High Sierra Highs
The High Sierra Music Festival returned to Quincy, CA this weekend, offering a mix of Americana, jam, rock, folk, bluegrass, blues and jazz. As expected, many of the weekends performers united for several unique collaborations throughout the festivals multiple stages. As reported earlier, Steve Kimock joined Govt Mule onstage for a version of the Rolling Stones Wild Horses Saturday night. Warren Haynes also participated in a formal Q&A with fans at which time he discussed the origin of his bands moniker (his answer: go check out the Mule cover story at the Relix table). Conspirator continued to make its name on the festival circuit expanding its lineup, at times, to include both Perpetual Grooves Brock Butler and The Duos Joe Russo, along with P-Funk vocalist Kim Manning. Contrary the days message board frenzy, Marc Brownsteins off-the-cuff comments that Russo will be the Disco Biscuits the new drummer was only a joke.
During his late-night set, Les Claypool surrounded himself with his a new fancy band, consisting of Frog Brigade alumni like Skerik and Mike Dillon, as well as his new prodigy Gabby LaLa. Jessica Lurie also joined in the fun during a version of Precipitation. For his cover-heavy set, Keller Williams recruited the Keels as his backing band, also inviting Jeff Austin onstage for a version of Yonder Mountain String Bands New Horizons. Hot Buttered Rum, who are profiled in the August issue of Relix, invited a number of its favorite bluegrass musicians onstage throughout its set including Peter Rowan, Mike Marshall, Chris Thile and Sharon Gilchrist. Marshall serves as producer on the groups forthcoming studio album, which also included appearances by Rowan. Thile also recently joined the group onstage for its debut performance at San Franciscos The Independent. Shortly before departing for a summer aboard on the BIG Summer Classic, New Monsoon stopped by High Sierra, inviting Garaj Mahal guitarist Fareed Haque onstage for a version of Calypso.
The Slip was plagued by medical problems during its three-shows this weekend. Luckily a number of the groups closest friends were out at High Sierra to lend a band to the ill-stricken band. While Brad Barr recovered Saturday, his bandmates Marc Friedman and Andrew Barr, as well as Marco Benevento, anchored a revolving door of musicians which included Joe Russo, Nathan Moore and Al Howard. A night earlier, Russo and Benevento also joined the full-band on Happy Snails during its late-night opening set for Les Claypool with Andrew Barr playing Mike Dillons vibes. On Sunday, Brad Barr returned to the stage for a set with Surprise Me Mr. Davis which was extended to two-hours after the DJ Williams Projekt had cancelled. ThaMuseMeants Amiee Curl also joined the group onstage for a series of songs including Lonely Boy.