Greensky Bluegrass plays in West Vail |

Greensky Bluegrass plays in West Vail

Special to the DailyGreensky Bluegrass, who perform in West Vail, Colorado Thursday, use traditional bluegrass instrument in new ways

VAIL, Colorado “-Greensky Bluegrass, a five-piece bluegrass band from Kalamazoo, Mich., will perform at the Sandbar in West Vail, Colorado Thursday night. Tickets are $8 and the show starts at 10 p.m.

The band plays traditional bluegrass instruments and uses them to create original songs and soundscapes that are unique and new, yet somehow feel comfortable and familiar. Though they have been likened to ’70s era Americana acts like The Band, Greensky would prefer not to be compared to any other bands.

“We really just try to make music as a group that sounds and feels right to us,” said mandolin player Paul Hoffman, later adding that “it is nice to know that other people really dig it, too.”

While “green sky” is the opposite of “blue grass,” the band insists that the name came about as more of a pun than a statement about their music.

“Along with the tradition of bluegrass, we all have lots of different musical influences that we bring to the table,” said guitar player Dave Bruzza, “and we somehow wanted to reflect that in our name.”

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Upon witnessing the band’s live shows, this statement seems to make a little more sense. On any given night, in addition to the myriad of original songs, one might hear traditional bluegrass songs with an exploratory rock and roll jam or selections from the Talking Heads, Jimi Hendrix, The Grateful Dead or Bob Marley turned bluegrass.

“We are as likely to play a three-minute song as we are a 10-minute song on any given night,” said dobro player Anders Beck. “And I think that keeps it exciting for the audience.”

Greensky Bluegrass is touring in support of their recently released fourth album, “Five Interstates,” which was produced by Tim Carbone of Railroad Earth. The album, their strongest to date, features 12 original tracks and one traditional bluegrass song (a nod to the deceased King of Bluegrass, Jimmy Martin) and showcases the band’s songwriting and playing talents in a way that is accessible to fans of many different types of music.

“‘Five Interstates’ came together like five lives intertwined, the intersection of a lifetime frozen in precious time and preserved in a digital tableau,” Carbone said. “I’m blessed … We’re all blessed to be witness to a band ascending as true as an arrow shot to the sky.”

What: Greensky Bluegrass. Third Wind, a rootsy Americana Colorado band opens

When: 10 p.m., Thursday

Where: Sandbar, West Vail

Cost: $8

More information: Call Sandbar at 970-476-4314 or visit

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