Collaborations Abound at Strange-Creek Campout
As is tradition, over the weekend Max Creek and Strangefolk marked the unofficial start of summer by co-hosting their now annual Strange-Creek Campout in Greenfield, MA. In addition to the festivals namesake, the campout featured sets by a number of rising jam-stars, including Ryan Montbleau Band, The Bridge, Juggling Suns,
Bruce Mandaro Band, Rev Tor, Fungus Amungus, Otherwise, Nate Wilson Group
Somebody’s Closet, BreadBox Band, Gutta, Domino Theory, The Attic,
Unexplained Bacon, Turbine, Entrain, The Brew, Uncharted, Old School,
Buzz Universe, IndoBox, Grow, Rolla and Straddle Daddy, among others. Both Max Creek and Strangefolk offered well received performances: Strangefolks set opened with Don’t Mind Me and featured the fitting encore New England, while Max Creek bookended its show with In Harmony and Just A Rose. At the start of Max Creeks second set, Max Creek drummer Greg Vasso and percussionist Tom Major also switched places for a spirited take on Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin).
In the sit-in department, on Saturday Unexplained Bacon invited Juggling Suns guitarist Mark Diomede and drummer Andrew Lenaghan, as well as Jerkwater Ruckus percussionist Rich Lemire, to stage for a medley that blended the Grateful Dead’s ‘Eyes of the World’ with the Disco Biscuits’ ‘ M.E.M.P.H.I.S.’ and Cypress Hill’s ‘Hits From the Bong,’ before returning back to the ‘Eyes of the World theme (the medley was perhaps a nod to Philadelphias concurrent Jam on the River festival, which featured the Disco Biscuits, Cypress Hill and Dark Star Orchestra). Later in the evening, Lemire returned to the stage for a cover of the Talking Heads’ ‘Cities,’ which spotlighted guest guitarist Chris Cartelli (from the group Give Us the Money Lebowksi).
The weekends collaborations continued on Sunday when the Ryan Montbleau Band welcomed former Jiggle the Handle guitarist Gary Backstrom to the stage for a cover of Jerry Garcias ‘They Love Each Other’ and the Montbleau original ‘You Crazy You.’ Montbleau later got into the collaboration game himself, joining both Peter Prince & Moon Boot Lover and the Breadbox Band during their late night sets. First he gusted with Moon Boot Lover, adding vocals to a version of the Peter Prince original ‘Friends’ and then with the Breadbox Band singing lead on a cover of Eric Clapton’s ‘Lay Down Sally. Shortly before the second song of their set, Peter Prince & Moon Boot Lover also welcomed Ryan Montbleau Band/Nate Wilson Group percussionist Yahuba Garcia to the stage for the remainder of their performance. Ryan Montbleau Band’s Larry Scudder later added viola to the Prince original ‘Blood Undercover.’