September 30, 2006
Words/photos by Michael Saba
Sautee is a beautiful town nestled in the hills of north Georgia. Although it is often referenced as being "near Helen," it has much more character than the famous faux-alpine village. The Sautee Jamboree is put together by the residents of the town in effort to benefit for the Sautee-Nacoochee Community Association, a non-profit community and arts center; more specifically, proceeds are ear-marked for the restoration of SNCA's historic gym.
The festival, held September 30, included a great line-up with every act bringing impressive musicianship to the stage. The day started with The Last Waltz Ensemble with Tony G, and Tony Tyler. This ensemble always guarantees great musicians playing classic Band songs. Second to take the stage was Jon Harris and the Sin Hounds, who brought a crew of devoted fans and gained a lot of new ones. Sol Driven Train kept the crowd moving through the day with dueling guitars and enthusiastic horns. Playing on home turf, native sons Big City Sunrise had no problem keeping the crowd warm as the day turned to night. Headliners Blueground Undergrass played until the last allotted minute and closed the festival out in style. Every band brought guests to the stage. It was a community jam to the fullest extent, with up to twenty musicians playing together at one time.
This is a festival that could be huge. The music was fantastic. The weather was perfect. However, the most impressive factor was the locals. Everyone was genuinely nice and extremely accommodating and, most importantly, concerned that a good time was had by all.