LIVE: Mountain Jam @ Hunter Mountain, 6/4/11

June 7th, 2011, 4:30 pm by Greg
Mountain Jam

Mountain Jam

It’s been a long time since I went to a “Festival” type concert, but at the urging of a friend who was calling me lame, I bought a one-day pass for Mountain Jam. When I looked at the schedule for Saturday, a couple of performers jumped out at me – Mavis Staples and the North Mississippi Allstars Duo, and a chance to see Gov’t Mule. So, this 54-year old headed up the mountain wearing a NYRA “Alabama” hat, a Buck Dharma Archive T-shirt and comfortable shoes. I packed one of the kid’s backpacks with everything I needed to enjoy the concert – a change of clothes, with a hoodie and heavy sweat pants for when it got cold, a camera, binoculars (never used them once), bug spray, sunscreen, Aleve, my medicine, a big water bottle and a flashlight. With a Coleman camp chair, I was ready!

We found a place a couple of hundred feet from the stage, and claimed (or so we thought) our ground for the day and began 12+ hours of music and people watching. The crowd was very diverse – families with very young kids up to people I would consider old. The weather was spectacular – sunny with a breeze and in the mid-70s – and as we got there, the Ryan Montbleau Band started playing. Never heard of them before, have no idea what any of the songs were called, but it was a vibrant performance that swung and rocked and fit the bright weather. The guitar player was excellent and had one of the best, if not the best solo of the day. These guys ended their set by saying they play house parties! I don’t know the names of the songs, but I am going to find out.

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LIVE: Michael Franti & Spearhead @ Northern Lights, 1/21/11

January 28th, 2011, 12:00 pm by Greg

Michael Franti

At Northern Lights last Friday night, Michael Franti and his band threw a huge party, and the sold-out crowd was eager to join in the festivities, dancing, singing along and steaming up the windows of the big Clifton Park nightspot. Outside it was cold, but inside the atmosphere was that of a Miami dance club party fueled by a reggae beat.

He plays what you can only categorise as “happy music.” Franti has a warm, broad smile, and his dreadlocks bounce around when he moves and shakes his head. He is so charismatic that you can’t help but like him and want to hear what he’s got to say.

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