Bluegrass band Mountain Standard Time performs in Vail

With elements of bluegrass, rock, Latin and Americana, attempting to categorize Mountain Standard Time can be challenging.
Tobin Voggesser | Special to the Daily |

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VAIL — Get ready to dance. Tuesday night’s Hot Summer Nights concert features Mountain Standard Time at the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater. The concert gets underway at 6:30 p.m.

For Mountain Standard Time, there is one focus: making good, honest music. The organic process of expression — from heart to hands to ears — preserves the integrity of the finished product. While the band spends an exhaustive amount of time crafting and perfecting their material, they don’t pay any mind to the rules and confines of genre. With elements of bluegrass, rock, Latin and Americana, attempting to categorize the band can be challenging. Mountain Standard TIme coined the term “free grass” so band members could stop focusing on labeling their music and stick to what they do best: playing it.

As a bluegrass band that’s anything but traditional, Mountain Standard Time follows in the footsteps of such Colorado greats as The String Cheese Incident and Leftover Salmon. While leading acoustically with guitar and mandolin, the band has its own style, boasting a big, full-band sound with keyboards, electric bass, drums and electronic effects.

The band members migrated to Colorado from different regions of the country, bringing wildly diverse musical backgrounds and influences along with them. Their paths eventually crossed in Nederland — a small, Colorado mountain town steeped in bluegrass music. Musical relationships were forged through the camaraderie of late-night jam sessions that characterize the music scene of the Front Range. Shortly after meeting, Mountain Standard Time grew quickly and performed all over Colorado and across the country, with appearances at Wakarusa Music Festival, 10,000 Lakes Festival, Summer Camp Music Festival, and NedFest, among many others.

Those attending the concert at the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater are encouraged to come early to take advantage of the new Hot Summer Happy Hour, where food and beverage specials can be enjoyed from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. before each concert. The Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater is located east of Golden Peak at Ford Park in Vail. Concert attendees are asked to park at the main Vail Village parking structure, with overflow parking at the Lionshead parking structure. For added convenience, the free Town of Vail shuttles will run extended routes past Golden Peak from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m., with a drop off at the soccer field near the Ford Amphitheater. Additionally, a special Village-to-Village express bus will run from 4 to 9:30 p.m. with stops at the east entrance of the Lionshead parking structure, in front of the Vail Village Information Center and at Ford Park.

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Once inside the concert venue, picnics with commercially-sealed non-alcoholic beverages are permitted, as are legless lawn chairs, blankets and umbrellas. Bikes, skateboards and dogs are prohibited at the Amphitheater. A concession area with a full grill and bar service is available.

For more information on Hot Summer Nights, visit and follow Vail Free Concerts on Facebook. The final Hot Summer Nights concert takes place Aug. 27 when Ky-Mani Marley performs.

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