The Del McCoury Band at RockyGrass 2021 – photo by Kevin Slick
RockyGrass returned to Lyons, Colorado with an incredible weekend that, while having smaller crowds (by design) featured all the things that “Festavarians” have come to expect from this iconic event.
RockyGrass is known for it’s all star jams, usually at the end of the night where musicians tear through old standards and while that happened on schedule this year, two of the highlights featured all star ensembles that didn’t jam but rather played carefully arranged works.
Friday night was the Tony Rice Tribute that put Chris Eldridge, Béla Fleck, Sam Bush, Mark Schatz, David Grisman, Jerry Douglas, Bryan Sutton, and Michael Cleveland on stage to honor the music and life of Tony Rice. Several of the musicians on stage shared memories of Rice and it was the event people were talking about all weekend. The festival closed with Béla Fleck’s new project, “My Bluegrass Heart,” with a similar all star line up: Sierra Hull, Justin Moses, Michael Cleveland, Bryan Sutton, and Mark Schatz. Justin Moses gets the MVP award as he played dobro, fiddle, mandolin, and banjo during the set, at one point even putting down his dobro after a break and running to the other side of the stage mid-song to pick up a fiddle and join Michael Cleveland in some twin fiddle work.