Tuesday, June 26, 2007

A Mix Of Southern Flavors To Hit Telluride This September

Well, now the cat is completely out of the bag- we now know the complete lineup of the 2007 Telluride Blues and Brews Festival, so FP will give you a taste of the sounds one can expect to hear echoing through the valley at the festival, which takes place on Sept. 14-16 in Telluride, CO:

First, for the headliners. The first night will be closed out by none other than Los Lonely Boys. These Latin-rockers, of course, were the ones who put out the massively accessible hit "Heaven" in 2004, along with their debut. Their new album, Sacred, contains more of the same mix of pop, blues, and modern rock, but that's not such a bad thing, is it?

The following night's headliner, the Keb' Mo' Band, takes the sound of the festival's headlining slot out of the Tejano clubs and far into the Mississippi delta with frontman Keb' Mo's soulful croon-and-noodling. However, the Keb' Mo' Band's new, self-produced Suitcase offers country and folk tunes as well as the blues.

Finally, on the third night comes the surprise act, the Black Crowes. Ending a three-year hiatus in 2005, the band has been pushing on with their straightforward brand of blues-rock- the newst dose of which arrived in last year in the form of the compilation The Lost Crowes-which everyone who even remotely likes classic rock can get into.

As you can see, the headliners of this year's Telluride fest promise to bring blues and rock to the stage throughout the the festival's 3 days. The festival's not just that simple, though, and a strong taste for zydeco, funk, and other styles are encouraged for optimal enjoyment at Telluride.

There's Robert Randolph And The Family Band, an outfit whose namesake was educated in his trade (a mean pedal-steel guitar) at the House Of God Church, not a local old bar and grill, resulting in a tendency toward gospel and funk rather than the blues. In fact, Randolph, who takes the stage along with his band on the first night, has even said, "I never heard of the Allman Brothers, Buddy Guy (or) Muddy Waters. I wasn't into that music, only the church thing."

At the same time, Telluride Blues And Brews gets about as old-time and down-home as a festival can with the inclusion of David "Honeyboy" Edwards in the lineup. Many festinistas are likely to make the trip to Telluride just to see Edwards, who has performed with Robert Johnson and recorded for the Library of Congress, on the festival's third day.

Finally, the festival features some music of the South with roots stretching back to before the time of the blues- Chubby Carrier & The Bayou Swamp Band offer zydeco music with a high-energy, almost pop-punk (maybe it's the drums...) edge that helps to update accordion music standards for the 21st century. Songs like "Luziana Feelin'" are pogo-worthy and will offer a good respite for crowds weary of all the guitar wailin' when Carrier and his band take the stage on the second day of the festival.

Thus, the Telluride Blues and Brews festival isn't simply a solid block of blues. Rather, it's a nexus of all music that has roots in the south, from the post-modern zydeco of Chubby Carrier to the Latin blues-rock of Los Lonely Boys.

--By Ross Moody

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