Rhythms on the Rio Benefit Festival

It Takes A Village to Mount a Festival: Preparing for the 2014 Rhythms on the Rio Festival

South Fork CO, a tiny town tucked away at 8200 feet in the San Juan Mountains, has always been a stop on the way to somewhere else. Starting life as a stage coach station in the 1880s, the town only grew slowly in the aftermath of the silver strike in nearby Creede and the extension of the railroad. Finally in 1992, it was officially incorporated as a town, the youngest in Colorado. But South Fork and Creede have always drawn musicians and others who sought the tranquility of these rugged mountains and the swift moving waters of the Rio Grande, which begins a few miles from Creede.

2014 Rhythms on the Rio Music Festival | Day 3 in South Fork

The last day of this year’s 2014 Rhythms on the Rio was a mix of rain and sun. Actually, for year’s past, this was a dry festival for the most part.

2014 Rhythms on the Rio Music Festival | Day 1 in South Fork

This year’s Rhythms on the Rio opened with a bang. It’s hard to judge numbers but the campground seemed fuller and the dance area most certainly was as packed as last year’s Saturday night, with some folks who had never been to this little festival appearing by the recommendation of friends. That’s always good to see.

2014 Rhythms on the Rio Music Festival | Day 2 in South Fork

What a glorious day yesterday was! The second day of Rhythms on the Rio 2014 was jam-packed with musical goodness in the rarified air of the southern Colorado Rockies.

Starting of the yesterday’s slate of artists was Ashley Raines, the winner of this summer’s singer/songwriter contest. Raines offered originals that ranged from bluesy tunes to more Americana fare, warming up the audience for what was to come.

Rhythms on the Rio 2013 | Day Two | Review

After the intense rains of the night before, everyone’s spirits were lifted as the second day of the 2013 Rhythms on the Rio Riverbank Fest dawned bright and clear. It helped having the Mojones from Creede, CO, cook up some intense blues first thing.

Rhythms on the Rio 2013 | Day One | Review

Resiliency marked the opening of the Rhythms on the Rio Riverside Fest this past Saturday. After the spring fires, the summer monsoons hit the region hard, coloring the Rio Grande with black runoff from the burn scars higher in the mountains and swelling the waters into a rushing torrent. More of those rains hit the festival late afternoon creating some scrambling between the sound crew and the bands and forcing festivalgoers under any available tarps and canopies.

Rhythms on the Rio Music Festival 2013 | Preview

Rhythms on the Rio Riverside Fest in South Fork, Colorado, constantly amaze me. Though a small festival, it rounds up some of the best talent in the region and manages to snag a big name touring band or two.

2012 Rhythms on the Rio Music Festival | Day 3: Last Day

The last day of this festival began slowly with the contemplative music of Tony Vines. Visitors like me new to Rhythms on the Rio might not fully appreciate what they were hearing from this talented young man. A skilled guitarmaker and musician, Vines struggled with bipolar disorder for two decades, often diving deep into depression and near suicide. He sat on the stage on a cool Sunday morning in South Fork, Colorado, unmedicated for his disorder, healed by the power of his faith, singing songs of hope and belief.

2012 Rhythms on the Rio Music Festival | Day 2: Loads of Music

The campground was filled with the sounds of mandolin and bass into the wee hours before the Rhythms on the Rio festival officially opened. The Scrugglers kept us early campers warm at the huge community fire in the middle of the campground.

2012 Rhythms on the Rio Music Festival | Day 1: The Prepping

Well, the sky looks as if it’s clearing over the Rio Grande River in South Fork, Colorado. The festival grounds was busy today with stage construction and setting up shaded seating and booths….in the rain. It wasn’t a Midwestern downpour but one of those gentle southern Colorado rains that soaks into the ground. It made setting up tents a bit of a trick, but early campers like myself were game and just danced in the rain in t-shirts and jeans as we stretched rain flies and pounded in stakes.

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