Music to Your Ears
Clawhammer or Scruggs? Bluegrass banjo players pledge allegiance to one of the genre's two major styles (which boil down to frailing in the former and arpeggiated picking in the latter), but they're not at odds. Folks from either camp would jump at an opportunity to see a pillar of modern bluegrass in action, regardless of style—especially when you're talking about Earl Scruggs himself. Sixty-plus years of refined innovation and the guy still chooses playing live over resting on his laurels, though he doesn't make it to our neck of the woods much.
This weekend, Scruggs will headline the Four Corners Folk Festival in Southwestern Colorado. The festival is Aug. 29 through 31 in Pagosa Springs, only a four-hour drive north of Albuquerque.
Scruggs will be joined by a litany of string-bangers, including The Punch Brothers featuring Chris Thile, The Waifs, The Infamous Stringdusters, Ollabelle, The Wilders, Crooked Still, Bearfoot, The Greencards, Over the Rhine, The Belleville Outfit, Anne and Pete Sibley, Boulder Acoustic Society, and Aaron Espe. Also on the bill are workshops, camping and free admission for kids 12-and-under.
A three-day pass with camping is $100, and costs descend from there. For the full list of events and pricing, hit up folkwest.com. There's even an account on eRideShare to hook up carpoolers with other gas- and cash-conscious festival attendees. Log on to musicpoolers.erideshare.com and enter "gr8music" (without quotes, of course) into the password field to jump on to someone's ride or set up your own.
It's a Desert out There ... Quench Your Ears
If you've got a thirst for electric and acoustic folk, alt.country, blues and Cajun right here in New Mexico, there's no better place to slake it than the Thirsty Ear Festival. The state's premier roots music event returns to the Eaves Movie Ranch near Santa Fe this Friday, Aug. 29, through Sunday, Aug. 31. Year nine's lineup is the most exciting I've seen—Richard Thompson, Junior Brown, Patty Griffin and Buckwheat Zydeco top the list, and that's just the very tippy-top. The festival's also logjammed with camping, kids' activities, dance lessons, food, microbrews and sustainable energy exhibits (but, sorry, no smoking). Single-day at-the-gate tickets are $45 for Saturday and Sunday, but presale discounts and multiday bundles are still available at thirstyearfestival.com. Broke? Friday's programming, featuring Bill Hearne and a few of Santa Fe's brightest, is only $2 when you donate two cans of food. Don't be a fool, now.