Pre-festie: Going to a festival without a car is like going fishing without a fishing pole. It’s weird, a bit offputting and I had a lot of bags to schlep. After a subway trip out to the last stop in the Bronx, my girl and I were picked up by our buddies and we were off. Goin’ to the Country was playing in my head, very apropos since Hunter Mountain is very close to Woodstock, NY, and I always associate Country Joe with Woodstock. I spent time up in “Upstate NY” as a child – so, this was like going home, very familiar terrority…with the tribe. Wow, I love Mountain Jam.
Showtime: Dr. Dog canceled at the last moment so there was a shifting in schedule. Toots and the Maytals were playing Friday, and a second set of Lettuce was to follow on Saturday. Not so bad, except I missed Toots. And Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue and Grace Potter & The Nocturnals. A real bummer. However, after all was said and done, I made it to The Avett Brothers, Gov’t Mule and Les Claypool/The New Mastersounds madness.
Mule: Oh I love me some Mule. Love Warren, his talent, the shredding, the band, Jorgen Carlsson on bass makes Mule even that hotter. With Matt Abts on drums and Danny Louis on keys…. well, the whole band just rocks. I realized that the reasons that people may not like Gov’t Mule (“It’s very heavy.” “too hard”) are exactly the reasons I love Gov’t Mule. To me, you can never be too heavy, too hard – fast guitars, wailing keys, a heavy beat bringing the noise tumbling down through your body and your brains? Yeah. That’s Mule, and that’s why I love them. Outfrikkinrageous.
First Set: Raging. Dead on raging. I stomped my feet on the mountain, I shook my head side to side, eyes closed, shook my behind so hard and kept my balance on the slope of the mountain. Yes. I felt it in my bones. We had arrived. Mule was on stage. The weather was gorgeous. Bliss. They ended first set with Thorazine Shuffle. Whooo damn, it was just first set! My friends laughed at me and said, “yeah, that’s right girl, this is all you – Mulehead.” Yeah, well… some things are true.
Second Set: They started with Pink Floyd, the same two songs they played at Wanee (One of these days and Fearless). Wanee memories crossed into Mountain Jam reality and I laughed out loud. They broke out some Hendrix w/ The Wind Cries Mary (loving it!) and then Les Claypool joins in on the fun and the banter between Les and Warren go a bit like this: “We’ve been practicing this song for a while… “so don’t F it up Warren.”
As if Warren would do such a thing!! Next up, Abts goes crazy during the drum solo and brings out timpani sticks and just beats the drums like there’s no tomorrow. We slide into Wishing Well into Raven Black Night, and I heard a flute up there. I look up and it is Kofi Burbridge blowin’ on that flute, it sounds like dancing. Twirling dancers. Then we fly into a Fleetwood Mac tune Gold Dust Woman with Grace Potter wailing like only Amazing Grace can. Phew boy, Night 1 has begun!
Set 1: Intro, Stay With Me, New World Blues, World Gone Wild, Time To Confess, The Shape I’m In, Monkey Hill >, Monday Mourning Meltdown, Where Did You Sleep Last Night, Thorazine Shuffle
Set 2: One Of These Days >, Fearless, The Wind Cries Mary, Greasy Granny’s Gopher Gravy (Part 1 & 2) > (w/ Les Claypool), Drums, Wishing Well, Raven Black Night > (w/ Kofi Burbridge), Gold Dust Woman (w/ Grace Potter) Encores: Inside Outside Woman Blues, Any Open Window >, Steppin’ Lightly
Late Night Show: The New Mastersounds. Stop right here. Go to this page and find a show near you. They are a London based band, heavy funk, heavy soul oh good lord. Kofi Burbridge showed up again and played a couple of songs, the room rocked. You could feel it. These guys rocked me. Rocked my friends. Rocked the house. They could be my new favorite band. Go see Live Music!!
I experienced the first of my schizophrenic music behavior on Day 1 – running between the Colonel’s Hall with Mastersounds, and running up the mountain for Les Claypool. I had left a very very steamy set going on in the Hall and knew I was going to see Les at Brooklyn Bowl on Tuesday when I get back, but still wanted to get some Les in. I was trying to figure out what to do, so I finally just stopped and stood on the mountain for a second. I took it in, felt the Mountain energy, looked up at the stage and listened to the deep bass plucking from Mr. Claypool. Ahhh. Then I bolted down back to The Mastersounds. I heard I wasn’t the only one with schizophrenic music behavior that evening.
Stay tuned for Mountain Jam- Day 2.