By Chris Aaland | KSUT
Yonder Mountain String Band, Darrell Scott’s Electrifying Trio, Heartless Bastards and Dirtwire will headline the 26th Annual Four Corners Folk Festival on Reservoir Hill in Pagosa Springs over Labor Day weekend, September 2-4.
A variety of tickets are available at ksutpresents.org, including day, weekend, camping, patrons, and vehicle passes.
“We are thrilled to welcome music fans back to Reservoir Hill,” said KSUT General Manager Tami Graham. “The Four Corners Folk Festival is a cultural and social moment for thousands across the region and we look forward to sitting in the big tent with them.”
This year’s lineup includes a variety of artists across a range of genres reflecting the Music Blend, which airs 9 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. each weekday and noon to 3 p.m. each Saturday on KSUT’s Four Corners Public Radio signal.
The festival‘s roots are in acoustic styles like folk, bluegrass and Americana. Artists such as Yonder Mountain String Band, Darrell Scott, Amy Helm and Eliza Gilkyson, all of whom will perform on Reservoir Hill, have been flagship artists of The Music Blend for decades.
Most of the music heard on KSUT’s Four Corners signal falls into the Triple-A and Americana categories. Triple-A, an acronym for Alternative to Adult Albums, is a radio format that has its roots in both the classic album stations of the 1970s and the alternative rock radio programming that developed in the 80s. Radio Americana mixes artists based on traditional American genres like folk, bluegrass, country, blues, jazz, R&B, and early rock and roll, as well as regional or ethnic styles such as Cajun, Zydeco, Celtic and ancient Appalachian music.
KSUT’s Triple-A side is reflected in festival artists like Dirtwire, who mix electro with indigenous music from around the world; gangstagrass, which fuses bluegrass with rap and hip/hop; Heartless Bastards, an indie rock band from Cincinnati; and War and Pierce, a contemporary West Coast R&B/soul duo of punk-influenced folk Sunny War and blues singer/songwriter Chris Pierce.
Americana acts appearing at Pagosa Springs include Yonder Mountain String Band, Darrell Scott’s Electrifying Trio, Amy Helm, Eliza Gilkyson and half a dozen others.
Based at the Southern Ute Indian Tribe campus in Ignacio, KSUT is one of the nation’s oldest tribal radio stations and is committed to including Native American artists in its festival lineups. This year, William Prince, a member of the Peguis First Nation in Canada, will appear. Prince is an acclaimed songwriter whose award-winning compositions include “Breathless”, “The Spark” and “Sing Me a Song”. Following the vision of festival founders Dan Appenzeller and Crista Munro, KSUT remains committed to booking artists from a variety of ethnicities, genders, ages and musical styles.
“The music industry has struggled with equity and inclusion since the advent of phonograph records and radio broadcasts,” said Chris Aaland, director of development at KSUT, which secures talent for the festival. “Yet the roots of America’s greatest musical innovations — rock, blues, jazz, R&B, and even country and bluegrass — can be traced back to African Americans, Native Americans, and immigrants around the world. KSUT’s music lineup and festival lineups reflect this diversity. »
Whether or not a band fits a narrow definition of folk music is subjective. “Louis Armstrong once said, ‘All music is folk music…I never heard a horse sing a song,'” Aaland noted.
KSUT is also committed to introducing listeners to rising stars.
Take, for example, Cristina Vane, a young blues guitarist and songwriter born in Italy, raised in England and France, and educated at Princeton University in the United States. In the past two years, she’s released two albums, topped the Americana, alt-country, and blues charts, toured the country extensively, and even made time to learn new musical styles like old time and bluegrass playing with local musicians. like Durango’s Six Dollar String Band.
Vane will perform Friday afternoon and Saturday morning at Reservoir Hill.
Armchair Boogie is another newcomer. The quartet is a favorite in the Upper Midwest, where its fusion of bluegrass and rock has led to big festival appearances and openings for bands like Yonder Mountain String Band and The Infamous Stringdusters. Armchair Boogie will play Saturday night and Sunday morning.
Other artists appearing at the festival include longtime festival favorites JigJam from Ireland; New England indie rocker Sarah Borges; Amanda Anne Platt and the Honeycutters based in Asheville, North Carolina; Piedmontese bluesman Seth Walker (also appeared in 2021); Pacific Northwest-based folk duo The Honey Dewdrops; and local bluegrass favorites The Badly Bent.
In addition to performers on the Dan Appenzeller Memorial Stage, the festival also includes a late night stage, children’s tent, workshop stage and beer garden for attendees aged 21 and over. A variety of arts and crafts and food vendors will also be on site.
For a full program, to purchase tickets, or for information on each artist, visit ksutpresents.org or email [email protected] Volunteer opportunities are always available.