Telluride Blues & Brews Festival kicks off in Mountain Village’s Sunset Plaza for the Sunset Blues Concert featuring Ida Mae and Southern Avenue on Thursday, September 12 from 5 to 7 p.m. The event — a short and scenic gondola ride away from the Town of Telluride — is free and open to the public.
Southern Avenue records for Stax Records, which should tell you all you need to know. This Memphis-based outfit stays as true to blues, rock, funk and soul traditions as any of its predecessors at the legendary label, but with a fresh injection of youthful energy and sheer talent. Named after the road that leads to “Soulsville,” the original home of Stax, Southern Avenue is Memphis-born, church-bred sisters Tierinii (vocals) and Tikyra (drums) Jackson, Israeli-born blues guitarist Ori Naftaly, and keyboardist Jeremy Powell. Their self-titled album earned them a Blues Music Award last year for Best Emerging Artist Album and that’s no surprise. It is a fine collection of fiery blues, call-and-response gospel-tinged outings, mature arrangements and ace musicianship. They are, after all, just living up to the Stax reputation. As Tierinii says, “I feel like being on Stax is a responsibility. It’s up to us to live up to that.”
Ida Mae, British husband-wife duo — Chris Turpin and Stephanie Jean — dish up a stripped down, intimate and unique brand of blues that will entrance festival attendees. They’ve relocated to Nashville from their native England and that part of the country’s rootsy sounds will be evident in their songs. The pair’s voices weave in and out, the instrumentation is minimal and searingly effective in conveying their compositions. Some call them a “sensual version of The White Stripes.” The two met and fell in love when they were part of the British indie band, Kill It Kid. As a duo, they’ve toured with bands like Greta Van Fleet and The Marcus King Band, and this year have numerous dates with Blackberry Smoke. Their sound is at once raw and reined in. One minute they’re bringing the electric guitar noise, the next they’re crooning like nightingales. We’re excited to present this exciting new act to the mountains.
Both artist sets are scheduled to highlight the scenic sunset backdrop from the lawn in the Mountain Village Sunset Plaza. Be sure to enjoy the Town of Mountain Village’s Common Consumption Area throughout Sunset Plaza and Heritage Plaza during the concert. The free event will take place rain or shine.
For a full schedule of events or to purchase tickets to the Blues & Brews festival, visit TellurideBlues.com.
About Festival Transportation & Parking
The towns of Mountain Village and Telluride are connected by a three-stage gondola system starting at Market Plaza in Mountain Village and ending in Telluride at Oak Street Plaza. It takes about 12 minutes to get from one town to the other. During the festival weekend, gondola operating hours are from 6:30 a.m. to 2 a.m. Friday and Saturday, and until 1 a.m. Sunday. Long lines are possible during peak times. In addition, Dial-A-Ride will remain open 30 minutes longer than the gondola all three nights and the festival transportation partner, Telluride Express, has a fleet of customizable transport options available.