Jazz Aspen Peaks
Over the weekend The Allman Brothers Band headlined the Labor Day edition of Snowmass, COs Jazz Aspen Snowmass festival, helping the annual gathering reach a capacity crowd on Sunday evening. While Jazz Aspen has traditionally drawn in musicians from such eclectic genres as country, hip-hop and jazz, this years festivities focused primarily on the jamband and roots-rock scenes, resulting in some of the gatherings strongest numbers.
Nickel Creek opened for Ben Harper & and the Innocent Criminals on the festivals mainstage Friday night, playing a spirited set as part of its farewell tour before Harper took the stage for his first Jazz Aspen Snowmass performance. The guitarist ran through a mix of new and old material, thanking his audience for being so understanding as he moved between genres. He closed his performance with the acoustic Walk Away and the favorite Better Way. Later in the evening, a streamlined version of Garage a Benevento, featuring only Stanton Moore, Skerik and Marco Benevento, played an enjoyable set of freaky jazz/funk at the nearby Belly Up as part of the festivals After Dark series.
Saturdays mainstage festivities featured soulful singers like Joss Stone, John Legend and Ryan Show, the latter of whom offered a series of short sets in one of the festivals small, enclosed tents. Galactic also offered selections from its new studio album, From The Corner To The Block, with the help of guest MCs Gift of Gab and Boots Riley. Perhaps more surprising, that night founding Allman Brothers Band drummer Jaimoe offered a rare sit-in with the group Elemenopee at the Mountain Dragon. While soaking in the Snowmass bar scene the night before his bands performance, the drummer breezed by the local Chinese Restaurant and, after checking out a few tunes, took the stage for a handful of numbers, including Marvin Gayes Whats Going On and Stevie Wonders Superstition.
Jazz Aspen Snowmass reached its capacity early Sunday afternoon, with many fans arriving early in the afternoon to catch Leftover Salmons second Colorado performance since its 30 month hiatus. Vince Herman also played a short set with his new band, Great American Taxi, on a stage located in the venues food court. Michael Franti & Spearhead performed next and brought out Warren Haynes for a version of Sublimes What I Got and a medley of songs from Sesame Street. The Allman Brothers Band closed out the day with a somewhat straightforward performance that features staples like Statesboro, Midnight Rider, Black Hearted Woman and a version of The Same Thing with Ron Holloway on saxophone. As a nod to their surroundings, the group closed its set with Mountain Jam, before returning for an encore consisting of One Way Out.
The festival closed Sunday afternoon with performances by singer/songwriter Jackie Greene, Ollabelle, Derek Trucks & Susan Tedeschis Soul Stew Revival and Govt Mule. After their performance, Trucks and Tedeschi told Jambands.com/Relix that they were hoping to record a Soul Stew Revival album in the near future and Trucks joked that in addition to playing drums this summer, his brother Duane has been serving as his roadie. Govt Mule closed out the festival proper with a version of Soulshine and also brought out Holloway for a take on 32/20 Blues. The group also offered a handful of songs from the Beatles catalogue, including She Said, She Said, Tomorrow Never Knows and Love Me Do.
Later that night Warren Hayes offered his fourth performance in three days at the Belly Up. The guitarist alternated between acoustic and electric and mixed covers ranging from Elvis Costellos Allison to Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah with both rare and original songs. He also told the story behind the Jerry Garcia tribute Patchwork Quilt, which was partially written in the nearby town of Telluride.