Don't miss the 15th annual High Mountain Hay Fever festival in the heart of the Rockies. The stunning views of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains and the friendly town of Westcliffe provide a magnificent backdrop for the festival, but it's our four days of nationally-renown bluegrass performers that set this festival apart.
Michael Hearne and Shake Russell are truly a powerhouse duo, with two long lifetimes spent writing, singing and playing the songs of Texas and the great Southwest. Shake’s deep poetry, beautiful love songs and delightfully expressive vocal and guitar work are perfectly complemented by Michael’s blazing musicianship, “whiskey-velvet voice” (as friend Eliza Gilkyson described it), and his own rich and varied songwriting.
Although a native of Dallas and once again making Texas his home, Michael Hearne’s music will always be influenced by his decades spent living, writing, recording and performing (often with his band South by Southwest) in the “painter’s light, poet’s sky” of Taos, New Mexico, crafting the signature clarity of his Southwestern Americana sound. His song "Evergreen" was nominated for song of the year at the Texas Music Awards and others have been cut by Gary P. Nunn, Jerry Jeff Walker and Johnny Rodriguez. www.michaelhearne.com
Texas singer-songwriter Shake Russell has been entertaining audiences with his unique, Americana style of folk-rock since the 1970s. Shake’s songs and albums have frequented the Billboard charts over the years, with many, including “Deep in the West,” “You’ve Got a Lover,” “Put Yourself in My Shoes,” “One More Payment,” and “Our Kind of Love” being recorded by artists such as Waylon Jennings, Jessi Colter, Ricky Skaggs, and Clint Black.
Shake was recently inducted into the Texas Songwriter Legends Hall of Fame and is a two-time recipient of the BMI “Million Air” award and a four-time recipient of the BMI Writer’s Award. www.shakerussell.com
$10 general admission, $5 members and students w/ ID, free for youths 12 and younger. Baked goods, coffee, tea, and bottled water sold onsite.
Singer-songwriter-storytelling-bluesman Roy Book Binder has been rambling around the world for the past 45 years, playing his eclectic mix of blues, country, bluegrass, folk and popular songs that originated on Tin Pan Alley. He gave up his Greenwich Village pad in the early 1970s and lived in his tour bus for the next 15 years criss-crossing the U.S. and appearing at festivals throughout Canada and Europe.
Book Binder traveled with the legendary Rev. Gary Davis in the late 60s. In the 1970s The Book recorded his first solo acoustic blues album, which was the first to receive five stars in Downbeat magazine. In the late '80s The Book was part of Bonnie Raitt's East Coast Tour, including an appearance on The Grand Old Opry, which led to almost 30 appearances on Nashville Now's Ralph Emory Show. In the '90s he often appeared with Jorma Kaukonen, who recorded two of Roy's songs.
Last August, "The Good Book," Roy's latest release of all original songs, reached #3 on AirPlayDirect's Americana charts. www.roybookbinder.com
$10 general admission, $5 for members and students w/ID, free for ages 12 and younger. Baked goods, coffee, tea, and bottled water sold onsite.
Award-winning singer-songwriter Edie Carey is known for her unmistakable, soulful voice, her intelligent, heart-grabbing songs, but perhaps most especially for her warm, engaging presence. As much a part of her show as the music itself, Carey’s wry and often self-mocking humor makes audiences feel as though they have just spent an evening with a very close friend.
She has so many songwriting, performance, fan, production, and album awards that we can only name a few highlights here. In 2012 she won the Kerrville New Folk Competition, and was a finalist in the Rocky Mountain Folks Fest Songwriter Showcase. Previously, she placed 2nd in the Telluride Bluegrass Troubadour contest. In 2014 she was a performer and teacher in Planet Bluegrass' Song School. Carey has been a featured artist on Public Radio International's show, "Mountain Stage." Her album "'Til the Morning" won best children's album in the 2014 Independent Music Awards. Her songs have been featured on "Charmed," MTV's "Road Rules" and "Real World," and in commercials and independent films.
Carey has been singing at festivals, colleges, and listening rooms across the US, Canada and Europe since 1999, performing alongside Emmylou Harris, Lyle Lovett, Brandi Carlile, and Shawn Mullins. She’s also been a featured artist on NPR’s Mountain Stage, and recently co-wrote "You Are The River" on country star Chely Wright's new Joe Henry-produced album, "I Am The Rain."
"‘Til The Morning," a joint effort with award-winning singer-songwriter Sarah Sample, was funded entirely by their loyal and steadily growing legion of fans, as were Carey’s previous three records. Produced by Scott Wiley, the duo’s CD features appearances by cellist and vocalist Mai Bloomfield (Jason Mraz, Raining Jane), violist Aaron Ashton (Peter Cetera, Smokey Robinson) and Sam Cardon (Composer, My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend, Olympic Winter Games).
Carey has been based in Chicago until recently relocating to Colorado Springs, and we are lucky to have her. Join us for a night of dazzling music, and help welcome her to our beautiful mountain home.
Jack packed our house the last time he played, and we've gotten many requests to bring him back. His music, rooted in his native South Carolina, was shaped by a 54-year career of playing folk, rock, jazz, R&B, classical and the popular music of the 30s, 40s and 50s. He is counted among the most dynamic performers on today's "folk" circuit - "...one of the most enlightened and entertaining performers I've ever encountered", said Dave Humphreys of Two-Way Street Coffeehouse in Downer's Grove, IL. Jack is considered a "musician's musician", an uncommonly unique guitarist, a writer of vivid songs with a strong sense of place, and a storyteller in an old Southern tradition who further illustrates each tale with his guitar. Rich Warren of WFMT Chicago's The Midnight Special said, "His artistry is nothing short of amazing". Vic Heyman, in SING OUT!, wrote, “He is one of the strongest guitar players in contemporary folk.”
The Meadowgrass Music Festival is one of Colorado's premier events, kicking off a summer of great music in the Rockies. Join us this year on Memorial Day weekend at the beautiful La Foret festival grounds in the Black Forest area just north of Colorado Springs.
$AVE BIG BUCK$!
Our partners at Meadowgrass are offering you some sweet discounts on tickets this year. Get your tickets early and save big bucks by visiting www.meadowgrass.org and entering our special discount codes: MGBRASD17 for day passes and MGBRASW17 for weekend passes.
From New Orleans, vocalist Cindy Scott and guitarist Brian Seeger have been cultivating their magical musical connection for over eight years now. In that time, they have wowed audiences around the world, including concerts in Kazakhstan, Turkey and Morocco, and across the US and Europe. Although they both have serious jazz credentials, their performances and songwriting embrace the sounds of the Great American Songbook, the music of New Orleans, southern soul, and Americana.
Expect a wonderfully musical and personal journey which deftly carries their audience along with them. They obviously love what they do and sincerely believe in the transformative possibilities when performers get to share their art and craft in intimate settings.
"Cindy and Brian presented a magical night of beautiful music combined with heartfelt storytelling that had our audience laughing, crying and singing through the entire concert.” -- Teresa Allen, Millbend Coffeehouse Series, The Woodlands, Texas
“With her lovely voice and presence, she radiates the joy of making music. Go hear her!” -- Karrin Allyson, vocalist and five-time Grammy nominee
"Bold, brave interpretive elan ... on par with Tierney Sutton and Kate McGarry." -- Christopher Loudon, JazzTimes Magazine
“Her voice moves seamlessly between influences, holding a masterfully controlled vibrato on one phrase before dipping into a bluesy purr on the next.” -- Jennifer Odell, Downbeat Magazine
$10 general admission, $5 members and students w/ ID, free for ages 12 and younger. Coffee, tea, water, and baked goods sold onsite.
++++Show is cancelled due to significant snow in the Palmer Divide area++++
Check this page for a rescheduled show. The Ensemble is one of our favorites!
The Colorado College Bluegrass Ensemble, featuring CC undergraduates under the direction of Keith Reed, is always a favorite on the Black Rose stage. The ensemble, which receives academic credit and is by audition only, provides students a challenging and creative environment to develop bluegrass music, drawing from traditional sources such as Bill Monroe, the Stanley Brothers, Jimmy Martin, and Flatt & Scruggs. The ensemble frequently performs at the Durango Bluegrass Meltdown, held annually in April.
The group's 2017 lineup:
Jessica Wright grew up in the bay area of Northern California and is now a junior at Colorado College. She began playing electric guitar during her freshman year of high school and by her senior year she had switched to playing mostly acoustic. Her interest in folk Americana music led her to take bluegrass guitar lessons during her freshman year at CC. She has been playing in an ensemble for two years now.
Isaac Radner, a junior political science major, began playing the violin at age six. He was classically trained throughout most of his violin career, and participated in various orchestras, symphonies, and ensembles including the Colorado College orchestra. During his sophomore year he joined the Colorado College Bluegrass Ensemble and quickly fell in love with the music, welcoming the challenge of playing in a style with which he was unfamiliar. He says bluegrass offers a more intimate and energetic performance experience than classical music, and allows him to travel and play around the state and country. He says the one downside is that he has only one more year left with the CC Bluegrass Ensemble.
Ben Pitta is from a small Massachusetts town called Hadley, famous for its asparagus. Ben started playing the upright bass in 5th grade and takes influence from Edgar Meyer and Paul Kowert.
Jeremy Becker grew up near San Francisco and became interested in bluegrass and old-time music at the end of high school. After being inspired by Bela Fleck and Noam Pikelny, he started playing banjo when he got to Colorado College.
Michael Hasson grew up in Sausalito, California, and is currently a sophomore double majoring in geology and history. He played California fiddle contests for several years before making the transition to bass in high school, where he was introduced to playing jazz and bluegrass. He switched to mandolin at the beginning of his freshman year of college and has been playing in a bluegrass ensemble since then. Adam Steffey, Chris Thile, and Tim O’Brien are among his primary influences.
Dick Carlson, Marianne Danehy and Charlie Hall are Prairie Como.
Dick played with Black Rose (the band) for all ten years of its existence, with Palmer Divide for five years. Between the two bands, he played a hundreds of gigs and released five albums. His rock-steady bass playing has been compared to “the heartbeat of a blue whale”; we’re not sure whether that’s good or bad. His ankles are still recovering from his days as an all-Nebraska basketball star; his coach was quoted as saying “Dick almost never shoots when he doesn’t have the ball.”
Marianne teaches Suzuki violin and fiddle in Colorado Springs. In a prior life, she worked as an engineer for Hewlett-Packard. She grew up playing classical violin and more recently “found her people,” namely those who stay up late playing folk, Celtic, country and bluegrass music. Prior to playing with Charlie and Dick, she performed with the trio Blue Sage. Charlie and Marianne founded the Colorado Roots Music Camp, and she teaches fiddle there every year.
Charlie is a co-founder and past president of the Black Rose Acoustic Society, and co-
founder and director of the Colorado Roots Music Camp. He was a finalist in the 2000 National Finger Style Guitar championship, and was a nominee for Bluegrass Guitarist of the Year in 1996 by the Colorado Bluegrass Music Society. He played with Black Rose for 10 years and has performed with Joe Uveges, Phil Volan and the nearly-famed Trio Reynoso.
They will be joined by some of their longtime friends for a wonderful night of great memories and song.
Prairie Como celebrates good country songs served without artificial ingredients. They play a swing tune or two, fiddle tunes, some bluegrass, some folk. They sing songs that review the salient characteristics of Iowa, orphanhood, old-fashioned love, lost love, found love, misplaced love, love that crushes you like a monochromatic Kansas farmhouse dropped by a tornado, loneliness, bandits, the South, the South again, birthdays and their concomitant rehashing of the prior 12 months’ personal failures, small towns, big towns, ginormous towns and the Wrong Side of the Tracks. And the South.
Mary Beth Cross is an award-winning singer, songwriter and musician. Her music is a soulful, intimate acoustic mix of original and classic tunes. Her new EP titled "Feels Like Home" incorporates traditional bluegrass instruments into her arrangements. Mary Beth's originals are inspired by the stories of her family, the forests and farms of her Wisconsin upbringing, and Colorado, where she makes her home.
She will be joined by Front Range all-star pickers Chuck Hügenberg of the Oakhurst band on fiddle, Gary Sloan on bass, and Jordan Ramsey of Ragged Union on mandolin.
Mary Beth's musical influences began with the early folk music of the '70s including Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan, Kate Wolf, Jackson Browne, Judy Collins, Emmy Lou Harris, John Denver, Peter, Paul and Mary, Joan Baez, Gordon Lightfoot, as well as the Beatles. The show tunes of Broadway, and singer/songwriters including Mary Chapin Carpenter, Indigo Girls, Richard Thompson, David Wilcox, Shawn Colvin, Nanci Griffith, Patty Larkin, the voices of Alison Krauss, Eva Cassidy, Mary Black, Loreena McKennit, the Celtic music of the British Isles and the bluegrass music of Appalachia have helped to expand her influences.
Mandolinist/vocalist Steve Smith and Nashville guitarist/vocalist Tim May bring their acoustic brand of fire for an evening of original, traditional and swing music to Black Rose. The two musicians have collaborated in studio and on stages nationwide. Smith and May originally met while on staff at Camp Bluegrass in Levelland, Texas, and quickly discovered many common musical threads for exploration honoring tradition and improvisation. Their July 2016 CD “Murder of Crows” reflects upon this acoustic music force the duo has become and includes seven originals. Their shows include tight vocal harmonies, dazzling guitar, mandolin, octave mandolin and twin mandolin works throughout a broad range of styles.
Steve Smith is not only known as one of this country’s top mandolin players but also as an outstanding educator. Along with his work with the roots/bluegrass group The Hard Road Trio and the Alan Munde Gazette, Smith has appeared at festivals and venues internationally.
With the Las Cruces Symphony he has performed works of William Grant Still, Gershwin and George Crumb and the musical “Chicago.” Along with 30 years of coast-to-coast touring, Smith has performed in Ireland, Germany, France, Denmark, Sweden, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Cuba and the U.S. Virgin Islands. He has also performed in musical theater in Cotton Patch Gospel (multi-instrumentalist, vocalist and actor) and the Robber Bride Groom; he composed and performed the score for a production of the Sam Sheppard play “Curse of the Starving Class.” Steve has appeared on over 30 albums as performer and producer including guitar legends Jim Hurst, Mitch Perry, and Tim May; banjoist Bill Evans, Alan Munde and Tim O’Brien. His music has been heard on countless radio stations across the U.S. and on the Discovery Channel, The History Channel and even the Weather Channel. More on Steve: www.desertnight.com
Flatpicker Tim May has been working in the Nashville area for over 20 years as a sideman, session player, band member and performer. Higher profile projects have included touring with Patty Loveless and John Cowan, and working as a regular on the Grand Ole Opry with Mike Snider. Tim was the solo guitarist on Charlie Daniels’ recording of “I’ll Fly Away,” which was nominated for the Best Country Instrumental Performance Grammy in 2005. That same year he was session leader on the critically acclaimed Moody Bluegrass album (he later played on Moody Bluegrass II as well). The Nashville Scene selected Tim in the Best Instrumentalist category in their 2012 Reader’s Choice Poll. More on Tim: http://www.timmaymusic.net
Admission: $10 non-members, $5 members and students w/ ID, free for ages 12 and younger. No pre-sales.
Cosy Sheridan is a charismatic and talented performer who truly connects with her listeners, and that's why she's a favorite at Black Rose.
Sheridan has been called "one of the era's finest and most thoughtful singer/songwriters." She first appeared on the national folk scene in 1992 when she won the songwriting contests at The Kerrville Folk Festival and The Telluride Bluegrass Festival.
Since then she has released 10 CDs, written a one-woman-show, and her music has appeared in books and film. She has taught songwriting, guitar, and performance workshops at music camps for the past 15 years, including The Puget Sound Guitar Workshop and The Swannanoa Gathering. She is the director of The Moab Folk Camp in Moab, Utah.
Admission: $10 non-members, $5 members and students w/ ID, free for ages 12 and younger. No pre-sales.
Get ready for a special night of Western artistry when Junction 5-12 comes to the Black Rose stage.
Ernie Martinez has been part of the Colorado music scene for over 40 years. His outstanding and versatile picking has been featured on over 150 albums. He has played with Jon Chandler, Gary McMahan, Patty Clayton, Dakota Blonde, and many others. He has also recorded two of his own albums. Ernie is a three-time nominee for the Western Music Association’s Instrumentalist of the Year.
Mary Gifford is the other half of Junction 5-12. She has performed folk, bluegrass, and Western-style music in the Denver area since 2005. Mary has been writing and performing music with Ernie for the last four years. Songs like “Bright Sun of Montana Skies” and “Rough & Tumbling Creek” reflect the Western U.S. in both current and historic perspectives.
Their song “One Wild Heart” received air play on Jerry Mills’ radio show “Picker’s Choice” out of Cheyenne, WY and the Vail/Aspen/Frisco area.
Members $5, Non Members $10
Formed in the winter of 2014, Ragged Union quickly became a fixture in the Colorado bluegrass scene, earning fans among both the younger and older audience sets, with an all-star lineup of some of the state’s finest pickers and the dynamic front duo of husband-and-wife, Geoff and Christina Union. The band’s sound is built around the Unions’ original songs, with a blues influence and a connection to the Texas songwriting tradition. The music comes to life in the electrifying hands of some of Colorado’s finest and most sought-after bluegrass musicians (see below), who along with the Unions form a dynamic and cohesive unit that puts on a memorable and exciting show for dancers, listeners, traditionalists and progressives alike.
With a love of the traditional elements of the bluegrass sound (duet and trio singing, highly skilled performance, and a robust rhythmic drive), and a craving for doing something just a little bit different with the lyrics and arrangements, Ragged Union has carved out its own increasingly recognized space in the crowded Colorado field, and has been busy expanding the reach of their sound onto the national stage.
Members $5, Non Members $10
Brooks Williams, from Statesboro, Georgia (the town made famous by country-blues legend Blind Willie McTell), creates a super-charged roots music. Key And Chords from Belgium describes Williams' music as "A beautiful fusion of blues, old country and a touch Americana." Audiences are often heard asking, how can one guitar and one voice sound like a full band?
His massive repertoire spans classic roots and blues, compelling covers (from the likes of Dave Alvin, Mose Allison and Kris Kristofferson), and his own songs, which are rooted in blues and old country but are thoroughly alive with clearly-drawn ironic characters and rich blues pathos.
The Instant Family
Members $5, Non Members $10
The Instant Family is Joleen Bell, Marianne Danehy, Charlie Hall and Phil Volan.
Back by popular demand for the third year, The Instant Family brings rich harmonies and superb musicianship to bear in the never-ending struggle against bad holiday music, with a variety of carols, secular holiday music and a few songs and tunes.
They'll follow the performance with a holiday sing-along, so bring your singing voice!
Potluck: As in prior years for out last show in December, the kitchen volunteers get a night off. In lieu of snacks from the kitchen, we will have a potluck but this year. We ask that folks with last names beginning with A-M bring appetizers, and N-Z bring desserts. Feel free to change your last name for the evening if you have a fabulous recipe that doesn't go along with your assigned name. We'll have free water, tea, coffee, and apple cider.