It’s about to get real hot in Telluride, and we couldn’t be more psyched for one of our favorite festivals of the year. Telluride Blues & Brews Festival, born of music and beer, is bringing more than 30 bands to the heart of the Colorado Rockies. Blues & Brews has a long history of bringing in killer acts like Robert Plant, Ben Harper and Charlie Musselwhite, The Allman Brothers Band, and B.B. King, to name a few. For four days, Sept. 12-15, y’all can catch some of the biggest blues names in the music industry on stage in Telluride, and we highly suggest that you do.
Unfortunately, while they were originally slated to play, Phil Lesh and the Terrapin Family Band cancelled their Sunday night performance due to an upcoming surgery for Lesh. Obviously, we were super psyched to see them in action but we wish them all well and Lesh a speedy recovery. The Telluride Blues and Brews staff is working to find a replacement act.
Good thing there’s plenty of other acts to catch! If you can’t make it to all the shows, though, we highly recommend that you check out some of these top acts, which will be lighting up the stages at this year’s fest.
John FogertyFRIDAY, SEPT. 13 AT 8 P.M. ON THE MAIN STAGE
Why on earth would you even consider missing seeing Creedence Clearwater Revival founder John Fogerty in the flesh? Unless you’ve been kidnapped by aliens, there’s really no good reason, and even that excuse is a little iffy. John Fogerty and his brother Tom, along with Stu Cook and Doug Clifford, pounded out hit classics like “Have You Ever Seen the Rain,” “Lookin’ Out My Back Door,” and “Down on the Corner” in the late 1960s and early ’70s. Unfortunately, the band split in the 1970s, but their spirit lives on. After going radio silent, John emerged in 1985 with “Centerfield” and got himself a Grammy after he released “Blue Moon Swamp.” You can hear John’s love of rock ‘n’ roll in every one of his tunes, and you’d regret missing even a second of this Rock and Roll Hall of Famer’s act.
Ryan BinghamFRIDAY, SEPT. 13 AT 6:10 P.M. ON THE MAIN STAGE
Nothing screams blues more than Ryan Bingham and his new record, “American Love Songs.” It takes you through all the feels and when you see him live, he’ll undoubtedly do the same. We’re not crying. YOU ARE. This is the native New Mexican’s first album in four years, and we can’t wait to see him in action. Ryan was born in New Mexico and grew up all across Texas and the Southwest. He caught the music bug early and traveled across the country playing in dive bars. You may have even heard his work in the film “Crazy Heart,” which features his song, “The Weary Kind.” This scene stealer earned Bingham an Academy Award, a Golden Globe, a Critics Choice Award for Best Song of the Year, and a Grammy. Pretty impressive if you ask us. Anyway, between his gravelly voice, poetic lyrics, and soothing essence, well, there’s just no reason to miss this guy.
Tab BenoitFRIDAY, SEPT. 13 AT 10 P.M. ON THE BLUES STAGE; SATURDAY, SEPT. 14 AT 6:10-7:20 P.M. ON THE MAIN STAGE
Tab Benoit’s animated performances and killer riffs deliver the spicy blues performances we didn’t know we needed. Sometimes referred to as “the healer of souls and mender of broken hearts,” Benoit’s southern Louisiana drawl draws you in like bees to honey. This blues legend has been hitting up clubs and spinning his music since he was a wee lad. Benoit was inducted in the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame in 2010, and in 2007, the Blues Music Awards honored him with the B.B. King Entertainer of the Year award. In 2012, the BMA recognized him again with not just the B.B. King award, but the Best Contemporary Blues Album for his 2011 album, “Medicine,” and Contemporary Blues Male Artist. Can we just give him all the awards already? Not only is he a great musician, Benoit is also a great human. He founded the conservation group Voice of the Wetlands, which spreads awareness about the fragile wetlands ecosystem along the Louisiana coastline.
Boz ScaggsSATURDAY, SEPT. 14 AT 8 P.M. ON THE MAIN STAGE
If you don’t know who Boz Scaggs is, are you even a blues fan? Between his insanely popular album “Silk Degrees,” which gifted us with songs like “Lido Shuffle” and “Lowdown,” Scaggs is a blues god. His soulful beats will instantly put you in a good mood on the worst days and those pipes of his will make you feel like you’re in a moody jazz lounge. Better get to dancing! Apparently knowing he was destined for greatness, Scaggs left school to check out the London R&B scene and the psychedelic beats in San Francisco in 1967. He eventually hooked up with his buddy, Steve Miller, (maybe you’ve heard of him?) and worked on the Steve Miller Band’s first two records. In 1976, he released “Silk Degrees,” and, well, the rest is history, folks. These days, he’s done collaborations with the likes of Donald Fagen, Michael McDonald, Bonnie Raitt, and Lucinda Williams. He released his latest record, “Out of the Blues”, in 2018, which is an excellent nod to his early blues and rock ‘n’ roll influences.
Anders OsborneSATURDAY, SEPT. 14 AT 10 P.M. ON THE BLUES STAGE; SUNDAY, SEPT. 15 AT 5:10 P.M. ON THE MAIN STAGE
Anders Osborne’s guitar work alone is worth the drive up to Telluride. This longtime Telluride festival performer is the king of modern electric blues. Osborne has a knack for making you feel alive with his deeply personal lyrics, and just try not getting down to his soul-filled guitar solos. Just try. This amazing human also founded Send Me A Friend, a network of volunteers who help support those trying to stay sober. Osborne has been a regular at Blues & Brews since 2008, and “it’s not Telluride Blues & Brews without Anders Osborne.”
An earlier version of this story reported that Phil Lesh and the Terrapin Family Band would perform Sunday evening on the Main Stage. On Augt. 27, the band announced they cancelled their Telluride appearance due to Lesh’s upcoming surgery. Telluride Blues and Brews is working on a replacement.Amanda Push