Randolph, Gordon, Medeski and Rose Hill Drive Join Mule at the Mountain Jam
For the second year in a row, Govt Mule anchored WDSTs Mountain Jam, located at the base of Hunter Mountains winter ski resort. Blossoming into a two-day event, this years festival featured on site camping, as well as performances by My Morning Jacket, Robert Randolph, Keller Williams, Spearhead, Mike Gordon and Ramble Dove, Medeski, Martin and Wood, John Brown’s Body, the Slip, Grace Potter, The Duo, Rose Hill Drive, the Wood Brothers, Shannon McNally, the Benzos and DJ Logic, who spun late-night in the lodge on Friday and Saturday.
On both Saturday and Sunday, Govt Mule offered a pair of guest-laden sets, drawing from the weekends impressive roster and beyond. Warren Haynes, who clocked in time in both the Dead and Phil and Friends, dedicated Govt Mules performance to Vince Welnick and Ramrod, both of whom passed away during the last month. During Govt Mules Saturday spot, the quartet expanded to include a pair of backup singers, Machan & Elaine Caswell, on such numbers as The Letter, A Million Miles From Yesterday, Soulshine and Livin’ Lovin’ Maid. After Haynes joined his opening spot, Robert Randolph performed with Mules during its first set on Turn on Your Lovelight. Rose Hill Drives Daniel Sproul, who has cited Haynes as a major influence in a number of recent interviews, helped Govt Mule close out its set with a cover of Neil Youngs Cortez the Killer. A night later, Mike Gordon offered his bass skills on a Grateful Dead sandwich of Loser and Terrapin Station, before John Medeski closed out the groups first set on organ for That’s What Love Will Make You Do.
Throughout the weekend, a number of additional performers could be spotted mingling both on and off the stage. Michael Franti joined Keller Williams for a rap during the one-man jambands largely loop-free show, while Marco Benevento performed with Ramble Dove for the Semi-Truck and the lost Phish song Weekly Time. New York guitarist Mark Spencer also sat in with the country-collective on I Got Loaded. Perhaps foreshadowing future collaborations, My Morning Jackets Jim James was spotted dancing front row during the Slips afternoon performance. The Slip will support My Morning Jacket on several occasion in the next few months, including an official post-show party at the groups Boston Pops performance.
After Mountain Jam came to a close, a number of performers rested at the Villa Vosilla , a hotel located near the festival grounds. Later in the night, DJ Logic anchored an all-star jam session, which included appearances by Mike Gordon, Joe Russo and Grace Potter, among several others. Gordon, Benevento and Russo begin rehearsals for their upcoming tour with Trey Anastasio in New York today.