Like its bigger counterpart, the Four Corners Folk Festival, the Pagosa Folk ’N Bluegrass Festival is so appealing because of the wide range of musical styles represented in the lineup. This year’s audience will hear a mixture from jazz to Django-gypsy swing to traditional and progressive bluegrass.
This week’s featured band, Sweet Sunny South, will bring a touch of the old time to Reservoir Hill with their throwback sound.
Sweet Sunny South is an acoustic old-timey string band that plays a unique blend of new and traditional music. Based in Paonia, Colo., the band has been making a name for itself at festivals and theaters throughout the region for the past 8 years, receiving invitations to perform as an official showcase band for both the IBMA and The Folk Alliance in 2006. The group was also featured as one of Colorado’s “Movers and Shakers” in Denver’s Westword Magazine in 2007 and were selected the winners of the New Belgium Brewery’s “What’s your Folly?” contest after writing a jingle for the brewery.
Sweet Sunny South represents the traditional music of greats such as The Stanley Brothers and The Carter Family, while at the same time drawing influences from more contemporary bands such as The Freighthoppers, The Wilders and The Reeltime Travelers.
Banjo and mandolin player Bill Powers writes most of the band’s songs, which take the listener on scenic journeys into dusty old American music. Cory Obert plays a mean old-time fiddle, sometimes with a Cajun flair, and sings a solid high tenor. Rob Miller also writes songs, plays the D-28 guitar and sings lead and harmony. Shelley Gray (a.k.a. “Laura Ingalls Wilder-n-Swingin”) plays the ‘ol kay Bass, sings, hollers, and puts the “Sweet” in Sweet Sunny South.
Audiences can expect a highly entertaining stage show featuring rollicking fiddle tunes, soulful ballads, tight vocal harmonies and an exceptional array of original songs combined with a heavy dose of humor that keeps the crowd smiling. Sweet Sunny South has recorded four unique and entertaining CDs which are receiving heavy airplay across the country. Transport yourself back to the glory days of the Grand Ole Opry and experience Sweet Sunny South dressed to a “T,”, weaving in and out around a single microphone presenting their style of old-time music you won’t soon forget!
The festival gets underway on Friday, June 5 in Town Park with a free concert. Sweet Sunny South will perform on the Folk ‘N Bluegrass main stage on Reservoir Hill on Saturday, June 6 at noon. Tickets to the festival are available downtown at Moonlight Books, at ReSport in the Pagosa Lakes City Market shopping center or online at www.folkwest.com. Tickets can also be purchased by calling (877) 472-4672.