday, July 20 and the lineup includes Jack Ingram, John Fullbright, Bonnie Bishop, Jeff Plankenhorn and more.
Music starts at 8 p.m. sharp each night and tickets and more information can found online at sheridanoperahouse.com.
And if that weren’t enough fun to choose from for the week, the week wraps up next Wednesday with the latest Sunset Concert Series show. This week’s artist is the bluesy and soulful, Shawn James, playing in Mountain Village’s Sunset Plaza. If you’re a fan of Tom Wait, Otis Redding, Sam Cooke or Bill Withers, I’d highly suggest checking out this show.
The music runs from 6-8 p.m. at the top of Lift 1 in Mountain Village’s Sunset Plaza.