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Welcome Festivarians! Following the whirlwind musical adventures of July’s RockyGrass, this weekend we savor the last days of summer by floating our Festivarian innertube down the gently winding river of lyrics and music. From these sparkling waters arise stories of our past and truths of our present: our loves, our losses, our tears and anger, our smiles and laughter. Welcome to the 29th annual Summit on the Song. After this past week of songwriting craft and inspiration at the 26th Annual Song School, the Planet Bluegrass Ranch is fertile with creativity and human connection. So take a moment to lie back on your tarp, breathe deeply, and embrace the freedom of self-expression and the creativity that is all around us.

Here at Folks Fest, we encourage you to find connection with fellow Festivarians, whether in line for an Avery Festival Lager or Stem Cider, or walking over the river and through the woods to the Planet Bluegrass Farm parking area. Meet a new friend at yoga near the silo each morning at 8am. In the afternoon, surround yourself with openhearted kids of all ages at the beach area, or in the family crafts tent, H.B. Woodsongs’ instrument petting zoo, or Wild Bear Nature Center, all located along the river near the Wildflower Pavilion. Whether this is your first Folks Fest or your 29th, we warmly welcome you into this special community of Festivarians. Don’t forget to drink plenty of water, use sunscreen, find a seat on an open tarp up front during the day, and let this feeling linger well beyond the Festival. This is going to be a magical weekend. We’re so glad you’re here.

with love, The folks on planet bluegrass


In our message and in our music, it is unity we proclaim —Ysaÿe Barnwell


Festival Guidelines To accommodate all Festivarians, your tarp must fit within a 10’x10’ space. If your tarp exceeds this size, we will ask you to fold your tarp to fit within these dimensions. Feel free to sit on any open tarp until its owners return. Climbing the hillsides or cliffs is strictly prohibited. There is no lifeguard watching your kids in the river. Please monitor your children carefully. Please do not smoke in the audience. Wander over to the smoking tent near the river, and deposit your butts in the proper receptacles. Please use only low-backed chairs in designated areas. If


we can roll a basketball under your chair, we will ask you to move it behind the sound booth. Umbrellas, shade tents, & other view-obstructing items are allowed only along the river and back perimeter. Please be respectful of others, and do not stand in the Festival seating areas. Once placed on, wristbands are non-refundable and nontransferable. If you remove, tear, damage, or lose your wristband, we will not replace it. No animals are allowed at the Festival, in the campground, or in the parking lots. Lost and found is located at the Festival box office.

TArP lINE POLICY Festivarians may begin assembling for the next day’s line numbers no earlier than 11pm.

At around midnight, the line will be led through the customs gate, where we will distribute random numbers and mark wristbands to show receipt of a number. Numbers will be shuffled randomly; each person may receive no more than 1 number. The next morning, Festivarians should re-assemble in line-number order beginning one hour before gates. Festivarians will be admitted into the Festival in this line-number order, followed by all Festivarians without line numbers. One person, one tarp (not to exceed 10’ in length and width).

It's time we made time just for talking; it's time we made time to heal —Mandolin Orange

Have fun out there, festivarians...

We’re here when you need us.

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Helen Rho, MD Internal Medicine

Megan Adamson, MD Urgent Care

Stephen Siegel, MD Urology

Boulder Medical Center Visit us at

sustainable festivation With your help, the Planet Bluegrass festivals strive to be models of Sustainable Festivation, from carbon offsets to free local water to becoming a Certified B Corporation™. Here are a few areas we’re focusing on in 2019.

waste stream

All offerings from our food vendors must be either reusable, compostable, or recyclable. So for the past 8 years, we have removed landfill containers inside the festival grounds in an effort to raise awareness of the landfill items brought in by Festivarians. The Sustainable Festivation crewmembers at each waste station (families of the Lyons High School band) will help you sort your waste and point you to the appropriate waste containers. Historically, our landfill diversion rate has averaged 65%. Since nearly one-third of Folks Festivarians camp, our campgrounds continue to be an area of focus.

This summer we are working with students from the Masters of the Environment (MENV) Graduate Program at the University of Colorado Boulder to conduct a thorough waste audit to better understand campground waste. The power is in your hands, Festivarians. Let’s bring our collective attention to avoiding single-use items and make reusable cups, bottles, plates, and utensils our Festivarian Toolkit of choice.

our community

carbon footprint

In 2018, we donated more than 1,200 pounds of leftover food (from vendors and catering at our Telluride and Lyons festivals) to local organizations assisting those in need. Each year, your generous tips at the beverage booth help fund local organizations including Habitat for Humanity, Lyons Community Foundation, Lyons Fire Protection District, and the Lyons Regional Library District Foundation. Thank you, Festivarians!


Since 2007, Planet Bluegrass has been neutralizing the festival’s travel and energy emissions by investing in carbon reduction projects. Thanks to our 16-year partnership with Renewable Choice Energy (now Schneider Electric), Planet Bluegrass has offset 29,990 metric tons of carbon and purchased 5,402 megawatt hours of renewable electricity. That’s the equivalent of not burning 33 million pounds of coal or taking 6,367 vehicles off the road for an entire year! This year we again partnered with Pinhead Climate Institute to purchase Colorado-based agricultural carbon offsets generated by the May Ranch, a 16,480acre parcel of Colorado shortgrass prairie. Through this “regenerative agriculture” project, the May family is paid to leave its soil forever intact and untilled, where it can remove planet-warming carbon from the atmosphere, store it, and help address global climate change.

From plunder and pollution, let Mother Earth be free —Ani DiFranco

Serving up Reuse In 2016, Planet Bluegrass began replacing singleuse compostable plates with sturdy reusable ones made from a sustainable mixture of bamboo, sugarcane, and corn. Thanks to a variance from the State of Colorado, our Lyons festivals are the first and only special events in the state to offer a Reusable Plate Program for all our food vendors— all at no additional cost to Festivarians! In the program’s first 3 years, we diverted over 74,000 plates from the waste stream. With last year’s introduction of 6,000 stainless steel forks and spoons, we were able to divert more than 17,500 single-use utensils. This year, with assistance from Boulder County’s 2019 Zero Waste Funding Program, we are adding additional plate inventory and a second dishwasher to keep up with demand (and your love of Sisters’ Dumplings!).

This program is a collective effort; it absolutely cannot succeed without your help. Please remember to return all plates and utensils to the “Plates” bin at the waste stations, never take plates or utensils outside the festival grounds, and remind your fellow Festivarians to do the same! This program is the only one of its kind, as it is completely free to all Festivarians. Let’s work together to make sure it can stay that way!

Want to start a reusables program at your event? Check out our instructional handbook and plate program video at Or reach out to us with specific questions at the Sustainable Festivation booth or email


We make miracles every moment of every day —The Steel Wheels

at the bar

Blending Old World tradition with creativity and boldness, our friends at Avery are excited to share these Colorado ales and lagers. Drink up!

beer Selections

daily beer Tastings

5.0% ABV

Friday Cucumber Sour Vanilla Bean Stout

Festival Lager Avery IPA 6.5% ABV

White Rascal

at the Avery Booth from Noon ‘til we run out! Saturday Lilikoi Kepolo Bug Zapper

5.6% ABV

Cider, Wine & Cocktails

Grapefruit Shandy

Real Dry

New this year, we enter into the world of gluten-free, craft ciders with Colorado’s own Stem Ciders.

4.7% ABV Special Saturday Tapping

Sunday Double Digit IPA Raspberry Sour

6.8% ABV

Hazyish IPA 7.0% ABV


5.5% ABV

Special Saturday Tapping


6.9% ABV

Also enjoy our Colorado-inspired selection of eco-friendly Yoonit Wines, Bloody Marys, Citrus Tonic or Ginger Lime Shrub with Lyons’ own Spirit Hound Gin or Vodka, & Coyote Gold All Natural Margaritas.

Mandolin Orange • Tracy Grammer • Jefferson Hamer • Daniel Rodriguez • Nick Lowe Bruce Molsky • Ben Sollee • Ben Winship • Stelth Ulvang • Jono Manson • FY5 Strangebyrds • Railsplitters • Wood & Wire • The Last Revel • Rising Appalachia Grateful Dead • Keller Williams • Ari Hest • Otis Taylor • Grant Gordy & Ross Martin Pete Kartsounas • Trout Steak Revival • Roland Guerin • Gregory Alan Isakov • Cyril Neville Neville Jacobs • Stillhouse Junkies • Dale Bruning • Crooked Jades • Thunder and Rain

Thanks, Folks! Lucy Kaplansky • Darren Garvey • Danny Barnes • Erinn Peet Lukes • Jaime Michaels Moors & McCumber • Honey Dewdrops • John Lowell • Jorma Kaukonen • Ryan Dart

Mastering without borders for 37 years Hot Tuna • New Riders of the Purple Sage • Sweet Honey In the Rock • Hot Rize Woody Guthrie • John Hartford • Mike Seeger • Doc Watson “The Rise and Fall of Paramount Records” • “The Anthology of American Folk Music”

To book a session, contact: 303-247-9035 DAVID GLASSER / ANNA FRICK


Been looking for the medicine, when I came to a song —Daniel rodriguez


12 TH


Campsite challenge

With more than 1,200 campers in Lyons this weekend (more than half the size of our town!), it’s important to be mindful of our camping footprint. In collaboration with the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics and Eco-Products (suppliers of free compostable bags for your campground compost), we will again be rewarding campsites that excel in creative, sustainable camping. To nominate your campsite or one of your neighbors: 1. Submit a 1-page entry form at the Leave No Trace booth – explaining how the campsite exhibits cleanliness, sustainability, and creativity.

2. Stop by the Leave No Trace booth each day to view all the campsite entries and vote for your favorites.

Each day we select 2 winners —one random, one staff choice— for prize packages including:

• Avery beer • Keen footwear • Klean Kanteen reusables • ENO hammocks • Planet Bluegrass merch

Congratulations to the 2018 Campsite Challenge winners: Camp Omnivarian Colo Springs & Scottsbluff, NE

After the pack-out on Monday we will select grand prize winners to receive a pair of 3-day passes and camping for the 2020 Folks Festival.

Delicious tacos & Mexican food

7 salsas made daily in house, creative tacos, enchiladas, refreshing craft margs, ceviche, great tequila and mezcal selection, and more!


Earth has come to claim her country, screaming out for rain —The East Pointers

I wish there was something I could believe to belong —Patty Larkin


Songwriter showcase We open the 29th Annual Rocky Mountain Folks Festival with our internationally-revered songwriting competition. The Songwriter Showcase is open to performing songwriters, who are not currently signed to a major recording or publishing deal. Past winners include: Deb Talan, Robby Hecht, Caroline Spence and 2018 winner Kira Small. Last winter artists from around the world submitted original songs to be considered by our panel of music industry experts. After carefully listening to more than 400 entries, our panelists selected the 10 finalists who will each perform 2 songs for us on the Folks Festival stage on Friday morning. To select the winners, our panel of judges drawn from different facets of the music industry—songwriters, radio DJs, producers— independently evaluate the performers’ original songs based on the scoring criteria:

• 50% Quality of Composition depth, insight, cleverness • 25% Quality of Vocal Rendering vocal quality, pitch, tone • 25% Quality of Delivery instrumental technique, charisma The winners will be announced from the main stage following the contest finals.











Roanoke, VA

Boston, MA

Portland, ME

Boulder, CO

Hiawassee, GA

Culver City, CA

Durham, NC

Boulder, CO

Nashville, TN

Longmont, CO

Each of the 10 finalists will also perform in one of the “Showcase Finalists In-The-Round” sets in the Wildflower Pavilion. Discover your new favorite songwriter by joining them for these intimate performances and purchasing their music in the Country Store.


1st Place: • 2020 Festival Main Stage set • Taylor Guitar • $400

2nd Place: $500 3rd Place: $400 4th Place: $350 5th Place: $250 6th-10th Place: $150 each

I’m looking for a melody that will break my heart open wide —Ellis

Everyth Flippin ing’s ’ Tasty!

Welcome Festivarians! Festival Hours: 6am-2pm

Organic Espresso, Coffee & Tea Scrumptious Baked Goods Killer Breakfast Sandwiches & Breakfast Tacos Cocktails, Mimosas & More 5th & High Street 303.823.2345

It ain’t the leaving, it’s the way you go —Mary Gauthier





10:00am Gates Open

10:00am Gates Open

10:00am Gates Open

10:30 - 12:30pm Songwriter Showcase

11:00 - Noon Kira Small

12:45 - 1:45pm Laura Cortese & The Dance Cards

12:15 - 1:15pm The Small Glories

11:00 - Noon Ysaÿe Barnwell: Sacred Songs


2:15 - 3:30pm Daniel Rodriguez 3:45 - 5:00pm Patty Larkin


1:45 - 3:00pm The Steel Wheels 3:30 - 4:45pm Haley Heynderickx 5:15 - 6:30pm The East Pointers

5:30 - 6:45pm The Oh Hellos 7:15 - 8:30pm Mandolin Orange 9:00 - 10:30pm Ani DiFranco

7:00 - 8:30pm Violent Femmes 9:00 - 10:30pm Ben Folds

Join us for free yoga inside the festival each morning at 8am. Mats provided.


Can we use all this love we ooze? —St. Paul & The Broken Bones

A U G U ST 1 8 T H

12:15 - 1:15pm Son of Town Hall 1:45 - 3:00pm Gasoline Lollipops 3:15 - 4:30pm Ellis 5:00 - 6:15pm The War and Treaty 6:45 - 8:00pm St. Paul & The Broken Bones 8:30 - 10:00pm Josh Ritter & The Royal City Band

— W I L D F L O W E R PAV I L I O N — friday





A U G U ST 1 8 T H

12:15 - 12:45pm RJ Cowdery

Noon - 12:30pm John Linn

Noon - 12:30pm Oliver Esposito

1:00 - 1:30pm Emily Ann Peterson

12:45 - 2:00pm Showcase Finalists In-The-Round: Rob Nance, Lauren Pratt, Cole Scheifele & Mike Stocksdale

1:45 - 2:30pm Bill Nash & Dan Harris 2:45 - 3:15pm Heather Mae & JJ Jones 3:30 - 4:00pm Sarah Sample 4:15 - 4:45pm Laura Cortese & The Dance Cards 5:00 - 5:30pm Mary Gauthier

2:15 - 2:45pm Justin Roth 3:00 - 4:00pm Showcase Finalists In-The-Round: Wyatt Espalin, Alexa Wildish & Christopher Williams 4:15 - 4:45pm Rebecca Folsom 5:00 - 5:30pm Sweet Talk Radio 5:45 - 6:15pm Arthur Lee Land

12:45 - 1:15pm “Chicago Mike” Beck 1:30 - 2:30pm Showcase Finalists In-The-Round: Catherine Backus, Caroline Cotter & Tim Ostdiek 2:45 - 3:15pm Mai Bloomfield 3:30 - 4:00pm Paul Reisler with Ysaÿe Barnwell & Heather Mae 4:30 - 5:00pm The East Pointers 5:15 - 5:45pm Steve Seskin

My heart is a silver fish on the line of your laughter —Josh ritter



artist s F R I D AY

laura cortese

& The Dance Cards

12:45 - 1:45pm


daniel rodriguez 2:15 - 3:30pm


patty larkin 3:45 - 5:00pm


Laura Cortese is an instigator of creativity and a builder of community wherever she goes. After wending her way from California to Boston, founding a songwriting camp and a celtic music festival, and playing and singing with artists as diverse as Pete Seeger, Band of Horses, and Uncle Earl, Laura assembled the Dance Cards: a quartet of singing string players—Laura (fiddle), Jenna Moynihan (fiddle), Valerie Thompson (cello) and Jemila Dunham (bass).

At first glance, they may resemble a string quartet. But the Dance Cards are planted firmly in our modern post-genre musical world, moving seamlessly from ethereal vocal harmonies to indie-rock rhythms to propulsive fiddle melodies borrowed from Appalachia and Scotland. It’s pop music at heart, earning their gem-filled debut California Calling a spot among our 2017 favorite albums and a wonderful way to open our 29th Annual Folks Festival. –B.E.

Colorado singer-songwriter and former Lyons resident, Daniel Rodriguez, is headed home to Planet Bluegrass this Friday afternoon—and this time, he’s bringing a full band to amplify his powerful, poignant, and poetic original tunes. With over a decade under his belt as one of the founding members and lead songwriters of the transcendental folk band (and past Folks Fest & Telluride Bluegrass headliners) Elephant Revival, Daniel is well-versed in the Americana tour

circuit. Needing to fill the musical void following Elephant Revival’s hiatus announcement, Daniel immediately headed out on tour as a solo artist and released his debut solo EP earlier this year, Your Heart, The Stars, The Milky Way. Boulder Weekly calls Daniel “a timeless folk voice, deep and hearty, weathered but comforting.” Lovers of song, lend your ear, and sing along if you know the words. This one’s going to be a hair-raiser. –A.R.

Patty Larkin grew up in a musical family in Milwaukee. After graduation from the University of Oregon, she moved to Boston and devoted herself to music, busking on the streets of Cambridge and studying jazz guitar at Berklee College of Music and with Boston area jazz guitarists where she soon joined the ranks of top-shelf guitarists. With eleven studio albums and two live recordings under her belt, Patty mines the intersections of poetry and song with her upcoming

innovative 14th release, Bird in a Cage. The recording puts poems from ten notable poets to song. She is the recipient of an Honorary Doctorate of Music from Berklee College of Music and was honored by Boston’s Mayor with “Patty Larkin Appreciation Day” in recognition of her philanthropic contributions to non-profit organizations. A veteran of the 1st Annual Folks Festival in Estes Park, we’re thrilled to welcome Patty back to the Festival stage. –S.S.

Someday these notes will carry my bones far away —Laura Cortese


artist s F R I D AY

the oh hellos 5:30 - 6:45pm


mandolin orange 7:15 - 8:30pm


ani difranco 9:00 - 10:30pm


What do Sufjan Stevens, Greco-Roman mythology, and C.S. Lewis have in common? They’re all influences behind the music of The Oh Hellos! Hailing from Texas, the Hellos share a compelling ability to harmonize, a love of literature, and DNA. The brothersister duo of Tyler and Maggie Heath made their Planet Bluegrass debut at the 2016 Telluride Bluegrass, and are finally hitting the Lyons stage today. With an affinity for lush, sweeping, and melodic musical phrasing, the

Heaths started writing music in their family home, releasing their selfproduced first record in 2011. In the eight years since, the Hellos have flourished, producing several more albums, including an ambitious series named for the gods of wind. The Hellos’ extravagance goes beyond the complexities of their musical inspiration. Their live performances are accompanied by an ensemble of touring musicians the size of a circus, tumblers and all. –M.W.

The songs of Mandolin Orange feel like whispered secrets—something quiet and intimate, yet wholly comfortable and familiar. Songwriter Andrew Marlin and multi-instrumentalist Emily Frantz form a magnetic duo, comprised of Emily’s sweet and clear voice and Andrew’s smoky, brooding one. Andrew’s streamof-consciousness style of writing yields lyrics that are poetic and humble, dripping with the wisdom of heartbreak and loss. In a short

amount of time, the North Carolina pair have skyrocketed to acoustic fame, becoming a staple on the festival circuit, and seeing their fourth album, Tides of a Teardrop, debut at #1 on four separate Billboard charts. It wasn’t long ago that Mandolin Orange played our Wildflower Pavilion, and they’ve graced the Telluride stage as well. No matter the size of the venue, seeing Mandolin Orange perform feels like sitting in on an intimate living room performance. –M.W.

Widely considered a feminist icon, Ani DiFranco is the mother of the DIY movement, as one of the first artists to create her own record label in 1990. Despite her rebellion against the music industry, Ani remains one of indie’s most prolific artists— selling over 5.5 million albums and winning numerous awards, including a Grammy. In addition to her musical success, Ani has tirelessly worked for reproductive rights, racial justice, ecological sanity, gender equality, and

prison reform. In her recent memoir, No Walls and the Recurring Dream, Ani details the unconventional path that led her to become a trailblazer, while maintaining an artistic integrity that has made her “the torch bearer for the next generation” (Pete Seeger). Ani has been causing quakes on the Planet since her first Folks performance 25 years ago (followed by her first Telluride Bluegrass in 1995!). Let’s tear this thing down on Day 1, sister! –A.R.

The terrible fire of old regret is honey on my tongue —The Oh Hellos


artist s S AT U R D AY

kira small 11:00 - Noon


the small glories 12:15 - 1:15pm


the steel wheels 1:45 - 3:00pm


Though she won the Songwriter Showcase just last year, Kira Small has been developing her artistry for 2 decades as an in-demand session singer with such icons as Willie Nelson, Wynonna Judd, and Garth Brooks, and a recurring role on ABC’s Nashville. But with her fourth studio album, 2016’s emotionally visceral 3AM, Kira’s songwriting found its honest voice while chronicling a dramatic breakup. “I just stood there and bled these things out,” says Kira. “You can

hear the cracks in my voice—these emotions didn’t come out smoothly.” The resulting songs brim with profound late-night musings, whiskeyguided reflection, and that sweet spot where threads of soul, jazz, and quiet fire blues interlace. In last year’s main stage finals, the Nashville-based singer emerged as a bold singersongwriter, melding blue-eyed soul with harmonic sophistication. Today she steps into the well-earned Folks Festival spotlight. –B.E.

See that interconnected yinjo yangdolin above the stage? That duality is The Small Glories. The Canadian Prairie duo of Cara Luft (an original member of The Wailin’ Jennys) and JD Edwards came together accidentally, yet their tour-de-force partnership could only be the product of fate. JD’s looming presence and penetrating eyes make him the yin to Cara’s petite, snortlaughing yang. Their songs of love, loss, and place (sweetly supported by clawhammer banjo, guitar and

harmonica) are complemented by jovial banter—a balance of slapstick and sermon. When their voices lock together, wavering and soaring in perfectly reflected harmony, we want to stand up singing and listen quietly on the edge of our chair. Our love for their sophomore album Assiniboine & The Red is echoed by critical acclaim from NPR and Paste. And this Saturday afternoon, a duo making their Folks about to become your favorite band. –B.E.

Get off yer tarps and kick off yer shoes—yer gonna want to move for this set. The Steel Wheels’ brand of acoustic music is driving, percussive and passionate, and it simply cannot be enjoyed as thoroughly while sitting. Building off Trent Wagler’s (guitar/banjo) hearty vocals, the layers of Eric Brubaker’s fiddle, Brian Dickel’s bass, Jay Lapp’s guitars and mandolin, and Kevin Garcia’s percussion add magic to an already flush sound. Their latest album,

Over the Trees, is the band’s most experimental to date, drawing on the string music of their roots while adding new elements ranging from deep south vocal harmonies to African-influenced percussion riffs. Despite embarking on this fresh new chapter in their repertoire, the Steel Wheels haven’t lost sight of where they came from—they still have the same rootsy allure that we’ve all grown to love. And if you haven’t yet, you’re in for a treat. –M.W.

I'm not sorry I loved you, only that you couldn't love me back —kira Small

The global sing-along for everyone Saturday, Oct. 19, 2019 2 pm, Pearl Street Mall, Boulder 5th annual

World Singing Day Boulder Sing along to popular songs from the Beatles to the Indigo Girls. Sing together. Unite the world.

Judy Collins • Martin Sexton

Richard Shindell • Hubby Jenkins Tracy Grammer • The Accidentals Max Gomez • Lula Wiles May Erlewine • Erin Costelo and 2 more TBA

Festival Pass: $140 • Single Venue: $45

Fate is a sundress ripped at the thigh —Haley Heynderickx



artist s S AT U R D AY

haley eynderickx 3:30 - 4:45pm


the east pointers 5:15 - 6:30pm


violent femmes 7:00 - 8:30pm


It takes a mix of skill and luck to tend a garden well, but it’s impossible without a certain amount of kindness tended. Haley Heynderickx’s debut album, I Need to Start a Garden, lays bare a search for calm through waves of uncertainty and upheaval, as her melodic narration ranges from sultry to operatic. Growing up in a religious household, Haley identified with her Filipino roots, but also straddled multiple cultural identities. Now residing in Portland,

Oregon, her faith is not overt, but her introspection and continued struggle for self-actualization are accessible and relatable. Through skilled lyricism, powerful imagery, and offbeat metaphors, Haley’s music is an invitation for all to join her. Because the beauty of a garden is that, while it’s often started for deeply personal reasons, its bounty is best consumed with others. Let’s share the bounty together, Festivarians. We need to start a garden! –A.R.

“We’re passionate about tradition, 43 years ago, but individually the yes,” says Koady Chaisson. “But… bandmembers—including guitarist traditions belong to the people Jake Charron—now spend much of who shepherd them into the next their year in Australia, UK and Costa generation.” Winners of the 2017 JUNO Rica. This worldly outlook informs their Award for Traditional Roots Album of approach to “tradition”: combining the Year, Prince Edward Island trio trance-like trad breakdowns with The East Pointers were born into Billboard-worthy hooks, urgent tradition—cousins Tim (fiddle) and dance-party journeys, and three-part Koady Chaisson (tenor banjo) trace the harmonies. And of course, songs: a music back 7 generations. The cousins youthful mix of pop-perfect confections still run PEI’s Rollo Bay Fiddle Festival, and moving tributes to their home an event founded by their grandfather and the people they love. –B.E. Fingers in the air: how many cassette copies of the Violent Femmes 1983 debut did you wear through? With its landmark A-side (kicking off with “Blister in the Sun”) the album remains one of the defining moments in American music, establishing the Femmes’ one-of-a-kind hybrid of front porch folk, post punk, spiritual jazz, country blues, and golden age rock ‘n’ roll. Founded by singer/guitarist Gordon Gano and acoustic bass guitarist Brian Ritchie, the Milwaukee-

born combo has always been warm, wise and decidedly weird. With the recent release of their 10th studio album Hotel Last Resort (recorded in Denver!)—and now augmented by drummer John Sparrow (BBQ and other percussion) and multi-instrumentalist Blaise Garza—the Femmes’ singular blend of folk and punk, sarcasm and spirituality, remains as vital and invigorating as ever. Toss your low back chair aside, tonight we dance in punk bop unity. –B.E.

Please don't sing another chorus, that's the thing that starts to bore us —Violent Femmes


artist s S AT U R D AY

ben folds 9:00 - 10:30pm


ysaÿe barnwell: sacred songs

11:00 - Noon


son of town hall 12:15 - 1:15pm


A celebrated singer-songwriter, beloved for countless cult-classics, Ben Folds is one of the major music influencers of our generation. He’s created an enormous body of genrebending music: from Ben Folds Five (the legendary & facetiously-named trio) and multiple solo albums to a classical piano concerto and beyond. Ben is an outspoken champion for arts education and music therapy, serving on the Artist Committee of Americans for the Arts and chairman of the

national ArtsVote 2020 initiative. Last month, Ben published his first book, A Dream About Lightning Bugs: A Life of Music and Cheap Lessons. The book’s stories embody the message he has been singing about for years: Smile like you’ve got nothing to prove, because it hurts to grow up and life flies by in seconds. So, hold on tight to this Folks Saturday night, Festivarians—you won’t want to miss a musical moment of Ben Folds’ Planet Bluegrass debut. –A.R.

Ysaÿe is one of the few performers that has both the experience and the credibility to lead us in singing Sacred Songs. Dr. Ysaÿe M. Barnwell toured with the internationallyacclaimed singing group Sweet Honey In The Rock for more than 3 decades, appearing on more than 30 recordings. She has performed everywhere from Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center to concert halls in Africa, Europe, and New Guinea. Throughout the years, she has spent much of her time off stage

working as an actress, commissioned composer and arranger, author, songwriter, master teacher, and choral leader in the African-American cultural performance tradition. Lucky for us, she has brought her deep understanding of African-American history and vocal traditions to The Song School 5 times. A national treasure, it’s astounding to watch her turn a field of Festivarains into a gospel choir. Are you all ready this beautiful Sunday morning? –S.S.

It’s time to invoke your imagination: Your tarp has transformed into a Victorian-era seaport. London’s Ben Parker and Santa Fe’s David Berkeley have just moored their junk raft (“The Son of Town Hall”) in Lyons after crossing the mighty Atlantic in search of new lands, new inspirations, and squandered fortunes. For the next hour, Ben and David, hatted and clothed in period-ish attire, will share their colorful tales of the sea, bouncing from one failed

endeavor to another. Their historical backstory might’ve relegated them to lighthearted performance art, except their songs are flat-out, jawdroppingly gorgeous. You see, while on their raft, the two learned to sing together like angels (“Maybe it was all the cheap rum,” confides Ben). The result is the Festival’s most uniquely unforgettable set, filling our hearts with laughter and tears, drunk on adventure and the tragic beauty of the human condition. –B.E.

In a wide sea of eyes, I see one pair that I recognize —Ben Folds


Fo l k / A m e r i c a n a

Music Festival Sept 6-8 , 2019



& Taylor


Michael Kirkpatrick & the

Honey Rider Band Justin Roth And


Antonio Lopez Band Highland Ramblers Ten Dollar Pony john Bunzli Band Tyler T & Sasha Stone Silent J and the Whispers Caitlin Cannon • David Coi le Kate Farmer • Steve Murray Tim Ostdiek • Alex Rhodes


Shanna in a Dress John Spengler • Bob Wood

Parrish Ranch

5 mi. NE of Lyons, CO

On-site camping Workshops • Open Stage Songwriting Contest

The letting go of the dream is the heaviest cross —Son of Town Hall



artist s S U N D AY

gasoline lollipops 1:45 - 3:00pm


ellis 3:15 - 4:30pm


the war and treaty 5:00 - 6:15pm


The Gasoline Lollipops, or the GasPops including Denver Westword’s “Best as they are affectionately known to Country Artist” and Colorado Daily’s fans, sound like what you would get “Best Boulder Band.” Between the if you put Tom Waits, Leonard Cohen, percussive, driving drums, electricand a little bit of country twang into slick guitar licks, and gruff vocals, a blender and mixed it up. The drama the band has mastered the art of of vocalist/guitarist Clay Rose’s the groove-worthy funeral dirge. If cinematic voice is backed by Donny you threw a country hoedown in Hell, Ambory on electric guitar, Bradley this is the band you’d want to hire. Morse on bass, and Kevin Matthews They’ve got an element of darkness on drums. Originating just next door to their vibe, but that darkness is in Boulder, Colorado, the GasPops contradictorily met with the flair of have won a number of local awards, swing. –M.W. Ellis, from Minneapolis, says it best: “My deepest wish is to open people’s hearts. It is my life’s work and daily practice to allow myself to be undefended and open; to write songs from that place and offer them to others.” And so it is…for nearly twenty years, Ellis has been bringing her heartfelt and engaging music to the Folks Festival, both as a performer and also as a regular instructor at The Song School. Not to mention, her Festival performances

nearly every year in the Wildflower Pavilion are always epic and transformational for the well-beyondcapacity audiences. Simply put, we can’t imagine the Folks Festival without her joyful presence. She’s presently working on her tenth recording, Ordinary Love, for a 2020 release. So gather ‘round and be prepared to open your hearts and smile big as we welcome back Ellis and all her light and spirit to the Folks Festival main stage. –S.S.

The powerhouse duo Michael & Tanya Trotter first brought their swampy Southern soul and transcendent vocals to Telluride Bluegrass in 2018 and today, they make their Folks debut! While Tanya grew up knowing that singing and writing would be her path, Michael was in and out of homeless shelters, joining the Army in 2003. Deployed in Iraq, he was stationed in one of Saddam Hussein’s rubbled palaces, where he found a piano that had miraculously emerged unscathed.

When a captain heard his once-ina-generation volcano of a voice, he encouraged Michael to pursue music. And when that same captain was killed, Michael began writing songs for the fallen. Since Michael and Tanya met, they’ve been making tearjerking goosebump-inducing music, including 2018’s Healing Tide. The War and Treaty are a force, and just like the walls of Jericho, as they sing and shout, the walls around your heart will come a’ tumbling down. –A.R.

Oh, it's just us and fate, and all these spinning glass plates —Gasoline Lollipops


artist s S U N D AY

st. paul & the broken bones 6:45 - 8:00pm


josh ritter & the royal city band 8:30 - 10:00pm


NPR’s Tiny Desk said it best: “Close your eyes and listen, and you might imagine someone who looks a bit like Otis Redding. Open them, and you're likely to see someone who looks more like your neighborhood bank teller.” But if truth be told, looks don’t mean nothin’ in the business of talent. And boy, does Paul Janeway (lead vocals) have talent. It’s not just Paul that’s oozing soul, fellow bandmates Browan Lollar (guitar), Andrew Lee (drums), Jesse Phillips

(bass), Allen Branstetter (trumpet), Al Gamble (organ), Amari Ansari (saxophone) and Chad Fisher (trombone) are a whole orchestra of soul. A soulchestra, if you will. They’ve got rhythm. They’ve got blues. They’ve got the honor of bringing the highest number of horns the Planet Bluegrass stage has ever seen—and they’re ready for you. On this Sunday evening, put your party pants on and get ready to dance. St. Paul and the Broken Bones are in the house. –M.W.

”You have to take chances,” offers Josh Ritter. “You have to pin what you do to things that might fail.” The Idaho-native has been consistently challenging his creative muse for more than 2 decades: as a sought-after co-writer (Bob Weir, Punch Brothers), best-selling novelist (2011’s Bright’s Passage), film composer (The Hollars), painter, and one of America’s greatest living songwriters. Over the course of 10 brilliant studio albums, including 2019’s Jason Isbell-produced Fever

Breaks, Josh’s wise, witty wordplay have turned moments of inspiration into luminously-crafted musical gems. Tonight, with his band—Zachary Hickman (bass), Ray Rizzo (drums), Mark Erelli (guitar) and Justin Carroll (keyboards)—we welcome Josh back for his 5th Folks performance, reminding us that this crazy idea, hatched 29 years ago, of creating a summit on the song in Colorado was the most deeply rewarding “chance” we’ve ever taken. –B.E.

What if I wrote you a song from the heart of your world? —The War and Treaty

Dates to remember 2020 TICKETS


BONNIE PAINE & FrIENDS September 21, 2019

Visit in October for details about purchasing tickets through our online lotteries, including Telluride Bluegrass, RockyGrass Academy and RockyGrass on-site camping. All other 2020 tickets go on sale in early December.

Printed on FSC®-certified 70# Neenah Conservation text — a 100% post-consumer recycled fiber, made with 100% renewable energy


June 18-21, 2020


ROCkYGrASS July 24-26, 2020

THE SONG SCHOOL August 2-6, 2020


FOLkS FESTIVAL August 7-9, 2020

Sing for a future free from the past —The Small Glories


Profile for Planet Bluegrass

2019 Folks Festival program  

Official printed program from the 29th Annual Rocky Mountain Folks Festival (August 16-18, 2019) in Lyons, CO. For more info visit:

2019 Folks Festival program  

Official printed program from the 29th Annual Rocky Mountain Folks Festival (August 16-18, 2019) in Lyons, CO. For more info visit: