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Pagosa Folk ’N Bluegrass back in action this weekend

Asheville, North Carolina-based Town Mountain will be in Pagosa Springs for this weekend’s Pagosa Folk ’N Bluegrass Festival. (Courtesy)
Festival offers music, camping, other activities

The 15th annual Pagosa Folk ’N Bluegrass Festival is back this weekend after having to cancel in 2021 because of COVID-19.

It will be a weekend of camping, workshops, fun things for kids to do and music.

Lots of music.

Starting today (June 10) and running through Sunday, the festival will feature pretty much non-stop music on both its Main Stage and Late Night Stage. Bands scheduled to play include: Sarah Shook and the Disarmers, FY5, Greg Schochet and Little America, Bonnie & Taylor Sims Band, Lil Smokies, Tony Furtado and Eilen Jewel, among many more.

One of the groups taking the stage this year is Asheville, North Carolina-based Town Mountain, which will perform at 10 p.m. Saturday on the Late Night Stage and at 3:30 p.m. Sunday on the Main Stage.

Town Mountain, which has been together for the better part of 15 years, features guitarist and vocalist Robert Greer, banjoist Jesse Langlais, mandolinist Phil Barker, fiddler Bobby Britt and Zach Smith on bass. The guys are also joined by Miles Miller on drums.

While the band has been on the scene for a decent stretch, and has collaborated with some of contemporary roots music’s heavy hitters including Tyler Childers, Jerry Douglas, Billy Strings, that doesn’t mean the Town Mountain has stopped growing and evolving musically, Smith said.

“The lineup has stayed relatively the same, but I would say just sound and songwriting; it’s not like they started traditional bluegrass and stayed traditional bluegrass,” he said. “It’s very much influenced by all three songwriters’ influences, which really span the gamut from jazz to hard rock to classic country. It makes for really fun music.”

If you go

WHAT: Pagosa Folk ’N Bluegrass Festival.

WHEN: Today (June 10) through Sunday.

WHERE: Reservoir Hill Park, 320 Hot Springs Blvd., Pagosa Springs.

TICKETS: For pricing and to buy tickets, visit https://bit.ly/3Q51MOB.

MORE INFORMATION: Visit www.ksutpresents.org.

It also makes it difficult to pin Town Mountain to any particular genre, he said, which can be both a blessing and kind of a curse when it comes to getting the music out over the airwaves.

“Definitely hard to get on Bluegrass Junction on Sirius XM, you know, or even like Outlaw Country because it’s just not specifically one thing or the other,” Smith said. “It’s very much genre-bending, which is really fun but can be difficult when it comes to airplay and stuff.”

But that may soon change: Town Mountain just signed with New West Records ... and, the band has said, even bigger plans are on the way (stay tuned for an announcement in the upcoming weeks).

Along with the new record deal, Smith said the band is glad to begin touring again after taking a year and a half off because of the pandemic.

“I guess we started traveling again back in the fall of last year, there was that brief period where we thought everything was over, and so we started back again and it always sort of died off in the wintertime and then we’ve just been hitting it heavy through the spring and now into the summer and through the summer,” he said. “Our touring is not like going out on the road for three months straight and then taking two months off like some bands do. We have two dads in the band now, so nobody wants to be in Tuscaloosa on a Monday playing for nobody. We’re definitely busy right now and it feels so good after having 18 months of no touring.”

And for Smith, who has been with Town Mountain for about five and a half years – and was actually a fan of the band before joining – this will be his first trip to Pagosa.

“When I first started playing with the band, one of my first gigs with them was the Durango Bluegrass Meltdown, and I fell in love with that part of Colorado. Before then, I’d only really been to Denver,” he said. “I’ve never been to Pagosa – the lineup is slam-packed full of people I enjoy watching and listening to. So it’s going to be a fun weekend, for sure.”

katie@durangoherald.com

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