Who: Mountain Jam
When: Sunday, June 8th
Where: Hunter Mountain, NY
Why: The festival's 10th Anniversary
Mountain Jam Festival 2014
It's hard to believe that Mountain Jam, the festival that takes place annually in Hunter Mountain in the great Catskills of Upstate NY, has turned ten years old. The festival this year celebrated its birthday by bringing in a band who's also celebrating a birthday of their own, the Allman Brothers Band. So this weekend was not only the 10th anniversary of Mountain Jam, it was also the Allman Brothers Band 45th anniversary, bringing an epic uniqueness to the festival matched by no other as the group performed their first two albums in their enterity.
It was a great feeling to be back at Mountain Jam, one of the most beautiful festivals in the entire country.
Here are the top moments of Mountain Jam X's last day, Sunday.
1) The weather & The location
It seemed almost too good to be true: perfect weather the entire weekend of Mountain Jam X with temperatures in the 70s and 80s. Its almost as if mother nature said, 'OK Mountain Jam, Happy Birthday!' because the previous several years their has been down pouring rain that dampened the festivals spirits. Not for the 10th anniversary. Sunshine shown down on the festival the entire weekend with perfect temperatures.
Mountain Jam is one of the best locations ever in the country to have a music festival. It may be out in the middle of nowhere with the nearest city being at least 40 miles away and absolutely nothing around but rolling hills, trees & valleys, but this is what makes the festival so unique in its own way. Walking up to the mountain and one knows in their own right that they are there and experiencing the entire thing first handed. The way the festival is set up is brilliant with two side by side stages so the music plays non stop all day.
2) The Allman Brothers Band performing their first two albums in their enterity.
Wow, what a unique performance! Gregg Allman even quoted that the band usually never plays these two albums in their full, and the last time was in 2009 at their famous beacon theater run. The crowd knew they were in for a special treat as the band stayed true to their word and jammed out each song from these two albums. While some of the songs sounded more misses than hits, and the four drummer solo was a bit sloppy, they did a fantastic job overall, and one simply admires the non stop guitar stand offs between Derek Trucks and Warren Haynes. The best moments of the set included a superb job when the band played 'Hoochie Coochie Man', a fantastic work at 'Whipping Post' and 'Leave my blues at home.' Overall the band was fantastic, and their better moments well made up for the group's lessor times during the festival. The group played for an impressive 2 in half hours. Their was some disappointments, including the group not coming out for a second encore (it was obvious that the festival wanted them to as well), and the band not playing the song Mountain Jam.
3) Derek Trucks
Derek Trucks was the highlight of the Allman Brothers Band set. He out shined everyone there, even Gregg Allman and Warren Haynes. The man can simply play guitar and makes it obvious that he indeed one of the rock gods of the 20th century (and 21st). With his pleasant and homely smile and blonde hair, Trucks wailed away non stop, providing a fresh and upbeat sound to albums and albums that are thirty years old or more. He is not to be missed by any fans of rock music.
4) Michael Franti and Spearhead's energizing set
The surprising moment of the festival came during Michael Franti's set. The man got everyone in the festival up and going, jumping and dancing to his tunes. It was one of his best performances at Mountain Jam. Franti himself jumped into the crowd and spent half of their near two hour set in the crowd, singing his heart away and hugging fans spreading peace and love. The members of his band were fantastic as well, jamming out as he sang popular tunes like 'Everybody Deserves Music,' and the ever so appropriate for the festival 'Sunshine'.
His set was surprisingly emotional, as Franti talked about his son, how much he loved him and introduced a new song he wrote for him. Warren Haynes joined the band as well.
The highlight of the set came when Franti brought in two fans from the audience in their twenties, and the guy asked the girl to merry him on stage. She said yes.
It was an insanely fun time and by far the most energetic set of Sunday at Mountain Jam.
Indie rockers were in for a treat when new Brooklyn based group Lucious took the stage right before the Allman Brothers Band. The young blonde lead singers proved they have what it takes as they jammed out and performed their unique and different sounding music to Mountain Jam. The band sounded great and are a must watch for new up and coming artists.
Allman Brothers Band-3.5 or 4 out of 5 stars
Michael Franti & Spearhead
**** 4 out of 5 stars
Chris Robinson Brotherhood
***/* out of 5 stars
Allman Brothers Band Set list @ Mountain Jam X:
2) Don't Keep me Wonderin'
3) Midnight Rider
4) In Memory of Elizabeth Reed
5) Hoochie Coochie Man
6) Please Call Home
7) Leave my Bleus at Home
8) Don't Want you no more
9) It's not my cross to bear
10) Black Hearted Woman
11) Trouble no more
13) Whipping Post
14) Statesboro Blues