High Sierra Music Festival: The Top 5 bands

Tahoe Onstage
The Record Company had two inspirational performances at the High Sierra Music Festival.
Spencer Kilpatrick’s notebook: At my second High Sierra Music Festival, things were a little better than my first. I found a better camp, drank more water and scheduled things more efficiently. It was still obscenely hot and I was still grossed out by just how basic white people can be in large, vaguely spiritual crowds, but I was certainly more appreciative of the opportunity and took full advantage of being able to discover so many new (to me) artists. Here are my Top 5 performances of the festival:
  1. The Record Company

This three piece was a straight ahead blues-rock group dressed in black tees and jeans. While there was nothing remarkable about their sound, they had solid songs and looked like they were having a helluva fun time onstage. Lead singer Chris Vos jumped from guitar to lap steel to harmonica and played each with the same conviction. It was easy to buy into their set. I like them … even though they’re from L.A.
  1. The California Honeydrops

The Bay Area-based soul group had some help from members of Grace Love and The True Loves to help thicken their sound and put on an incredible show at the Grandstand stage. Lead singer Lech Wierzynski’s voice sounds like a combination of Delbert McClinton’s and Robert Palmer’s and he plays the blue-eyed soul bit to a tee. His vocals in tandem with Grace Love’s on “People Get Ready” was one of the goosebump-inducing moments of the festival.

Gene Evaro Jr.

  1. Gene Evaro Jr.

I saw them Day 1 of the festival at the Vaudeville stage and was blown away. They were both heavy and dancey, poppy and heady. Drummer Ben Kennedy, percussionist Mitchell Arganda and bassist Piper Robison were an exciting, rhythm section that never strayed from what the song needed. And while the guitar playing was a little to John Mayer-esque at times, Evaro never overplayed. The group’s cover of The Cure’s “Love Song” was a festival standout.

Derek Trucks

  1. Tedeschi Trucks Band

I will forever miss the “Songlines” era Derek Trucks Band with Todd Smallie and Yonrico Scott and Mike Mattison singing lead, but anything Derek Trucks is involved in will always be amazing. His slide playing was, as always, nuanced, tasteful, emotive, and a cut above his peers. This group was made for old “Mad Dogs & Englishmen” material and they slayed each cover. Mattison’s howls at the end “Sticks & Stones” was the single greatest moment of the festival for me.

Soul Rebels

  1. The Soul Rebels

The most intriguing thing about this group was that everything came second to the groove. Chops, arrangement, everything. This is a band that knows its strengths and damn sure knows how to play to them. Seeing this group turn the Vaudeville tent into a late night New Orleans jukejoint was such a joyously unique experience. The instrumentation of two trumpets, two line drummers, two trombones, a tenor sax and a sousaphone is traditional but their use of singable melodies and dynamics to help emulate the drops of modern hip-hop and electronic music was absolutely engrossing.

Tahoe Onstage For complete coverage of the High Sierra Music Festival, go to the Festivals page. LINK
  • Tahoe Onstage crew lists Top 5 favorite performances at 2016 High Sierra Music Festival
  • Larry Sabo 1 – The Accidentals 2 – Gene Evaro Jr. 3 – Billy Strings 4 – Sierra Hull 5 – Samantha Fish
  • Garrett Bethmann 1 – Lettuce 2 – Industrial Revelation 3 – Samantha Fish 4 – The Dip 5 – Kiev
  • Tim Parsons 1 – North Mississippi Allstars 2 – Anders Osborne 3 – Samantha Fish 4 – TAUK 5 – The Record Company
  • Spencer Kilpatrick 1 – The Soul Rebels 2 – Tedeschi Trucks 3 – Gene Evaro Jr. 4 – California Honeydrops 5 – The Record Company —
  • Tahoe OnstageTahoe Onstage
   

ABOUT Spencer Kilpatrick

Spencer Kilpatrick
Author Spencer Kilpatrick graduated from the University of Nevada, Reno with a degree in English. He hates the Lakers and his top three emcees are Blu, Earl Sweatshirt and Nas.

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2 Responses

    1. Sorry Riff but as a matter of fact I did miss those bands. There is just too much to see even with a crew of 4 we couldn’t get to them all. I’ve seen the New Mastersounds and the Motet but look forward to the others you mention at the next opportunity. Thanks for the post.

      Anyone else please post your own Top 5 at High Sierra 2016…

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