Ragged Mountain bluegrass

Bruce Hayes and Ragged Mountain Bluegrass wind down the Buena Vista Gold Rush Days festival when they take the stage for a free concert at 3:30 Sunday afternoon.

Hayes, a member of several bands in the Upper Arkansas Valley, has been a multi-instrumentalist for nearly 40 years.

He has experience as a songwriter, producer, sound engineer and performer.

His career in music began at Keene State College in New Hampshire where he was majoring in classical guitar.

It was there he fell in love with bluegrass.

“There was a bluegrass festival in Gettysburg. That was my first time to be immersed in the sound. When I returned, I switched to the mandolin.”

Sunday, Hayes joins Dwayne Dodson, Chris Hudson and Lizzy Plotkin as the foursome performs as Ragged Mountain Bluegrass.

The group draws heavily from old-school bluegrass acts such as Bill Monroe and The Stanley Brothers.

As a solo act and as a member of bands, Hayes has opened shows for The Neville Brothers, Dave Matthews Band, and numerous other high-profile groups. He’s jammed on stage with Joe Cocker, Arlo Guthrie, Railroad Earth and New Riders of the Purple Sage.

Hayes also co-produced and recorded The String Cheese Incident’s first album, “Aged Cheese,” not long after moving to the area.

“I came to Colorado from back East because musicians out here were doing original stuff. This is where the scene was.”

Bruce Hayes and Ragged Mountain Bluegrass play at River Park.

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