Day 3 of the 20th annual Telluride Blues and Brews festival kicked off at the Telluride Elks Lodge with the Solo Acoustic Blues Competition as a part of the Blues for Breakfast series. For only $10 festivarians are invited to enjoy a delicious buffet style breakfast and listen as 6 blues musicians compete for $300, a custom acoustic "Dobrato" valued at over $1200, and a 30 minute Side Stage performance. The 2013 winner was voted on by a panel of distinguished judges and this year was awarded to Laura Meyer, a rocking female blues singer/songwriter from New York.
Gates opened with much anticipation for the Grand Tasting featuring 56 microbreweries from all over the US. For 3 hours, festivarians were able to sample and vote on their favorite microbrews while rocking out to Kim Churchill, The Selwyn Birchwood Band, and The New Mastersounds. This year the Telluride Brewing Company took home "Best in Fest" and was crowned as the Telluride Blues and Brews Grand Tasting Champion.
New Orlean's very own Rebirth Brass Band closed down the tasting with sounds of funk, hip-hop, and Latin influences. Festival regular Otis Taylor followed up Rebirth with his "trance blues" style harmonies and banjo picking.
The evening continued with Grammy award winning Grateful Dead drummer Mickey Hart and his band. The Rock and Roll Hall of Famer and his crew of talented musicians filled the box canyon with sounds of world music and familiar favorites from the Grateful Dead including "Fire on the Mountain", "Bertha", and "I Know You Rider".
As night fell so did the rain. That didn't stop Festivarians from dancing in the mud and listening to Saturday night's headliner Jim James. The front man for My Morning Jacket put on an amazing theatrical performance featuring numerous songs from his new solo album Regions of Light and Sounds of God.
Day 3 was filled with everything you would ever want from a Telluride Blues and Brews festival. Blues, brews, and foggy memories that hopefully last a lifetime.