Reservoir Hill – The Pagosa Springs SUN The most trusted source for news and information about Pagosa Springs, Colorado. Thu, 05 Sep 2019 19:27:04 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Four Corners Folk Festival Tue, 10 Sep 2019 11:00:07 +0000

SUN photos/Randi Pierce

The 24th annual Four Corners Folk Festival took over Reservoir Hill over the weekend, offering award-winning musicians, fun in the sun, kids’ activities, workshops and more.

24th annual Four Corners Folk Festival this weekend Fri, 30 Aug 2019 11:00:34 +0000

Photo courtesy Michael Pierce

By Crista Munro
Special to The PREVIEW
This year marks the 24th annual Four Corners Folk Festival in Pagosa Springs and the final festival with FolkWest at the helm.
Beginning in 2020, KSUT Four Corners Public Radio will be taking over operations of the festival, stepping up their role after 24 years of being a sponsor and media partner.
The festival kicks off on Reservoir Hill on Friday, Aug. 30, at 3 p.m. and will wrap up on Sunday, Sept. 1, around 9 p.m.
Once again, people arrive from all over the country to experience the amazing musical lineup, which this year includes a wealth of talent and variety of musical styles from artists The Earls of Leicester,

Photo courtesy Michael Pierce
This weekend’s Four Corners Folk Festival will feature the talents of 14 musical acts, including The East Pointers.

Billy Strings, Molly Tuttle, Darrell Scott, Amy Helm, The Mammals, The East Pointers, Rob Ickes and Trey Hensley Band, Lindsay Lou, JigJam, Mile Twelve, Wild Rivers, Maybe April, and The Arcadian Wild. It’s truly one of the finest lineups in FolkWest’s history and represents a return to the festival’s more folky roots.
From newgrass to Irish trad to the country folk, the one thing all this year’s bands have in common is stupendous talent. There are bands on the lineup that residents of southwest Colorado wouldn’t have an opportunity to see without traveling to a major city, including rising bluegrass star Billy Strings — who at age 27 has been consistently selling out large venues all around the country — and Grand Ole Opry favorites The Earls of Leicester, Jerry Douglas’ traditional bluegrass project.
All this incredible live music will take place on two stages throughout the weekend — the Main Stage and the Late Night Stage, a smaller and more intimate setting that takes place on Friday and Saturday nights after the main stage sets end. In addition to the musical

Photo courtesy Michael Pierce
This weekend’s 24th annual Four Corners Folk Festival will return to the festival’s more folky roots, and will be the last with FolkWest at the helm. KSUT Public Radio is slated to take over the festival moving forward.

performances, the family-friendly event will also feature music workshops, arts and crafts vendors, a food court, beer, cider and wine garden, morning yoga sessions and lots of picking circles in the campgrounds.
Festival admission is free for children 12 and under (accompanied by an adult) and there will be plenty to do and see in the Four Corners Kids tent. On Friday, kids can enjoy a juggling show at 2 p.m. and upcycled arts and crafts from 2 to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday have free crafts from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., face painting, juggling shows by Andy the Juggler and balloon animal artistry by Ruby Balloon.
Free parking shuttles will start operating on Friday, Aug. 30, at 12:30 p.m. Venue gates open at 1 p.m. Festival-goers may bring their own blankets, tarps or chairs for seating in the meadow, or may claim a spot on one of the 1,100 general admission seats under the tent. Coolers and outside food are allowed; however, alcoholic beverages, glass containers and unsealed beverages may not be brought in. Free filtered water is available in the food court and participants are encouraged to bring their own (empty) refillable water containers to help eliminate festival waste.

Photo courtesy Michael Pierce
The Four Corners Folk Festival offers something for everyone, including activities and artists for kids. Festival admission is free for children 12 and under who are accompanied by a adult.

The festival is supported in part by sponsorships, generous donors and a matching grant from Colorado Creative Industries.
Lots more information about this year’s Four Corners Folk Festival is available at the website or by calling (877) 472-4672.
A free festival app is available for download; search “FolkWest” in your app store. If you’ve never been to Reservoir Hill for a FolkWest festival, this is the year to do it. Bring the family and come up for a day. You’ll be hooked.

KSUT to take reins of FolkWest music festivals Mon, 26 Aug 2019 11:00:31 +0000 A pair of longstanding musical festivals that call Pagosa Springs home will soon be under new ownership.
On Sept. 30, FolkWest will transfer ownership of the Four Corners Folk Festival and Pagosa Folk ‘N Bluegrass to KSUT Public Radio.
The transfer comes 24 years after husband-and-wife team Dan Appenzeller and Crista Munro founded FolkWest, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, and will take place following the 24th annual Four Corners Folk Festival Aug. 30 to Sept. 1 atop Reservoir Hill.
The nonprofit produced the first Four Corners Folk Festival in the fall of 1996, with Pagosa Folk ‘N Bluegrass added to the lineup in the summer of 2006.
Munro announced her departure from FolkWest in late May, explaining that she would be leaving her position as executive director in order to become the executive director of the Sisters Folk Festival in Sisters, Ore.
At the time, Munro announced that the FolkWest board was in discussions with an entity to take over the festivals.
“We are hopeful that with the deep history and long success of FolkWest’s events, the legacy will live on and thrive under new leadership,” she said in May.
That entity, it was publicly announced last week, is KSUT, a nonprofit radio station that serves five counties in southwestern Colorado and northwestern New Mexico.
“When I was offered the job with Sisters Folk Festival, it was a bittersweet moment for me, knowing that my chapter at the helm of FolkWest would be ending,” Munro said in a press release. “KSUT always seemed like a natural choice to take over our events. They do an amazing job with everything they produce, and Tami Graham brings a ton of live music production experience to the table. When they said yes to our proposal, I knew that the transition would be a smooth one.”
Graham, KSUT executive director, explained in the press release that the KSUT board of directors and staff are honored to be given the opportunity to continue the legacy of FolkWest festivals.
“This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and we can’t thank Crista and Dan enough for entrusting KSUT with the festivals,” Graham said in the press release. “We are committed to maintaining the stellar reputation and high-quality experience for both attendees and artists that FolkWest has cultivated over the past 24 years.”
KSUT announced in the press release it will be conducting a search for a festival director who will coordinate the festivals, as well as other KSUT events.
But Munro and Appenzeller are not walking away from the festivals quite yet.
“We’re actually going to be contracting with KSUT in an advisory position for two years,” Munro told The SUN Tuesday.
With that, Appenzeller will still work to book the artists for the next two years, while Munro will help the transition when it comes to the website, social media, marketing and ticketing.
She noted that a lot of FolkWest’s staff will be staying on for at least a year.
“What I would really like to see is a deepening of the relationship with the community of Pagosa Springs. When Dan and I lived there, we had that,” Munro said, noting that those relationships were hard to maintain from afar after the couple had to move to a lower elevation.
Building those relationships, she added, is one thing KSUT will be really good at, with Graham already having a lot of relationships.
She also hopes that the community can become more involved, giving the community’s memberships more ownership over the events.
Munro further expressed her gratitude to the community for “allowing us to do what we’ve done there for 24 years.”
Decades of music
Despite now calling Oregon home, Munro and Appenzeller called Pagosa home for 20 years, and Pagosa is where the couple co-founded FolkWest and music became such an integral part of their lives.
“It has been such a huge part of our lives for 24 years,” Munro said of music and FolkWest, noting that she and Appenzeller’s son is 22 and doesn’t remember a time that they weren’t putting on two music festivals a year.
Over the years, the couple faced health challenges with Appenzeller and were forced to move, but they never left Pagosa behind.
In 2003, Appenzeller was diagnosed with cancer and underwent aggressive chemo and radiation treatments that saved his life, but left him with health challenges that worsened until he was no longer able to live at a 7,200-foot altitude.
“We relocated to Eugene, Oregon, in 2011 (elevation 200 feet) and have continued to produce the festivals from there ever since, spending a month or more in Pagosa Springs each summer. Although we live in Eugene, the organization remains firmly planted in Colorado,” explained Munro in May.
Recent developments with Appenzeller’s health have prevented him from traveling to Pagosa Springs for the events, beginning in the summer of 2018. He then moved to a part-time role with FolkWest, maintaining responsibility for artist booking and service contracts.

Four Corners Folk Festival to feature Molly Tuttle Fri, 23 Aug 2019 11:00:29 +0000

Photo courtesy FolkWest
Molly Tuttle is slated to bring her award-winning and genre-stretching talent to the stage of the 24th annual Four Corners Folk Festival, which will take place Aug. 30-Sept. 1 atop Reservoir Hill.

By Crista Munro
Special to The PREVIEW
The 24th annual Four Corners Folk Festival is just a little over a week away, taking place Aug. 30-Sept. 1 on Reservoir Hill downtown.
Thousands of visitors will flock to town to enjoy to the epic musical roster on this year’s lineup that includes The Earls of Leicester, Billy Strings, Amy Helm, The Mammals, Darrell Scott, Rob Ickes and Trey Hensley, The East Pointers, Lindsay Lou, JigJam, Mile Twelve, Wild Rivers, The Arcadian Wild, Maybe April and this week’s featured artist: Molly Tuttle.
A virtuosic, award-winning guitarist with a gift for insightful songwriting, Tuttle evolves her signature sound with boundary-breaking songs on her compelling debut album, “When You’re Ready.”
Already crowned “Instrumentalist of the Year” at the 2018 Americana Music Awards on the strength of her EP, Tuttle has broken boundaries and garnered the respect of her peers, winning fans for her incredible flatpicking guitar technique and confessional songwriting. Graced with a clear, true voice and a keen melodic sense, the 26-year-old seems poised for a long and exciting career. “When You’re Ready,” produced by Ryan Hewitt (The Avett Brothers, The Lumineers) showcases her astonishing range and versatility and shows that she is more than simply an Americana artist.
Since moving to Nashville in 2015, the native Californian has been welcomed into folk music, bluegrass, Americana and traditional country communities — even as “When You’re Ready” stretches the boundaries of those genres. Over the past year, Tuttle has continued to accumulate accolades, winning Folk Alliance International’s honor for Song of the Year for “You Didn’t Call My Name” and taking home her second trophy for the International Bluegrass Music Association’s (IBMA) Guitar Player of the Year (the first woman in the history of the IBMA to win that honor).
“I love so many types of music,” she said, “and it’s exciting to be a part of and embraced by different musical worlds, but when I’m creating I don’t think about genres or how it will fit into any particular format — it’s just music.”
“When You’re Ready” is infused with an intoxicating wash of drums and electric guitar while still keeping Tuttle front and center.
“I wanted to keep the focus on the songs,” she said, “but also make an interesting guitar record.”
The album opens with “Million Miles,” a song that her songwriting collaborator Steve Poltz brought to her, mentioning that he and Jewel started it in the ‘90s and didn’t complete it. With their blessing, she finished the song and enlisted Sierra Hull to play mandolin and Jason Isbell to sing background vocals. The wistful track sets the tone for an album that offers subtle moments of reflection as well as dazzling musicianship.
Tuttle wrote or co-wrote all 11 tracks since moving to Nashville, giving the project a unified feeling.
“A lot of the songs are more personal than I’ve written before, and many of them are conversational, like one person talking to another,” she said.
But, when it comes to the messages of the songs, each one stands apart. “Take the Journey” provides encouragement, even as “The High Road” finds two individuals going their own way. Later, the subdued “Don’t Let Go” concludes with a spaced-out slow groove, while “Lights Came On (Power Went Out)” amplifies the album’s youthful energy. “Sleepwalking,” a gentle love song, may be the album’s most impassioned and emotionally intense moment.
Tuttle grew up in California in a musical family, performing at festivals with her father and two brothers. As a young girl, she took violin lessons, but eventually grew more interested in playing guitar. Fortunately, her father, Jack Tuttle, is a noted instructor in the Bay Area.
“My dad brought me home a little guitar and he would sit with me whenever I wanted to play it and show me something,” she recalled. “He was really encouraging, and I think that’s what made me stick with the guitar. I liked having a fun thing to do with my dad and practicing didn’t feel like a chore.”
By the age of 11, Tuttle was attending bluegrass jams and decided that she wanted to do more singing. She took voice lessons from one of her neighbors, a classical vocal coach who taught proper technique without sacrificing phrasing. As a young woman interested in bluegrass, Molly Tuttle admired bold songwriters like Hazel Dickens and looked up to Bay Area bluegrass musicians such as Laurie Lewis and Kathy Kallick.
As Molly Tuttle matured, her musical tastes soon ranged from Bob Dylan and Gillian Welch to The Smiths and Neko Case. Because she kept seeing Townes Van Zandt referenced to by songwriters she admired, she dug into his catalog and found “White Freightliner Blues.” Her own exceptional rendition has become a showcase for her nimble playing, as well as a graceful nod to her musical heroes. And the circle continues: Her own instructional videos of the song online have been discovered by the next generation of pickers, who look to her as a role model and for inspiration.
After graduating from high school in Palo Alto, Molly Tuttle enrolled in Berklee College of Music in Boston, where she studied in the American Roots Music Program, focusing on guitar performance and songwriting.
“In my time at Berklee,” she said, I developed much better understanding the fingerboard, so that gave me the freedom to play more of what I heard in my head and to try to play something that was meaningful to me.”
That sense of freedom and accomplishment carried over to making “When You’re Ready,” which conveys a true progression of her distinctive talent and musical ambition.
“This album feels like more of a collaboration with new people I’ve met since moving to Nashville, which is really cool,” she said.
Tickets and additional information about the festival, including the main stage schedule and information on all of the artists, can be found online at We’re still looking for a few more volunteers to help with site setup, hospitality and equipment load out. Working two four-hour shifts earns complimentary three-day admission. Check the website for more info and a volunteer application.
The Four Corners Folk Festival is supported in part with matching funds from Colorado Creative Industries.

KSUT to take reins of FolkWest music festivals Thu, 22 Aug 2019 10:57:49 +0000 A pair of longstanding musical festivals that call Pagosa Springs home will soon be under new ownership.

The full version of this story is available in the print edition and e-edition of the Pagosa Springs SUN. Subscribe today by calling (970)264-2100 or click here.

Wild Rivers, Mile Twelve to perform at Four Corners Folk Festival Mon, 19 Aug 2019 11:00:15 +0000

Photo courtesy FolkWest
Four Corners Folk Festival goers will have two opportunities to experience Wild Rivers atop Reservoir Hill, at 12:30 p.m. on Aug. 31 and again on Sept. 1 at 1 p.m.

By Crista Munro
Special to The PREVIEW
The 24th annual Four Corners Folk Festival is coming up at the end of this month, taking place Aug. 30-Sept. 1 on Reservoir Hill in downtown Pagosa Springs.
Tickets are selling quickly for this year’s event, no doubt due to the epic lineup that includes The Earls of Leicester, Billy Strings, Amy Helm, Molly Tuttle, The Mammals, Darrell Scott, Rob Ickes and Trey Hensley, The East Pointers, Lindsay Lou, JigJam, The Arcadian Wild, Maybe April and this week’s featured artists: Wild Rivers and Mile Twelve.
Wild Rivers
Wild Rivers immerse their folk-pop originals into the warm musical styles of the artists that influenced them. With more than 33 million streams on Spotify, the four-piece band out of Toronto, Ontario, effortlessly blends exquisite harmonies, beautiful songwriting and a captivating stage presence, while their vibe fits equally well in listening rooms and symphony halls.
The inviting harmonies of Wild Rivers provide a shimmering texture to the band’s most recent EP “Eighty-Eight.” However, dedicated fans know about the depth of Wild Rivers — from the alluring melodies that take an unexpected turn to the undercurrent of emotion in their tightly crafted lyrics.
Wild Rivers is composed of Khalid Yassein (vocals, guitar), Devan Glover (vocals), Ben Labenski (drums) and Andrew Oliver (bass). Over the past three years, the ensemble has toured consistently across the U.S. and Canada and has earned a reputation as a band that makes a powerful connection with listeners.
Festival goers will have two opportunities to experience that connection on Reservoir Hill: Aug. 31 at 12:30 p.m. and again on Sept. 1 at 1 p.m.

Photo courtesy FolkWest
Mile Twelve will play the main stage of the Four Corners Folk Festival on Aug. 30 at 4:30 p.m. and again on the late night stage that same night at 11 p.m.

Mile Twelve
Another young breakout band, Mile Twelve takes traditional bluegrass stylings and instrumentation and turns them into a modern sound that crosses genre boundaries. Mile Twelve surveys a broader landscape on their newest album, “City on a Hill.” All five band members bring their own influences and observations into the music, resulting in a project that feels contemporary, thoughtfully crafted and relevant.
“Original bluegrass music, written and played by young people, is very much alive,” said band member Evan Murphy. “I hope people take away that songwriting and arranging really matter. It’s about the material and playing it in a way that feels honest. This album isn’t political in the sense that we’re beating people over the head with anything, we just tried to tell stories that feel authentic.”
The album title alludes to the idealized imagery of a shining city on a hill — a historical phrase that has often been applied to Boston, where the band got its start.
Murphy added, “We realized that many of the characters in these songs were in crisis, had been failed in some way or were failing themselves. It’s an unintentional theme, but it came out in the songwriting.”
The Mile Twelve lineup offers five of the most promising young musicians in bluegrass: David Benedict (mandolin), Catherine “BB” Bowness (banjo), Bronwyn Keith-Hynes (fiddle), Murphy (guitar, lead vocals) and Nate Sabat (bass, lead vocals). All are credited as songwriters because everyone in the band helped shape the material throughout the writing and arranging process. Murphy and Sabat initiated most of the lyrical ideas for “City on a Hill” while Benedict wrote the instrumental track “Rialto.”
“We all inspire each other and recognize that everyone has different strengths,” Murphy said. “What makes this band so collaborative is that everyone in the band can do something at a really high level. That’s the balance. We’re all challenging each other.”
Produced by Bryan Sutton and engineered by Ben Surratt, “City on a Hill” begins with a lively rendition of Richard and Linda Thompson’s “Down Where the Drunkards Roll.” From there, the album explores a number of unexpected perspectives, such as a modern war veteran with post-traumatic stress disorder (“Jericho”), a Jewish immigrant fleeing war (“Liberty”), and a man who cannot escape the stigma of the penal system (“Innocent Again”). As the album winds down, the light-hearted power waltz “Barefoot in Jail” and the ethereal, old-time dream sequence “Journey’s End” lead to the poignant “Where We Started,” a portrait of small-town life written by John Cloyd Miller.
“City on a Hill” follows multiple IBMA Momentum Awards, presented by the International Bluegrass Music Association to emerging bluegrass artists. Mile Twelve won the band category in 2017, shortly before releasing their debut album, “Onwards.” The following year, Keith-Hynes and Benedict secured IBMA Momentum Awards in instrumental categories, while the band earned two major IBMA Award nominations for Emerging Artist and Instrumental Performance of the Year in 2018.
Those kind of accomplishments were far from anyone’s minds when Murphy, Sabat, Keith-Hynes and Bowness started crossing paths at house parties and pick-up gigs in Boston. In time, they recognized each other as regulars at a Cambridge dive bar called The Cantab Lounge during Tuesday night bluegrass jams. In 2014, they decided to start their own band. By gathering grassroots and industry support, they were well on their way when Benedict, who was living in Nashville at the time, relocated to Boston to join the band in 2016.
Sutton observed, “I’m a fan of bands who strive for a balance of being musically unique and individualized, while at the same time working to include time-honored traditions found in this music. This blend is not an easy thing to accomplish. Mile Twelve does this with well-honed and refreshingly honest songwriting, along with powerful playing, singing and performing. Not only did I have the privilege of producing this album, but I also got a chance to know the band better. I’m impressed with how much they bring out the best in each other.”
The band takes their name from the mile marker that sits at Boston’s southern border on route 93, the city’s main artery. It’s a road sign they’ve passed countless times while heading out on tour. Through an active social media audience and radio support from terrestrial stations and Sirius XM, the band has found receptive audiences across the globe, touring all over North America as well as Ireland, Australia, New Zealand and Japan.
Asked about the band’s influences, Murphy cites Alison Krauss and Union Station for their precise arrangements and execution, the Del McCoury Band for their grit and groove, and the Punch Brothers for their genre-bending virtuosity. As for writing, Murphy praises the mastery of Gillian Welch and Jason Isbell for their ability to tell a fully realized story within the confines of a three-minute song.
These influences shine through in “City on a Hill,” but at the core the album is a representation of the band’s emerging voice. “We decided to record this album as live and authentically as possible,” Murphy said. “There was no metronome, no filler material, no smoke and mirrors. It was very real, you know? We all feel that the end result is an honest statement of who we are.”
Mile Twelve will play the festival main stage on Aug. 30 at 4:30 p.m. and again on the late night stage that same night at 11 p.m.
More information
We are still looking for a couple dozen volunteers to round out the weekend’s schedule. Volunteers age 17 and up can earn complimentary three-day festival admission by working two four-hour shifts before, during or after the festival. Tickets and additional information about the festival, including the main stage schedule and information on all of the artists, can be found online at
The Four Corners Folk Festival is supported in part with matching funds from Colorado Creative Industries.

Tickets selling quickly for Four Corners Folk Festival Wed, 14 Aug 2019 11:00:14 +0000 By Crista Munro
Special to The PREVIEW
The 24th annual Four Corners Folk Festival is coming up at the end of this month, taking place Aug. 30-Sept. 1 on Reservoir Hill.
Tickets are selling quickly for this year’s event, no doubt due to the epic lineup that includes The Earls of Leicester, Billy Strings, Amy Helm, Molly Tuttle, The Mammals, Darrell Scott, Rob Ickes and Trey Hensley, Lindsay Lou, JigJam, Mile Twelve, Wild Rivers, The Arcadian Wild and this week’s featured artists: Maybe April and The East Pointers.

Photo courtesy FolkWest
Maybe April will perform on the main stage of the Four Corners Folk Festival twice, on Aug. 30 at 3 p.m. and Sept. 1 at 11:30 a.m.

Maybe April
Maybe April is a country Americana group made up of Katy DuBois (Bishop) and Alaina Stacey. Hailing from Jonesboro, Ark., and Chicago, Ill., they met in the summer of 2012 at a music industry camp in Nashville. They wrote a song that would later take them to Los Angeles to play at a Grammy week event, along with Bonnie Raitt, Kris Kristofferson, Allen Shamblin, Gavin DeGraw, J.D. Souther, Joy Williams from the Civil Wars, and many others. Since then, amongst hundreds of shows, the girls have opened for Brandy Clark and Sarah Jarosz, played Pilgrimage Music Festival and IBMA’s Wide Open Bluegrass Festival, and had their video “Last Time” premiered on CMT.
Maybe April is recognized for their harmonies, strength as instrumentalists, original songs and shared roles as frontwomen, each adding something different from their musical backgrounds to create a unique sound somewhere in between Americana and country. Their love for each other and their music continues to push them in their endeavors in Nashville, where they have been based since 2013.
FolkWest favorites Kate Lee and Forest O’Connor will be joining the ensemble for their appearances at the Four Corners Folk Festival on Aug. 30 at 3 p.m. and Sept. 1 at 11:30 a.m.

Photo courtesy FolkWest
The East Pointers will bring their entertaining live show to the stage of the Four Corners Folk Festival at 4 p.m. on Sept. 1.

The East Pointers
There’s a reason, beyond their dazzling musicianship and wildly entertaining live shows, that The East Pointers have connected with audiences right across the globe, making new, original roots music the hippest, most vibrant thing going.
The reason? The East Pointers — fiddler/singer Tim Chaisson, banjoist Koady Chaisson and guitarist Jake Charron — write about real life, sketching out its joys and sorrows in vivid strokes. That palpable authenticity makes their instrumental tunes practically cartwheel and infuses their lyric-driven songs with poignancy. And it’s why listening to The East Pointers’ brilliant and hotly anticipated second album “What We Leave Behind” — produced by superstar East Coast-bred songwriter/producer Gordie Sampson — is akin to meeting up with an old friend.
As a follow-up to 2015’s internationally acclaimed, JUNO Award-winning debut “Secret Victory,” “What We Leave Behind” shares stories previously unheard but framed by a familiar context. The album reflects on the traditions of Canadian Celtic music, where it comes from, and what it means to the people, but also strides in new directions. With a captivating balance between their traditional-sounding instrumental tunes, and catchy radio-ready songs, The East Pointers reach out with open arms to a wide range of listeners, inviting them to discover a new love of folk music.
Never before have The East Pointers so deftly leveraged the whole spectrum of human emotion, drawing inspiration straight from the world they live in. That’s especially evident in a pair of striking new songs featuring Tim Chaisson’s lead vocals: the trembling first single “82 Fires” and the melancholy “Two Weeks,” co-written with Sampson amid recording sessions last winter.
“While in Penguin, Tasmania, we spoke with an older gentleman, a lifelong resident, who said that there were 82 wildfires currently on the loose in Tasmania, the most in over half a century. It hit home the severity of what we were all experiencing,” said Koady Chaisson. “It was a restless few days for us. Small human decisions about where to live, or whether or not the show would go on didn’t matter, Mother Nature would always have the final say. Being in the middle of that brings an immediacy about it, you can feel powerless.”
The plaintive “Two Weeks,” meanwhile, documents a passage depressingly common in the bands’ home province of Prince Edward Island and played out the world over in economically challenged communities: the need to leave home and travel far away from friends and family to find work.
“When I played that song for my mom, she said ‘That’s going to hit home for a lot of people,’” Koady Chaisson explained. “Many families are forced to split their time, with at least one member having to go out west — usually to Alberta — to make ends meet. It’s so hard. I did it, though luckily not for long, but there are people in my community going through it month after month, year after year.”
The flip side of “What We Leave Behind” — and indeed, of The East Pointers’ electrifying concerts — are scorching instrumental tunes that yank the freewheeling, Celtic-goosed past into the present, defying anyone to sit still in their chair.
“Traditional music has always been at the core of what we do as a band,” added Jake Charron. “There’s something powerful about a style of music that has been passed on for generations around the world.”
A new take on this tradition is evident in the spry “Party Wave,” inspired by a thrilling surfing experience the band enjoyed in New Zealand, one of many countries The East Pointers visited during 10 months of touring last year. The tunes, written this past year on the road, take you on a journey, building with excitement before transforming into a full-on dance party.
Rounding out the album, the melancholic “John Wallace” — about a 19th century shipwreck off the coast of Prince Edward Island — and the mournful “Hid in Your Heart” uphold the band’s devotion to documenting real life, tragedy and all.
“What We Leave Behind” carves a new path for The East Pointers, as they continue to blur the lines between traditional and popular music and develop a devoted fan base around the globe.
Get ready to move when the trio takes the stage on at 4 p.m. on Sept. 1.
More information
We’re looking for our last few volunteers to round out the schedule. Volunteers age 17 and up can earn complimentary three-day festival admission by working two four-hour shifts before, during or after the festival. Tickets and additional information about the festival, including the main stage schedule and information on all of the artists, can be found online at
The Four Corners Folk Festival is supported in part with matching funds from Colorado Creative Industries.

Darrell Scott, Billy Strings set to take the Folk Festival stage Mon, 05 Aug 2019 11:00:32 +0000 By Crista Munro
Special to The PREVIEW
The 24th annual Four Corners Folk Festival will take place over Labor Day Weekend, Aug. 30-Sept. 1, on Reservoir Hill.
Once again, the event has put together a stellar lineup that includes The Earls of Leicester, Amy Helm, Molly Tuttle, The Mammals, The East Pointers, Rob Ickes and Trey Hensley, Lindsay Lou, JigJam, Mile Twelve, Wild Rivers, The Arcadian Wild, Maybe April and this week’s featured artists: Darrell Scott and Billy Strings.

Photo courtesy FolkWest
Darrell Scott will be back for another FolkWest performance at 5:30 on Sept. 1 at the 24th annual Four Corners Folk Festival.

Darrell Scott
“I look like an insider because of everything I’ve done, but I always felt like an outsider,” Scott said. “And that’s important — to be an outsider.”
But he’s also a master.
Whether it’s rock, folk, country or blues, Scott — the four-time Grammy-nominated Nashville songwriter — has written hits for artists ranging from Brad Paisley and the Dixie Chicks to Del McCoury, Sam Bush and Keb’ Mo’, contributing songs to three of 2016’s best albums alone. It’s not surprising that Scott wrote nine of the 14 songs on his own new album, “Couchville Sessions,” and less surprising that he wrote three songs with the like-minded Americana artist Hayes Carll on Carll’s magnificent new disc, “Lovers and Leavers,” in addition to “1000 Things” from Sarah Jarosz’s award-winning “Build Me Up From Bones” album.
What’s more surprising is that Scott came off of a year and a half of touring in Robert Plant’s Band of Joy with a co-write on R&B star Anthony Hamilton’s new recording, “Save Me,” the opening track on “What I’m Feelin.” Over the past two years, Scott has produced, co-written and performed on three songs from Zac Brown’s latest project, “Heavy Is the Head,” in addition to producing Jonathan Edwards latest and Malcolm Holcombe’s 2017 release, “Pretty Little Troubles.” But these partnerships all make sense; although they hail from different genres, these artists are master craftsmen at fitting words to notes.
Witness Scott’s ability to make just about any instrument talk; listen to his vocals and songwriting to hear him contain every emotion between joy and pain within one verse in his singing and in his pen. Nowadays, he’s taking the outsider role even more seriously. After 23 years in Nashville, he spent the last year devoting himself to a self-sufficient lifestyle in the country while simultaneously putting together his best album in years.
A regular artist on FolkWest’s stages, we are thrilled to welcome Scott back with his band in 2019. Fans can catch his main stage set on Sept. 1 at 5:30 p.m.

Photo courtesy FolkWest
Billy Strings will perform in a headline set at the 24th annual Four Corners Folk Festival, with the set beginning at 8:30 p.m. on Aug. 31.

Billy Strings
Strings plays hard and he lives hard, picking so fast and intensely that he’s known to break multiple strings per song. He bases the songs he writes on the hard lives he grew up around in the abandoned rural communities of America. His most recent album, “Turmoil and Tinfoil,” taps into a deep vein of psychedelia in Americana, referencing everything from The Dead to Sturgill Simpson, but all underlaid by Strings’ undeniable virtuosity and his knowledge of the roots of American music. He’s one of the most beloved young bluegrass guitarists today within the bluegrass community, and his front porch in East Nashville is constantly filled up with Nashville’s best roots musicians just picking up a storm.
The tricky part of making “Turmoil and Tinfoil” was translating Strings’ incendiary live show into the studio. While deeply reverent of the roots of traditional bluegrass music, which his father shared with him as a boy, Strings learned his high-energy performing skills by playing fleet-fingered guitar solos in a heavy metal band in his native Michigan. Returning to his home state of Michigan, Strings enlisted acoustic roots wizard Glenn Brown (Greensky Bluegrass) as producer, and centered the music around his new band, featuring Jarrod Walker on mandolin with banjo prodigy Billy Failing and much-loved Nashville bassist Royal Masat.
Rich with special guests, “Turmoil and Tinfoil” shows off Strings’ East Nashville community of picking friends, among them Miss Tess, Molly Tuttle, John Mailander, Shad Cobb and Peter Madcat Ruth. Of special note is a virtuosic duet between Strings and bluegrass guitarist Bryan Sutton on “Salty Sheep” that shows the speed, precision and creative craftsmanship of bluegrass when it’s done right.
Poised to take bluegrass in bold new directions, singer/songwriter/guitarist Strings is quickly gaining attention for his live performances and imbuing his take on Americana with distinctive bursts of psychedelic virtuosity. While he has matured as a player, singer and songwriter in his own right, and re-embraced the music his father introduced him to, Strings has applied the intensity of heavy metal to bluegrass. The end results provide a fresh jolt to the genre.
Billy Strings will close with a headline set on at 8:30 p.m. on Aug. 31 at 8:30 p.m.
More information
Volunteer applications are now available on the website and scheduling is underway, so potential volunteers are urged to apply as soon as possible. Work two four-hour shifts to earn complimentary three-day festival admission. Tickets and additional information about the festival, including the main stage schedule and information on all of the artists, can be found online at
The Four Corners Folk Festival is supported in part with matching funds from Colorado Creative Industries.

JigJam, Lindsay Lou to perform at 24th annual Four Corners Folk Festival Wed, 31 Jul 2019 11:00:09 +0000 By Crista Munro
Special to The PREVIEW
The 24th annual Four Corners Folk Festival will be here before you know it, taking place over Labor Day weekend, Aug, 30-Sept. 1, on Reservoir Hill.
The stellar 2019 lineup includes The Earls of Leicester, Billy Strings, Amy Helm, Darrell Scott, Molly Tuttle, The Mammals, The East Pointers, Rob Ickes and Trey Hensley, Mile Twelve, Wild Rivers, The Arcadian Wild, Maybe April and this week’s featured artists: JigJam or Lindsay Lou.

Photo courtesy FolkWest
JigJam will bring Irish-influenced bluegrass to the stage of the 24th annual Four Corners Folk Festival at 3:30 p.m. on Aug. 31.

JigJam is a multi-award-winning quartet from the heart of the midlands in Ireland. Blending the best of traditional Irish music with bluegrass and Americana in a new genre which has been branded as “I-Grass” (Irish-influenced bluegrass), the band’s onstage energy, along with the members’ virtuosic musical abilities, has captivated audiences throughout the world.
Jamie McKeogh, Cathal Guinan and Daithi Melia all hail from Tullamore, County Offaly, with County Tipperary-born Gavin Strappe completing the quartet. All four members grew up immersed in Irish traditional music and culture, which is reflected by the band collectively achieving more than 20 All-Ireland titles at Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann competitions. They have now developed their own unique style of music influenced by American Folk music whilst staying true to their Irish roots.
Described as “The best Irish group so far in bluegrass,” this sharply dressed outfit delivers an energy-fueled, foot-stomping live performance. All multi-instrumentalists, JigJam interchange between banjos, guitars, fiddles, mandolins and double bass onstage, creating an experience which is pleasing to both the eye and the ear.
JigJam has recorded two studio albums (“Oh Boy!” in 2014 and “Hello World” in 2016) to critical acclaim, as well as a live album (“Live in Tullamore” 2017). They have made a huge impact on the Irish American circuit, performing as a headline act at all the major festivals including the world-renowned Telluride Bluegrass Festival and Milwaukee Irish Fest, as well as touring various parts of the UK and Europe.
Festival-goers will have a chance to catch this high-energy Celtic ensemble on Aug. 31 at 3:30 p.m.
Lindsay Lou
Lou has been making soulful, poignant music for the last decade. An undeniable powerhouse, Lou’s remarkable gifts as a singer, songwriter, musician and performer demand the listener’s attention. Her singing floats over the masterful playing and deep groove of her band with both a fierce intensity and a tender intimacy.
Lou’s fourth album, “Southland” (released April 2018), is a transformative and heart-wrenching 10-song stunner. Lou’s voice — and its unique ability to create an expansive, almost physically tangible soundscape — carries each song on “Southland” forward, made even more recognizable and potent by bandmates Josh Rilko (mandolin, vocals) and PJ George (bass, vocals) and special guests.
The beauty with which the sounds on “Southland” slip into the ether is the product of an emotionally difficult time for Lou and her band — who, as musicians often do, entered the studio to “hash it out.” The process, demonstrated by the music on “Southland,” was sincere and stirring and introspective.
“Southland” kicks off with “Roll With Me,” an expansive anthem with Lou’s robust vocals on full display. “Go There Alone” was written during an “Immersion Composition Society” experiment that Lou does from time to time, and the sound fully developed with the band a little later on. The lazy, beautiful harmonies pull at your heartstrings in a way that feels like home, despite the lonely and bittersweet message.
And though songs like “The Voice” and “Southland” were spurred on by more abstract ideas and words, they transformed as collaborators started freestyling with their instruments and Lou simply sang what came to mind. Impressively enough, Lou plays electric bass, electric guitar, and acoustic guitar on the album’s title track. “Southland” is about the natural beauty of the South, which, to Lou, adds a sense of calm and connectedness to a region known too often for its divisiveness. Having recently left her home state of Michigan to put down roots in Nashville with the band, the influence of this change is felt throughout the themes and ideas expressed on “Southland.”
Born the daughter of a coal miner in middle Missouri, Lou’s family moved to Michigan shortly after she was born. She describes her family as close-knit and musical, their lives influenced heavily by her maternal grandmother’s radical ideals and zest for life. In fact, if you ask Lou, her grandmother — a woman who was once put in jail during the civil rights movement for teaching a lesson on the “f” word as a high school literature teacher — is one of her greatest influences to this day. Armed with her activist spirit, Lou’s grandmother set up a Christian commune in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula for her growing family of 12, as well as some stragglers. There in a big farmhouse, Lou’s dad was their neighbor.
Raised with this sense of community, Lou recalls always being surrounded by music. So when the time came for her to join a band, for Lou, it felt like finding a home away from home. Her career, like her life, have been full of great moments of kismet. As a youth, Lou built her repertoire by practicing her vocals, and she picked up the guitar so she could play with her Uncle Stuckey, perhaps most musically influential on her of her mother’s siblings. The skills she honed during the days of learning to sing and play with her family led to a wide variety of musical opportunities: singing in choir in high school, attending an elite summer program at Interlochen on scholarship, and winning awards for her talents.
Today, touring nationally and internationally year-round, Lou and her band continue to collect a mass of friends and fans along the way. Notable U.S. festival plays include Telluride Bluegrass Festival, Merlefest, Stagecoach, Redwing, ROMP, GreyFox and a slew of others. Abroad, they have appeared at Scotland’s Shetland Island Folk Fest and the Celtic Connections tour, Australia’s National Folk Festival, and others. The Boot, who featured Lindsay Lou Band as a “Can’t Miss Act” at AmericanaFest 2018, says “… Lou brings introspection and masterful vocal work to her live show.”
In the words of famed bluegrass musician David Grier, who caught the Lindsay Lou Band at a recent festival, “Lindsay … sings the way you would want to if’n you could. Phrasing, tone, emotion, it’s all there. Effortless seemingly. Simply mesmerizing. Riveting! Don’t miss the musical force that is Lindsay Lou.”
Lou will play the festival main stage on Aug. 31 at 2 p.m.
More information
Volunteer applications are now available on the website and scheduling will begin soon, so potential volunteers are urged to apply as soon as possible. Working two four-hour shifts earn complimentary three-day festival admission.
Tickets and additional information about the festival, including the main stage schedule and information on all of the artists, can be found online at
The Four Corners Folk Festival is supported in part with matching funds from Colorado Creative Industries.

Rob Ickes and Trey Hensley, The Arcadian Wild set to perform at Four Corners Folk Festival Sun, 21 Jul 2019 11:00:58 +0000 By Crista Munro
Special to The PREVIEW
The 24th annual Four Corners Folk Festival — Pagosa Springs’ traditional end to the summer season — will take place over Labor Day weekend, Aug. 30-Sept. 1, on Reservoir Hill downtown.
The stellar 2019 lineup includes The Earls of Leicester, Billy Strings, Amy Helm, Darrell Scott, Molly Tuttle, The Mammals, The East Pointers, , JigJam, Lindsay Lou, Mile Twelve, Wild Rivers, Maybe April and this week’s featured artists, Rob Ickes and Trey Hensley, and The Arcadian Wild.

Photo courtesy FolkWest
Rob Ickes and Trey Hensley will return to Reservoir Hill for the upcoming Four Corners Folk Festival. The duo is slated to play a 2:30 p.m. set on Sept. 1.

Rob Ickes and
Trey Hensley
Based on a mutual love of bluegrass, country, blues, western swing and other string band music of all kinds, the partnership of dobro player Ickes (who also plays superlative lap steel guitar in the duo on occasion) and acoustic/electric guitarist Hensley continues to delight and astound audiences of traditional American music around the globe. Since the duo decided to join forces and make their collaboration the focus of their touring and recording careers in 2015, after cutting their first album, “Before The Sun Goes Down” (nominated for a Grammy), they have continued to bring their music to venues near and far.
They’ve performed in places as close to home as Nashville’s world famous Station Inn — a frequent and favorite showcase — and as far away as Denmark’s Tonder Festival, as well as an impressive number of the most prestigious U.S. music festivals, including Rockygrass, ROMP, Wintergrass, Bluegrass Underground, Pagosa Folk ‘N Bluegrass and the Freshgrass Festival, just to name a few. They have toured the European continent four times, as well as England, Ireland and Australia.
Their second album, “Country Blues” — released in 2016 — testified to the growing diversity and expansion of their collaborative talents and repertoire. The duo were key players on “Original,” the recent, highly lauded album by bluegrass giant Bobby Osborne; their participation garnered a Recorded Event Of The Year Award for Bobby’s version of “Got To Get A Message To You” on that album at this year’s International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) Awards; they also were on the 2016 Recorded Event winner, ”Fireball,” featuring Special Consensus, in 2016. Ickes and Hensley have shared a number of concert bills with the great and influential mandolin master David Grisman and Australia’s fleet finger picking guitarist Tommy Emmanuel, both enthusiastic admirers of the duo.
Ickes and Hensley continue to leave their singular and ever-growing footprint on the world of traditional music of America — be it bluegrass, traditional country, blues or jazz. Of their collaboration, Ickes has said this: “It works in so many different ways … Trey and I have always clicked and when he and I know what’s going on, everyone else just grabs on — and that’s kind of the fun of the gig; it’s constantly changing.”
Whether they’re appearing as a duo, with a bass or with bass, drums and fiddle, they never fail to kick up some musical dust. The excitement at their gigs is palpable, it is contagious and it is constant. Their sets tend to be a heady mix of the familiar and beloved and the new and unexpected. Hensley’s list of powerful original songs has grown quickly since the two started working together and Ickes invariably plays several sparkling instrumentals, both on dobro and lap steel, new and old. He is also on record as saying that one of his great satisfactions as a dobro player is accompanying a great vocalist, something the partnership allows him every night.
Ickes, who grew up in California’s Bay Area, cut his teeth on traditional bluegrass, since several family members played. He fell in love with the dobro, or more precisely the resophonic guitar, almost immediately, after his brother Pat played a tape of the legendary Mike Auldridge for him. After moving to Nashville in the early ‘90s, he quickly became one of the instrument’s acknowledged masters. He soon began touring with several top bluegrass acts and also became a familiar face at recording studios in town. His fluid, lyrical, yet stinging style has graced the recordings and concerts of bluegrass artists as diverse as Earl Scruggs, Alison Krauss, The Cox Family, Tony Rice and more, plus such mainstream artists as Vince Gill, Alan Jackson, Toby Keith, Reba McEntire and even erstwhile rocker David Lee Roth on his “bluegrass” album. Additionally, Ickes has won the Dobro Player of the Year Award from the IBMA an unprecedented 15 times. He was also a founding member of the critically acclaimed bluegrass supergroup Blue Highway for 21 years. Fulfilling a lifelong dream of not only meeting but playing with his personal number one hero, Ickes was a key member of the band who backed fellow Californian Merle Haggard on Haggard’s 2007 album “The Bluegrass Sessions.”
Hensley shares Ickes’ admiration for the legendary Hag and features several of his songs in his repertoire. In fact, his rich, resonant baritone voice can sound at times uncannily like The Okie From Muskogee — but he is capable of far more than that. He also plays blues and rhythm and blues on both acoustic and electric guitar, from the repertoires of artists as diverse as The Allman Brothers, Ray Charles, Charlie Daniels and Stevie Ray Vaughn — and Ickes’ and Hensley’s rendition of The Grateful Dead’s “Friend Of The Devil” needs to be heard live to be fully appreciated. Hensley also shares Haggard’s well-known love of western swing, and he sings it and plays it with authority; Ickes loves playing it, too, often on lap steel guitar. Hensley is also a talented writer; the band’s repertoire is dotted with his original compositions. Both he and Ickes have what is called in the trade “big ears,” and this musical curiosity has enhanced their music immeasurably.
Even more precocious than his musical partner, Hensley grew up in eastern Tennessee, one of the cradles of traditional music. He doesn’t seem to have ever doubted what he was meant to do, and in fact, when he was 11 years old, he was brought onstage by Marty Stuart to play with Stuart and Earl Scruggs — at the Grand Ole Opry. He was making music — and albums — with famous players before his voice changed. He has played onstage or opened for artists as diverse as Johnny Cash, Charlie Daniels, Steve Wariner and Peter Frampton. It was his singing on what was meant to be a scratch vocal on a Blue Highway album that first brought him to the attention of Ickes. Ultimately, the vocal stayed on the album, Hensley moved to Nashville, and in partnership with Ickes, they began to make all manner of exciting music. Shortly after Hensley appeared on the scene in Music City, bluegrass Hall of Famer Roland White was heard to remark in wonderment that he had a new favorite guitar player in Nashville, and White knows a few things about guitar players. Needless to say, White is not the only fan Hensley has made in Nashville.
In many ways, this musical partnership is the ideal vehicle for both partners. Their excitement at playing together continues unabated as their enthusiasm charges the creativity of their collaboration on a nightly basis. It is the audience who stands to be the big winner.
Ickes and Hensley will bring their awesome musicianship and diverse musical style to the 2019 main festival stage on Sept. 1 with a 2:30 p.m. set.

Photo courtesy FolkWest
The Arcadian Wild, touring off the successful release of their sophomore record, will take the stage at the Four Corners Folk Festival at 11 a.m. on Aug. 31.

The Arcadian Wild
The Arcadian Wild began in the fall of 2013 when a few choir students from Lipscomb University in Nashville met up after class to jam for the afternoon. Five years later, the band now consists of guitarist Isaac Horn, mandolinist Lincoln Mick and fiddler Paige Park. Currently, the folk group is touring off the successful release of their sophomore record, “Finch in the Pantry” (May 2019), which debuted at No. 9 on the Billboard bluegrass charts.
With roots running deep in formal vocal music, and influenced by progressive bluegrass and folk artists, The Arcadian Wild explores a unique acoustic sound that is simultaneously unified and diverse, offering up songs of invitation and calls to come and see, to find refuge and rest, or to journey and wonder.
You can catch The Arcadian Wild on the festival main stage on Aug. 31 at 11 a.m.
More information
Tickets and additional information about the festival, including the main stage schedule and information on all of the artists, can be found online at Volunteer applications are now available on the website and scheduling will begin soon, so potential volunteers are urged to apply as soon as possible.
The Four Corners Folk Festival is supported in part with matching funds from Colorado Creative Industries.