Trail Mix – Our Town With Taarka

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Husband and wife David and Enion Pelta-Tiller, the driving force behind Taarka.

Before I knew about Taarka, I had no idea what taarka was. As it turns out, taarka is a mixture of roasting spices integral to Indian cooking. It also proves to be a completely apropos name for the band being showcased in this week’s blog.

Though Taarka boasts a traditional instrumentation –  mandolin, fiddle, upright bass, and guitar – their sound is anything but. Like the spicy blendings from which the band takes its name, Taarka is the sonic equivalent to an Indian hot pot. Musical flavors subtly combine, and anything from bluegrass to klezmer to Eastern European folk music is fair game in a Taarka performance.

At the heart of the group are the husband/wife duo of David and Enion Pelta-Tiller. David is a native Virginian and steeped in bluegrass, Celtic, and gypsy jazz, while Enion is a classically trained violinist. The two have been touring and blending genres together since 2001 to create the unique sound that is Taarka.

Taarka’s next record, Making Tracks Home, releases next month, and we are happy to be featuring “Heart & Song” on this month’s Trail Mix. I recently caught up with Enion to chat about Lyons, Colo., the band’s stomping grounds and a locale most definitely familiar to our friends at Elevation Outdoors.

BRO – Your favorite local band that we might not know about?

EMPT – The Railsplitters are dear friends of ours who are just starting to get out there. I used to play fiddle with them. Our favorite local band you have heard of is Elephant Revival.

BRO – Best place to catch some live music?

EMPT – Oskar Blues. They have terrific local and national acts three nights a week and a world famous – really!!! – bluegrass jam on Tuesday nights.

BRO – Must see spot that an out-of-towner must visit?

EMPT – Planet Bluegrass. It’s the most amazing festival grounds, beautifully restored after the floods of 2013, that hosts Rockygrass and Rocky Mountain Folk Festival.

BRO – Favorite local outdoor adventure?

EMPT – We have great trails all around. You can hike or bike Hall Ranch, Heil Ranch, or Burton Rock trails that run through the open space all around Lyons. The terrain around here is rugged and beautiful. Hall Ranch is a definite favorite.

BRO – Favorite organic restaurant?

EMPT – Local is a wonderful restaurant run by chef Katie Baum. We’re so excited to have such a quality gastronomical experience here in our little town. They have great drinks featuring local producers like Rowdy Mermaid Kombucha and Spirit Hound Distillers.

Our friends out west can catch Taarka in Colorado Springs on February 27th, and in New Mexico in early March. For more information on tour dates, the band in general, and where you can grab the new record, surf on over to the band’s website.

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