Ten of the Best Bluegrass Bands in Colorado - 2016 Edition

Highland Ramblers
Highland Ramblers
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5. Highland Ramblers
Formed in 2008, this traditional troupe plays a mixture of standards and originals (as is the norm for bluegrass bands), and the players refer to their music as “boot-stomping bluegrass Americana,” which is quite a fair description. You listen, you stomp your boots. Simple as. 

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4. Masontown
There’s something special that happens when young bluegrass bands interpret traditional tunes. The energy brings something old and dusty back from the musical grave, especially when performed as proficiently and enthusiastically as they are by Masontown. The band offers an exciting take on what may seem played out, and that’s a thrill.

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3. Oakhurst
Denver band Oakhurst is quite proud of its new album, Barrel, partly because it was recorded in Nashville with producer Joe Pisapia of KD Lang and Ben Folds 5 fame. But these guys don’t need anybody else’s star power. They write great songs, they’re excellent musicians, and their harmonies are superb.

Mollie O'Brien
Mollie O'Brien
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2. Mollie O'Brien
Yep, we have a Grammy winner in our midst. Mollie O’Brien may be from West Virginia, but she lives in Denver now, and she’s a bona fide bluegrass great. She’s perhaps best known for her collaborations, either with her brother Tim O’Brien or her husband, Rich Moore. But she can more than hold her own while performing solo, and she has the voice of an angel.

Thunder & RainEXPAND
Thunder & Rain
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1. Thunder & Rain
Formed in 2014 in Golden, Thunder & Rain is one of the youngest bands on this list, but the group makes it in on merit. The same year that the musicians came together, they recorded debut album Holler Out with the help of a fan-funded Kickstarter campaign. While Thunder & Rain has a trad side, there are pop elements to the band's songs that make them appealing to both old-school bluegrass shitkickers and people who just love great melodies.

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