Last weekend, WinterWonderGrass Colorado successfully celebrated 10 years of beloved bluegrass gatherings, roots, and sold-out libations in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. The gathering marked the sixth time the event had taken place in Steamboat Springs and the tenth year of partying ski-side. total. To celebrate the historic moment, the event hosted a large number of sit-ins to accompany the snowfall and plenty of craft beers to keep festival-goers warm.
Friday marked the start of the event, which welcomed the festival’s original headliners, the Infamous Stringdusters, Greensky Bluegrass and Tyler Grant, with the day featuring performances by Pickin’ on the Dead and John Mailander, who performed in bluegrass the Grateful Dead catalogue. Lindsay Lou and Kyle Tuttle teamed up for “Eyes of the World,” and Leftover Salmon’s Andy Thorn added his banjo skills to a jam of “Scarlet Begonias > Throwing Stones > Truckin’.”
The Kitchen Dwellers also took to the main stage on opening day, and were joined by Sicard Hollow’s Parrish Gabriel, as their regular bassist Joe Funk awaited the birth of their first child. The final main stage event showcased the Infamous String Dusters, who welcomed John Mailander and Kyle Tuttle to cover Bill Emerson’s “Home of the Red Fox.” Aj Lee also joined them for a cover of the classic Bill Monroe song “Molly & Tenbrooks.”
On Saturday, the gathering was opened by Steamboat Springs’ Buffalo Commons, marking its festival debut. Tyler Grant joined them for “Patterns > In These Hands > Morning Fire” from their 2022 LP. patterns, which produced Neil Francis and Paul Cauthen also made their respective WinterWonderGrass debuts. Saturday was closed by Leftover Salmon. They held “Powder Days” in recognition of the skiing they had enjoyed earlier that day. As fireworks exploded over the Steamboat Resort, they played Doc Watson’s “Deep River Blues.” Lindsay Lou also joined them for a cover of Townes van Zandt’s “Two Hands.”
Earlier in the day, the side stage tents saw performances by AJ Lee & Blue Summit, Tenth Mountain Division, Sicard Hollow and all-female powerhouse WinterWonderWomen, featuring Lindsay Lou alongside Megan Letts, Michelle Pietrafitta, Emma Rose, Bridget Law, Avril Smith and special guest artists Amanda Grapes, Kimber Ludiker, Nina Waters, along with Carrie McCune.
The final day of WinterWonderGrass enjoyed a flurry of snow as the Big Richard String Ensemble welcomed the crowd. Then came The Lil Smokies, welcoming sit-ins from Greensky Bluegrass’ Kyle Tuttle, Lou and Paul Hoffman. Hoffman would return to the stage later that day to perform two back-to-back main stage performances with his full ensemble. Mark Morris joined the group on “Fixin’ to Run” and “Monument” during their first set. The second set welcomed Lou for Reverend Gary Davis’ “In Control” and “I Belong to the Band.” John Mailander and Jake Simpson of the Lil Smokies added fiddle to Greensky Bluegrass’s “Windshield” and a cover of John Hartford’s “Vamp in the Middle.” Earlier in the day, the event featured performances by Mama Magnolia, Saints & Lairs, and the Trey Wellington Band.
The party was booked with the final set performed by Pickin’ on the Dead on the Soapbox side stage for the festival’s 10th anniversary party.
WinterWonderGrass California will take place from March 31 to April 2 in Palisades Tahoe, California. Find tickets and learn more here.