Colorado sure loves its bluegrass festivals—RockyGrass, Winter Wondergrass, Telluride Bluegrass Festival—but none are quite as intimate or isolated as YarmonyGrass. Celebrating its 11th year this past weekend, the festival is nestled on the banks of the Colorado River at Rancho Del Rio surrounded by mountains, including its namesake Mt. Yarmony to the West. It is hard to find a more beautiful setting for a music festival.During the days, the river was filled with swimmers and a laughable fleet of inflatable vessels. Participants relied on anything they could muster to float the winding stretch of flat water connecting Rancho Del Rio and State Bridge four miles downstream–paddle boards, duckies, mattresses, inner tubes, rainbow unicorns, you name it. Back for the first time in five years, a “floating stage” hit the river midday Saturday with the aptly named Whitewater Ramble playing a set on rafts while a long line of festival-goers floated along for the ride. During the nights, a non-stop flow of music poured over the grounds from two stages. The Main Stage faced an open lawn and the intimate Saloon Stage was on a deck that featured half-hour tweener sets from up-in-comers on the bluegrass scene including the Kitchen Dwellers, Caribou Mountain Collective, and Whiskey Tango.The Jeff Austin Band headlined Friday, drawing the largest crowd of the weekend. In his usual quirky nature, Austin announced how excited he was to be “by all the freakers by the river” and continued to play a dark, experimental set with his four-piece band. To the pleasure of many longtime fans of Yonder Mountain String Band, Austin dove into nostalgic material he has been reluctant to play since his departure from the band, including “Dawn’s Early Light” and an encore of “Raleigh and Spencer” with a Roosevelt Collier sit-in. Though Austin’s choppy mandolin certainly led, it was virtuosic banjo player Ryan Cavanaugh that stole the show every time his number was called for a solo. Early Main Stage performances Saturday included an evening set from the Grateful Dead cover specialists Uptown Toodeloo String Band and Andy Hall’s Joint Set, dobro extraordinaire from the Infamous Stringdusters. Hall’s set began with a beautiful rendition of “This Little Light of Mine” with Roosevelt Collier (the two announced they will be releasing an album together) before bringing a full bluegrass band to the stage to work through a handful of unique covers. But Saturday night belonged to the Drunken Hearts. Bringing a welcomed change of pace from the traditional bluegrass prominent for much of the weekend, their Main Stage set opened up into a number of rocking jams (Steve Miller Band’s “Swingtown” may have been the best) that let the chops of lead guitarist Rob Eaton Jr, bassist Jon McCartan, and drummer Alex Johnson truly shine.Even after playing the set of the weekend, or maybe because of it, the Hearts were enlisted as the primary backing band for Roosevelt Collier’s Colorado Get Down. Bringing out almost a dozen guest musicians before he was done, the pedal steel guitar specialist Collier continued on a funkier path that included an extended rendition of Billy Cobham’s fusion classic “Stratus” and Stevie Wonder’s “Superstition.”If you were to nominate the MVP of this year’s festival, it would certainly have to be former Leftover Salmon keyboardist Bill McKay. It seemed as though his rig never left the main stage and his signature brand of honky-tonk, rag-tag playing shined on sit-ins in with Coral Creek, the Drunken Hearts, Uptown Toodeloo String Band, Andy Hall, and more.Over a decade after its inception, YarmonyGrass is now one of the state’s premier musical destinations. With breathtaking scenery and tight-knit community of loyal patrons, it sure looks like it’s going to stay that way.Check out more photos from the event, courtesy of Elliot Siff Photography (Facebook)!
Image via the Office of Governor Andrew Cuomo / Flickr page.WASHINGTON – While visiting the White House Wednesday, New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo discussed “supercharging” New York State’s reopening.The Governor says his meeting with President Donald Trump avoided politics, focusing on reviving stalled infrastructure projects in the New York City area.Cuomo says the reason he did not include any upstate projects during the discussion was because he did not want to seem “to aggressive” while speaking with federal leaders.“I didn’t want to give him too long a list, I didn’t want to seem to aggressive, I didn’t want to seem like for the other people in the room that they could dismiss me like a quintessential New Yorker, ‘look how much he is asking for, he is asking for too much,’” explained Cuomo. The Governor continues to call for a “smart” reopening statewide. Currently, all regions but New York City meet requirements to begin phase one reopening.Western New York could enter phase two reopening next week. Share:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)
A huge crowd is expected at the Diamond in Donegal Town tonight for what promises to be one of the greatest nights in Donegal’s history.Fans from across the county and many home from the four corners of the globe will welcome home Jim McGuinness and his victorious team.The team are expected at the Diamond around 8pm but many say this could be much later. A great line-up of entertainment is planned including Daniel O’Donnell, Margo, Rory Gallagher of ‘Jimmy’s Winning Matches fame and much more.Members of the winning team will also be interviewed as part of the celebrations.The team are gathering in Dublin after last night’s glamorous banquet function at Dublin’s Burlington Hotel.The team will leave later today and come back home to Donegal via Pettigo. Gardai have revealed that the Diamond area and surrounding streets will be closed to traffic from around 4pm onwards to prepare for the huge crowds expected on the streets.The homecoming to the Diamond is being organised by the local Four Masters club who are co-ordinating parking.People are being advised that they will have to park outside the town and there will be shuttle buses into the town. HUGE CROWDS EXPECTED IN THE DIAMOND FOR DONEGAL’S HEROES was last modified: September 24th, 2012 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:donegalDonegal TownHOMECOMINGJim McGuinnessTHE DIAMOND