Zach Gill by Casey Flanigan
David Brogan by Casey Flanigan
ALO (Animal Liberation Orchestra): WEEKEND
ALO is now a bona
fide High Sierra darling. Whether providing a perfect start to the day Saturday
on the main-stage, getting funky at the band's late-night costume ball or jamming
acoustic for the Santa Barbara campers, ALO participation helps make the weekend
one to remember. In addition to playing, every member of the band took part
in playshops over the weekend; showcasing guitarist Dan Lebowitz's chops,
Zach Gill's songwriting and Steve Adams versatility, as he was
the sole bassist at Josh Clark's Guitarmageddon. With tight grooves and tighter
playing, ALO creates a warm experience and is one of the best festival bands
on tour this summer.
- Forrest Reda
Damn was I not expecting this set to blow me away at 11 a.m.! I sauntered over
to the Main Stage, dripping with enthusiasm at my first full day at High Sierra.
Iced coffee in hand, I was tractor-beamed towards the stage and within moments,
and with help from Renault the inflatable Buddha rising up behind the stage,
the early morning clouds parted and the four boys of ALO led us all into a frenzy
with a fantastic rendition of keyboardist's Zach Gill's tribute to his wife
and daughter, "Waiting for Jaden." This was followed up by my giddy
favorite, "Mashed Potatoes." Hula hoops, Frisbees, and poi were scattered
about the grass as the festival goers from the lawn suddenly swarmed the stage.
They closed out the set with "Girl, I Wanna Lay You Down," with a
stunned, hungover crowd begging for more. As always, the boys from ALO can be
counted on to liberate your inner animal! And this was only their first of three
sets throughout the weekend... Man, were we in store for some fun.
- Monica Way
Dan Lebowitz by Casey Flanigan
Steve Adams by Casey Flanigan
SNAKE OIL MEDICINE SHOW: AMERICANA STAGE
Hot baking sun at the Americana Stage was the perfect place to witness the Snake
Oil Medicine Show on Friday morning (morning being relative of course). This
incredibly talented, truly unique four-piece plays some type of tripped-out
bluegrass, rung through 1920s vaudeville stylings. Although the band is led
by bassist and songwriter George Pond, both Caroline Pond (vocals/hypnotic
violin), and Andy Pond (banjo) share stage and musical responsibilities.
It's Caroline's voice that seems to separate Snake Oil from the pack as she leads
the crowd through a constant foot-stomping good time. This band is full of bubbling
light, infectious string work and a generous helping of positive energy, definitely
a band worthy of attention.
by Susan J. Weiand
- The Kayceman
Garrin Benfield by Susan J. Weiand
GARRIN BENFIELD BAND
a talented singer/songwriter from San Francisco, proved he possesses not only
a powerful voice and quick hand on the guitar, but some savvy marketing skills
as well. His Americana Stage set was excellenta blend of moody, understated
folk rock and tender ballads that rolled through shifting musical landscapes
like a tight-winding byway. During a far ranging, reggae-tinged version of Neil
Youngs Cortez the Killer, someone from his crew handed out
red egg-shaped noisemakersplastic rattles with Garrin Benfield Band
printed on themto everyone in the crowd. Benfield finished up the song,
and before his next number, got everyone shaking along to the beat. The result
was a barrage of crispy percussion coming from the crowd, the perfect backbeat
to the band's vibrant playing.
- Jonathan Zwickel
SONiA: BIG MEADOW
Maybe you were one of the one million women who traveled to Washington D.C.
this April to take part in the March for Women's Lives. If you were, you probably
would have seen a rockin' SONiA (also of Disappear
Fear) on stage with her belting yet tender voice, hammering away on a guitar
and chanting words of love, choice, and political freedom. I wasn't at the March,
but I did have the pleasure of encountering SONiA's midday set at the Big Meadow
stage. It was a lazy afternoon and yet as things picked up and SONiA bounced
from piano to acoustic to electric guitar, her wise words and rhythm began drawing
in the crowds from the mist of tents and RVs, and before we knew it the vibe
blended into a body-twirling blend of joy and enthusiasm. SONiA is currently
on tour promoting her newest, and in my opinion greatest album, "no bomb
is smart" and all of the songs she performed during her set displayed the
assured musicianship and tenderness she is known for.
- Monica Way