Although the Surprise Me Mr. Davis late night set in the Funk n Jam House was most definitely my favorite of the festival (and that's saying something, since I saw SO much amazing music at High Sierra this year!!!), I do agree that it would have been good for the review to spend a bit less space on the Davis/Slip/Moore juggernaut and talk about some of the other amazing music that was on offer over the course of those four fun filled days/nights...but then again, that's what the comments section is for! Keep the reviews coming people, what were YOUR favorite High Sierra moments?
The sweet sounds of Del McCoury...the entire audience singing along to every song from The Wailers...the foot stomping, arm waving (Celebrate, Celebrate, Celebrate Your Life!) bluegrass/sacred steel combo of the Travelin McCoury's & Lee Boys...raging, rockin' pro-grass-ive music from Cornmeal...John Butler...not-at-all-angry (to my surprise), but nonetheless radical and in your face funkiness from Ani DiFranco...technical mastery and downright spooky skills from Umphrey's...soaring beauty of the Sunday morning Gospel Sessions...the unearthly beauty of Fareed & Flat Earth, especially that first bit of the late night set with just the three of them seated in front?...just about every jam session on top of the Llama Lounge RV by the food court...Camp Harry, Dehli to Dublin, Lubriphonic, Bourgeois Gypsies, Bonerama....and SO much more!!!
This was my 16th High Sierra and while I feel a bit bad that the promoters always seem to struggle to sell tickets, especially now when faced with direct competition from a festival with much, much deeper pockets, as an attendee I must admit that I just LOVED the smaller crowd this year. Honestly, I barely bother to worry about who High Sierra books...not because the 'scene' or the 'vibe' are more important to me (although HS does do that part right), but because I so completely trust HS to book music that I will absolutely love, even if I haven't heard of the bands before I arrive!
This year was my favorite in a long time, and I was pleasantly surprised by the disappearance of the sketchiness that seemed to seep in a few years back. Sure, there was no lack of partying and late-night action, but overall the vibe was sweet and so totally family friendly and comfortable. Several thousand people gathering peacefully and getting wild and crazy in a totally safe way, even without ANY police presence...imagine that! Who else is totally overjoyed that the new sheriff administration in Quincy totally GETS what we're about and LIKES us?
I could go on and on, but I suppose I should get some work done...