Bruce Hayes and Ragged Mountain Bluegrass

Bruce Hayes and Ragged Mountain Bluegrass will be the finishing act Sunday for the Buena Vista Gold Rush Days. They will take the River Park stage at 3:30 p.m.

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

Hayes, known as a member of several bands in the valley, has been a multi-instrument performer 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,” Hayes said.

Sunday, Hayes joins Dwayne Dodson, Chris Hudson and Lizzy Plotkin. 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, and has jammed on stage with Joe Cocker, Arlo Guthrie, Railroad Earth and New Riders among others.

He also played with The String Cheese Incident. Hayes co-produced and recorded their 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,” he said.

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