Po’ Ramblin’ Boys lean into one at the 2019 MidWinter Bluegrass Festival – photo by Kevin Slick
Another big early festival this past weekend was in Colorado, the 34th annual MidWinter Bluegrass Festival in Denver, hosted from its inception by Ken Seaman and The Bluegrass Patriots.
Like so many others of its kind, the event was launched in 1986 as a chance for the bluegrass community to get out and enjoy some music – and some jamming – while the winter snows are still on the ground.
Kevin Slick, President of the Colorado Bluegrass Music Society, sent along some photos from the festival, along with this brief report of the annual awards bestowed by the Society during the weekend’s festivities.
The Colorado Bluegrass Music Society held their annual awards show at the MidWinter Bluegrass Festival in Denver, Colorado on Saturday February 16th. The Society was founded in 1972 when Bill Monroe was playing in Boulder, CO and met with local bluegrass fans and musicians with an idea to start a festival in the Rocky Mountain state where he could play on trips across the country.
This year CBMS inducted original member Conway Gandy into the Hall of Honor (posthumously) with current board member, and original founder, Gene Milligan sharing stories about the early days of the Society, including tales of the Father of Bluegrass staying at his house whenever he traveled to Colorado. Eric Thorin, well known bass player and teacher was inducted this weekend as well, but was out of town on another gig so board members shared stories of his work in building the local bluegrass community.
Long time editor of the CBMS Newsletter, Garian Vigil joined the Hall of Honor, a perfect example of the people who often work out of the spotlight but are essential to the long term vibrancy and health of any musical community. Kit Simon, well known guitar picker and owner of the Olde Town Picking Parlour was honored for his years of helping musicians find that perfect instrument, as well as opening the store to workshops and concerts.
The awards show ended with a jam featuring the Bluegrass and Old Time faculty of the University of Northern Colorado, members of the CBMS Board of Directors, The Blue Canyon Boys, Lonesome Days, and Masontown – a real Colorado Bluegrass celebration.