“Just as our eyes need light in order to see, our minds need ideas in order to create.” I liked this quote when I read it recently, and it is a fitting reminder to compliment this past weekend at the Telluride Bluegrass Festival. I was inspired on so many levels, it’s hard to say what left the biggest impression. There were many great performers: Sam Bush, Alison Krauss, Emmy Lou Harris, Edgar Meyer, Chris Thile, Tony Rice, Jerry Douglas, Bela Fleck, to name a few of the regulars who not only keep the bluegrass spirit alive, but who are so innovative, they push their musical skills to other levels. If anyone has a preconception that a particular instrument is limited, these folks are here to prove that theory wrong, whether it be the dobro, upright bass, or their voice. My favorite duet was Mike Marshall and Hamilton de Holanda from Brazil. Hamilton’s precision and speed on the mandolin gives chills. His subtle, creative, dynamic, and percussive Brazillian-inspired melodies combined with Mike Marshall’s more traditional American tunes made for some inspiring moments. I enjoyed seeing and listening to their enthusiasm and passion. Drew Emmitt, Vince Herman & Friends and The New Orleans Social Club were highlights for me, as well. Both were energetic, and within both bands, their love for what they do and for each other was clearly evident.