The California Honeydrops
Once again, paths to music, wonder, and joyful celebration converged in early July at the four-day High Sierra Music Festival in the small mountain town of Quincy, California, where the elevation is twice the number of the population. Headlined by Sturgill Simpson, The String Cheese Incident, Chris Robinson Brotherhood, Grace Potter, George Porter Jr., Melvin Seals and more, this was the 28th High Sierra Fest. and the 20th at the county fairgrounds in Quincy.
Highlighted by spirited headlining performances by The Devil Makes Three (Saturday), The Infamous Stringdusters (Friday), and Railroad Earth (Sunday), there was a profound additional component to this year’s WinterWonderGrass Tahoe. The weather. Before turning all sunny on Sunday, Friday and Saturday’s proceedings included periodic showers of snow, graupel (look it up), and a little rain.
There was a decidedly day-glo hue to the bluegrass played at this year’s Northwest String Summit (July 16-19). Many of the musical merry-makers, and deadicated patrons alike, appeared to still be basking in the warm fluorescent after-light of the “Fare Thee Well” experience. The haunting presence of the now officially departed Dead continues to populate and positively inform a new generation of musical/spiritual adventurers.
Nestled in the Sierras at the base of Squaw Valley Lodge, Winter Wonder Grass opened its door for the first time on the West Coast to deliver a top notch line up of Bluegrass music. The previously only located in Colorado festival spread its wings to expand to another Grass loving area in Tahoe. Billed as a Beer and Music festival the bill, did not lie. Every major brewer on the West Coast was in attendance from Lagunitas, Tahoe Favorite 50/50, Sierra Nevada Brewing Company, Green Flash and many, many more!
Halloween looms, and while most avid local music-goers are planning extravagant costumes for the Hallow’s Eve bash of their choice; last weekend the Fox Theatre hosted a rousing 2-night stand by growing “newgrass” favorites Greensky Bluegrass. Hailing from Michigan, these guys throw a range of soulful bluegrass originals, standards, and playful classic covers out on any given night.