By John Lehndorff
(7/29/16: 2 p.m. Lyons CO) – First there was Hot Rize. They took Colorado bluegrass values to a national audience. It was very good, and Leftover Salmon, String Cheese Incident and Yonder Mountain String Band, each bending Bill Monroe’s mashup of styles their own harmonic twist. The Infamous Stringdusters and Greensky Bluegrass, two hot quasi-bluegrass outfits, have strong Colorado connections.
I may have seen the next great iteration of this state’s acoustic band evolution to open the Rockygrass Festival in Lyons. Colorado’s Rapidgrass Quintet which won last year’s band competition here blasted out a great set of intricate music that had some Gypsy sounds, some straight head bluegrass with some intense acoustic jamming. The band hasn’t figured out exactly what kind of band it is but it has all the tools including a polished fiddler who “has the juice,” as one fan told me. Right now they are mainly Colorado but back in the day, so we’re those other unknown Colorado bands.
Master guitarist David Grier flatpicked his way through a couple of great guest solos with Rapidgrass. Later in the day today another Hot Rize guitarist Bryan Sutton offered his own blistering guitar solos – so precise it was scary.
KGNU.org is streaming Rockygrass live this weekend.