Bluegrass abounds at Steve’s
CARBONDALE – Performers of state and national renown will help local musicians blossom during this weekend’s Spring Into Bluegrass festival at Steve’s Guitars. To follow up on his winter 2005-06 Blizzard of Bluegrass, Steve’s Guitars owner Steve Standiford has organized another three-night concert series, expanding the event to incorporate three workshops with the performers, including headlining bands Oakhurst, Faces of Eve and Stray Grass. “It seemed like there was a little need for a late-winter, going-into-spring bluegrass event, because once summer starts, it explodes,” Standiford said. “So, I thought it was a good time to get a little dose of bluegrass.”
New this year, he’ll offer workshops, consisting of clogging; vocal and band; and guitar, mandolin and banjo. Workshops are open to all levels of participation and individuals can preregister or show up that day. Each night will end with a performance by the musicians. Cost for the concerts is $15. “You should be able to learn something no matter where you’re at,” he said, adding that he thought it was a good time to “go to workshops, see the bands perform, as well as get inspired.” He came up with the idea to hold workshops when he attended a workshop with Bobby Wang last year. There were only four people and Standiford felt it was “very valuable” as a musician to work so intimately with a professional. “To have this really direct contact with great players in a small setting is rare,” he said, adding that he hopes people walk away with new techniques, behind-the-stage advice and inspiration.
“These folks are the professionals out there making a living – maybe only a little bit of a living – but they have wisdom and experience they can share,” he said. “Hopefully these workshops will give people a spark and inspiration to play. You can know the chords, but if you don’t have the spark, it doesn’t matter.”The weekend opens with local musician and clogger Andrea Earley Coen, who has been playing fiddle and dancing for about 20 years and has played viola since she was 8.Coen was first introduced to clogging in 1995, when she began playing fiddle for a well-known group of dancers called Wild Goose Chase Cloggers. “I didn’t know what clogging was and I fell in love with it when I first saw it,” she said. “As soon as I joined the group (as a fiddler) I said, ‘I want to do that.'”
Coen will open the night of music, alongside husband and singer/songwriter Matthew Coen, a member of the California-based band Big Meadow Sky. Describing their music as “tribal country,” or more generically as Americana, she said they’ll play a range of instruments, including guitar, fiddle, didjeridoo, djembe, bodhran and fiddlesticks.”We really like playing together. It’s really neat to be able to share something like this with your spouse,” said Coen, who plays regularly in Aspen, at weddings and at regional festivals and fairs. The Coen duo opens for today’s main act, Stray Grass from Grand Junction. The remaining artists for the weekend’s festival are: Faces of Eve, Kory Krahl and Fred Jarman, and Oakhurst. See the schedule (this page) for the remaining performance and workshop times. Visit http://www.stevesguitars.net or call 963-3304 for more information.
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