May 31 â€“ June 3, 2012
Setting out to once again deliver on its “Life is a Festival” mantra, Mountain Jam returned for its eighth consecutive year from high atop the hills of Hunter, NY.
Dually hosted by Radio Woodstock and venerable jam statesman, Warren Haynes, Mountain JamÂ has managed to pull off what few could: maintain just enough tradition to keep the recidivism rate high, but not to a point that would scare away potential virgins.
Through the years, the event has developed a fervent following of “jammers.” For these folks, the festival has become an annual pilgrimage that is not only an event that allows them to get a high octane dose of guitar heroics from Haynes; it is also about community and reunion — a yearly respite from the everyday hustle and bustle, amongst like minded individuals. But this is in no way meant to take anything away from the tie that initially bound them all together and is also responsible for bringing welcomed new members into the fold each year.
Let’s face it, Mountain Jam is hosted by Warren and his spirit is infectious. There are times when one would swear that he has the ability to teleport. Just as he does with Christmas Jam or any other event that he hosts, the title is not just honorary.
Warren is a man who musicians like to be around, irrespective of genre, and it is due to this (and the fact that he is a badass) that he is able to curate a lineup that is suitable to not only his style and what he feels will offer up necessary diversity, but also to the sought after Mountain Jam vibe.Â Nothing against Girl Talk (well… maybe a little something) but you won’t find his plagiarism in Hunter, NY.Â It wouldn’t fit — plus Warren couldn’t sit in with him. Nope, at Mountain Jam you will find bands like The Word (North Mississippi Allstars plus John Medeski and Robert Randolph), The Roots, Tedeschi Trucks Band, Anders Osborne, Gary Clark, Jr., Dawes and rising stars like Delta Rae.
Of course Mountain Jam wouldn’t be complete without the act that is under current Warren management (Gov’t Mule, this year) and the only other event staple (aside from Haynes), Michael Franti.
Elementally, Mountain Jam had it all again in 2012: a perfectly loving vibe, a well stocked lineup and once in a lifetime collaborations between some of the greatest bands of today and one of the top guitarists in rock history, Warren Haynes. When taken succinctly amidst the cool nighttime air and under the clear star-filled sky, the 2012 Mountain Jam experience was one of pure ecstasy… again.
Courtesy of taper extraordinaire, Scott Bernstein*
Set of the Weekend
Click the thumbnail(s) to view photos from the fest by Vernon Webb…
— Honest Tune Magazine (@HonestTuneMag) June 27, 2012
* Unless noted otherwise