Pagosa hosts Labor Day Weekend's
biggest variety show
|Eddie From Ohio
This year’s eighth annual Four Corners
Folk Festival, in Pagosa Springs, promises not to disappoint
whatever your age. Not only does this year’s festival
have an eclectic, entertaining line-up, but the kids’
tent is better than ever, and the festival has moved back
to its original site atop Reservoir Hill, overlooking
the San Juans.
“I think we’ll have a good turnout this year,”
said festival Executive Director Crista Munro. “People
are realizing that they need a relaxing and fun weekend.”
Munro, along with her husband, Dan Appenzeller, put on
the first festival in 1996 with acts ranging from the
then pre-pubescent Nickel Creek to the now late John Hartford.
Since then, the festival has grown exponentially and brought
in such headliners as Tim O’Brien, Allison Brown,
Sam Bush and Bela Fleck.
This year, the music kicks off Friday, Aug. 29, with
local band The Pagosa Hot Strings. All under the age of
19, these guys are a promising hope that bluegrass will
the test of time for one more generation. Friday’s
festivities will close with The Wayfaring Strangers, a
band that fuses jazz, swing and traditional folk to create
a sound all its own.
On Saturday, Aug. 30, festival favorite Darrel Scott
will take the stage with guests John Cowan and Nick Forster.
Scott has established himself as an entertaining performer
and songwriter, writing No. 1 hits for the Dixie Chicks,
Travis Tritt, Sara Evans and Garth Brooks. Following Scott,
Tony Furtado and the American Gypsies will make their
fourth appearance at the festival, and Grammy-nominated
fiddler and dancer Natalie MacMaster will close Saturday
On Sunday, the audience will be treated to the Laura
Love Band and a sound that’s been described as folk-funk,
Afro-Celt and Hip-apachian. Following her performance,
Drew Emmitt, Leftover Salmon headman, will take the stage
with John Cowan. The festival will come to a close with
perennial favorites Eddie from Ohio, marking the fourth
year the band has played the festival. Over this time,
the band that actually is not from Ohio has built a loyal
following in the Southwest with its thought-provoking
lyrics and on-stage antics.
Despite the festival’s stunning surrounding, it’s
real beauty may be the unknown bands that it brings to
the stage each year, according to Munro.
“This year we’ve tried to balance the well-known
artists with the unknowns,” she said. “We
like exposing audiences to the new frontier of music.”
This year, those unknowns include Wisechild, a funky,
bluegrass band that just finished its summer tour opening
for John Mayer and Counting Crows. Also making
its first Folk Festival appearance will be the Bill Hilly
Band. Hailing from British Columbia, this band has forged
its own style of acoustic down-home music and will take
the stage Friday and Sunday.
Ruthie Foster will play twice as well, giving audiences
a taste of with raw vocal talent, which has been compared
with Aretha Franklin and Etta James. On Friday, she will
showcase her original music laced with blues, roots and
folk, followed by a gospel set on Sunday.
Munro said this year’s festival has strong draws
throughout the weekend, and ticket sales have reflected
that. “This year ticket sales are high for both
days,” she said, promising a balance of acts and
an unforgettable weekend.
In addition to music, the festival boasts a climbing
wall, alpacas, spinning and weaving presentations, and
the always popular kid’s tent. Munro said this year’s
kids’ program is better than ever and will provide
live entertainment from Mysto the Magi, storyteller Sara
Ransom, and Creative Dance, as well as musical performances
and arts and crafts.
Like past years, camping will be located on Reservoir
Hill, overlooking Pagosa Springs. “The city of Pagosa
Springs has embraced the festival and been accommodating
to our needs,” said Munro. “The city helps
our festival because it associates good memories with
As always, festival goers can expect to be part an eclectic
crowd, according to Munro. Audience members will range
anywhere from high school and college students to senior
citizens, as well as a big chunk of 30- and 40-somethings.
“We try to appeal to a wide variety of listeners,”