The Boulder Theater is bringing together four bands in the bluegrass, newgrass, and old-time realm for a mini festival on February 13.

The "Winter Bluegrass Extravaganza," featuring Shanti Groove, Steep Canyon Rangers, Open Road, and High on the Hog, starts at 8 p.m., Friday, February 13. Tickets range from $10-$12 for the all-ages event and are available from the Boulder Theater Box office at 303-786-7030 or from The Boulder Theater is located at 2032 14th St. in downtown Boulder.

Shanti Grove
There's something for everyone at this event: three Colorado-based bands and a North Carolina group that built a fan base here when they won the RockyGrass band competition a couple years ago. The styles of music range from Shanti Groove's bluegrass/funk hybrid with drums, to the all-acoustic five-piece bluegrass bands Steep Canyon Rangers and Open Road, as well as up and coming string band High on the Hog.

These bands have more in common than just their roots in acoustic music. All are young bands with growing numbers of devoted fans, and they play original music in addition to traditional numbers. It's been reported that all bands have played to seas of crazed dancers, and most have also played for gray-haired audiences (sometimes even at the same show).

The evening begins with High On the Hog, a four-piece based in Nederland that is inspired by old-time string band music, noting that it is the "wellspring of American music" and "it contains the seeds of what would become the driving forces behind bluegrass, jam-based rock 'n' roll, and electronic dance music in the second half of the Twentieth Century," according to the band's bio. High on the Hog released their first CD in 2003. The band's 2004 tour plans include Colorado, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Arkansas. High on the Hog's web site is

Next on the stage is Open Road, the Northern Colorado-based group that hit the national scene with their Rounder Records release Cold Wind in 2002. The band's next Rounder release is expected in spring 2004, and their tour plans for 2004 include Washington D.C., New York City, Los Angeles, The San Francisco Bluegrass & Old-Time Festival, The Folk Alliance conference, South by Southwest, Old Settler's Festival in Austin, TX, and Colorado's own RockyGrass festival. Open Road's web site is

Steep Canyon Rangers
Performing next are out-of-towners Steep Canyon Rangers, the North Carolina group that won first place in the 2001 RockyGrass band competition. The Rangers' 2002 album Mr. Taylor's New Home, released on Bonfire Records and distributed by Redeye, received national recognition and appeared often on the Bluegrass Now Top 30 chart. The Steep Canyon Rangers' new CD is planned for a spring 2004 release on Rebel Records, and the band's 2004 tour plans include North Carolina, Georgia, Colorado, Florida, Mississippi, the Sante Fe Bluegrass & Old Time Music Festival, and the Bean Blossom Old-Time Music Festival. You can get more information at The Rangers' web site:

Closing out the night is Boulder County-based Shanti Groove, a band named as a Band to See in 2004: "electrically infused tapestries of groove with a blend of banjo, mandolin, acoustic guitar, and bass, with funky drumming." Tour plans for 2004 include Colorado, New Mexico, and Wyoming. Shanti Groove's web site is

Amy Reinholds
JamBase | Colorado
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[Published on: 1/17/04]

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