JamBase | High in the Sierras
Go See Live Music!
Bob Weir sucks
sounds like fun...
Thanks to Akron/Family for being a breath of fresh air and inspiration. Way to push the envelope...
I love me sum High Sierra.
-Proprietor at the Big Pig Bar
Wow guys, how is it that none of you choose to writeabout/see/hear the Ryan Montbleau Band? This band is tearing it up on the East Coast, and really making a name for themselves. I really wanted to read about their set, and about the crowd for them. On well. Still, thanks for sharring the West Coast love with us. Great reviews and pics.
Damm!!! I knew I should have gone. Even if it was only for the late night New Monsoon show!
Izabella was one of my favorite shows that whole weekend, my only complaint is that they had a daytime set and it was hot as hell, but if you get a chance, check those guys out. RRE was solid. I disagree about Ratdog, the crowd was loving the hell out of it and I enjoyed getting a Dark Star, its one of the songs I always somehow missed seeing when the Grateful Dead were still touring. Emett Nershi band was solid, and their little workshop together was kick ass, nice little mellow point for the middle of the day to get out of the heat. Low point for me was a huge let down by Keller Williams and the WMD's. Kind of sucked because I kept it really mellow all day that day to go to their late night, and it was nearly unlistenable to me. Other than that though, I had a hell of a time at High Sierra, even despite the nuclear winter smoke.
wow gordo's looks skinny
-when am i going to beable to go a day w/o seeing franti?
No mention of Marco Benevento playing w Lee Boys both days??? The set on Sunday w Marco was ON FIRE!!! Great article though!!!
Here is link to the video of Marco w Lee Boys
Awesome, Amazing fun time this year!
One of the best festival experiences...incredible vibe this year.
I thought this was the best fest since 05 High Sierra for me.
Highlights were Gov't Mule, New Monsoon Late Night with Tim Carbone from RRE (this was so sick, loved NM grandstand show as well)
Robben Ford, Micheal Franti always a fun party, Bustle in your Hedgerow, Papa Mali free late night, and many many others
I'm sure Rothbury was great but I wouldn't trade in my experience at this fest for anything.
I love how I was five ppl back from the stage during Gov't Mule and still had room to move around and dance with all the great ppl around me.
A fest on the west is always the best!
I wonder why so many groups that played there in the past did not make it?
seems like HS with out umph or sts9 is just strange....
I dunno I have mixed feelings about this line up. hot cold, :)
go cornmeal, montbleau who?
Scott Murawski kicks ass.
I agree with you PunkJazz.
and i hate i missed it :(
Great Review.. let me start by saying that i have no problem with this review or festi looks and sounds like a blast. but OH the politics of Jambase. This festival got a 5 page write up with an intense review of Most bands, then look at the Rothbury Review which had a page write up, was completely negative and mostly pix, come on..,.. the festival was 3 times bigger than High Sierra, much more Greeen oriented im sure, and a brand new power house, so why no love? why doesnt Jambase and the scene want to see this festi succeed, are they afraid it might be the next ROO and if so let s prevent that from happening instead of ignoring what i call as the best festival ever
dparriss1 - I don't think you understood the Rothbury review at all ... it wasn't a negative review. The writer of that review was simply making the point that he hoped that Rothbury wouldn't turn into the next Bonnaroo, by getting to big and overcrowded, and booking mainstream popular acts - Metalica and Kanye West !!!! Further, Jambase is based in San Francisco, and HS is a few hours away. HS is this sites premire event. As an east coaster whom couldn't make either Rothbury or High Sierra, I am very pleased with the coverage the site gave both fests. I would love to know what you read in the Rothbury review tha made you feel it "was completely negative" ???? Not the Rothbury review I read. I think JB very much wants to see Rothbury succeed.
This was a great review that really made me want to go to High Sierra in the future. That being said, what is Jambase doing sending around 6 or 7 writers who all write great reviews and by all accounts have good taste in music to this fest, and only sending one guy who wouldn't know good music if slapped him right upside the domepiece to Rothbury? (and for the record, good music DID slap that guy in the face and he chose to ignore it) I'm sure High Sierra is one of the best established fests out there, but you guys at Jambase did a disservice to everyone who didn't go to Roth by not covering it with the gusto you did this. My 2 cents. I'll write for you, shit.
FUCK yeah RRE. I hope their music spreads much further than NJ! ]
High Sierra looked like a blast, im glad dumpdtaphunk was there because that is the only thing that Rothbury was missing( meters reunion!!!) I agree, why is HS a detailed band-by-band review, while the rothbury reviews focuses on how clean it was and how cool the sherwood forest was. Rothbury was almost too much, more than 10 hours every day, probably 10 miles a day and I couldn't see every band I wanted too. The writer who reviewed rothbury was obviously overwhelmed, having to run from band to band and catch 15 minutes of an act and then write about it. Not an easy thing to do, and the readers are the ones who miss out. Next time Jambase should consider hiring local writers. I am a published writer and would have been more than willing to write a review for Jambase for the price of a ticket, that way they could get some diversity in opinion. By the way 10,000 lakes fest is coming up and that is gonna rock
Wow, great review! My High Sierra experience was heavenly. Small enough to see everything I wanted to, diverse enough of a lineup to be turned on to tons of new acts(Akron! James Hunter! Big Light!), and probably the most friendly scene and staff of any festi I've ever been to. Highlights included: Surprise Me Mr Davis at Camp Harry, Critters Buggin' Late Night and Rotary Downs at the Vaudeville. Three cheers to everyone who made HSMF '08 one of the best weekends of my life. Hurrah!
Rothbury and its organizers made a hugely greedy and disrespectful (not to mention incredibly stupid) move by putting it on the same weekend as High Sierra, which has been going on for 18 years. High Sierra is Jambase's local party so it's not surprising that they would give it more ink than Rothbury. The thing that I'm upset about is that they decided to not cover a lot of the bands that were there so they could report on Akron/Family twice?! I was at that wook-cult circus and it wasn't any more worth reporting on than anything else. It's obvious they have their favorites (The Slip, Nathan Moore, ALO, etc) so that's who their coverage always centers around and this review is no different. Festival gets an A. Review gets a C.
I thought this was a great review. Very well written and really told me what the vibe and the music was about. Which is what a review should be. You Rothbury clones are something else. Whats the point of a write up on all 95 bands at Rothbury? “Writing about music is like dancing about architecture.” If you went, then you made your choices then, if you didn't, then reading about it wouldn't have made up for it. I know it was an awesome fest but don't expect this site to change its name to Rothburybase, I have been to plenty of festivals that get no coverage here or anywhere else.
One of the best fests I've ever been to!
Great people and above all else, GREAT MUSIC!
Surprise Me Mr. Davis was so good.
Nathan Moore is one of the best songwriters around.
Dumpstaphunk late night with Skerik was out of control.
Didn't finish til after 4am.
RRE, Cornmeal, Emmitt-Nershi, Blue Turtle Seduction,...so much good bluegrass.
I can go on and on.
From the workshops to the kickball games @ 6 in the morning, HSMF is like no other festival.
Thanks for a great time!
Joe Craven IS an instrument.
HIGH SIERRA KICKS ASS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! FREAKY FANTABULUS!!!
Nice article. Great pix as usual. A little surprised there's no review of Dumpstaphunk's shows or Five Eyed Hand's sangria party and no mention of Stephane Wremble, all who threw down hard. Can't mention everyone I know but most surprised about Dumpstaphunk who had huge crowds at both their main stage and late night blowouts. Can you smell it?
High Sierra is an amazing fest. Wonderfully planned and executed. A highlight for me was Cornmeal. One thing to say is that I would argue that HSMF is very green. There was a compost. Every camp was given a trash and recycle bag, and I didn't see any trash anywhere all weekend. So, its probably as green as Roth if not more green, but doesn't have to make a big deal about it. Music is the focus of HSMF
Commentmaker...... Akron Family being a "wook-cult circus." That's priceless!!! I dragged five good friends to watch those clowns and we all laughed hysterically at how terrible they were. Needless to say we left and went to see something worth our time. These guys are a joke. Don't let the article fool you into thinking otherwise. Besides that I FREAKIN' LOVE HIGH SIERRA AND CAN'T WAIT FOR THE FOURTH OF JULY EVERY YEAR!!!!!!
ps- ole' keith moseley's wearin the same shirt he was wearing at rothbury. funny....
YEAH Jambase!! YEAH High Sierra!! This is beautiful!
Let me get out of the way that High Sierra is too special for me to use this comment section as an explanation of why HSMF got a more detailed review overall than Rothbury.....if you havent been, then you dont know. Im sure Relix will cover Rothier berries over higher sierras.
Its pretty amazing for a 7K festival to be SOOOOO unique for everyone. Everyones going to have their own High Sierra. I happen to have one thats more centered around the hoe downs and the super groove funk and the untz. Im really glad Jambase included awesome write ups for Izabella and BLue Turtle!!! Reading both of those sent my heart fluttering. Blue Turtle put the punk rock in HSMF for the first time, and even busted out the Ramones at their Sunday eve set.
Let me mention that Tim Carbone of RRE was definitely an MVP, played with Monsoon all of their late nite...I think Monsoon deserved a more epic review, but I'll help: Their late nite was truimphant. This is a High SIerra staple band that hasnt been on the line up in a few years, (milesgone heres your answer to why bands take breaks) and they made their return HUGE!!! Best Monsoon I have ever seen. The RRE late nite (they took a break last year) was, dare I say, the best show I have ever seen in my 20 years of seeing live music. Top notch performance + my favorite venue = oh yeah.
Anyone notice the Beatles Synchronicity going on this year at High Sierra. Unplanned, the Beatles were everywhere. Monsoon did a BRAIN CHANGING version of I Am the Walrus for late nite, Govt Mule had Dear Prudence and Love Me Do, Sneakin Out did a plethora of em, Gordo did She Said She Said, and I heard a lot of Sgt Pepper in the PAs!
Theres a reason why bands take a break from HS, the fest needs to keep it fresh and keep it churning, or the festival spirit will get lost. This festival has a spirit like no other, and I am a proud lifetime attendee. I saw all 4 kickball games this year which included the members of Blue Turtle Seduction and Michael Travis in the realms.
Speaking of Travis, this was my first time seeing EOTO and I thought they were completely inspiring!! I hope they return. I thought their build ups and segues were unique to that style of music, which IMO was MUCH needed this year. Props to the Carbonated EOTO late nite that was to DIE for.
I just loved visiting all the camps. I saw Kanvus at Camp Harry and I ate the best crab cake in the world served at Camp Happiness. We had an epic post Railroad Earth late nite Bacon and Mimosa party at Camp Wood Bee that was a great morning treat.
More highlights for me was the March Fourth Marching Band parade that I randomally walked into. Ryan Montbleu made a new fan out of me first with his excellent cover of Electric Avenue, then with the realization of what an awesome tune 75 and Sunny was. Cornmeal playshop pickathon with RRE members, Bo from Monsoon, and Christian from Blue Turtle. Cozier than a cashmere sweater on Christmas. I also had an amazing time at DUMPSTAPHUNK late nite!!! This is the MARDI GRAS that High Sierra truly spirits!!! It made me reminiscent of epic all night Karl Denson shows there in years previous.....Dumpstaphunk was way on, and is a staple way to groove thru the High Sierra darkness.
Jambase has their personal High Sierra, and the lovely thing about that, is they love it so much they cant stop writing about it. I might not be into the Akron Fam (I tried, I really did) or SMMD (Again, I really tried this year) but I see it as a love they have that is so strong, they make it a yearly thing to revel in, and thats awesome. Long live the spirit of HIGH SIERRRRRRRAAAAAAA!!!!!! see you every year!
If anyones interesed in seeing a SHIT ton of people pics that are mostly of the WIERD SURREAL stuff, like sunrises and empty fields and Kickball, plus that cornmeal playshop, smiling fans, check mine out: http://picasaweb.google.com/SamsaBee/HighestSierraFestivaaaal2008
Commentmaker--well put. Not only is HSMF the BEST festival around, it has pretty much laid the foundation for all festivals we know of today....and for any festival to slap them in the face like Rothbury....man. I can still remember the first time I saw SCI at HSMF in '97 (they loved it). There is VERY good reason why High Sierra deserves the best write-up (even if they did think Akron/Family was the best?)
nice pic of brad barr blazing a joint!
awesome lil write up redheaven! those blue turtle boys ripped it up both nights!DO WHAT WE WANT!!! and i almost have to agree about the RRE latenight, maybe the best show ive ever seen. it was so magical. i freaked for ROAD HOUSE BLUES!!! i hope to see that show on the archive soon i still cant beleive what i expirienced a couple of weekends ago. the vibe is still buzzing in my heart and i hope it keeps buzzing till next yr. this fest will live on forever no matter who is playing.
Good pics-fair review at best. Way to centered around the Bay Area music scene. That is fine and undestandable, but seems a little cultish. The Slip and SMMD are ok and a good time, but really don't warrant the majority of review space every year. Move on Jambase!
Mule=predictable, Papi Mali, Robin Ford, Slip, Mother Hips=not predictable. Makes no sense. Mule killed at as usual and were tighter and more professional than just about anyone else and that is why I pay to see them. New Monsoon was epic. Dumpstafunk, RRE, Bustle were great. No write up of the fantastic Emmit/Nershi show. Best suprise for me was the Spam Allstars. Seriously jambase get off the Slip bandwagon and wonder round a little.
HSMF still reigns as the best time I have ever had pretty much anywhere doing anything. I will be back for number 7 next year. Thanks for tall the good times.
Wow, that Marco Benevento & Andrew Barr - Camp Harry picture sure does look stoney baloney!
I am sorry to chime in again.....Blower, the Slip and SMMD could never be written/promoted enough. These guys have been working hard on being TRUE artists (which is a rarity nowadays) for a long time with very little deserved recognition. If we could call anything a BANDWAGON it wouldn't be associated with these guys.
PS I love the Mule, but they ARE more predictable than many of the bands this year....as most main stage closers.
oh yeah....forgot to put Dumpstaphunk as a Highlight.
The intro paragraphs mirror my sentiments exactly ... once again, High Sierra is the highlight of my calendar year - plans are already being made for next year and I absolutely CAN. NOT. WAIT.!!
I dont understand why on jambase festival reviews they only have pics of the bands instead of the beautiful land and crowds that all of these festivals are on. I think that a lot of people are more interested in seeing those kind of pics than of still shots of people we see all the time just playing an instrument
Natey-I don't disagree with the statement that Mule is predictable. Thats why I go see them. I want my face rocked off! Only saying that many others are as well like Robin Ford who played standard straight up blues. Thats what he does. That does not have anything to do with the quality of their show or their chops. Buckethead was predictable as well, so what he kicked ass. The Slip and SMMD are true artists as are everyone else that played at HSMF.
The Slip have been covered extensively at HSMF for years by jambase and thats fine but it seems like overkill to me sorry. Music is about taste and I honestly thought the Slip were just good, but not exceptional, just like everytime I have seen them play over the last 6-8 years. The exception being when they played with the Living Daylights. Not even in the top ten this year for me. So to me they are very predictable. I have heard them do the same thing for years. If they as great as you convey they would get the deserved recogniton somewhere other than Jambase.
Kaycemans first page was great writing however and the pics where great.
So bummed I missed this year. Looks like the usual High Sierra magic was in full effect. Even more bummed that I missed Five Eyed Hand's first HSMF performance. This band is killing it. And its still nice to see the bands throwing down the RV and campsite sets...shit like that doesn't happen at any other bigger festival. After reading this review I can't possibly miss this fest next year.
Well done HSMF. And thanks Jambase for the coverage. Kayce always does a great job of conveying the feel/vibe of the show. Funny folks have the nerve to complain considering Jambase is basically the only site (not blog) that gives decent coverage of the scene. Be grateful for what you have.
If you want pics of the innards of High Sierra, I posted a link up there in my comment, soley for the purpose of giving you all who have never been an underbelly look at this amazing surreal festival. Here it is again:
Im wondering if the reviewers didnt like EOTO because they just arent into that kind of music much? When youre not into something, it all sounds alike most the time. When I was younger I didnt like jazz and thought it all sounded alike until I got into it, now its all very distinguished.
Great reviews! I think what some folks forget about jambase is that you don't have to be an 'official jambase person' to write a review or get it put up. If you submit a well-written, thoughtful and hate-free review they will generally post it on their site. If you want Rothbury covered in depth or whatever, do it yourself! A lot of the content on here is user-submitted and unpaid.
And keep the Slip/SMMD/Nathan Moore coverage coming! Also thought Akron/Family was good fun...Don't get too hung up on how they look...
Akron/Family, The Mother Hips and Robben Ford all blew me away at High Sierra this year. Also, Guitarmeggedon w/all the sit ins really kicked some ass - Eric McFadden playing Black Sabbath YES
Bucket is still wearing the all white bucket?? KFC must have threatened to sue after all these years
One of my favorite things about this festival is getting to see old favorites rock it late night but more importantly are all the bands I've been introduced to at HSMF (STS9, Garaj Mahal, etc.) This year's top for me had to have been IZABELLA....these guys ROCK!!!! check em out!!!!
Hey gang - to all those cats wishing they would have seen more coverage on certain bands, festivals, food, toilets and whatever else you like - why dont you write about it? Jambase is written not only by the folks that work there, but music lovers like yourself. Instead of waiting for someone not to write about some of your favorite things...why dont you pick up a pencil and do it yourself.
Thanks for the excellent coverage; the text and photos are much appreciated. I'm happily reliving one of the finest HSMFs I've ever attended (2008 being my 10th annual).
I'm glad I can get my fill of good music and enjoy jaw-dropping puppet show (March Fourth, that was too much fun).
I can never get enough of Joe Craven and Drew Emmitt, among others.
MoJoW & the Vibration Army would have loved to be there, but we have been focusing on LA. We hope to be back next year with our stage show. We were recently on the cover of the LA Weekly!!
WE MISSED VIBRATION ARMY!
Missed your antics in the food court....I hope youre back next year.
I can't help but love how much Jambase loves The Slip. Right now that band plays about once a year unless they are playing as part of Surprise Me Mr Davis. And every time I see them it rocks so hard. I also loved Ryan Montbleau, he was so much fun, good positive danceable music. I feel like if you had a chance to catch those early morning Big Light sets they definitely deserved some quality praise. 10:30am at HSMF that's brutal for anyone. And then someone mentioned Jambase loves ALO and it seems they do, but there was no mention of Lebo's set. Which does Lebo ever let anyone down...no.
Man how did I miss out on the Ak/Family so long? Just been blasting "Ed is a Portal", mindblower. Sdntribefreak I agree, if you look at submitting a story, the editors tell you that the readers don't care about the venue or fan shots, in reality I could care less about seeing a stock photo of a musician on stage holding their instrument. You can go to their website if thats what you want. Hopefully I'll make it out to HS some year, looks like a blast, and I'm sure the Chron is flowing...
Skerik with the D'phunk late night...oh my gawd. That alone would have got me there if I was on the best coast. And after seeing RRE at Allgood during a Sunday day slot, I can imagine a late night with them, they are tearing it up right now.
Wow, what a great review. Great pics too. You've articulated my recent feelings at Ratdog perfectly.
HIGH SIERRA is the shit!!!!!! I also must agree that Ratdog is a little tired. The best parts of Ratdog are Jay Lane and Kenny Brooks who are much more at home with the jazz and funk they played with Charlie Hunter and Alphabet Soup back in the day. BUT, who can blame someone for going with a great paycheck. They've paid their dues and then some.
ahh the magic of HS. you know, i have to admit i had my doubts this yr with Rothbury and all. But it didn't matter in the least, the weekend was incredible as usual. before my review of the bands-the staff, sound guys, & people always help make HS great! Oh & I was sorry to have missed Nathan Moore this yr ( alas only 1 last song at the vaudeville tent-maybe Thamusemeant next yr.) So...my highlights
Thurs: Vida girls, Will Bernard (galactic/funky), the playshop with Craven on fiddle, Emmitt, Nershi (& 2 guys on banjo & base) & later that night on the big meadow. Wow, what a treat-like back in the old days! They did some of drew's songs & a killer restless wind & jelly fish. Personally, I preferred SCI in their earlier days so I thought it was beautiful. Then Bustle in your Hedgegrow (better than I expected-its gotta be tough covering LZ...but would i want to sit thru a whole set, nah. & MHs-on fire!
Fri: Dusty Rhodes & the River Band-can you say amen?! These kids rock-think the Band with a gorgeous female dark haired fiddle player. 3 great voices, piano, enthusiasm. Go see them! Trombone Shorty (from NOLA & horns)-yep another booty shaking event-3 cheers a favorite of mine for the wkend. Dumpstaphunk -what can you say?! There the shit & the best that wkend!! Gov't Mule sounded good from camp, better than i usually think of them. & finally Papa MAli (including spec guests ivan neville, alo guy, & others) in vaudeville-voodoo magic once again. thank you!
Sat: Eric Mcfadden-sweet, darkly disturbing rock N roll. he's the shit! CArolyn Wonderland--triple threat (Blues queen)! GO check her out. another fav of the wkend. The Lee Boys w/ Benevento sitting in all wkend was insane. Besides dumpstaphunk, these guys probably had me dancing the hardest. & Robben Ford- a master! James Hunter Band-kudos-(R&B/soul) great voice & tight band. Then late night w/ groovesect (NOLA funk) & Fred Wesley (member of JBs, Parliament/Funkadelic)& then Dumpstaphunk w/ not only skerik all night, but the OG drummer from Sly & the Family Stone for 2 Sly songs. Fun fun!!
Sun: Rotary Downs-pleasantly surprised Lee Boys & Benevento again did not disappoint! Then with ALo-bass player & unknown drummer, papa mali, eric mc fadden & carolyn wonderland had a fantastic roundrobbin playshop. Oh & one of my favs, was the MONOPHONICS from SF. They are GROOVY. Thankfully I left Keller at the right time & ran into these guys on the RV. They are the shit! By Sunday, I was pretty beat so I ended my night with Eric Mcfadden late night-incredible musician & he had this awesome odd-looking stand-upbass player with him too, & a drummer.
P.S. I meant Eric Mc fadden's awesome base player had an odd looking instrument.
All this time and STILL nobody has talked about Gamelan X. Their vibrations cant be captured in any recording. See them live the next chance you get. These people are connected together as many parts to a whole while they are playing together, and with a band that huge with that many percussion players, its all jam. They channel music from different realms than most. It is obvious that music is a HUGE part of these peoples spirituality. Besides the fact that they use a good number of sacred sound healing devices in their music.
Wood Bee Bacon and Mimosa party was non stop!
AT WHAT OTHER FESTIVAL do you get MIKE TRAVIS or VINCE HERMAN @ kickball while the sun is coming up? Or Blue Turtle Seduction taking Kickball over? Let me know cause I want to go to that too.
I loved getting to see Kanvus, 5 Eyed Hand, Gamelan X, Heavy Pets (I missed Big Light) and all the other local bands written about in the article simply because they are awesome and dont really play anywere besides west coast. BTS and Izabella play out here in CO, but they are still growing a a base out here, it is growing though.
So glad I could hear the non stop Camp Harry renegade late night show from my tent 30 feet away. That and be able to walk to the front of 2 different stages in 3 minutes, all of them in 5. I KNOW THAT DIDNT HAPPEN @ ROTH.
EOTO KILLS IT BTW
Mostly Well Said! What a review! SEE YA NEXT YEAR!
Yes, another incredible High Sierra...thanks for the great review & photos JamBase!!!! Every year this is my favorite weekend, and it's always fun to relive it with the JB story/pics And thanks for the crazy crowd/venue shots Samsa!!! I'm with you, I really dug the EOTO set in the Vaudeville, they seemed completely in synch with the crowd, which is a big part of what all-improv is, right? Drawing inspiration from the feeling in the air? I loved SMMD too though, so I'm OK with all that coverage...
Good point folks who urged disgruntled Rothbury attendees to get on it and write/submit their own reviews. The JamBase regulars are High Sierra faithful, why expect these music lovers to give up their absolute favorite musical weekend of the year to review something else, far from home? If you went to Rothbury add your review to the comment section on that review to beef up the coverage! And next year submit a request to do an official review...don't wait until then though, start by submitting a review or two of some other festivals you'll be attending this year so JB knows you and accepts your Rothbury application...
Thanks so much for the kind words and great pictures. We love JamBase!
Did anyone see BLVD and MC Souleye at the festi???? How come no love for them in the article...they were off the hook and have been a staple of HS for years. They ruled the late night party scene!!!