From the Pit | Mountain Jam 2008, Day 3

TheDayAfterMountainJam-4Sunday was going to be a shorter day than the prior two, ending at ten, but the lineup was going to be chock full of musical goodness. Ensuring that we were going to have the fortitude we needed meant a solid breakfast, one that was found in Maggie’s Krooked Cafe in Tannersville. Very yummy.

We missed the Felice Brothers, but I was sure to be set up well before Drive-By Truckers took the stage. I’d try to be objective here, but its not possible. I love this band.

Drive-By Truckers
Patterson Hood, DBT


DBT usually plays shows that run over two and a half hours, so seeing them for only 1:15 was a little strange for me. They split the set between their new album and some classics, closing with a ferocious “Lookout Mountain.”

Drive-By Truckers
Michael Cooley, DBT

As a photographer, they’re great subjects. With a stage usually sporting a number of Jack Daniel’s bottles, and Patterson Hood’s dynamic presence, they’re never dull.

Drive-By Truckers

While the last echoes of DBT rang out, Medeski Scofield Martin & Wood took the West Stage.

Medeski Scofield Martin & WoodMedeski Scofield Martin & WoodMedeski Scofield Martin & Wood
From the left, Chris Wood, Billy Martin and John Scofield.

Medeski Scofield Martin & Wood

This is one of my favorite photos of the weekend. Part of what is great about watching MMW live is seeing how they communicate and observe each other. As I watched the band, I noticed that all three of them were intently focused on John Scofield.

Medeski Scofield Martin & Wood

This guys was painting MSMW while they played their set. His take on the scene was unique, I think.

Mountain Jam Ferris Wheel
Ferris Wheel, overlooking the entire festival.

Up next was one of the most anticipated sets of the weekend, Levon Helm’s Ramble on the Mountain. Levon has been holding small, private concerts on his farm near Woodstock. For Mountain Jam, he decided to take the show on the road.

Levon Helm's Ramble on the Mountain
Levon Helm

From the opening “Ophelia” we were treated to a fantastic set of Band covers and pure Americana. An unexepected bonus for me was looking up and seeing Jimmy Vivino there. I am a huge Vivino fan, based on his remarkable work with The Fab Faux and seeing him with Levon was a real treat.

Levon Helm's Ramble on the Mountain
Jimmy Vivino

Finally, we come to the weekend closer, Bob Weir and Ratdog. If I had had any expectations of this set I would have been very disappointed. I’m not a big Bobby fan, and have never been impressed by Ratdog in the past. Sunday’s performance didn’t help.

Bob Weir and Ratdog

Starting off the set in an auspicous manner, Bob Weir could not remember the music, nor the words, to “Help on the Way.” For me, the only highlight of the first set was Warren sitting in on “Loser.” We left at the setbreak. I hope that the band in next year’s anchorman spot is more compelling.

So that’s it, three days of music and beverages. If you were there, what were your thoughts? We’re already looking forward to Mountain Jam 2009 (the fifth annual), and cannot wait to see what WDST and Warren Haynes do to up the ante for next year’s festival.

If you missed our coverage of Day 1 and Day 2, check ‘em out!
The entire set of Mountain Jam photos are here.

As I’ve mentioned a number of times, the setting for Mountain Jam cannot be beat. Upstate New York is one of the underrated areas of our country, lush and green. We did some hiking on the way home on Monday, and wanted to leave you with a couple of shots from the trail.

Kaaterskill Falls
Kaaterskill Falls, at 294′ the highest in New York State.

Kaaterskill Falls

  • Jeremy

    Had a great time at the fest. I to am a huge Drive by Trucker fan and that was number 30 me seeing them. Levon helms was incredible and Bobby didnt seem that into it. I think the Truckers should have gotten his slot. I too left at Bobbys set break, nobody would have left at DBT’s set break because they dont take one. Met some really cool people and saw some real assholes. Am I the only one who thinks that Philly, Jersey, NYC and Boston need to be nuked. All the assholes I met all weekend were from one of the four, with the Philly people being the worst. This doesnt apply to the cool people I met from upstate ny, vermont NH and Maine. Its a shame you guys get lumped in with the rest of the Yankees. I did come from down south, sorry had to vent, dumb redneck jokes can be inserted now.

  • Jeremy

    Had a great time at the fest. I to am a huge Drive by Trucker fan and that was number 30 me seeing them. Levon helms was incredible and Bobby didnt seem that into it. I think the Truckers should have gotten his slot. I too left at Bobbys set break, nobody would have left at DBT’s set break because they dont take one. Met some really cool people and saw some real assholes. Am I the only one who thinks that Philly, Jersey, NYC and Boston need to be nuked. All the assholes I met all weekend were from one of the four, with the Philly people being the worst. This doesnt apply to the cool people I met from upstate ny, vermont NH and Maine. Its a shame you guys get lumped in with the rest of the Yankees. I did come from down south, sorry had to vent, dumb redneck jokes can be inserted now.