Telluride Bluegrass Festival

19-22 June 1997

Town Park, Telluride, CO


I hooked up with an interesting group of beatniks from Nederland, CO while walking to the Telluride Town Park for the final day of the 24th Annual Telluride Bluegrass Festival. I must say I was more interested in the conversations that ensued than I was with the performers this afternoon/evening. In fact, I ended up missing most of Lyle Lovett's set as a result.

I showed up in time to see Shawn Colvin's act, which was solo acoustic, beginning with "Diamond In The Rough". It was strange to see her on stage, now with a smash breakthrough, crossover single, "Sunny Came Home" under her belt, which she performed next. Shawn also dug out a couple more acoustic numbers from its host album, A Few Small Repairs, including "The Facts About Jimmy" and "Trouble". Mary Chapin-Carpenter, in keeping with tradition, joined her onstage for "One Cool Remove", and "Climb On (A Back That's Strong)". Shawn made sure she didn't leave out "Round Of Blues" and "I Don't Know Why".

But, I was mainly very curious about seeing David Crosby's new band, CPR (for Crosby, Pevar, Raymond). Jeff Pevar is a famous session guitarist (and David Crosby's all-time favorite lead guitar player). However, James Raymond has a much more interesting story to tell.....

In 1962, David and his actress girlfriend chose to give up a child for adoption. After years of searching for this lost child, David got word during one of the most critical times in his life. While waiting for a liver organ donor in November 1994, David got a call from the child's two adopting parents. While recovering from a thankfully successful liver transplant in December 1994, David decided to call his long-lost son. When he finally met him, he was grateful to discover how wonderful a person he turned out to be, no least a sophisticated studio musician! His son's name is James Raymond.

Prior to CPR hitting the stage, Jeff Pevar humbly acted as his own guitar technician, and David's wife and son, Jan and Django, respectively, took a seat in the reserved section right in front of the stage. I was absolutely astonished at how much David's two-year-old resembles pictures of him at roughly the same age.

David's band covered several acoustic numbers from his past, including "In My Dreams", "Tracks In The Dust", and "Deja Vu". More interesting were the new tracks, particularly a jazzy composition by Raymond, "One For Every Moment".

The die-hard Crosby fans were subsequently satisfied with versions of "Wooden Ships" and an encore of "Almost Cut My Hair". The best impression I got from this show was the strong message that Crosby seemed very interested in putting a lot of hard work into performing (and recording). This new ensemble paints a potentially bright future.

Back with the Nederland clique, we walked off to the shuttle buses that took us to our cars, which took us back to our home towns. Back to reality.

[****] - Steven T.

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