Every once in a while a band comes along that stands out amongst the crowded fields of the bluegrass world. The Blue Canyon Boys, a premier bluegrass band of the Rocky Mountain West, are one of those bands. Winners of the 2008 Telluride Bluegrass festival band contest, the Blue Canyon Boys have gone on to perform across the country and were selected to represent the United States and bluegrass music at the 14th annual Rainforest World Music Festival in Sarawak, Malaysia on the island of Borneo, which has consistently been rated in the top 25 International Festivals by Songlines Magazine. This bluegrass powerhouse consists of Gary Dark on mandolin, Jason Hicks on guitar, Drew Garrett on bass, and award-winning Chris Elliott on banjo. Blending incredible brother-duet-style vocals and hard-driving instrumental proficiency, this energetic band has created an infectious brew of hard-driving Colorado bluegrass. With four well received CDs that have garnered heavy airplay across the country and around the world, the Blue Canyon Boys have quickly become one of Colorado’s most celebrated bluegrass bands.
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)