Telluride, 6:15 p.m. June 23 – When the seating area directly in front of the stage at the Telluride Bluegrass Festival fills up with a gaggle of musicians, you know there’s a musician’s musician onstage. They were all there to hear Jerry Douglas, dobro player extraordinaire, play HIS kind of music. So one of bluegrass music’s instrumental stars started off with a sweet solo version of “Spain” (by Return to Forever) and “A Remark You Made” (by Weather Report) with his bandmates: jazz-rock drum star Omar Hakim, bassist Victor Krauss and a rising fiddle star, Luke Bulla. I’ve never successfully minted a label to describe the kind of genre-fusing instrumental music Douglas and cohorts play but it sounds blissful to me.
Now on stage: As smoke fogs this box canyon from a fire in Mancos, torch singer k.d. lang is wowing and charming a crowd that was throwing marshmalllows at Yonder Mountain String Band 30 minutes ago.