The genre of bluegrass has its generations, with Bill Monroe and the Stanley Brothers of the first generation blending it’s way into the second generation of JD Crowe, Seldom Scene, Del McCoury and many others. Similarly, Colorado has its bluegrass generations prominently starting with Hot Rize and the Bluegrass Patriots, and leading into the Left Hand String Band from the 80’s and 90’s. In the early 2000’s the Blue Canyon Boys formed and over the past 20 years they have landed themselves solidly atop Colorado’s second generation in the bluegrass tier.
The Blue Canyon Boys are equal parts purists and innovators when it comes to Bluegrass: they stay true to the form’s roots while constantly reimagining their relationship to tradition. Never settling for the same-old-same-old nor comfortable sitting back and going through the motions, the Blue Canyon Boys continuously quest for the song and the sound that drives their collective bluegrass spirit. The result is a toe- tapping mix of haunting standards, genre-bending arrangements, and catchy original numbers—all built on the bedrock of their collective bluegrass mastery.
Ever since founding members Jason Hicks and Gary Dark launched the Blue Canyon Boys in 2003, the Blue Canyon Boys have raised the bar for bluegrass bands. They bring it all: seamless brother-duet style, crisp instrumentation, unvarnished lyrics and subversive humor. After winning first place in the 2008 Telluride Bluegrass festival band contest, the Blue Canyon Boys went off at full tilt, taking the bluegrass circuit by storm, performing in illustrious venues across the country as well as internationally.
Their distinctive sound, honed from two decades of performing together, moves easily from instrumental wizardry to playful ribbing. Ultimately and repeatedly, they hit a high note—the rare confluence of harmony that leaves the soul ajar.
The seasoned quartet features Gary Dark on mandolin, Jason Hicks on guitar, Drew Garrett on bass, and Chris Roszell on banjo. Their latest album, aptly titled “7”, is perhaps their most polished and poignant yet. Classic bluegrass, clean and raw, blends effortlessly with the band’s homegrown compositions, then peppered with a judicious cover or two, such as the band’s riveting take on Warren Zevon’s “Carmelita”. Whether calling on their old timey musical roots or reconnoitering the future, the band’s musical prowess never wavers. This is high lonesome sound at its best: a driving pulse that weaves through harmonies and fierce rhythms, always with the reminder that as long as the music plays we are never quite alone.