Open Road band headlines 2nd annual Fiddles, Vittles & Vino at Rock Ledge

       Open Road, a Colorado band that recently released its third album on the Rounder label, will be the featured band at the second annual Fiddles, Vittles & Vino Saturday, Aug. 26 at the Rock Ledge Ranch Historic Site.
       In all, seven bluegrass bands will perform, and people can sample an array of wine and food at what the ranch is calling “Southern Colorado's Bluegrass and Culinary Festival.”
       Also offered will be demonstrations by chefs from participating restaurants as well as numerous children's activities, including face-painting and pony and wagon rides.
       The event will be from noon to 9:30 p.m. Ticket prices are $30 for adults and $5 for ages 12 and under. Tickets can be purchased at Rock Ledge during regular hours (10 a.m.-5 p.m. Wednesday to Sunday) or on line at fiddlesvittlesandvino.com.
       Music will be offered - sometimes simultaneously - at three ranch locations throughout the afternoon and evening. With most of the bands also playing multiple time slots, 20 sets in all are scheduled during the event's 9 ½ hours.
       According to the Open Road website, members for the current tour are Jefferson Hamer, Caleb Roberts, Eric Thorin, and Keith Reed. The band will play at the stage on the west side of the Orchard House from 7:30 to 9:30. A New York Post review of “Lucky Drive,” its latest CD, reads, in part, “The traditional American sound is alive and well on “Lucky Drive,” a disc that examines wanderlust, wealth and mental wellbeing with old-time country style. The instrumental interplay is terrific, pure and simple. It's as if the band plays huddled around a single microphone.”
       The other bands are Palmer Divide, the Bertye Maddux Band, Coal Creek Bluegrass Band, the Mitguards, the Stanleytones and Mark Gardner & Rex Rideout. The latter two groups played at the inaugural Fiddles event last August. All the groups are from Colorado, each with several years experience and one or more recorded CDs.
       Food samples will be provided by close to 30 area restaurants, including the Westside's Front Range Barbeque, Jake and Telly's and the Marigold Café. A list of the participating wineries was not available at press time, but last year's event offered about two dozen from the region.
       “Food and wine vendors, local restaurants and talented musicians came together last year to offer you and your family a day filled with food samples, wine tasting, and live music, all in the midst of the spectacular views and living history of Rock Ledge Ranch,” reads a press release from Rock Ledge volunteer publicist Helen Muterspaugh. “This year will be much the same, with a diverse offering of culinary treats, wine samplings and great bluegrass music.”
       For a lower cost price of admission - amount to be determined - people will have the option of buying a ticket just to see Open Road, according to Mark Gardner, a ranch volunteer and area musician.
       Rock Ledge Ranch is a city-owned 230-acre working ranch in the style of the 1880s, located in the Garden of the Gods, southwest of Gateway Road and 30th Street.
       For more information, call 578-6777.

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