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High Sierra Music Festival 2012 (Images and Overview)
Here’s Tanya Fuller’s overview of the event followed by Jeffrey Dupuis’ images
High Sierra Music Festival is a four day festival held in Quincy, CA every 4th of July weekend, bringing Northern California an eclectic variety of music. This year the festival was at its biggest yet (since its inception 20 years ago) with people coming in from all over to see Delta Spirit, The Lumineers, Built to Spill, and Deer Tick, among many others. While there were the big name headliners like Ben Harper, Toots and The Maytals, Ryan Bingham, and STS9, HSMF did a solid job of bringing in on-the-verge bands. From vintage sounding country rock Nicki Bluhm and The Gramblers, to the Motet covering the Grateful Dead funk-style, to the musings of singer/songwriter Nathan Moore (affectionately known as the “mayor” of HSMF) and his Hippy Fiasco, every taste was accounted for.
What gives High Sierra Music Festival a leg up from the many other music festivals dotting the country, is the fact that a majority of those at HSMF are long time participants who have cultivated deep-rooted traditions within the gathering. Daily indoor play-shops give fans as well as musicians a chance to get together in more intimate settings where conversation and creativity are explored. This year, HSMF hosted singer/songwriter Steve Poltz (co-writer of Jewel’s hit song “You Were Meant For Me”) who entertained with personal songs and quirky stories about life on the road, invited Simon Kurth (Poor Man’s Whiskey and Huckle) back as musical director for improv music-making a la Guitarmageddon: Celebrating The Talking Heads-with Huckle Trio, Sean Leah, Josh Clark, Lebo (ALO) and Emily Pitcher (The New Up), and had bassist Steve Adams (ALO, Nicki Bluhm & The Gramblers, Big Light, Broke Down in Bakersfield) orchestrate stand-out collaborations with in-between-set musicians who threw down at The Ramble Gramble: A Tribute To Levon Helm.
With four day-time and four late-night stages, camping, and music workshops throughout the day, there is something for everyone, musicians and music connoisseurs alike. For those who are searching for a fun place to hear and participate in quality music while escaping to a stress-free community vibe, High Sierra Music Festival is where it’s at.