Blue Canyon Boys

"High octane" is a phrase that reviewers sometimes use to describe The Blue Canyon Boys. The audience at this year's Beartrap will have a chance to see them rev up their Bluegrass-powered musical engine.

The Boys clearly haven't been letting any grass grow under their microphones. They won at Telluride, represented the United States and Bluegrass music at the 14th annual Rainforest World Music Festival in Sarawak, Malaysia, on the island of Borneo, and their CDs have gotten healthy airplay around the U.S. and the world. One of the CDs has already sold out.

Members include Gary Dark on mandolin, Jason Hicks on guitar, Drew Garrett on bass, and award-winning Zach Daniels on banjo. “Some of what we do isn’t strictly traditional Bluegrass,” Hicks says. “To many people it will still sound like Bluegrass, but traditionalists are going to find it much more riff and groove based. It’s got a pulse to it.”

That pulse has led reviewers such as Nina Dropcho, Bluegrass DJ on Colorado's KDNK, to exult: “The Blue Canyon Boys are, seriously, one of the very best Bluegrass bands on the planet. If you need reminding, listen to House Full of Sorrow (“Stormy Waters”, “I Want You to Want Me”), and then Mountain Bound (“Follow the Leader”, “Molly & Tenbrooks”, any and all)."

Hicks tells about the recording process that brings their songs to life: "We record and mix at our bassist Drew Garrett’s home studio and we really go over things with a fine comb. We don’t like to over-produce albums. I feel that a lot of bluegrass albums are kind of sterile. You know, a good live bluegrass band isn’t necessarily going to make a good bluegrass album, and a good studio bluegrass band isn’t necessarily going to make a good live bluegrass show. We’ve learned from our past about some of the things that don’t work live.”

And reviewers love the results. Maria Bakkalapulo, a reporter from National Geographic, commented in an article about the Rainforest performance, "The Blue Canyon Boys from Colorado were one of the festival highlights with their pitch-perfect harmonies and sweet-sounding Bluegrass music performed with real panache.”

Dave Wilson, Bluegrass On The Bay in Great Falls, Montana, called them, “Without a doubt, the BEST bluegrass band we’ve ever had. They received a standing ovation, something I have never seen before at Bluegrass on the Bay. The Blue Canyon Boys are pros through and through, every single one of them is not only a monster on their individual instruments, but their voices blend almost in family harmony. I was, and continue to be, impressed by them."

The secret ingredients? Powerhouse instruments, golden harmonies. Fueled by some high octane.

More From Geekd Con