Friday, September 13 at 1 pm (Blues Stage)

When Tellurider Alex Paul won the 2018 Telluride Blues Challenge, he won not only a Martin guitar thanks to Telluride Music Co., but two performances at this year’s festival, plus a spot on the popular Durango Blues Train. Judges not only gave Alex the nod for his excellent guitar work and great vocals, but also were thoroughly impressed with his thoughtful, relatable songs. Rich with meaning, his work brings a modern perspective to the blues genre. The Colorado native been playing guitar since he was 13 years old and counts as influences, Jim Croce, Paul Simon, Taj Mahal and Andrew Bird, among others. He’ll take the stage this year with Birds of Play — Eric Shedd and Jack Tolan — and, if we’re lucky, some special guests. It’s an honor to have such amazing local talent to share with the world.