Telluride Day 3: Highlights, highjinx, and the No Depression Miracle Ticket
The past few days have included several incredible moments. Unexpected guest artists, wild cover tunes, chance encounters and unforgettable visuals are around every corner in this part of the San Juan Mountains.
One image my mind will never erase is a crimson robed Buddhist monk joining the hackey sack circle to the joy of all involved. This cross pollination of cultures is one of the unspoken treasures of the festivarian experience.
Musically, the past few days have been staggering. Tim O’Brien welcomed Sarah Jarosz, Robbie McCoury and Jerry Douglas during his set on a bracing cold Thursday evening. Keller and the Keels busted out a festified version of Amy Winehouse’s “Rehab”. Peter Rowan’s set was preceded by a stage visit by a hummingbird who fed off nectar of the potted flowers. Given the hummingbird’s position in Native American mythology, and Peter’s interest in the same, it was notable.
Also during Peter’s “Land of the Navajo” he began his trademark wail just as the wind began to build, blow and shake the trees on the mountainside behind the stage. No one there could deny it, the wind joined the band.
Hot Rize was joined by Redd Knuckles who proceeded to hawk commemorative flyswatters in direct violation of Planet Bluegrass merch policy. Wendell was nearly given the hook for this gaffe. They redeemed themselves with a version of Lefty Frizell’s “Always Late With Your Kisses” which showcased the Trailblazers’ fine honky tonk chops.
Lyle Lovett’s set was probably the most anticipated of the day. His “Large Band” became his “Almost Bursting” band with the addition of Jerry Douglas, Bela Fleck, Sam Bush and Jon Randall. The searing version of “My Baby Don’t Tolerate” worked the crowd into a frenzy as the tune was extended to give all multiple solos. The final tune, Townes Van Zant’s “White Freightliner” presented more explosive playing by the guest artists.
The winner of the 2010 No Depression miracle ticket was a lovely young lady “originally from Oregon but now I’m kind of in flux” named Kirsten. She received the extra pass provided by No Depression and Planet Bluegrass in a quiet blissful state. I think I saw her dancing later.