(HUNTER, N.Y.) – Beck, Wilco, the Avett Brothers and Gov’t Mule headline the 12th annual Mountain Jam, which takes place at Hunter Mountain from Thursday, June 2, through Sunday, June 5. With an increasing emphasis on indie-rock and Americana, the four-day festival will also include appearances by Umphrey’s McGee, Brandi Carlile, Jason Isbell, Gary Clark Jr., Michael Franti & Spearhead, Courtney Barnett, Chris Robinson Brotherhood, and Lettuce, among many others.
New to the festival are Houndmouth, Nahko and Medicine for Tthe People, Marco Benevento & Superhuman Happiness: A Tribute to David Bowie, and emerging artists The Record Company, Quilt, Darlingside, Elijah Wolf, Wild Adriatic, the Movement, Scott Sharrard, and Upstate Rubdown.
After playing locally in and around its native Indiana, Houndmouth burst on the scene and was immediately signed after its fledging performance at SXSW Music Festival in 2011; the quartet’s debut album was hailed as one of the “most effortless, well-crafted mix of roots and rock.”
American world music collective Nahko and Medicine for the People continues to gather steam and a devoted and growing set of international fans with their message of personal, spiritual and social healing as told through music, described as both “beautiful and stirring” by Huffington Post.
For more than a decade, pianist Marco Benevento has burned up the keys on some of the mightiest stages, from Carnegie Hall to Newport Jazz, and returns to Mountain Jam on Thursday night with another roaring dance rock set, this time in homage to the Hudson Valley’s beloved David Bowie.
Festival programming also includes thought-provoking topics and recreational activities. Back for its second year will be yoga with Michael Franti, who joins attendees in poses and practices before he and Spearhead take to the main stage on Sunday afternoon.
Jason Pinsky, CEO of Cannastract, a New York-based cannabis company, will lead lectures and Q&A sessions entitled “The Integration of Cannabis and Music Branding: From Sour Diesel to Snoop Dog” and “A History of Cannabis in America: Past, Present and Future.”
Documentary film director Jay Sansone will present a screening of his recently released film, “Let Us Play,” chronicling a six-month period on the road and in the recording studio with funk band Lettuce. The screening will be followed by a Q&A with Sansone along with members of Lettuce.
Iconic rock and roll photographer Jay Blakesberg will present “Chasing The Light,” a slide show/storytelling presentation about his 35 years in the business, documenting the Grateful Dead to his latest book, “Hippie Chick: A Tale of Love, Devotion & Surrender.” Blakesberg will be signing copies of his book immediately following the presentation.
Other highlights include Hula Hoop I/Hula Hoop II and Hoopography workshops.
Performances geared towards kids include Yogarama with the Bari Koral Family Band (a concert with yoga) and Ratboy Jr. Outside on Festival grounds, Wayfinder Experience and Wormtown Kid’s Tent will delight with games, crafts and various activities.
Festival favorite and new attractions also include Kundalini yoga, Vinyasa yoga, meditation and Gong Sound Healing with HariPrakaash; Frisbee golf tournaments; drum circles; massage, Karma Wash and Mountain Menagerie (an art installation of a psychedelic showcase of local, rare spirit animals).
The 2016 Festival already has been cited for including some of the best live performers, modern day songwriters, and a slew of recent Grammy winners and nominees. Festival first-timer Jason Isbell won two Grammy Awards in February, for Best Americana Album for “Something More Than Free” and Best Americana Roots Song for “24 Frames.”
Slated for June 2-5 at the Hunter Mountain ski resort, the four-day Festival’s line up includes the following artists:
The Avett Brothers
Gary Clark Jr.
Michael Franti & Spearhead
Chris Robinson Brotherhood
Nathaniel Ratliff & The Night Sweats
Sister Sparrow & The Dirty Birds
Nahko And Medicine For The People
The New Mastersounds
Kiss The Viper’s Fang: Marco Benevento & Superhuman Happiness’ Tribute To David Bowie
Donna the Buffalo
The London Souls
The Ballroom Thieves with Maine Youth Rock Orchestra
And The Kids
Marcus King Band
The Record Company
Jane Lee Hooker
The Suitcase Junket
The Paul Green Rock Academy
Yogarama with the Bari Koral Family Band
Originally conceived in 2005 as a single-day celebration of Radio Woodstock’s 25th anniversary, Mountain Jam has blossomed into a four-day, multistage event, featuring onsite camping, and one of the Northeast’s most pristine natural amphitheaters.
The Festival is now produced by Chet-5 Festivals and Townsquare Live Events, in collaboration with Radio Woodstock and Warren Haynes.
Over the years, Mountain Jam has hosted some of the top names in live music, including Robert Plant & The Sensational Space Shifters, The Black Keys, The Allman Brothers Band, Phil Lesh & Friends, Bob Weir & Ratdog, Widespread Panic, Gov’t Mule, My Morning Jacket, Dispatch, The Lumineers, Steve Winwood, The Avett Brothers, Alison Krauss & Union Station, Ray LaMontagne, Ben Folds Five, Primus, Michael Franti & Spearhead, Tedeschi Trucks Band, The Roots, Béla Fleck & The Flecktones, James Murphy (of LCD Soundsystem), Gary Clark, Jr., Robert Randolph & The Family Band, Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, Grace Potter & The Nocturnals, Mavis Staples, Girl Talk, The Hold Steady, Coheed & Cambria, Drive-By Truckers Yonder Mountain String Band, Les Claypool, Matisyahu, Dave Mason, Medeski Martin & Wood, Mike Gordon, G. Love & Special Sauce, Richie Havens, Martin Sexton, Ozomatli, Galactic, Brett Dennen, Gomez, New Orleans Social Club, Jackie Greene, Ingrid Michaelson, and The Felice Brothers, among many others.
In 2010, the festival presented Levon Helm’s 70th Birthday Jubilee with Warren Haynes, Donald Fagen, Ray LaMontagne, Sam Bush, Steve Earle, and others.