Mountain Jam VI will fill Hunter, NY with some really sweet music June 4-6. This Warren Haynes/Radio Woodstock organized gathering includes Drive-By Truckers, Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, The Avett Brothers (is one allowed to have a summer fest without them in 2010?) and, of course, Gov't Mule. This year also features a 70th Birthday Celebration by Levon Helm & Friends that should be one of the most unique sets at any festival this season. Here's a few more interesting options to consider at Mountain Jam 2010.
1. Gandalf Murphy & The Slambovian Circus of Dreams :: Friday :: 12:45-1:30 pm :: East Stage
Quite the mouthful of a name, but a tremendously appealing, earthy band inside it. There's some dusty Dylan in them, and a good measure of LSD-country rock and Tom Waits-ian storytelling. Some darn fine accordion, too. Where many bands just leap out at the listener, these cats 'n' kittens curl up nice and slow, warming you by degrees and imparting their purr into your pores. Go in open-minded and see if you don't leave with a skull full of goodness. Murphy & SCD play a second set on Friday in Colonel's Hall from 3:30-4:30 pm.
2. Jerry Joseph & Wally Ingram :: Saturday :: 4:30-5:30 pm :: Awareness Village Stage
There's a level of intimate conversation at work in this duo, which finds one of today's finest yet under-sung greats plying his craft with a delicacy and thoughtfulness sparked and built by one of the greatest percussionists going. They seem both comfortable and endlessly surprised together, and that combination scoops up listeners with the skill and dexterity that only old pros like Jerry J and Wally exhibit. Call this a master class in back porch perfection. And the covers are sublime with this pair, too.
3. The Brew :: Saturday :: 6:30-7:30 pm :: Colonel's Hall
A good sense of humor and disciplined musicianship are The Brew's hallmarks, often wedded to tunes that smack of U2 and Barenaked Ladies both, or in their best moments, Steely Dan without a stick up their ass. Unpredictable, enjoyable, jazz tinged rock is what they stir up, and it's pretty tasty stuff.
4. These United States :: Sunday :: 2:30-3:30 pm :: Colonel's Hall
Let's put this bluntly: If rock 'n' roll is your church then you need to skip to this medicine show with haste. There's the same strange wisdom and controlled cavorting of Saint Bob of the Rolling Thunder big top days, and something a touch more modern and mournful – yet almost always offered in ways that make one hum and slap their thighs in time. TUS' swell and quite moving new album, What Lasts, arrives July 20, and hopefully they'll share some fresh tunes at Mountain Jam.
5. Jay Farrar :: Sunday :: 4:00-4:40 pm :: Awareness Village Stage
In Son Volt, Farrar can rock like Neil Young or sway like Keith & Gram in Joshua Tree, but solo Farrar is a true son of Woody Guthrie, though marbled through with a touch of Tim Buckley's folkie mysticism. If Mountain Jam audiences are lucky he'll bring along his Son Volt mate Mark Spencer to add pedal steel touches to his tremendous tunes.
Mountain Jam Schedule
Mountain Jam Directions
Mountain Jam website
Join us next week when we'll have pictures and more from Wakarusa and Mountain Jam. And remember, festival folk, share what you've got, spare a smile and drink lots of water!
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