With over 25 bands on the 2017 Mountain Music Festival lineup we are overflowing into the campground. Last year we experimented with our friends at Strange Coffee who have brought their mobile coffee café to the mountain since the beginning of our event. Brian at Strange Coffee wanted to bring music and a stage to his café in the campground. So we welcomed a number of artists who played acoustically and some even led a kazoo orchestra in 2016. This year we have really outdone ourselves finding a beautiful wooden stage that will live in the campground and be forever known as The Strange Stage! As you wake up Friday and Saturday morning be sure to head over to the Strange Stage for morning music and some a Brian’s tasty coffee. Hillbilly Carnival, Matt Mullins & The Bringdowns, Short & Company, William Matheny, Ona and Beauty Mountain Groove Project will all be joining the 2017 lineup!
The Hillbilly Carnival first got together at festival late-night camp fires pick’n and grin’n. They started turning heads and after being noticed they were invited to take their late night shenanigans to the stage. In 2011 they started combining a variety of their favorite tunes from traditional Appalachian old timey, jug band with a bluesy twist they call Freak Folk. With their high-energy crowd participation of kazoos and more, you’ll be smiling from ear to ear. Once the band starts playing, it’s hard not to pick up your feet to their fun tunes.
Keeping your feet moving Matt Mullins & The Bringdowns create comedic performances and music. By parodying mass media by exaggerating certain formal aspects inherent to our contemporary society, Mullins makes works that can be seen as self-portraits. Sometimes they appear idiosyncratic and quirky, at other times, they seem typical by-products of American superabundance and marketing. His performances are saturated with obviousness, mental inertia, clichés and bad jokes. They question the coerciveness that is derived from the more profound meaning and the superficial aesthetic appearance of an image.
Jeremy Short is a roots guitarist of 15 years, a student of harmony since he could stand beside the piano, and a songwriter fueled by life’s experiences. Now partnering with some of his best friends, Short & Company is out showing off their talents to audiences across Appalachia. Jeremy Short won Huntington’s first Blues Challenge in late 2015, qualifying him to compete in the 2016 International Blues Challenge, where he advanced to the semi-finals and finished top 32. He’s currently out promoting his debut EP, Songs From The Chicken Shack, and skillfully carving himself a homeplace in the ears of each new listener.
William Matheny would best be classed as a songwriter’s songwriter–the kind of composer who gets the melody just right every time, and the kind of lyricist whose turns of phrase bring an involuntary grin. Once you’ve heard his deft songcraft, you might feel cheated that he withheld it so long. The best storytellers often aren’t the ones who have had the wildest experiences; they’re the ones who have experienced things we all have, and can articulate them in a way we haven’t yet figured out ourselves. They give us a new vocabulary for talking about ourselves and our world. That’s the gift William Matheny presents to us.
Ona, West Virginia is a small sliver of unincorporated ridges, creeks, and floodplains. It’s home to one stop light, an Exxon, and a consolidated high school. Driving out its roads, you snake through shadowy hollows past rural suburbia. People’s homes are tucked here and there where the folds of the land permit. A community of private property. Mortgaged acres. You’ll see some trailers. You’ll see some estates. You’ll see a dog with one eye. You’ll see the Beulah Ann Baptist Church. Ona makes songs that take place in these spaces. This five piece rock band creates music that pulses and buzzes and echoes and rolls. It feels like standing with sweat in your eyes in grass up to your knees. It feels like getting your tennis shoes wet walking along the banks of the river. It feels like catching a buzz off a bottle your buddy stole from his brother and skipping school.
Beauty Mountain Groove Project is a local Fayette County band, playing an oddball mix of super sounds of the 70s, funk, R&B, with a little something original thrown in. Frontman Ken Kruger has been playing music at ACE Adventure Resort for over 20+ years and his musical sounds reflect the feelings you get while hiking through the gorge or paddling class V rapids. Take a musical journey with these guys and find your groove!
Early bird tickets are on sale now and available through Valentine’s Day. After February 14th prices will increase so make plans to get yours now. New for 2017 we are offering a payment plan and for only $25 you can lock in early bird rates. Call us today at 877-382-5893 to setup your ticket reservations. Your All Mountain Pass includes music, camping and access to Wonderland Water Park for the Saturday afternoon beach party. There are also a few cabins available if you want to party in style with your own hideaway including hot tub, kitchen and a comfy bed.
We still have tons of cool plans in the works for this summer. Be sure to stay tuned and follow us on Facebook for updates and news. Join the Facebook Event Page and invite all your festy friends for a weekend in the Mountains of West Virginia. Over 25 bands on 4 stages, whitewater rafting, a water park, VIP mountaintop camping, amazing people and beautiful vibes like no festival you have ever been to. We will see you on the mountain this June!