The Daily Brewsletter - Day 3 Recap

Just hours after the Juke Joints closed down the night before, the first official chords of the day were struck by local singer/songwriter A.J. Fullerton and Telluride Blues Challenge winner Steve Itterly during the Blues for Breakfast session at the Telluride Elks Lodge. Meanwhile in Telluride Town Park the alluring forces of gospel and brunch collided when Tyree Morris & The Hearts of Worship kicked off day 3 of the 23rd Telluride Blues & Brews Festival with hip-hop-laced praise music. While the VIPs took advantage of the annual Bloody Mary & Champagne Reception, early arriving attendees shook off the rust of the Grand Tasting the day before by grooving to the nearly dozen members of the “The Hit Squad” channeling their worshiping energy.

At the age of 76, Little Freddie King is a fixture of New Orleans blues history, and the living legend showed no signs of stopping during his powerful performance of classic blues in Telluride. The Louisiana Music Hall of Famer was as smooth as his outfit on the guitar, conveying the bold sound of The Big Easy’s legacy in the genre.

Juxtaposed with King in age only, Samantha Fish is a stunning singer-songwriter at the age of 27 that also provided some of the best guitar playing all weekend. Coming out hard and heavy in heels, and armed with the rarely seen cigar box guitar, Fish gave the type of performance in Telluride that affirms why Buddy Guy said, “when this kind of sh*t happens, I’ll play all night,” when she sat in with him. Instantly the talk of the festival, the statement set from Fish is likely just the beginning of her recurring presence in Telluride.

With two memorable displays of raw blues in the tank, Jamestown Revival hit the stage next to take the growing crowd on a pedal steel-lead journey into roots rock. The core duo of Jonathan Clay and Zach Chance have been playing together since they were 15, but for their Telluride Blues & Brews Festival debut they expanded their take on indie folk by adding a tight rhythm section. The added instrumentation elevated their signature harmonies and songcraft, which were best heard on the fan favorite “Love Is A Burden” set closer.

Cary Ann Hearst and Michael Trent shared marriage vows in 2009, and since then the duo now known as Shovels & Rope share stages across the country. The observable chemistry between the two multi-instrumentalist was amplified by the surrounding Telluride aesthetic and near perfect weather as they seamlessly swapped instruments and played a mixture of both their solo and combined band Americana catalog.

Nestled in the nearby forest of color changing leaves by a rolling waterfall, the Campground Stage hosted three artists throughout the weekend for intimate, low key performances. Today it was Phil Wiggins and George Kilby Jr. Trio with Andy Calder that were filling the wooded area with baritone vocals soaked in raw emotion. The trio’s efforts during the stripped down performance encouraged the crowd to stand up and form a rhythmic conga line that weaved around a few dozen smiling faces.

Back on the main stage the anticipated set from the groove-fueled Vintage Trouble kicked off as the performance de force jumped from blues to soul to rock ‘n’ roll. Singer Ty Taylor worked the crowd into a frenzy and capitalized on the energy by jumping into audience and crowd surfing back to the stage as the rest of the band played out “Run Baby Run.”

With more than 20 main stage performances notched over three days, it was time to close it out with The Mick Fleetwood Blues Band featuring Rick Vito. Fleetwood’s affinity for booming drums was a constant as he laid the rhythmic foundation for Vito to execute blues standards. The tall Englishman played with the same vivacity that has denoted his career for over five decades. In between stirring renditions of “Black Magic Woman” and “Tear It Up,” Fleetwood came to the front of the stage to give heartfelt anecdotes including the final words, “take care of each other, and in this crazy world we live in, be kind to one another,” that came after a monstrous drum solo and departure from the stage.

While the main stage faded to black, the music continued on at the Sheridan Opera House for the Fais Do-Do closing celebration with Anders Osborne. The final performance of the weekend, roughly translated to “Cajun dance party,” saw the New Orleans guitarist tap into his more groovy discography. That was until a surprise sit in by Samantha Fish turned things up a few notches as she went into a jaw dropping solo that even had Osborne and fellow guitarist Eric McFadden grinning wide. The young female guitarist would later return with Cody Dickinson of North Mississippi Allstars to assist with a legendary rendition of “After Midnight” as the evening came to a close.


Congratulations to the 2016 “Best of Fest” winners Avalanche Brewing Company! Their three showcased beers Dawn Patrol Coffee Stout, Glass OFF! Citrus Session IPA and Double Diamond Blackberry Gose earned the craft brewery from Silverton, CO top honors at this year’s Grand Tasting.

Want to learn more about the 56 breweries that came to Telluride Blues & Brews Festival this weekend? Click here for the full list and links to their websites.

Trying to remember the name of that great beer you sampled during the Grand Tasting? Click here for all the Grand Tasting beer styles.


Thank you for another fantastic Telluride Blues & Brews Festival! We are overwhelmed by the continuous support and the contributions by all of our artists, staff, sponsors, vendors, volunteers and especially the attendees that have made this unique event continue for 23 years. Without you it would not be possible, and your dedication gives us a deep appreciation for the amazing community that makes this weekend so special.

Save the date! Join us for the 24th Telluride Blues & Brews Festival happening September 15th-17th, 2017. Tickets will be on sale online and at local ticket outlets on March 1st.

Missed the festival store at Blues & Brews? Shop online for new shirts, sweatshirts, accessories, and posters! Can't find your size? Check back in early winter for store updates and more merchandise!

We are excited to share the magic of this past weekend with all of you. Stay tuned for more artist photos, live performance videos and recaps coming here soon.

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Steve Gumble2016