Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Reading Telluride tea leaves

Festivarians--that's what Telluride fest-goers call themselves--are speculating about the identity of a promised special guest who will play with Emmylou Harris at the July event. In an emailing earlier this week, Planet Bluegrass (promoter of Telluride, Rocky Grass and other events) dropped a hint that would be further news involing the band she will be playing with.

There are plenty of guesses on what that could be, but it is notable that Harris did eight dates last summer with Elvis Costello, playing arts festivals like Wolf Trap and Ravinia. This spring, Costello is playing 18 dates on an orchestral tour, which he'll perform with local symphony orchestras. The show will include both a performance of this symphonic work Il Sogno, and a second half of Costello hits with orchestral backing, which is also the format for his new live album "My Flame Burns Blue," due out later this month.

Costello also has another album due in May, a joint project with rhythm-and-blues great Allen Toussaint, partly recorded in New Orleans in what are said to have been the first major sessions in NOLA since the hurricane. Then, just today, he was announced with his regular band The Imposters on the bill at the June 16-18 Bonnaroo Festival on the farm in Manchester, Tenn.

Here's where the speculation gets interesting. Telluride runs the same weekend, June 15-18, in Telluride, Colo. Festivarian Jeff Stampes notes that there are four announced performers appearing on both the Bonnarro and Telluride lineups--Bonnie Raitt, Béla Fleck & The Flecktones, Nickel Creek, and the Jerry Douglas Band. So it is a short leap in logic for Jeff to guess that Elvis Costello & The Imposters will also do both fests, reprising the Emmylou Harris collaboration from last year.

Of course, this may turn out not to be true, But if you enjoy this kind of sleuthing, here are some interesting links to explore:
Bonnaroo artist information
Telluride lineup page
Elvis Costello news page
Pollstar report on Bonnaroo announcement
liveDaily report on 2005 Costello-Harris tour
liveDaily report on 2006 Costello orchestral tour
Thrasher's Blog review of July 31, 2005 Costello-Harris concert at Wolftrap

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