One of the longest-running and most popular rock music festivals in the Northeast, Mountain Jam has been in the news all season because of its decision to leave Hunter Mountain – the only home it has ever known – for the big shed and historic environs of Bethel. While that move is a big departure, the lineup is more like a big return to form, turning its back on the Brooklyn-psyched indie-rock that it had been flirting with for half a decade or so and roping in a lineup of roots, blues, jam and earthy singer/songwriter rock – in other words, homebase. Willie Nelson & Family and Phil Lesh & Friends represent the old guard of progressive American musical movements, while relative youngsters like the Avett Brothers bring more reverence for tradition to their roots. Ironies like that are just par for the course here. Warren Haynes is back on the scene, both as organizer and for two sets with the festival’s flagship band, Gov’t Mule. Speaking of flagships, Michael Franti and Spearhead are back after a one-year absence, and all is right in the world. There are other stunners in the lineup, like the great Alison Krause, the Revivalists, a number of progressive jam outfits like Joe Russo’s Almost Dead and his former partner-in-crime Marco Benevento. Toots & the Maytals bring the requisite reggae, and the Allman Betts Band brings the requisite…Allmans and Betts. And the time has come. See the website for the full lineup and schedule, as well as for the complex ticketing and camping options.
Mountain Jam, Thursday-Sunday, June 13-16, Bethel Woods Center for the Arts, 200 Hurd Rd., Bethel, www.mountainjam.com