Discover the Best Folk Music in Colorado

This article is a collaborative effort, crafted and edited by a team of dedicated professionals.

Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,


Discover the best folk music in Colorado by following these tips and suggestions. You’ll be sure to find the perfect music for your next event!

Define Folk Music

Folk music is a type of music that is passed down orally from one generation to the next. It is often based on a particular region or culture, and it shares many elements with other types of music, such as pop and classical. Folk music often has a simple melody, and it is often sung without accompaniment.

Folk music has been around for centuries, and it continues to be popular today. In Colorado, there are several folk festivals that take place each year, such as the Telluride Bluegrass Festival and the RockyGrass Festival. These festivals showcase some of the best folk musicians in the state, and they offer a great opportunity to experience this type of music firsthand.

Where to Listen to Folk Music in Colorado

Music has the ability to bring people together and create a sense of community. Folk music is a genre of music that is often passed down from generation to generation. It is a type of music that is rooted in the traditions of a culture. Colorado is a state that is rich in folk music. If you are looking for a place to listen to folk music, here are some of the best places to go.

Caffe Sole- Nederland, CO

Caffe Sole is a western-style Italian eatery that has been dishing out great food and live music since 2003. This charming family-run restaurant is located in the heart of the Rocky Mountains in the quaint town of Nederland, Colorado. The menu features delicious homemade pastas, wood-fired pizzas, and local organic ingredients whenever possible. Caffe Sole also has an extensive wine list and a full bar with creative cocktails.

The restaurant has a small stage that features local and regional folk musicians almost every night of the week. The music is always free, and the intimate setting provides great acoustics for enjoying the sounds of some of Colorado’s best folk talent. Caffe Sole also hosts special events throughout the year like their annual “Sole Fest” which is a two-day music festival that takes place on the banks of Boulder Creek behind the restaurant.

The Swallow Hill Music Association- Denver, CO

Swallow Hill Music Association has been promoting and preserving the folk music tradition in Colorado since 1971. The Denver-based non-profit offers classes, camps, and concerts for music lovers of all ages. Swallow Hill also operates three music venues in the Denver area: the 400-seat Daniels Hall, the 100-seat Tufts Theater, and the intimate L2 Church & Lounge.

The Little Bear Saloon- Evergreen, CO

The Little Bear Saloon is a great place to discover the best folk music in Colorado. This charming venue has been around since the early 1970s and has hosted some of the biggest names in folk music. The Little Bear Saloon is also a great place to enjoy a meal or a drink while you listen to some fantastic music.

Who are Some Notable Folk Musicians in Colorado?

Colorado is widely known as a folk music hub, and for good reason. The state has produced some of the most iconic folk musicians in the genre, including Judy Collins, John Denver, and the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. If you’re a fan of folk music, you’ll definitely want to check out some of these Colorado musicians.

The Lumineers

The Lumineers are a folk rock band based in Denver, Colorado. The band consists of Wesley Schultz on lead vocals and guitar, Neyla Pekarek on cello and backing vocals, Jeremiah Fraites on drums, and Ben Wahamaki on bass. The Lumineers rose to prominence in 2012 with their single “Ho Hey”, which peaked at number 3 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart.

Nathaniel Rateliff

Nathaniel Rateliff is a singer-songwriter from Denver, Colorado. He has released five solo albums and three albums with his band Nathaniel Rateliff & The Nightsweats. His most recent album, Tearing at the Seams, was released in 2018 and reached number two on the US Billboard 200 chart. Rateliff has been nominated for three Grammy Awards and won two Americana Music Awards.

Gregory Alan Isakov

Gregory Alan Isakov is a popular folk musician from Colorado. He was born in Johannesburg, South Africa, and moved to the United States when he was a child. He grew up in Philadelphia and then attended college in Colorado, where he began his musical career. He has released six albums, including The Weatherman (2011), That Sea, The Gambler (2013), and Gregory Alan Isakov with the Colorado Symphony (2016). He is known for his deep, soulful voice and his poetic lyrics.

What are the Best Folk Music Festivals in Colorado?

Many festivals in Colorado feature folk music as a central component of their programming. These events often attract top folk performers from around the nation and the world, making them a great place to catch a wide variety of folk music in one place. Colorado is also home to a number of excellent folk music festivals that are worth checking out.

RockyGrass- Lyons, CO

RockyGrass is a three-day bluegrass music festival held every July in Lyons, Colorado. The festival features over 40 bluegrass and roots bands on eight stages, with a lineup that includes both well-known and up-and-coming artists. In addition to the music, RockyGrass also offers camping, food and drink vendors, and workshops on a variety of topics related to bluegrass music.

Folks Festival- Lyons, CO

The Folks Festival in Lyons, Colorado is a great place to enjoy some of the best folk music in the state. With a variety of different stages and plenty of food and drink options, this festival is perfect for a day or weekend trip. Headliners for this year’s festival include John Prine, Houndmouth, and The Lone Bellow.

Telluride Bluegrass Festival- Telluride, CO

The Telluride Bluegrass Festival is one of the most popular and well-known music festivals in Colorado. It takes place every year in the small mountain town of Telluride and features some of the best bluegrass musicians in the world. The Festival also has a strong tradition of attracting top folk musicians, so you can expect to hear a wide range of music at this event.

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