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By Crista Munro
Special to The PREVIEW
The 18th annual Four Corners Folk Festival will take place Aug. 30-Sept. 1 on Reservoir Hill in Pagosa Springs.
This year’s lineup is complete and promises to deliver exceptional performances from the likes of the legendary John Hiatt and the Combo, Cape Breton fiddle phenom Natalie MacMaster, singer-songwriter Darrell Scott, plus The Wood Brothers, Elephant Revival, Jimmy LaFave, Slaid Cleaves, The Lone Bellow, John Fullbright, Aoife O’Donovan, the Giving Tree Band, Halden Wofford and the Hi-Beams, Sarah Siskind and Travis Book, Rose’s Pawn Shop, Baskery and New Country Rehab.
One of the highlights of this year’s show is the international flavor. Natalie MacMaster and New Country Rehab are Canadian bands — one traditional and one more cutting edge country. Baskery is the very first Swedish band to ever grace the Four Corners festival stage. The three sisters play traditional bluegrass instruments, but in a way that is anything but traditional.
There’s also a strong singer-songwriter tradition present at the festival this year, with relative newcomer and 2012 Grammy nominee John Fullbright, as well as prolific favorites like John Hiatt (“Thing Called Love,” “Drive South,” “Have A Little Faith in Me”), Darrell Scott (“Never Leave Harlan Alive,” “Great Day to Be Alive,” “Long Time Gone”), and Austin favorites Jimmy LaFave and Slaid Cleaves. Each one of these troubadours is known not just for their amazing word-smithing skills but also for their unique and instantly recognizable voices.
Then there’s the “returning favorites” classification, which applies to Aoife O’Donovan, Elephant Revival, the husband-and-wife-who-met-at-Four-Corners act Sarah Siskind and Travis Book, Halden Wofford and the Hi-Beams, The Wood Brothers and Rose’s Pawn Shop.
And, finally, there’s the meteorically rising star band — The Lone Bellow — who recently appeared on The Late Show with Jay Leno and NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert series and are booked for many of the major folk festivals this season. Their trajectory is reminiscent of that of similar contemporary folk bands like the Lumineers and Mumford & Sons in their earlier days.
The Four Corners Folk Festival will once again attract thousands of visitors to the area over Labor Day weekend, as well as offer local residents the opportunity to hear this amazing music right in their own backyard, amongst the natural beauty of Reservoir Hill.
Whether you’re a first-time festival-goer or someone who’s been coming for years, the 2013 event won’t disappoint.
The festival is supported in part by a grant from Colorado Creative Industries. The funding helps with performing artist fees and allows the festival to offer free admission for children 12 and under.
Tickets and additional information, including a performance schedule, can be found at www.folkwest.com or by calling 731-5582.