The Sopris Sun

Carbondale Mountain Fair announces music lineup

Sopris Sun Staff Report

Folks who plan their Mountain Fair around the Gazebo Stage music lineup can start looking ahead to the weekend of July 29-31.

As usual, expect an eclectic blend of everything from world beat to cumbia, with a healthy dose of rock, blues, Americana, country and the unclassifiable.

Friday evening starts at 4 p.m. in front of the Gazebo with the Fireball Drum Circle (note: that’s what The Sopris Sun calls the drum circle, anyway) and opening ceremony with Rhythms of the Heart.

At 5 p.m. on Friday, it’s Sneaky Pete and the Secret Weapons. “The Weapons have been taking Wyoming by storm with their funky, gritty, jam funk that gives you no choice but to get up and dance,” said a Mountain Fair press release. “Their weapons are instruments and they will start the 45th (Mountain Fair) off in great-groove style. One of the band members, Jack Tolan, is a Roaring Fork Valley local so expect a great show of friendship.”

Wrapping up Friday’s action at 7 p.m., it’s the Portland based Tango Alpha Tango. From the first bluesy electric-guitar riff, front man Nathan Trueb shows his ability to write a good tune and dominate a guitar neck, but the band’s flawless fusion of blues and rock, with funky bass lines and psychedelic keys, make it the perfect kick-off to Friday night at Mountain Fair.

Saturday, July 30

11 a.m. — Zononoka is part of the Western Slope Rhythm Collective, and is bringing marimbas and drumming to new heights. Featured musicians include locals Eric Baumheier, Aja McAdams and friends.

12:30 p.m. — Niceness hails from the San Juan region of Colorado. The band blends solid grooves with lyrics that hail back to the origins of reggae music, with nods to soul, hip-hop and funk. Their debut recording is called “Sunshine.” The lead singer, Koral, said she found her conscious roots at Colorado Rocky Mountain School.

2:30 p.m. — PigPen Theater Company is band of storytellers. Their debut album, “Bremen,” was named #10 album of the year in The Huffington Post’s 2012 Grammy preview, sending the group on tour where they played to sold-out crowds across the country. In 2015, PigPen released their second album, “Whole Sun.” They also performed at Mumford  & Sons’ return to the Gentlemen of the Road Festival, and made their feature film debut in Jonathan Demme’s “Ricki and the Flash” starring Meryl Streep. “These guys have their own Ted Talk, blogs and theater shows. Expect the unexpected with acoustic instrumentation and soaring vocals,” said the Mountain Fair press release.

5 p.m. — Gipsy Moon (sic) is a four-piece group of artists on an endless musical journey, sharing songs with the hopes of planting inspiration into the soul, starting a fire in the heart, and building community that invokes love in its wildest manifestations. The blend of gypsy jazz, indie folk and bluegrass create music that hippies and poets, lovers and dancers, freaks and families alike can all come together to sing and dance to until the sun comes up. Note: Silas Herman is the son of Leftover Salmon front man Vince Herman.

7 p.m. — Atomga is 10-piece Afro-funk collective. Since their inception in 2011, they have studied the hypnotic grooves and lyrical prowess of Afro-beat’s forefathers in order to maintain musical integrity and contribute to that music form in a modern setting. Atomga’s music encourages their listeners to wake up and grasp life with awareness as they humbly tackle socially conscious topics such as human rights, corporate greed, government oppression and last, but not least — the need for more love in this world. They also advocate for the environment.

Sunday, July 31

11 a.m. — Gospel (group to be announced).

12:30 p.m. — Pearl and Wood is actually Natalie Spears and Ellie Barber, who will “give us a dose of good old girl Americana!”

2:30 p.m. — Bicycle Annie takes listeners on a journey with roots in the 1990’s alternative music scene. “Bicycle Annie knows how to rock a crowd.”

5 p.m. — Jarabe Mexicana takes its name from the Spanish reference to traditional forms of mariachi music. The ensemble incorporates the diversity of their backgrounds and musical training into a vast Latin repertoire that includes traditional boleros, huapangos, sones and rancheras, as well as contemporary cumbias, reggae, doo wop and American standards.

7 p.m. — The Tennessee-based Black Lillies have won acclaim for their “country-tinged, western-hinged” Americana music. They have played the Grand Ol’ Opry, the Bonaroo Music Festival, Pickathon, and Pagosa Folk and Bluegrass Festival. “Keep your eye on this band! They will bring this festival home in some foot stomping style.”

For more on the 45th annual Carbondale Mountain Fair, visit carbondalearts.com.

Published in The Sopris Sun on May 26, 2016.