Yep‚ it's that time of year again: Mountain Jam takes place at Hunter Mountain in the Catskills. And‚ could it be? Could it possibly not rain this year? Well‚ it looks like that's the case‚ folks. And after some years of toughing it out in the rain‚ we deserve it. But if you've been to Mountain Jam before‚ you know that the rain didn't stop the fun or the music. So with sun shining down on us with an unbelievable lineup‚ what will it be like? We don't know. But we know we want to find out. So pack your bags and get ready for some great music under the sun - it's Mountain Jam time!
Two things right off the bat that make this festival great: a diverse lineup and no overlapping sets (except for late night). Here are some highlights:
Get there early! These guys are playing an afternoon set on Friday. We saw them twice in Vermont this past winter and they love to get the room cookin'. They're a perfect festival band‚ sure to kick things off right. Picture having gotten your wristband‚ set up your tent‚ bought a beer‚ and now you're on the field dancing to good grooves under the sun. And this is just the beginning.
Bobby Weir and Ratdog
Stay late! Ratdog close out the festival on Sunday night -- that's worth staying until the very end. Last summer Ratdog dazzled us at the Gathering of the Vibes headlining set‚ one of our very favorite sets of music that season. Will they do it again? We're counting on a big yes.
Levon Helm's Ramble on the Road
There's nothing like going to Levon's barn for the Midnight Ramble‚ but it's pricey. At Mountain Jam‚ you get the best part -- hearing the legendary Levon sing and play (there's nothing really like it) with his phenomenal band - included in the regular price of a Mountain Jam ticket. Not bad‚ kiddies!
Jackie Greene
Oh‚ Jackie Greene‚ how we're taken with you. Yes‚ Jackie's new album‚ Giving up the Ghost‚ has been in heavy rotation here at the SoM HQ. He was fantastic last year with his friend Phil‚ and we're thrilled to be seeing him do his own thing - a first for us - at Mountain Jam. Did we mention buying a beer and dancing on the hill already? Oh‚ yes‚ we did. Well‚ we're excited. This is summertime‚ folks!
Pick your mood! On Friday you can move to the downhome New Orleans backburner funk of Galactic‚ or perhaps you'll be in the mood for the steady‚ heavy rocktronic beats and grooves of the spaceshow that is Lotus. On Saturday‚ go dance to the Dead‚ brought to life by the dead-on Dark Star Orchestra‚ or get down with some experimental electronica with the Pnuma Trio‚ who know how to get your ass moving. These are great choices to have between 1:30 and 4:00 in the morning. You know what? Don't choose; just do it all.
Ivan Neville's Dumpstaphunk
Hellooooooo‚ Dance Party.
Grace Potter & the Nocturnals
The. Girl. Can. Sing. And she's backed by a fantastic band. Yes‚ we love our fellow Vermonters!
Michael Franti & Spearhead
It's the same thing every time. But what a great time it is! But he may just catch you off guard by road-testing material off his forthcoming new album, All Rebel Rockers. This is quintessential festival fun right here‚ with a heart too. He reminds you of what's important and why you're here in the first place. Community and love. And did we mention drinking beer while dancing on the hill? Oh‚ we did? Right. How you feeeeeeeeelin'?
Umphrey's McGee
These guys will rock your face off. And you'll love it.
Ray LaMontagne
Mmmmm‚ Ray‚ you sooth our soul. You do it. You really do it.
Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings
Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh‚ Sharon! This woman will put you in your place. And your place is getting down to some funk on the hill‚ while the sun shines down on you. And don't you forget it.
Medeski‚ Martin‚ Scofield and Wood
Are you kidding? Sunday with these guys? Hallelujah -- we believe‚ we believe!
Dr. Dog
Feel-good music while you're coming alive on the hill. And they'll be playing music from their soon-to-be released new album‚ Fate. We're excited to see what's in store.
Drive-By Truckers
This is great down-and-dirty live rock music for a Sunday afternoon.
Gov't Mule
And all of this is the icing on the Gov't Mule cake‚ the foundation of this wonderful fest. A million dollars down that Warren Haynes rocks your world. And that we get some great sit-ins from some of the other artists.
Yes‚ this will be good. Very good. See you all at Mountain Jam! Visit Mountain Jam and get your tickets if you haven't already!