Telluride Blues and Brews wrap-up

Sep 20, 2010 by

Ah, the Blues and Brews Festival, a weekend long party in Telluride’s Town Park that signifies the end of the summer festival season. As always, Blues and Brews was a blast and for 2010, an unlikely candidate earned the MVP… the weather; as there was a rare 3 days of complete sunshine and perfect temperatures that enveloped Telluride allowing for the Blues and Brews festivarians to enjoy a phenomenal weekend of music and beer in a dry Town Park.

This year’s musical lineup included B.B. King, Galactic, Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi, Jimmy Vaughan and George Thorogood. As with every Blues and Brews, Saturday is the Grand Tasting so hundreds of beers from 50 microbreweries were flowing at an alarmingly drunkening pace for 3  fun-filled hours.

While there will be a complete wrap-up of this year’s  festivities in the next print edition of Mousike (due out in early October), we present to you a best of Blues and Brews list for your online perusing. So without further ado, it’s time to hand out the weekend’s awards…

Best in show goes to Terrance Simien and the Zydeco Experience. Armed with an accordion and a killer voice, Grammy Award winner Simien threw an hour long party in Town Park. Complete with a Mardi Gras style parade, clowns on stilts and kids tossing beads to the audience, this set was the essence of a Blues and Brews experience. The Zydeco Experience definitely showcases why Blues and Brews bears a remarkable resemblance to something that might happen in Simien’s home state of Louisiana.

The coolest look award goes to Carlton Armstrong, bassist for the Ronnie Baker Brooks Band. He’s got a stone cold intensity and pearcing stare to go along with a wide stance and a sly dance. And to top it all off , Armstrong keeps the butt of a cigar dangling from his mouth – often times giving it a cool flick and bringing it inside his mouth. Don’t take my word for it, check out some of his youtube videos.

One of my favorite comments from a musician this weekend was when JJ Grey noticed that “Everyone’s a character in Telluride.” It’s so true, Blues and Brews festivarians have a special wackiness that seems to exceed that of other festivals. Thanks for noticing JJ.

Most emotional moment – Dana Fuchs, best-known for her role as Sadie in Across the Universe, brought powerful vocals and a dynamic (read sexy) stage presence to Town Park on Friday afternoon. During the set, Dana dedicated her original tune Songbird to her older sister… “This was our dream, we were supposed to do this together,” she remarked as she told the story of here older sister’s untimely passing before all of Dana’s current success. As the crowd of 5,000 plus chanted the the chorus back to her, she “felt her sister’s presence in these beautiful mountains” and uncontrollably burst into tears. I’m no weeper, but you’d have to be pretty cold to not have felt a something during that moment.

Most interesting beer – During the Grand Tasting, there’s a variety of “different” styles and I happened upon a chili beer at one point. While it still tasted like beer, it was spicy and literally tasted like a chili pepper. I’m glad I tried it, but I’ll definitely be sticking to the old regulars like ales and lagers in the future.

There’s probably no entry for the oldest average age of musicians during one day of a festival in the Guiness Book of Records but if there was, I would think that Sunday’s lineup would be a shoe-in for it. The lineup featured T-Model Ford (in his 90’s), B.B. King (who celebrated number 85 over the weekend) and Allen Toussaint (in his 70’s).

Best t-shirt – It’s very difficult to pick this at a festivals because everyone pulls out their number 1 through 3 tees, but I really liked the production company’s tees. Their slogan is – For those about to rock, we produce you.

The Celebrity Look-alike award winner is Jon Diamond, the guitarist in the Dana Fuchs Band who bares a remarkable resemblance to Stanford from the Sex in the City series.

As far as the food goes, the banana egg rolls were awesome and well deserved of a best of award. I had never heard of the dish before, but took the chance on something new and was pleasantly surprised. A banana egg roll is a lightly fried banana smothered in powdered sugar and drizzled with a chocolate sauce. A close second would be the dumplings from Boulder where you can’t go wrong with either the veggie or chicken ones.

Related Posts


Share This