Michael Franti & Spearhead
We are thrilled to welcome Michael Franti and Spearhead back to Mountain Sol 2021!
Michael Franti is an American rapper, musician, poet, activist, documentarian, and singer-songwriter. Michael Franti is known for having participated in many musical projects (most of them with a political and social emphasis), including the Beatnigs and the Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy. He is the creator and lead vocalist of his current independent project, Michael Franti & Spearhead, a band that blends hip hop with a variety of other styles including funk, reggae, jazz, folk, and rock. He is also an outspoken supporter for a wide spectrum of peace and social justice issues, and he is especially an advocate for peace in the Middle East.
As world travelers for nearly two decades, Rising Appalachia have merged multiple global music influences with their own southern roots to create the inviting new folk album, Leylines. Remarkably the band has built its legion of listeners independently -- a self-made success story that has led to major festival appearances and sold-out shows at venues across the country.
Founded by sisters Leah and Chloe Smith, the band established an international fan base due to relentless touring, tireless activism, and no small degree of stubborn independence. However, for the first time, they opted to bring in a producer for the new album, teaming up with the legendary Joe Henry on the sessions. These were also their first recording sessions outside of the South. For 10 days, all six band members lived and recorded in a castle-like studio in Marin County, California, overlooking the Pacific Ocean. As a result, a sense of unity and immediacy can be heard throughout their seventh album, Leylines.
Dustbowl Revival has always been about pushing the boundaries of what American roots music can be. After celebrating over a decade of sonic adventuring and playing thousands of shows together in ten countries and counting, the group collected a devoted fanbase coast-to-coast. After throwing five of their own virtual Sway-At-Home festivals during the shut-down featuring nearly forty artists, the always evolving group of string and brass players led by founding members Z. Lupetin, Josh Heffernan, Ulf Bjorlin are excited to welcome a new wave of talent to the band, after emerging from a pandemic touring hiatus.
After spending years on the road, selling out hometown shows at LA's famed Troubadour, headlining festivals and wowing crowds from Denmark to China, Dustbowl Revival never stopped making their joyful, booty-shaking soul songs and cut-to-heart folk-rock ballads that lift up their transcendent live shows.
Even so, with the bands emotional new single "Beside You" and 2020's ambitious full length Is It You, Is It Me, they wanted to strike into new terrain. As they mined new energetic material from the place where folk and funk music meet, they teamed up with producer Sam Kassirer (Lake Street Dive, Josh Ritter) and engineer Brian Joseph (Bon Iver, Sufjan Stevens). The latest album strikes a more personal note than ever before, representing the latest stage in a band that never stops exploring new sounds.
Mestizo Beat is a collective of musicians based out of Los Angeles who compose and perform music influenced by the early 1970's era of funk, soul, afro-beat, and afro-cuban genre. Formed by lead guitarist Aquiles "Lito" Magaññ;a along with his brother Gus Magaña on drums. These two would come to share their passion and love for this era of music and become the driving core for the group. Influenced by the greats such as James Brown, Fred Wesley and the J.B.'s, Parliament Funkadelic, the Meters, and WAR.
The word Mestizo means the mix and blend of cultural heritage; you cannot find a better word to describe the blending of music, environment, and roots that takes place in Los Angeles, which is one of the most diverse regions in the world. The band members come from different cultural and ethnic backgrounds that enrich the music created and performed.
What is one to expect from a live performance of Mestizo Beat? One can expect an explosive dance party of heavy hitting rhythms that unify the audience and band into one pulse of love. The full ensemble also includes a brass section, organ player, and percussionist. Their sound creates a freight train of upbeat rhythms and groove that transcends their listeners to a state of exhilaration and rejoice. The beauty of diversity and cultural differences are embraced to boil into one universal meaning of love, rhythm, dance, and soul.
Ben was raised in a hub of activists, poets, artists and of course great musicians. They included frequent patrons such as Chris Darrow, Leonard Cohen, Jackson Browne and Taj Mahal – the latter of whom gave Ben his first major tour and asked him to record Follow the Drinking Gourd with him (1990), all of which culminated in playing with Taj on Austin City Limits (which would become the first of five times Ben would be on the show).
Born October 28, 1969 as the sixties came to a howling end, and having been raised in such a potent community, Ben's music and career embodies that musical brilliance, open mindedness, lyrical honesty and abiding social activism of that pivotal time. With over 15 million records sold worldwide, the career of this multi-GRAMMY award-winning musician, producer, activist and now, record label founder, spans decades, during which he has been established as a singularly powerful songwriter and performer with range across multiple genres with a rare ability to blend the personal and political.
The California Honeydrops celebrate their 10th year together with the release of their 7th studio album and first ever double album, "Call It Home: Vol. 1 & 2" and continue to tour worldwide. Led by dynamic vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Lech Wierzynski, and drawing on diverse musical influences from Bay Area R&B, funk, Southern soul, Delta blues, and New Orleans second-line, the Honeydrops bring vibrant energy and infectious dance-party vibes to their shows. They've taken the party all over the world, playing festivals of all kinds and touring widely across North America, Europe and Australia. In 2016 & 2017 the Honeydrops were honored to support Bonnie Raitt on her North America release tour—and in the past have been privileged to support the likes of B.B. King, Allen Toussaint, Buddy Guy, and Dr. John. Whether in those high-profile performances or in more intimate venues where the band itself can leave the stage and get down on the dance floor, the California Honeydrops' shared vision and purpose remain: to make the audience dance and sing.
Dumpstaphunk stands out amongst New Orleans' best, cementing themselves as one of the funkiest bands to ever arise from the Crescent City. Born on the Jazz & Heritage Festival stage, and descended from Neville and Meters family bloodlines, these soldiers of funk ignite a deep, gritty groove that dares listeners not to move. Their performances combine ingenious musicianship through complex funk, rock, and jazz arrangements accompanied by soulful melodies and Big Easy traditions.
The band just released their 4th studio album Where Do We Go From Here on April 23, 2021 featuring Marcus King, Trombone Shorty and Chali 2Na, and is now available on double bronze vinyl, CD and all digital platforms. Dumpstaphunk culled material from many different sources over the past few years, creating during downtime and rare off tour cycle stop-gaps at various studios in New Orleans: some songs were born on-the-spot in the studio, others as a drum beat or a groove at sound-check. A few were simply covers that were already in the band's live repertoire. The songwriting was largely collaborative, with all band-members contributing their own respective stylistic nuances.
For the past 17 years, Dumpstaphunk has earned its reputation as the most well-regarded next-generation New Orleans live powerhouse, the type of band whose live shows attract sit-ins from legends like Carlos Santana, Bob Weir and Trombone Shorty. Alongside Hall, Daniels, Alex Wasily, Ryan Nyther and drummer Deven Trusclair, cousins Ivan and Ian Neville have built upon their family's iconic NOLA legacy as they've transformed Dumpstaphunk into the city's pre-eminent 21st-century funk-fusion export, resulting in recent career highlights like their July 2019 opening gig for the Rolling Stones on their home turf at the Superdome.
Dueling baselines from Tony Hall and Nick Daniels III set off one of the dirtiest rhythm sections on the planet, while Ivan Neville lights up the Hammond B3 keys and cousin Ian Neville's funky guitar riffs send the groove into overdrive. Dumpstaphunk tosses around lead vocals and four-part harmonies the way Sly & the Family Stone did, but with three studio albums under their belt, Dumpstaphunk stands on the merit of their own material.
Jerry's Middle Finger
Humbly formed in 2015 by a group of professional musicians passionate about Jerry Garcia and the Grateful Dead, JMF started honing its one-of-a-kind sound at LA speakeasies and beachside dive bars. Audiences of all ages instantly fell in love and soon JMF was playing explosive shows up and down the West coast, packing legendary venues like Sweetwater Music Hall, Terrapin Crossroads, and Pappy & Harriet's-dazzling new fans on the scene and pulling even the most discerning Jerry fanatics out of their seats for the first time in decades.
The magic all starts with lead vocalist and guitarist Garrett Deloian. As a seasoned veteran of the blues circuit, he channels his lifelong love for the work of Garcia into every lick with his unparalleled high-octane guitar tone. The rhythm section features JMF drummer/founder Rodney Newman and bassist Burt Lewis. Rounding things out are two powerhouse vocalists, Halina Janusz and Lisa Malsberger, and veteran pianist Jon Gold.
The future looks bright for JMF as they get ready to take their heartfelt magical dance parties to further points across the country. So whether you saw Jerry 500 times or were born after his time on earth, this much is true: JMF will make you feel like he's still here.