For many concertgoers, High Sierra Music Festival also serves as a family reunion of sorts, a place to meet up with friends and family as you imbibe, dance and celebrate with loved ones. Smiling children chase each other from stage to stage with squirt guns and the campsites that fill the festival grounds are more than just sleeping quarters, they’re makeshift living rooms filled with love, laughter and music.
Familial bonds don’t stop at the festivalgoers either; Day 3 saw a handful of acts with relationships thicker than water.
Brothers Mark and Matt Hill form the electronic/jam duo The Floozies and are certainly one of the most unique bands at this year’s High Sierra. The band formed about seven years ago in Lawrence, Kansas. Drummer Mark Hill explains:
“It all just kinda evolved organically from Matt doing guitar loop-station stuff and me just being his biggest fan and his brother and being at all of his shows. … So I just added drums to his guitar looping at a couple house parties and they were raging so we just kept going.”
Onstage the duo is relentlessly fun with Matt drawing on his knowledge as both a producer/DJ and a guitarist to steer the show in myriad directions.
“We just do what we’re best at,” Matt says when asked if it’s hard to balance between live instrumentation and electronic music.”We don’t have a quota for playing X amount of live stuff and X amount –” before Matt can even finish his thought, Mark is adding to it, “We just do what we have to to put on the most fun show possible.” Matt nods in agreement.
Their High Sierra set on Saturday afternoon flooded the Big Meadow with dancing bodies while Matt swayed and played along with their tracks behind a pair of laptops and Mark doing the same at his kit. Highlights of the set included remixes of Parliament’s “Flashlight” and Earth, Wind & Fire’s “Serpentine Fire.”
North Mississippi Allstars
Founded by brothers Cody and Luther Dickinson in 1996, the North Mississippi Allstars are veterans of the festival circuit and this is their band’s third appearance at High Sierra since 2003. Their set Saturday afternoon at the Grandstand stage featured bassist Danielle Schnebelen from Kansas City-based blues band Trampled Under Foot, which she plays in with her two brothers Kris and Nick.
Covers of “Sittin’ On Top Of The World,” “It Hurts Me Too” and a medley of “Someday Baby” into Bob Marley’s “Exodus” highlighted the set.
The four piece gypsy-folk group shook the Vaudeville Tent from its slumber at 10 a.m. Saturday morning. The Colorado-based quartet features Silas Herman on mandolin, guitar and vocals. Silas and his father Vince Herman of Leftover Salmon are perfect examples of the apple and the tree. High Sierra Music Festival benefits greatly from having two generations of such a talented family performing at its 26th anniversary.
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