Mountain Fair schedules eclectic range of sounds
Carbondale’s Mountain Fair is determined to prove that, unlike other long-running music festivals, it’s not pigeonholed into one genre.
The annual festival seeks to schedule diverse acts incorporating original and traditional music from a variety of cultures into their acts, said Mountain Fair music director Amy Kimberly.
“Each year, we strive to find new and interesting sounds that please and challenge fair-goers,” she said. “This has created a musical menu that can include everything from gospel and bluegrass to Afro-Cuban funk and reggae while still adding up to a satisfying meal.”
Live music on the gazebo stage in Sopris Park features the following eclectic entertainers:
– The players: The Kissers
– The time: 5:35-6:45 p.m.
– The scene: Imagine a crowded Irish pub filled with young dancers enjoying a dose of high-energy Celtic rock with an edge. Don’t miss The Kissers, a seven-piece band from Madison, Wis. The band will play songs from its latest CD, “Fire in the Belly,” promising a set of traditional Celtic melodies and modern rock rhythms.
– The scoop: Fans of the Clumsy Lovers or the Pogues will enjoy this show.
– The Web: http://www.thekissers.com
– The players: Oakhurst
– The time: 7:15-8:30 p.m.
– The scene: Mountain Fair picks bands before they make it big: The String Cheese Incident, Leftover Salmon and Yonder Mountain String Band all appreciated the chance to play for Carbondale. Oakhurst follows in its tradition of blending acoustic instrumentation with rock elements, playing hard, loud and with enthusiasm (what they call “porch music”). This Denver-based quintet will play songs from its recent release, “Greenhorn,” and mix in some crowd-pleasing surprises.
– The scoop: Oakhurst is headlining New Belgium Brewery’s Tour De Fat across the west this summer.
– The Web: http://www.porchmusic.com
– The players: Sweet Sunny South
– The time: noon to 1:15 p.m.
– The scene: Combine the beauty of the North Fork Valley with anxiety from being sprayed with Malathion on a weekly basis to create the setting for an old-timey sound with a nervous twitch. Paonia-based Sweet Sunny South, featuring left-handed banjo player Bill Powers, will play original bluegrass and old-time tunes from the popular “Bell Creek Dance Club” CD and the newest release, “Wild ‘n Swingin’.”
– The scoop: Sweet Sunny South will stay through the night in Carbondale with a show at Steve’s Guitars (doors at 8 p.m., and the show starts at 8:30 p.m.)
– The players: SoulFeel
– The time: 1:45-2:45 p.m.
– The scene: Valley quartet SoulFeel plays funky roots rock with a twist of Delta blues. In the last year, SoulFeel has grown musically and in popularity. (Locals Choice voters recently named the band the best in the Roaring Fork Valley.) SoulFeel features Brad Foster and Brook Mooney on vocals and guitars, Dane Wilson on drums, and Keith Ball on bass.
– The scoop: Look for strong harmonies and original tunes from SoulFeel, which plans a national tour this fall.
– The Web: http://www.soulfeel.net
– The players: Warsaw Poland Bros.
– The scene: 4:30-6 p.m. This hardworking band, featuring brothers Crix and Aaron Poland, plays more than 300 gigs per year from Hawaii to New York City. The band has been rewarded with four albums, radio airplay in 23 states and songs played on MTV and other national broadcasts. While best known for ska tunes, Warsaw’s range includes influences from Celtic to punk and Jamaican dancehall traditions. The Honolulu Weekly described them as “Bad Religion meets the Pogues with a Jamaican twist, a modern-day Clash.”
– The scoop: Teens and young audiences often suggest bands such as this for Mountain Fair, and they are sure to enjoy Saturday night. The crowd will be up and dancing for Warsaw.
– The players: Yo, Flaco!
– The time: 7-8:30 p.m.
– The scene: Six formally trained jazz musicians and two quick-witted MCs mixed with funk and soul make the Yo, Flaco! sound. Live shows allow the band to use crowd participation and improvisation to create genre-bending hip-hop that appeals to audiences of all ages. Yo, Flaco! has been named the Best Unsigned Band in America and its second CD, “Goin At It,” garnered a nomination for an American Music Award.
– The scoop: As hip-hop has grown, there has been a movement among some groups to focus on live instrumentation rather than sampling recordings. Yo, Flaco! is part of the live instrumentation movement.
– The Web: http://www.yoflaco.com
– The players: Madam Andrews and the Heavenly Echoes
– The time: 10:45-11:45 a.m.
– The scene: Madam Andrews and company from the City of Refuge Tabernacle in Denver return with their moving presentation of gospel music. The Echoes were a hit with the Sunday morning crowd at the 2003 Mountain Fair.
– The scoop: Music in the morning and cooler temperatures lend themselves to visiting with friends, shopping for arts and crafts, and just plain relaxing.
– The players: Blue Highway
– The time: 12:15-1:30 p.m.
– The scene: This Grammy-nominated band has won almost every major bluegrass award, and its recordings have enjoyed the No. 1 spot on bluegrass music charts. The bluegrass supergroup includes some of the genre’s finest instrumentalists. Blue Highway’s latest Rounder Records release, “Marbletown” debuted at No. 5 on the Billboard bluegrass chart and is earning rave reviews.
– The scoop: Local guitarist Dale Will was a college bandmate of Rob Ickes, Blue Highway’s award-winning dobro player, and helped make this performance possible.
– The players: ThaMuseMeant
– The time: 12:15-1:30 p.m.
– The scene: One less jam band leads to one sassy string band. Shortly after a visit to Mountain Fair in 2000, this national touring jam band broke up. Members rested and experimented with new sounds before re-emerging in 2003 with a new focus on acoustic music.
– The scoop: The ladies shine in this band. Check out bassist Aimee Curl’s distinctive vocals and the fiddle work of Enion Pelta.
– The players: Aphrodesia
– The time: 5:15-6:30 p.m.
– The scene: Aphrodesia is an 11-piece Afro-beat band from San Francisco that tours the country in a biodiesel bus and helped form an organization of touring acts that promote using such environmentally friendly modes of travel. The band incorporates sounds and beats from across Africa with socially conscious lyrics and offers a lively visual presentation to enjoy while shaking it on the dance floor.
– The scoop: Dress exotic for the evening and let your hair down.
– The Web: http://www.aphrodesia.org
– The players: Kan’Nal
– The time: 7-8:30 p.m.
– The scene: One of Kan’Nal’s first performances after returning to the U.S. from Guatemala in 2003 was at Mountain Fair. The band blends world beat, hypnotic rhythms, uplifting messages and fire dancing into a mystical groove. Kan’Nal uses drums, guitars, didgeridoo, bass and vocals to call the Carbondale tribe together for the fair’s finale.
– The scoop: Music can change people, and people can change choices.
-The Web: http://www.kannal.org
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