The 5th Winter String Fling Brought Bluegrass Legends, New and Old, to Cervantes
Photos by Nancy Isaac. Videos by Kyle Isaac and Festy GoNuts.
The 5th Winter String Fling was held this weekend (January 3 – 4, 2020) at Cervantes Masterpiece Ballroom and the Other Side. As usual, this 2-night event brought together the finest in bluegrass musicians, combining legends and new fan favorites across two stages.
Kicking things off on Friday night, Jack Cloonan Band rocked out the Other Side. The band’s current lineup is setting stages on fire across Colorado, and their discograss jams were the perfect way to start the Winter String Fling.
Julian Davis and The Situation brought bluegrass classics and original tunes to the main stage at Cervantes Masterpiece Ballroom on Friday night. Julian Davis joined the Jeff Austin Band in 2019, and quickly became a respected flat picker with his fresh take on classic bluegrass songs. His current band, The Situation, can be seen on lots of festival lineups this summer. Be sure to catch them when you get the opportunity!
Ross James’ Gotta Serve Somebody took over the stage on the Otherside to close it out on Friday and Saturday evening. This all-star band featured Ross James, Grahame Lesh, Adam MacDougall, Todd Smallie, and Mark Levy. The band celebrated the music of the Grateful Dead and Bob Dylan, keeping the audience singing and dancing to many of their favorite tunes.
Saturday night showcased Armchair Boogie on the Other Side. These four guys found their start in Wisconsin, and have been making crowds boogie down with the infectious jams released off their new album last fall. You’ll find them opening for the Infamous Stringdusters this winter, and playing at Blue Ox Music Festival in June!
Fireside Collective, from Asheville, NC, warmed up the stage in the Ballroom on Saturday with their progressive bluegrass sounds. They are on tour now promoting an album to be released in March.
The Winter String Fling All-Stars has been a Cervantes’ tradition for the past five years. Every year has brought an impressive collection of legends in the bluegrass scene combined with newer musicians who are coming up hot in the industry. This year proved to be nothing less than spectacular.
Multiple Grammy winners graced the stage, including Jerry Douglas (dobro) and Ronnie McCoury (mandolin, The Del McCoury Band, The Travelin’ McCourys). Missy Raines (bass) was named 2019 International Bluegrass Music Association Bass Player of the Year, for the 8th time, more than any other bass player in the history of the organization. The legends were joined by Molly Tuttle (guitar, “Instrumentalist of the Year” at the 2018 Americana Music Awards), Allie Kral (fiddle, Yonder Mountain String Band) and Billy Failing (banjo, Billy Strings Band) for two-nights of bluegrass performed by true masters in the field.
Saturday night, even more talent was brought on the stage for multiple sit-ins throughout the evening. The Winter String Fling Allstars were joined by Lindsay Lou (guitar), Anders Beck (dobro, Greensky Bluegrass), Tristan Scroggins (mandolin), and Heaven McCoury (guitar).
Gem and Jam Festival is a pairing of music and art, featuring visual performers, live artists, arts and crafts along with workshops and lectures, food vendors and high-end art galleries. The 13th Annual Gem and Jam Festival took place in Tuscon, AZ, January 31st – February 2nd, 2020.
UllrGrass Music and Beer Festival took place in Golden, Colorado Jan. 24 – 26, 2020. Beautiful weather, delicious beer, and amazing music highlighted this celebration of winter and community.
Dead & Company has announced the dates of their Summer 2020 Tour. The tour kicks off at Boulder, Colorado’s Folsom Field. A month on the road will conlcude with 2 nights at Fenway Park in Boston, MA.
Rhythms on the Rio 2020 Lineup. The initial announcement for the 2020 Rhythms on the Rio Music Festival in South Fork Colorado, Jul. 31 – Aug. 2 includes Infamous Stringdusters, Leftover Salmon and more!
Kyle Tuttle, Jared Pool and Adam Greuel are teaming up for a Midwest Tour in March 2020. Let’s hope that’s just a start for this powerful combination!
Ryan Cavanaugh has been described by many as one of the most driven musicians touring today. Read our interview to learn about his roots, his style and what the future holds for this banjo phenomenon.
Cody “Chicago Farmer” Diekhoff is releasing his sixth studio album, “Flyover Country.” The album has a common thread, a love and respect for regular folks, those who might be overlooked and underappreciated.
Greensky Bluegrass will return to the 19th Annual Northwest String Summit, held at Horning’s Hideout in North Plains, Oregon on July 16 – 19, 2020.
Strings & Sol returned to Mexico for the 8th year this past December, and as usual, it seemed to leave a huge impression on everyone that attended. Here are the fan-favorite moments from Strings & Sol 2019: