Mountain Jam, while fairly new, is as storied a festival as there is with a history of attracting some of the best jam bands on the scene. With its scenic location in the heart of the Catskill Mountains in upstate New York, it may be the most beautiful backdrop to a music festival you can find. This year’s official lineup has been set and announced and it is a doozie, with each of the four days bringing some of contemporary music’s best Americana and Rock n Roll artists. I feel it is my duty to bring you my top choices for the event as you don’t have to buy a ticket for all four days. Even if you do, you’ll have to make decisions on which stage to hit, here are a few helpful hints and light suggestions…
MUST SEE BANDS OF MOUNTAIN JAM 2016:
Thursday, June 2nd- The opening day of the festival is the shortest and the lightest on bands. Honestly the headliners don’t really jump out to me so maybe make this your big experimental day. Check out the small stages and see the up and coming talent. These guys are usually hungry for a crowd and play with a lot of heat so it could turn out to be a pretty fantastic show.
Friday, June 3rd- Day 2 is pretty top heavy, the headliners are all phenomenal acts and none are to be missed. Luckily they’re all probably main stage so I doubt they’ll be competing with one another. The top of the billing is Wilco, sooooo that’s a no brainer you have to see Wilco if you have the chance they’re one of the best rock bands out there right now if not THE best. Also at the top are Gov’t Mule and Jason Isbell one being a hardcore Southern Rock jam band and the other being one of the titans in the Alt-Country genre, Friday is not one to be missed. If you have some time on your hands spread the love and catch a smaller act I’m confident it will be worth it.
Saturday, June 4th- Here’s the thing, I’m not a big Beck fan, so odd as it is I’m not gonna throw him up as must see. BUT day three finds itself with loads of fire power the biggest being the big man in the skinny pants himself Nathaniel Rateliff and of course The Night Sweats. I’ve seen his festival sets before and I can confidently say, you absolutely 100% need to see him play live if you’re a fan it is just a must. If your soul craving isn’t satisfied with just some Night Sweats, well I have very good news cause Saturday is pretty much all soul all the time. Also playing that day are Gary Clark Junior, a super talented vocalist and guitarist, as well as Son Little. Those of you who read this blog for whatever reason with any regularity may remember Son Little as the New Blues style opener for Leon Bridges. The boys and girls of that group are doing the festival circuit these days (they’ll also be playing Newport) and they are well worth a watch.
Sunday, June 5th- The Avett Brothers folks… that’s all you need to know. The Avetts are playing the wrap up to the festival and what a perfect point to end it on. These guys put on arguably the best live show out there right now and are the biggest must see of the entire event. Brandi Carlile is another one of the big names for the day and I highly suggest you make it to her set. Finally, make sure you catch The Ballroom Thieves as they have a great sound and put on a high energy fun show.
So to sum it up, Mountain Jam 2016 is going to be an absolute blast and is not something to be missed. You can find the website here to get yourself some tickets. As a little bonus here is a highlight from last year’s festival. Don’t be lazy or stupid get those tickets ASAP!!!