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Posted: June 01, 2009

Telluride Bluegrass Festival returns June 18 to 21

When you live in Colorado, it's hard not to catch the bluegrass bug

Mike Cote

Over its 35-year history, the Telluride Bluegrass Festival has stretched the boundaries of bluegrass by booking bands you might not associate with banjos, mandolins and fiddles. But when rock acts make the trek to the mountain town they catch the bluegrass bug.

This year, Elvis Costello will be employing an all-star bluegrass band when he and the Sugarcanes perform at the 36th annual four-day festival. The new supergroup Works Progress Administration features members of Nickel Creek, Toad the Wet Sprocket, the Heartbreakers and the Imposters. Inspired collaborations have long been a Telluride legend.

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Of course, festival mainstays will be on hand, including the Telluride House Band, featuring bluegrass mavericks Bela Fleck, Sam Bush, Jerry Douglas, Edgar Meyer, Bryan Sutton and Luke Bulla. They’ll be welcoming such returning stars as Emmylou Harris and Tim O’Brien and introducing former Talking Heads leader David Byrne to the Telluride stage for the first time.

Tickets for the festival are available at www.shop.bluegrass.com or 800-624-2422.

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Mike Cote is the former editor of ColoradoBiz. E-mail him at mcote@cobizmag.com.

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