2014 Palisade Bluegrass & Roots Music Festival

Friday, June 13th - Sunday, June 15th

2014 Palisade Bluegrass & Roots Music Festival

The Infamous Stringdusters, The Wood Brothers, The Sweetback Sisters, The Railsplitters, Willie Watson, Chatham County Line, The Hackensaw Boys, Howlin' Brothers, WhiteWater Ramble, Gipsy Moon, StrayGrass, T Sisters, Packway Handle Band

Fri, June 13, 2014 - Sun, June 15, 2014

4:00 pm

Riverbend Park

Palisade, CO

June 13-15th

2014 Palisade Bluegrass & Roots Music Festival
2014 Palisade Bluegrass & Roots Music Festival

GIPSY MOON 4:00-4:45

STRAYGRASS 5:00pm - 5:45pm

THE RAILSPLITTERS 6:15pm - 7:30pm

WHITEWATER RAMBLE 8:00pm - 10:00pm


T-SISTERS 11:00am - 12:30pm

HOWLIN BROTHERS 1:00pm - 2:30pm

HACKENSAW BOYS 3:00pm - 4:30pm

SWEETBACK SISTERS 5:30pm - 7:00pm



PACKWAY HANDLE BAND 11:00am - 12:30pm

CHATHAM COUNTY LINE 1:00pm - 2:30pm

WILLIE WATSON 3:00pm - 4:30pm

THE WOOD BROTHERS 5:30pm - 7:00pm
The Infamous Stringdusters
The Infamous Stringdusters
7:30 Saturday


Stand for those things in which you truly, passionately believe to the depth of your core: the integrity of your work, the way you choose to do business, the people with whom you surround yourself. How and where you live your life.

A bit of a young person's boast, that.

Harder to live up to when the compromises of career and adulthood come calling. Which makes The Infamous Stringdusters' insistence on living out those hard choices — and taking control of their own business — all the more remarkable.

As is the constant, relentless, revelatory evolution of their music.

Pick-ups, in-ear monitors, lighting effects. Start there, for this is an acoustic band, right? Their live show isn't a concert, it's a performance, their music flirting constantly with risk and reward, the grip of the moment taking them way beyond the barriers of bluegrass, way out of that safe harbor where they began and into the deep waters of inspiration and innovation.

And they're only beginning to grapple with the possibilities of all this freedom.

High Country, The Stringdusters have taken to calling that music, and it fits. "The High Country," says banjo virtuoso Chris Pandolfi, winding his more complicated, carefully reasoned thought to a close, "is a beautiful, inspiring spot, wherever it may be." Yes, exactly. High Country is also the name of the record label created by The Infamous Stringdusters, and the centering spirit behind everything they do.

Seven years ago the band's first incarnation came together in one of the doorway jam sessions, which are the hallmark of the International Bluegrass Music Association's annual convention. Their debut, Fork In The Road, tied with J.D. Crowe's release for IBMA Album of The Year. Now, banjo player J.D. Crowe is a bluegrass legend, and in the insular world of bluegrass legends don't tie with newcomers. The Stringdusters also won awards for Song of the Year and IBMA's Emerging Artist of the Year. Those are heavy honors if you play bluegrass. Heavy honors. Their third album, Things That Fly, produced a Grammy nomination for Best Country Instrumental.


Stand together, for these Stringdusters are gifted musicians, knit together: Travis Book (bass), Andy Falco (guitar), Jeremy Garrett (fiddle), Andy Hall (dobro), and Chris Pandolfi (banjo). Separately they can play, and play with anybody; together they have seasoned into a formidable, groundbreaking live act. Which is hard to do in these sated times.

"I think the beauty of what's going on here is that the hard part is over," Pandolfi says. "I think we all have the universal feeling that we will never find a playing situation that will be anything like this, even close to as satisfactory. And the beautiful thing is that when we came together it was a musical attraction. We're five very different guys in the band, but there's just such camaraderie, and that, above all else, is the thing that makes the music."

They've been working up to this attack for a couple years now, but the key seems to have been recording their newest album, Silver Sky, with Billy Hume at the controls. True enough Hume started out on mandolin, but he's best known for working with hip hop acts like Ludacris, and Nas. "He brings this new vision of how the music can sound," Pandolfi explains. "And that informs the way that we perform in the studio, it informs the way the music comes together."

"He'd never miked a dobro before," Andy Hall says, "and we wanted that."

Wait. That doesn't mean they're crafting arcane, challenging music, fit only for critics and pickers who can keep up with them. Not at all. They're writing songs about the life they have embraced, simple as that.

"The type of people who listen to the music that we play, and are coming to the shows, are also people who go on epic hikes, or ski, or ride mountain bikes, or get out and experience life from all angles," says fiddler Jeremy Garrett. "The new song on our latest record called 'Night On The River' has been going out to a lot of people. Rafters come up after the show to talk about it. My sister, she loves to go catfishing, sits on the banks of the river, singing that song every time she drives out to fish. The music sort of sets up the background for your life.


Stand at the crossroads with The Infamous Stringdusters, for they are not a bluegrass band. Well, of course they are. In part; they play bluegrass instruments, and can certainly hold a bluegrass audience. But The Stringdusters are heirs to the transgressive tradition of bluegrass which links them to the Earl Scruggs Revue, New Grass Revival, Hot Rise, Nickel Creek, and Leftover Salmon. They are also heirs to the broader cultural tradition of rock 'n 'roll. Which means, depending upon which band member you speak with, nods to Black Sabbath and the Grateful Dead, The Band and U2.

The point here is that in a wireless world nobody comes to music, even music as conservative as bluegrass, in isolation. Especially The Stringdusters, who came to bluegrass late and almost by accident. Andy Hall started at the Berklee School of Music as another shredding guitarist from upstate New York. A hand injury led him to the dobro, and the dobro led him to bluegrass. In fact, only fiddler Jeremy Garrett has a formal bluegrass pedigree, and it's from Idaho, not Appalachia. "I remember listening to Flatt & Scruggs, because my dad was a bluegrass musician," Garrett says. "But at the same time I was listening to Guns N' Roses and U2. And those are, for me, equally important influences."

And those influences have begun to seep into The Stringdusters' music: a phrase here, a cover there, a quotation or a sound or just the cheek to try all of those things at once.


Stand for something. The Infamous Stringdusters stand for the notion that, important though their music is, it's only part of a full life. And so most of them have decamped from Nashville, where the best bluegrass players can be gobbled down the maw of session work and songwriting appointments, and settled in Charlottesville, Virginia, the musical oasis pioneered by the Dave Matthews Band.

There, the band has found a home. "We never had a hometown crowd in Nashville," Pandolfi says. "That's a tough town to have a hometown crowd in. Charlottesville, from the minute we got there, it seemed much more like home. That's an important thing, for a band to have a hometown crowd and to have a place that you can rely on."

They have returned the love, hosting The Festy Experience, a weekend festival (the third is scheduled for October 5-7, 2012) in Nelson County, VA. "We try to create that intersection between lifestyle and music," Pandolfi says. "You get a 5k run, you've got a mountain bike race, you've got a rock climbing wall, lots of yoga, hikes. Lots of sustainable food operations and craft beer vendors. And just a general sort of over-riding acknowledgement that these things are important and they make for a great quality experience over the long-term. It's about more than just trying to usher as many people in as possible." Between sets and soundchecks band members will participate in some of those events, and, if Pandolfi gets his wish, he'll have a chance to do some fly fishing in the bargain.

Even Garrett's father is beginning to understand. "I invited him to The Festy last year, and he hung out all week, helped me with the gospel set on Sunday, and just had a blast. That's kind of the epitome of us, that's the culmination of all our efforts, at The Festy. He was able to see our crowd react to us, and how many people were there, so I think he got over some concerns that he might have had about the actual music. But I think he'd still prefer to hear Flatt & Scruggs."


Stand, and wear comfortable shoes (or no shoes at all). Because nobody sits at a Stringdusters show.
The Wood Brothers
The Wood Brothers
5:30 Sunday

“Neon Tombstone,” the album shuffles between bluesy, classic country and swampy funk, mining the brothers’ timeless influences (Robert Johnson, Willie Nelson, Charles Mingus) while sounding fresh enough to win over fans of today’s mainstream roots-music acts (The Avett Brothers, Mumford & Sons). The title track shows Oliver’s songwriting at its most tender and autobiographical to date, as he sings of his “finest work yet” — his newborn child — in his endearingly offbeat voice, which The New York Times calls “gripping.” Chris takes the vocal lead on “Sweet Maria” and
“Losin’,” and capably so, while on his standup bass, he’s often playful, even rascally, imbuing the songs with humor with his warm, unpredictable notes. Jano, when not banging on his shuitar, adds refreshing flourishes of piano and melodica.'The Muse' marks another milestone for The Wood Brothers: it's the first
full-length they've recorded at Southern Ground Studios in Nashville. In the way that Manhattan becomes its own character in an old Woody Allen movie, the live room at Southern Ground plays a key role on the album, making its warm presence felt throughout. (There’s even a little hiss from the analog tape machine.) The choice of location was practical, given Nashville's rich history and network of musicians, but also symbolic: The Wood Brothers are now officially a Nashville-based band, with Oliver having relocated in 2012, and Chris recently following. It’s the first time the brothers have lived in the same city since they left their parents’ nest; both
are eager, along with Nashville local Jano, to plumb the sense of
collaboration they tapped into during the fateful “Neon Tombstone” writing session. As Oliver says of ‘The Muse, '“This is the first record that really feels like a band record. It’s taken years for us to really feel like we can collaborate, and I think this is the pinnacle of it so far.”
The Sweetback Sisters
The Sweetback Sisters
5:30 Saturday
Sweetback Sisters Emily Miller and Zara Bode may not be blood relations, but their precise, family-style harmonies recall the best of country music from the Everlys to The Judds, as well as the spirited rockabilly energy of Wanda Jackson, one of the band's role models. Like the artists they admire, the Sweetbacks are concerned with the traditional subjects of heartbreak, revenge, remorse and staying strong in the face of relationships gone wrong, albeit with a contemporary sensibility. "We're a renegade retro band that mixes up country, swing and honky tonk," explains Bode. "Sometimes what we deliver is straight out of the 50s; other times it's BR549 meets The B52s."

The Sisters have been touring relentlessly since they released Chicken Ain't Chicken in 2009. Their new CD, Looking For A Fight showcases the band's razor sharp musicianship, complex arrangements and growing confidence as songwriters. "We tried to recreate the energy we get when we connect with an audience over the course of a song," Bode says. "The basic tracks were all done live, and we recorded most of the vocals with Emily and I crowded around one microphone. It gave the tracks a certain intimacy."

Like their raucous stage show, Looking For A Fight balances yesterday's hits with contributions from the band's four songwriters, Zara Bode, Emily Miller, Ross Bellenoit and fiddler Jesse Milnes. And while the music may be energetic and sassy, sentiments of heartache, loss and longing are dominant. "Those are the themes that make country songs resound with listeners," Miller says. "We didn't only want to make a classic sounding record, but a classic feeling record as well."

From their first night on, the crowds have gone wild for their close harmonies, charismatic stage presence and the crackling musicianship of their cohorts. But while the Sweetback Sisters formed due to their deep love of classic country music, their individual foundations are quite varied. "Stefan, Peter and Ross all have formal training in jazz and classical music," Miller explains, "And now play everything under the sun. On the other hand, Jesse was steeped in old-time music, learning tunes from his dad Gerry, a fiddler and folklorist. In the Sisters' combined histories there's not a lot of ground we don't cover." Bode concludes, "The tension between our various backgrounds gives the music something original and exciting, but in a way it's also an homage to what country music used to be: a melting pot of rock, jazz, and traditional music."
The Railsplitters
The Railsplitters
6:15 Friday

The Railsplitters are a Boulder-area bluegrass band featuring Lauren Stovall, Dusty Rider, Peter Sharpe, and Leslie Ziegler. All members of the band are songwriters as well as creative interpreters of a wide variety of music of both bluegrass and non-bluegrass origins. Their original take on the music, instrumental and vocal virtuosity, variety in tune selection (featuring powerful female and male leads and harmonies along with impressive instrumentals), and contagious enthusiasm and soul all leave audiences clamoring for more.

After pickin' together at various bluegrass jams across the Front Range, The Railsplitters performed their first "real" show together in January 2012 at the Star Bar in Denver and there exhibited a cohesive and varied sound, accentuating the talents of each member while melding into something greater. Not content to sit on their laurels, they have continued to grow, add new repertoire, develop a following in the Colorado Front Range, and to further gel as a band. In their year and a half of performing together, The Railsplitters have won two renowned band contests (2012 Pickin' in the Pines in Flagstaff, Arizona and 2013 RockyGrass in Lyons, Colorado), been featured in the Westword Colorado Music Showcase, and released a self-titled full length album.
Go see The Railsplitters in concert, and discover their depth!
-Nick Dewey
Willie Watson
Willie Watson
3:00pm Sunday

Willie Watson, formerly of Old Crow Medicine Show, is feeling inspired. Inspired by the reverence of the old and the anticipation of the new. After 13 years with OCMS, where he gained fans such as Norah Jones and Gillian Welch while also paving the way for other rootsy bands like Mumford and Sons, Watson left the group to pursue a solo career. Invigorated to get back into the studio, Watson is concentrating on those high lonesome vocals so prominently illustrated on "Wagon Wheel" and "Minglewood Blues."

Hailing from Upstate New York, Watson began playing music in his early teens, eventually honing his skills while busking on the street and joining OCMS. In 2011, Watson partook in the historic "Railroad Revival Tour" with OCMS, Mumford and Sons and Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros. Traveling exclusively by vintage train, the bands played concerts throughout the Southwest, capturing every moment for the Emmett Malloy helmed "Big Easy Express," winner of the 2013 GRAMMY Award for Best Long Form Music Video. Watson's career has extended well beyond OCMS, performing and touring with Dave Rawlings Machine and John C. Reilly and Friends, an ongoing project with Becky Stark (Lavender Diamond) and Tom Brosseau.

Fans of OCMS have come to expect the revelry and high-energy brought to their performances. Watson's solo shows are stripped down and intimate, a mix of music penned throughout his career as well as traditional songs, the outcome of delving into old-time music. Dividing his time between guitar and banjo, Watson's focus is on his voice, which he utilizes with an effortless maturity aptly described by Megan Frye of AllMusic as the "genius of Watson's distinctive howl."
Chatham County Line
Chatham County Line
1:00pm Sunday

On a recent summer evening in downtown Raleigh, NC, Chatham County Line set up shop at a stately theater filled with hundreds of their most devoted fans and captured for the ages what they do best: gathering around a single microphone to play and sing their own songs.

The result, the two-disc audio and video collection Sight & Sound, is an essential document of one of the finest acoustic ensembles North Carolina has ever produced. In a state rich with bluegrass, folk and country legends, this quartet stands out for its left-of-center approach, bringing a rock 'n' roll sensibility to roots forms in a manner that appeals to traditional and contemporary camps alike.

"I really feel like you get the best out of something by holding it back a little bit," guitarist and primary singer Dave Wilson explains in an interview segment on the DVD. "We are just dying to be louder than all get-out and go crazy — but you don't plug any of us in, you put us behind a microphone. It keeps us under control so much that it's just kind of bristling."

You can feel the energy throughout Sight & Sound, which includes 20 tracks drawing from all five albums of the band's decade-long career. Nine songs appear on both the audio CD and the DVD; four are exclusive to the DVD, while the CD expands the collection with seven more tracks (including two taken from a Christmas-tour show in Atlanta).

The idea for Sight & Sound stemmed from the booking of a show shortly after the release of the band's fifth album, Wildwood, in the summer of 2010. Chatham County Line had arranged an August 10 date at the Fletcher Opera Theater, "and we realized what a sit-down, comfortable, well-staged place it was to have a performance," Wilson recalled. "We figured no matter what that we'd get some cameras in there to tape it." From there, Yep Roc took the ball and ran with it, setting the wheels in motion to have the show professionally filmed and recorded.

"It was something the fans have always asked for," Wilson continued. "A lot of people think we sound better live and in-person than we do on record. They'll say, 'We wish your records sounded like you do live!' And there was a thought of this kind of being a loose 'Greatest Hits,' if you will, so it has songs from each record gathered all in one place."

Thus they go all the way back to the beginning — "Closing Town," the leadoff track on the very first Chatham County Line record in 2003 — as well as revisiting three songs each from 2005's Route 23 and 2006's Speed of the Whippoorwill. There's a bit more focus on the band's two most recent albums, 2008's IV and 2010's Wildwood, perhaps a reflection of how much the band has come into its own in the past few years.

Indeed, the Wildwood track "Alone In New York," which leads off the CD, features perhaps Wilson's finest vocal performance to date; the soaring harmonies of mandolinist/fiddler John Teer at the song's peak help the live version reach ever higher flights. And that album's closing number, "End of the Line," serves as a fitting finale for the DVD, bridging the concert's encore between a series of enlightening ruminations by the band members. Bassist Greg Readling reflects with wonder upon magical moments onstage "where I feel like all cylinders are firing, and everybody had created a part that was individual and unique, and worked really great with
everybody else's part."

And if they look good doing it, well, that's all part of the plan, too. Asked if the concert film was really just an excuse for the band to buy new suits, Wilson demurs: "I plead the fifth." On camera, though, banjo player Chandler Holt owns up to the sartorial philosophy of these sharp dressed men, and how it pertains to their musical ambition: "There's just something striking about seeing four guys in suits gathered around one microphone. It definitely makes a statement of, in theory, this should sound good."

In theory, and in practice, as Sight & Sound attests.
The Hackensaw Boys
The Hackensaw Boys
3:00 pm Saturday

With feet firmly planted in the old-time song tradition, hands soiled by the dirt of rock n’ roll and eyes fixed steadily on the future of real country music, the Hackensaw Boys are among the most exciting groups charting new territory in today’s diverse Americana music scene.
How does it work?
Everybody sings a bit of lead, everybody sings a bit of harmony and most members know when to shut up. Instrumentation includes banjo, guitar, mandolin, fiddle, harmonica, upright bass, charismo (a home-made tin can contraption) and the occasional trap kit.
Where do they come from?
In the beginning they all lived in Charlottesville, VA, but now the members are spread throughout Virginia, Tennessee, North Carolina, and Louisiana. For more than a decade, however, they’ve come together to tour the United States, Europe and the U.K. and to record several critically acclaimed albums.
Howlin' Brothers
Howlin' Brothers
1:00pm Saturday

The Howlin’ Brothers are a three-piece string band that brings heart and passion into every performance. Their upbeat shows are heavy with original and traditional music, featuring the sounds of slide banjo, harmonica and old-time fiddle. The Howlin’ Brothers are bringing their show all across America in 2013. Their latest album “HOWL” produced by Brendan Benson will be available March 5th, on Benson’s label Readymade Records.

Ben Plasse – upright bass, banjo, vocals
Ian Craft – fiddle, banjo, vocals
Jared Green – guitar, harmonica, vocals
WhiteWater Ramble
WhiteWater Ramble
8:00 Friday

Described as High-Octane Rocky Mountain DanceGrass, Whitewater Ramble (WWR) uses a simple recipe to craft its sound: start with bluegrass instrumentation, add drums, and finish with a boundary-less approach to grassing-up everything from disco house grooves to roots to Americana.

Whitewater Ramble is now on tour behind their second studio release Roots & Groove. The album showcases WWR's growth as songwriters and musicians. Produced by Tim Carbone of Railroad Earth, the album features an array of special guests such as Andy Hall on dobro (Infamous Stringdusters), Andy Thorn on banjo (Leftover Salmon), Grammy Award winner John Macy on pedal steel and Bill McKay on piano.

WWR has had the privilege of supporting, touring with and sharing stages with Railroad Earth, Michael Franti and Spearhead, Karl Denson's Tiny Universe, Greensky Bluegrass, Cornmeal, The Infamous Stringdusters, Dark Star Orchestra, Little Feat, Papa Mali, The New Mastersounds, The Gourds, The David Grisman Quintet, Jerry Douglas, Lotus, Splitlip Rayfiled, Members of the String Cheese Incident, Particle, Hot Buttered Rum, Drew Emmitt of Leftover Salmon, DJ Logic, Donna The Buffalo, The Contribution, The Motet, Tea Leaf Green, Henry Butler, Vince Herman and Great American Taxi, Peter Rowan, Tony Furtado and many more.

A diverse festival resume has helped bring WWR to stages at events like the Northwest String Summit, Wakarusa, Yonder Mountain's Harvest Festival, Grand Targhee Bluegrass Festival, 80/35 Festival, Nedfest, Bohemian Nights NewWestFest, The Wildflower Pavilion at RockyGrass, Copper Mountain Sunsation, Desert Rocks Music Festival, Love Your Mother Earth Music Festival, Keystone Bluegrass and Brews, The Denver People's Fair, South Park Music Festival, Westword's Music Showcase, numerous Brew Festivals, and their own annual two day music and camping festival, Ramble on the River.
Gipsy Moon
Gipsy Moon
4:00 Friday

Gipsy Moon is a four piece group of wandering artists on an endless journey toward good times and raw expression. With music as their carriage, strings as their weapon and the horizon as their aim, this unconventional band is not one to be missed. Their sound, often referred to as Gipsygrass, is something like a backwoods hoedown meets the smoking basement of a New York jazz club. Their soothing harmonies, raging solos and dirt encrusted bass lines bring an old time style into an exciting new dimension; one that hippies and poets, lovers and dancers, freaks and families alike can all come together and move in ways that their bodies have never known. The band features Mackenzie Page (guitar/tenor/vocals/washboard), David Matters (banjo/vocals/guitar),and the sons of Leftover Salmon's Vince Herman: Collin Huff (bass/vocals) and Silas Herman (Mandolin/Guitar)
T Sisters
T Sisters
It is said the deeper a tree’s roots run, the taller it can grow. For siblings Erika, Rachel, and Chloe Tietjen of the T SISTERS, their roots as songwriters are buried in a narrative of family and sisterhood, and if their debut, KINDRED LINES, is any indication, the sky is the only limit for these Bay Area sisters.

California born and raised, the Tietjens have been singing together their whole lives. “We sang together when we were little, making up songs and writing plays together in the attic of our grandparents’ house,” says the trio. “Our parents were dancers and our father is a musician, so rhythm and movement were a constant backdrop for our experience of music.” Staging original music theater productions together in college inspired Erika, Rachel and Chloe to write and arrange their own music, leading to the T Sisters.
Packway Handle Band
Packway Handle Band
The Packway Handle Band serves up a dark and passionate folk aesthetic, "…with a side of blood" [Sarah Hagerman, jambase.com]. The five members of Packway have wowed audiences for over a decade with near perfect 4-part harmonies and seemingly boundless on-stage synergy. Over the years the band has evolved as a premier gather-around-the-mic act. Their performance is focused around a tight cluster of microphones surrounded by an arsenal of acoustic and electric instruments: banjo, fiddle, mandolin, acoustic and electric guitar, upright and electric bass, and an ever-changing array of percussive accessories, sometimes called "The Rattletrap." Packway's sound is steeped in old-fashioned bluegrass, but they hold a niche in the American music realm that's all their own. Clever songwriting, an eccentric mixture of modern folk music, dark themes, old-time religion, affectionate satire of Bluegrass, and devotion to apocalyptic infotainment leave the listener to decide what exactly a Packway Handle is.
Venue Information:
Riverbend Park
451 Pendleton St.
Palisade, CO, 81526