By Michael Divine
This past summer, on the 4th of July weekend, I was again at High Sierra Music Festival up in Quincy, CA. It’s a beautiful area of California that reminds me a lot of Northern Vermont – rolling hills, farmlands, vast skies. It’s just that the trees are twice as tall and the environs just a bit more permissible. In any case, I returned there again this year and brought with me some big banners for the main stage. The banners were each one half of the painting Birth of a Star (Link) and were printed on speaker mesh so that they wouldn’t impede on the sound and so the wind could adequately blow through them. I was really stoked to be able to add to this really awesome festival. It’s been going on for 21 years and has such a friendly open vibe and is a ton of fun.
Some of the musical highlights included:
- The Warren Haynes Band: I saw him play years ago with Gov’t Mule. I was never much into the heavy southern rock thing of Gov’t Mule but this band: it’s smoking. With it’s nod towards funk and soul and Warren’s ripping guitar work, it was pretty quite stellar. Really: it cut right through me and was a phenomenal show.
- Los Amigos Invisibles: Last I saw these guys was somewhere in Massachusetts about 10 years ago. I first became aware of them via their Arepa 3000 album which was produced by David Byrne (an estimable and respectable figure). They’re non-stop funky wildness and were a perfect late afternoon fun time.
- Scott Law and Materialized: I think I’ve heard of these guys. In any case: psychedelic electric funky jazz rock funk stuff. Good times!
- Chris Robinson Band: I saw the Black Crowes for the first time the year before at High Sierra and they put on an incredibly soulful and heartfelt show. Chris’ band follows in that with a bit more improvisation and a lot of love. It was raw, solid, and honest.
There was a whole lot of other music in there too, some of which was truly awesome. I love music and I love to dance and find that, in those rhythms and patterns, the high and lows, I can lose myself in it and find so much inspiration that is later expressed through my artwork. In any case, I’m grateful for a chance to play up in the mountains with such stellar company.
I also want to extend my thanks and gratitude to Lisa Brown, ambiance crew coordinator, and Adam Roberts of Summit Art Licensing for helping to make this all happen. Really: truly grateful for your patience and willingness to move forwards and make it happen.