After departing on their first west coast tour nearly a year ago that saw them walk away winners of the band competition at the Rockygrass Festival, the members of The Wooks were back at it again this past weekend, venturing cross-country to participate in another Colorado band competition: the 44th annual Telluride Bluegrass Festival.
While they didn’t walk away winners, The Wooks got to play at a storied festival that has a special place in the band’s history. Denver’s Meadow Mountain and The Lonesome Days and Prescott, Arizona’s Sugar & The Mint competed with The Wooks in the finals after the four groups advanced from the 12-band preliminary round. Sugar & The Mint walked away victors, and The Wooks finished fourth.
Each band performed three songs: one with slow vocals, one with fast vocals and an instrumental tune. For The Wooks trio of songs, the Lexington five-piece opted for the Galen Green-penned “Little Circles” followed by “Out of Mine” and “Wookie Foot Shuffle.”
We played a set in the campground on Saturday night after the festival ended that drew a bunch of people in and got pretty rowdy. That was a positive way to turn things around from the competition, to play a show and loosen up and have some fun. It really made the weekend.
“We played a set in the campground on Saturday night after the festival ended that drew a bunch of people in and got pretty rowdy,” banjo player Arthur Hancock said. “That was a positive way to turn things around from the competition, to play a show and loosen up and have some fun. It really made the weekend.”
Hancock is no stranger to Telluride. Nearly 10 years ago he took an impromptu trip to the festival with friend Jeffrey Thornbury in what he often refers to as “a life-changing experience.” Hancock has been to Telluride several times since, but last weekend provided a new perspective of the iconic festival — one from on stage.
The Wooks return to the Bluegrass this week for two sets in Owensboro at ROMP Fest and a Saturday morning performance in Grayson at Rudy Fest. The band’s next Lexington show is a free show on July 22 at Lakeside Live.
Matt Wickstrom: @wickstromwrites