Of Mountain Jam and ‘Mountain Jam’
Warren Haynes fifth annual Mountain Jam festival took place over the weekend in Hunter, NY. The three-day event celebrated both the 30th anniversary of festival promoter Radio Woodstock and the 40th anniversary of the original Woodstock festival, which was held in nearby Bethel, NY. The event nodded to the latter event by hosting veterans of the original Woodstock like Richie Havens and Bill Kreutzmann, who expanded his trio to include vocalist Donna The Buffalo Tara Nevins.
Govt Mule anchored the festival on both Friday and Saturday, offering extended, guest-heavy performances each night. On Friday George Porter. Jr.who was on hand for a performance with PBStook the stage with Govt Mule for a jam that led into Third Stone From The Sun. A bit later Tea Leaf Greens Josh Clark and Trevor Garrod helped the band close the night with a cover of Neil Youngs Cortez The Killer. The following night John Medeski took the stage with the Mule for Sco-Mule and Karl Denson sat in on both All Along The Watchtower and Devil Likes It Slow (Haynes returned the favor by joining Karl Densons Tiny Universe late night show). Each evening Haynes also joined the groups that preceded Gov’t Mule, making a guest appearance with Umphreys McGee on Can’t You Hear Me Knocking Friday and Coheed and Cambria on both I Shall Be Released and Welcome Home Saturday.
The festival came to a close Sunday night with an extended single set performance by one of Haynes other musical outlets, the Allman Brothers Band. Fittingly, the group opened its performance with the classic track Mountain Jam, before offering Trouble No More, Midnight Rider, Rockin’ Horse, Soulshine, Black-Hearted Woman, Statesboro Blues, Ain’t Wasting Time No More, Good Morning Little Schoolgirl, Revival, Stand Back, Dreams and In Memory of Elizabeth Reed. During Good Morning Little Schoolgirl, Govt Mule keyboardist Danny Louis also took the stage with the band. The Allman Brothers Band brought its set to a close with the final portion of Mountain Jam, before returning for a One Way Out encore.
Other weekend highlights included indie rockers Alberta Cross acoustic performance on the Campers Only Stage, Girl Talks rare nighttime outdoor set, Jackie Greenes cover of New Speedway Boogie and George Porter Jr.s appearance with Eric Krasno and Chapter 2 late Friday night. The festivals progress Awareness Village also boasted performances by Michael Franti and area-resident John Medeski, the latter of whom performed solo while his wife led a yoga class in conjunction with her Woodstock Wellness center.