By Crista Munro
Special to The PREVIEW
The 14th annual Pagosa Folk ‘N Bluegrass returns to Reservoir Hill June 7-9.
This year’s lineup features the top names in folk, bluegrass and Americana music, including legendary bluegrass supergroup The Del McCoury Band and the 2019 Best Bluegrass Album Grammy winner, The Travelin’ McCourys. Also on the lineup are Sierra Hull, Sam Reider and the Human Hands, Kate Lee and Forrest O’Connor, Dead Horses, Old Salt Union, Circus No. 9, Fireside Collective, Halden Wofford and the Hi*Beams, Sugar and the Mint, and this week’s featured bands: FY5, and Bonnie and the Clydes.
Colorado’s FY5 proudly swims in the deep currents of American music, playing new songs that are well-informed of country and bluegrass traditions, but not bound to them. Featuring thoughtful arrangements, strong singing and musicianship, the band strives to connect to listeners with stories of common struggles and big ideas. While their sound evokes timelessness, it is decidedly contemporary, well-traveled 21st century sensibility that informs their songwriting.
As they share the stories that drive the songs, FY5’s show leaves listeners certainly with tapping toes, but ranging thoughts as well. FY5 released their fourth full-length album in early 2018, “The Way These Things Go.” The record features their trademark story songs, clever arrangements and catchy hooks. The band was selected as an official showcase artist for the 2017 International Bluegrass Music Association conference, including a songwriter showcase with Mike Finders.
“The straight-forwardness with which FY5 delivers bluegrass on the album is complimented delicately with large sprinkles of honky-tonk steel and glorious folk harmonies; all layered with a coating of thick, rich lyrical delivery and songwriting,” says Charlie Englar of Scene Magazine.
FY5’s performances on Reservoir Hill feel like a homecoming of sorts; as instructors and host band of the Pagosa Folk ‘N Bluegrass Jam Camp, the ensemble has played FolkWest’s events for the past 12 years straight, previously under the name Finnders and Youngberg. You can catch them this year on the festival main stage on June 8 at 11:30 a.m. and June 9 at 12:15 p.m.
Bonnie and the Clydes
Bonnie and the Clydes are one of Colorado’s foremost Front Range bands, pioneering their unique sound of Rocky Mountain country soul. Fronted by the fiery Bonnie Sims, this band has been making waves with powerful and memorable live performances for the past nine years.
Joined by her husband Taylor Sims on electric guitar (Spring Creek, Great American Taxi), Glenn Taylor on pedal steel (Slim Cessna’s Auto Club, Monkey Siren), Todd Moore on the drums (Leslie Tom, Slim Cessna’s Auto Club) and Ben Wilson on bass guitar (Country Mile), Bonnie and the Clydes were awarded Best Country Band in 2013 and 2014 in the Denver Westword’s Yearly “Best Of” poll. Their latest album, “Dear Somebody,” was also awarded People’s Choice and Best Country Album for the 2016 Colorado Playlist.
The band maintains a full calendar of concerts, teaching and speaking engagements, touring stateside and overseas. Bonnie and the Clydes has independently released four studio albums: a self-titled debut, “Wrong Side Up,” “Music For the People: Part 1” and the latest release, “Dear Somebody.” Their fifth studio release is anticipated for summer 2019.
Seeing Bonnie and the Clydes’ live show is what sets them apart. The energy and connection that the band facilitates with the audience is irresistible, and first timers become lifelong fans in a single night. From intimate house concerts to festival stages, Bonnie and the Clydes are building a grassroots movement with their original Rocky Mountain country soul.
The band returns to Pagosa Folk ‘N Bluegrass in 2019 as instructors (Bonnie and Taylor Sims will teach students at the Junior Jam Camp June 4-6) and performers, with at main stage set on June 7 at 4 p.m.
Discounted early bird tickets to the festival are on sale through Friday, April 12. Children 12 and under do not require a ticket for admission when accompanied by an adult. Volunteer applications are currently being accepted; work two four-hour shifts to earn complimentary three-day festival admission. It’s a great way to meet people and have fun. Information about tickets, volunteering, festival schedules and performers can be found at www.folkwest.com/folknbluegrass. Tickets can also be ordered by phone at (877) 472-4672.
Pagosa Folk ‘N Bluegrass is supported in part with matching funds from Colorado Creative Industries, a division of the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade.