2015 Gunny Grass Bluegrass Festival-

Gunnison has long flirted with the idea of a Bluegrass Festival, but has never put on a consistent event of this type. The 10 acre I Bar Ranch music venue offers a perfect setting for an event of this type, with its onsite camping, ample crowd capacity, and stunning setting. On the weekend of July 17th & 18th it will hold the third annual Gunny Grass Bluegrass Festival.

Colorado has an important place in the historical development of bluegrass music. Because of this, our state has a devoted following of bluegrass music who support many long running and thriving festivals. On any given weekend in the summer you can find several events throughout the state.

The focus of the festival is bluegrass music and old time music. With an emphasis on "hot" Colorado and national bands. Music will continue late into the evening.

Main Street business's will see increased traffic on July 19th as we collaborate with the Gunnison Arts Center and activate Saturday the 19th with a "block party style" on the 100 block of South Main Street.

A true Community event, the festival will boost tourist traffic and promote local business. Vendors from the town will be encouraged to participate.

With the support of the community, this will turn into a continuing summer event.

Friday July 17 The fun happens out at the I Bar Ranch where there will be a full bar, food and of course... great people. Remember that the I Bar is a rain or shine event so please prepare for the elements.
5:30- Chris Coady
6:00- The Mahogany Splinters
7:20- Stray Grass
9:00- The Grass Is Dead

Saturday July 18 Street Block Party! This fun-filled evening of music will take place on South Main (in front of the Gunnison Arts Center)
3:00 Gates open.
3:30- Youth Afternoon will consisit of performances by some of our younger musicians in the valley including: Sam and Eli, the Gunnison Valley Youth Fiddlers, Shiver (Linda and Essie Horne) and more!
5:45- Square Dance with Andrea Early Cohen and the Simpler Times Square Dance Band
6:45- Kantankerous
8:00- Art Stevenson & High Water Band

Portion of proceeds benefit the Gunnison Arts Center

Horseshoes and Hand Grenades

Described as “High-Octane Rocky Mountain DanceGrass”, Whitewater Ramble (WWR) uses a simple recipe to craft it’s sound: start with bluegrass instrumentation, add drums, and finish with a boundary-less approach to grassing-up everything from disco house grooves to roots to Americana. The Colorado-bred quintet combines the elements of mandolin, fiddle, acoustic guitar, upright bass, drums and vocals to explore the musical boundaries of multiple genres and to fuel their own mixture of original music and innovative cover song interpretations. Whether playing an intimate encore, acoustic and unplugged in the crowd, or surfing on top of the upright bass, Whitewater Ramble delivers a powerful and memorable live performance.

Currently on tour behind their second studio release Roots & Groove (produced by Tim Carbone of Railroad Earth), the band continues their growth as songwriters and musicians while earning legions of new fans and expanding their touring reach.

Based in Fort Collins, CO, WWR has performed and headlined on every major stage across the Rocky Mountain Region. A diverse festival resume has helped bring WWR to stages at events like the Northwest String Summit, Wakarusa, Yonder Mountain’s Harvest Festival, Grand Targhee Bluegrass Festival, 80/35 Festival, Nedfest, Bohemian Nights NewWestFest, The Wildflower Pavilion at RockyGrass, Copper Mountain Sunsation, Desert Rocks Music Festival, Love Your Mother Earth Music Festival, Keystone Bluegrass and Brews, The Denver People’s Fair, South Park Music Festival, Westword’s Music Showcase, numerous Brew Festivals, and their own annual two day music and camping festival, Ramble on the River. With over 800+ performances under their belt, the group has truly established themselves as one of the hardest working groups in the jam scene today.

Patrick Sites – Mandolin/Vocals
Patrick Latella – Acoustic Guitar/Vocals
Howard Montgomery – Upright Bass/Vocals
Zebulon Bowles – Fiddle/Vocals
Paul Kemp – Drums

Simpler Times Bluegrass

Four local Gunnison Valley super-pickers incorporating Bluegrass, Traditional Old Time Appalachian Music, Folk, Country, Jazz, Blues and everything in between. The band name "Simpler Times" says it all. The band is pursuing the restoration of, if just for a moment, a simpler time in life.

Sam Pankratz- Guitar, Vocals
Drew Murdza- Mandolin, Guitar, Fiddle, Vocals
Carl Meinicke- Upright Bass
Pierce Gresham- 5-String Banjo, Clawhammer Banjo, Fiddle, Vocals

Stray Grass

Stray Grass specializes in a high-energy interpretation of acoustic music. Although played on traditional instruments (most of the time), the musical stylings of Stray Grass are anything but traditional!

Pete Langford- upright or "doghouse" bass
Guy Stephens-acoustic guitar, guitjo, mandolin and provides vocal support
Garry Tulllio - vocals, mandolin and guitar

The Grant Farm

The Grant Farm is an exciting new collaboration of two of the hottest acoustic musicians on the scene today. Tyler Grant (guitar) and Andy Thorn (banjo, guitar) have been bandmates in the Emmitt-Nershi Band for the past two years. When not on the road with Billy and Drew, these two musicians need a creative outlet for their own music. Since Tyler moved to the Front Range last summer the duo have performed dozens of shows in the area sometimes joined by Eric Thornin or Benny Galloway on bass and Jordan Ramsey on the mandolin. The duo can be heard alongside Nershi and Emmitt on the latest acclaimed Emmitt-Nershi release, "New Country Blues"

Tyler Grant is a versatile guitarist who has made his mark on the Flatpicking scene, winning most major contests including the National Flatpicking Championship in 2008 and the Merlefest Doc Watson Guitar Championship in 2009. He was an original member of Adrienne Young and Little Sadie, has performed internationally with April Verch and Abigail Washburn, and has been the guitarist for the Drew Emmitt Band for four years. "Tyler Grant's name has been popping up everywhere in the acoustic music scene over the past few years. His new CD 'In the Light' shows why."-Flatpicking Guitar magazine.

Andy Thorn was raised in hotbed of musical activity in the Raleigh/Durham area of North Carolina. After graduating from UNC-CH with a music degree, he made big impressions on audiences across the country as a member of Larry Keel and Natural Bridge. Although banjo is his speciality, Andy is an outstanding multi-instrumentalist with a powerful approach to guitar, mandolin, and fiddle. His first western stints were with The Broke Mountain Bluegrass Band and the Colorado Playboys, but since moving to Boulder two years ago to join the Emmitt-Nershi Band has become a musical hero of the Colorado scene. "Andy is a young banjoist fast emerging as one of a new generation of hot pickers. His CD 'Bolin Creek' establishes him as a rising star in bluegrass music." -Bluegrass Unlimited

Jon Stickley Trio

Jon Stickley is an flat-picking guitarist from Asheville, NC. The Jon Stickley Trio showcases original material, as well as interpretations of bluegrass and jazz music. The trio leans toward a relaxed approach were the members are free to explore the song, in the moment. Members of the trio are subject to change, but have included Lyndsay Pruett- Fiddle (Futureman), Ryan Oslance- Drums (Aleuchatistas), Bobby Britt- Fiddle (Town Mountain), Mike Ashworth- Drums (5th House), and Jeff Stickley- Guitar (Hammer No More the Fingers).

His first solo album, Lions, was featured in the August 2010 edition of Flatpicking Guitar Magazine, where editor Dan Miller stated, “If you want to hear some great old guitars played expertly, I highly recommend Lions.” Jon has been a member of many North Carolina and Colorado bands including, The Shannon Whitworth Band, Biscuit Burners, Big Fat Gap, Broke Mountain, Colorado Playboys, New Vintage, and is currently playing bass with Town Mountain.

The Blue Canyon Boys

The Blue Canyon Boys, winners of the 2008 Telluride Bluegrass Festival Band Competition, have been picking and entertaining audiences with their unique style of bluegrass in the Colorado area for over five years.

This high energy bluegrass powerhouse consists of Gary Dark on mandolin, Jason Hicks on guitar, Drew Garrett on bass, and Jeff Scroggins on banjo. Blending incredible brother-duet-style vocals and hard-driving instrumental proficiency, this energetic Colorado band has quickly become a mainstay of the front range bluegrass scene. Rooting themselves in tradition, The Blue Canyon Boys draw upon influences like the Stanley Brothers, Jim and Jesse, and Jimmy Martin to entertain audiences with a thoughtful selection of songs, fine musicianship and humorous stage presence.

They have been earning a reputation as a bluegrass band that plays with sincere intensity and raw emotion. The Blue Canyon Boys also offer well-crafted original material, which can be heard on their debut CD, "Just An Ol Dirt Road", and their sophmore release "Hello City Limits". Their third CD entitled, "House Full of Sorrow" was released in 2011.

Bruce Hayes and The Ragged Mountain Ramblers

Bruce Hayes plays Rhythm & Celtgrass music, a fusion of musical styles that combines acoustic and electric instrumentation with elements of Rock, Bluegrass, Celtic, and R&B music. Collaborating with The String Cheese Incident and Acoustic Junction, Hayes helped define the acoustic jam band sound. He continues this tradition performing original songs and arrangements on Mandolin, Guitar, Dobro, foot board and his latest creation, the Stratobassto.

"...the most phenomenally talented performer you've ever seen. A master of the guitar, mandolin, and dobro, he even dances a rhythm while he plays - Bruce will astound you. He writes great songs, has a hell of a voice and is a supreme entertainer." Acoustic Coffeehouse Nederland CO

Singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, record producer, recording engineer, one man band -Bruce Hayes does it all. The forty-something entertainer has been a professional musician since high school and his experience shows.

"...lightning-fast mandolin licks...phenomenal guitar picking...a cross between Leo Kottke and Michael Hedges." Berkshire Eagle Pittsfield MA

On stage Hayes' presence is electrifying. He taps his feet on an amplified floor board, slaps accents on his guitar and cheeks, wails on the harmonica and sings charismatically. His fingers dance around the strings with incredible fluidity creating rich harmonic textures and rapid-fire riffs.

“What he was doing with that guitar gave me chills... Awesome.” Top O’ the World WSC

The music is fresh and original but steeped in tradition; borrowing from blues, bluegrass, celtic, world beat, folk, rock and jazz.

"...styles that could be loosely termed "Mountain Music", (Hayes is an accomplished bluegrass player) but Bruce's mountains reach from the Andes to the smokies and back to his home range in Colorado." Larry Good , Aspen Daily News

Inspired by the Beatles and the Monkees, Hayes began studying music at age seven. His mother, a former broadway dancer, would insist that he study piano first, but his attention was always diverted by a small Sears Silvertone guitar. He formed his first band in seventh grade and got his first paid gig as guitarist for the High school jazz ensemble when he was fifteen. In College he majored in classical guitar but after attending his first bluegrass festival he traded the classical guitar for a mandolin and began performing at ski areas.

"...Bruce Hayes is the Jimi Hendrix of the mandolin..." Crested Butte Chronicle & Pilot

Perfoming as a solo act, a sideman, or with his bands, Hayes has given over 3,000 performances in many of America’s finest music venues, and several prominent music festivals. His music has taken him across the continent a dozen times, and twice around Europe. He's jammed on stage with Joe Cocker, Arlo Guthrie, New Riders, Acoustic Syndicate, Railroad Earth, Darrell Scott, Tim O'Brien, Drew Emmitt; opened shows for David Bromberg, Jorma Kaukonen, Merle Sanders, Subdudes, Neville Bros., Dave Mathews, Sam Bush and David Lindley; and recorded in Nashville for grammy winning producer, Jon Vezner.

"...definately not some New Age dork. Man, he really cuts loose!" Tom Robbins

In 1997, Ragged Mountain Records released Hayes' second album, LUNCH. A follow-up to the popular PACK OF DOGS compilation CD that Hayes produced and performed on, LUNCH features more of Colorado's finest musicians including Tony Furtado, members of Leftover Salmon, String Cheese Incident, Acoustic Junction, The Motet, and the BRUCE HAYES BAND.

$27 - $75 Ticket prices do not include the Ticketfly.com service fee

Off Sale

No outside liquor into the venue. See Frequently Asked Questions on the www.gunnygrass.com for details. Friday Night: 4:00pm: Gates open: 5:30: Local act/TBA, Stray Grass, Simpler Times, White Water Ramble. Saturday Music: 10:00am Saturday Gospel Set, Instrument Contests/workshops (Guitar, Mandolin, fiddle and banjo), New Folk, Lost Nation, Bruce Hayes and the Ragged Mountain Ramblers, Square Dance with Simpler Times, John Stickley Trio, Blue Canyon Boys, The Grant Farm

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