Shook Twins

Music-fan tribes of all stripes gathered for the Independence Day weekend to luxuriate in the 29th annual High Sierra Music Festival in tiny Quincy, California, basking in the music, vibes, joy, and friendships old and new. Over the four-day celebration, among the beautiful clear-aired mountainous sky and mountains, fun oozed everywhere, from the scheduled and numerous unscheduled live performances and collaborations to the often luxurious and nicely appointed home bases set up in the campgrounds.

The 18th Annual Northwest String Summit (String Summit) is one of the top boutique live music experiences in the country and presents today's leaders in the Americana, Bluegrass, Indy Rock, and Jam genres. It all happens at the iconic Horning's Hideout (North Plains, OR) from July 18 - 21, 2019. Located just 20 miles outside of Portland, OR, Horning's Hideout, a private family-owned reserve of old-growth trees, wild peacocks, ponds, and campsites, is among the West's most awe-inspiring festival sites in the country.

The 18th Annual Northwest String Summit (String Summit) is one of the top boutique live music experiences in the country and presents today's leaders in the Americana, Bluegrass, Indy Rock, and Jam genres. It all happens at the iconic Horning's Hideout (North Plains, OR) from July 18 - 21, 2019. Located just 20 miles outside of Portland, OR, Horning's Hideout, a private family-owned reserve of old-growth trees, wild peacocks, ponds, and campsites, is among the West's most awe-inspiring festival sites in the country.

The Joshua Tree Music Festival (JTMF) returned to Joshua Tree Lake RV and Campground on May 17 – May 20, the 16th edition of the spring festival.  The family festival by day, Burning Man by night event brought with it the usual camaraderie and community the festival is legendary for, in addition to the multitude of visual and interactive art installations, Kidsville, eclectic vendors, and world-class, globally-influenced music lineup.  The festival consists for four primary performance stages, a Vibration Statio

Highlighted by spirited headlining performances by The Devil Makes Three (Saturday), The Infamous Stringdusters (Friday), and Railroad Earth (Sunday), there was a profound additional component to this year’s WinterWonderGrass Tahoe. The weather. Before turning all sunny on Sunday, Friday and Saturday’s proceedings included periodic showers of snow, graupel (look it up), and a little rain.

The stars seem to be aligning for John Craigie, a Portland-based songwriter whose stripped down and relatable songs are a refreshing dose of Americana in our saturated musical landscape. Craigie was recently picked by Jack Johnson to open for the West Coast leg of his Summer 2017 tour. This announcement comes after Johnson sat in during one of Craigie’s shows in Hawaii, and the two hit it off famously.

Following recent tours with lauded singer-songwriter Gregory Alan Isakov and bluegrass favorites Railroad Earth, Shook Twins return to select Northeast, West Coast, and Mountain markets to perform songs from their latest full-length album, What We Do. Shook Twins appear in NYC and Cambridge with Tall Heights, as well as with backing ensemble the Maine Youth Rock Orchestra (Cambridge & Maine).

The final day of Harvest was one of celebration. We managed to have perfect weather, and even Yonder Mountain String Band was singing the praises of clear skies. As usual, some of the best shows happened on Saturday, the day when we all try to cram in as much music and fun as possible…ready-but-not-ready for our journey home the next day.

Yet another beautifully sunny day graced us on Friday at Yonder Mountain String Band's Harvest Music Festival. Not a drop of rain and enough sunshine to charge cell phones (a rarity among the few most recent Harvest festivals.) There is such happiness floating through the campsites and stages, families are playing and wrangling children, and barbeque nachos are in my near future. Life is good.

No single thing makes a festival the “best festival ever.” Sure, one great band can make it really good. Or maybe the campground scene was where it was at. But it’s really when you group those moments with the ones of unbearable laughter, silly dancing, and inspirational people that a festival becomes the “best ever.” And you know what? The Northwest String Summit consistently brings the best.

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