The Blue Canyon Boys
The Blue Canyon Boys are equal parts purists and innovators when it comes to Bluegrass: they stay true to the form’s roots while constantly reimagining their relationship to tradition. The result is a toe-tapping mix of haunting standards, genre-bending arrangements, and catchy original numbers—all built on the bedrock of their collective bluegrass mastery.
Ever since founding members Jason Hicks and Gary Dark launched the Blue Canyon Boys in 2006, the Blue Canyon Boys have raised the bar for bluegrass bands. They bring it all: seamless brother-duet style, crisp instrumentation, unvarnished lyrics and subversive humor. After winning first place 2008 Telluride Bluegrass festival band contest, the Blue Canyon Boys went off at full tilt, taking the bluegrass circuit by storm, performing in illustrious venues across the country as well as internationally.
Their distinctive sound, honed from over a decade of performing together, moves easily from instrumental wizardry to playful ribbing. Ultimately and repeatedly, they hit a high note—the rare confluence of harmony that leaves the soul ajar.
The seasoned quartet features Gary Dark on mandolin, Jason Hicks on guitar, Drew Garrett on bass, and Chris Roszell on banjo. Their acclaimed album, eponymously called The Blue Canyon Boys, was perhaps their most polished and poignant. Classic bluegrass, clean and raw, blends effortlessly with the band’s homegrown compositions, then peppered with a judicious cover or two, such as the band’s riveting take on Pink Floyd’s “Time.”
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Whether calling on their old timey musical roots or reconnoitering the future, the band’s musical prowess never wavers. This is high lonesome sound at its best: a driving pulse that weaves through harmonies and fierce rhythms, always with the reminder that as long as the music plays we are never quite alone.
Here’s what people are saying about the Blue Canyon Boys:
“The Blue Canyon Boys from Colorado were one of the festival highlights with their pitch-perfect harmonies and sweet sounding blue-grass music performed with real panache.” (Maria Bakkalapulo, National Geographic – reporting on the 2011 Rainforest World Music Festival held in Sarawak-Borneo, Malaysia)
“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. 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 and I want you to know they did a GREAT JOB for us.” – Dave Wilson, Bluegrass On The Bay, Great Falls, Montana
“With their tight instrumentation and some of the very best harmony I’ve ever heard, the Blue Canyon Boys really know how to please their audiences. I’ve seen them perform several times and I’ve never been disappointed.” – Doris Gray, President, Colorado Bluegrass Music Society
“This is the third release by Colorado bluegrass quartet the Blue Canyon Boys. The group, who won the band competition at last year’s Telluride Bluegrass Festival, sports impressive instrumental chops and two powerful lead vocalists in mandolin player Gary Dark and guitarist Jason Hicks, with bassist Drew Garrett’s baritone anchoring their harmonies. The group’s dexterity at adapting material to the bluegrass format is evident in the driving rendition of Pete Seeger’s Winsborough Cotton Mill Blues and their smooth, bittersweet adaptation of the Cheap Trick warhorse “I Want You to Want Me.” Both Dark and Hicks contribute strong original material, notably Hicks’ rousing gospel tune “You Better Get to Heaven”. (MP, Dirty Linen, Nov/Dec ’09)
“The Telluride competition is among the toughest, with high quality judges, all of whom are particular and discerning when it comes to judging this great music. The Blue Canyon Boys stood the test and deservingly walked away with the prize. It takes a great band to do that” (Sally Van Meter)
“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”, then “I Want You to Want Me”), and then Mountain Bound (“Follow the Leader”, “Molly & Tenbrooks”, any & all). (Smokin’ Grass with Nina Dropcho Bluegrass DJ on KDNK Carbondale, CO)
Visit the MUSIC page for samples of all the Blue Canyon Boys CDs
Blue Canyon Boys