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Various Artists

Telluride Bluegrass Festival: 30 Years – 2005 (Rounder)

Reviewed by David McPherson

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Down in the valley, in a boxed canyon city where the wind is pure, a little festival that grew celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2003. With this CD/DVD, the the down home spirit that marks this annual bluegrass festival set amongst Colorado's San Juan Mountains is perfectly captured.

"Telluride Bluegrass Festival: 30 Years" features performances by everyone from local legends Hot Rize to purveyors of the new grass movement such as Nickel Creek and Australia's The Waifs. Sam Bush - a newgrass and bluegrass fusion mandolin mensch - rightfully gets the most play here since he's been around as long as the festival and has been a regular performer for many years. Highlights include his performances with the other veteran pickers and singers, including "Deeper and Deeper" with B+la Fleck and John Cowan, and "Two More Bottles of Wine" with Emmylou Harris.

The disc closes with a grand old hoedown as most of the performers share the stage covering the old time standard "Blue Moon of Kentucky." Filled with backstage interviews, intimate jam sessions, and historical footage, all captured in 5.1 surround sound, the DVD is perfect for those unable to travel to this annual festival.