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Peach Music Festival shines

By , - Last modified: August 15, 2017 at 10:09 AM
Joe Bonamassa
Joe Bonamassa - (Photo / )

The Peach Music Festival at Montage Mountain in Scranton showcased heavy jams this past weekend as headliners Widespread Panic, My Morning Jacket, Govt. Mule & Friends and a tribute to the late Allman Brothers Band members Gregg Allman and Butch Trucks, put on shows for festival attendees to remember for years to come.

Celebrating its sixth anniversary, a mixture of wet and sunny weather rolled through the festival over the weekend as multiple stages featured an eclectic mix of music ranging from bluegrass to southern rock.

The festival that was created by the Allman Brothers Band has attracted thousands of people to northeast Pennsylvania for four days and nights of music, art, camping and so much more.

In honor of the two late Allman Brothers Band members Trucks and Allman, whom passed away in January and May, respectively, a special Peach tribute to the late artists hit the mainstage with a stellar lineup of musicians, including musical director Chuck Leavell, Jaimoe, Oteil Burbridge, Marc Quinones, Duane Trucks, Devon Allman, Jack Pearson, Marcus King, Bruce Katz, Lamar Williams Jr., Pat Bergeson, Scott Sharrard, Pete Levin, Berry Oakley Jr., Vaylor Trucks and more.

On Friday night, My Morning Jacket of Kentucky took the stage during a thunderstorm and gave festival attendees a rocking show with a tease of a stellar Allman Brothers cover of one of its most notable hits, “Mellissa,” before launching into a medley of Bob Dylan, George Harrison and Prince. It was surely a highlight of the weekend that won’t be forgotten anytime soon.

Another noteworthy set of the weekend came from hometown heroes, Cabinet. Formed more than a decade ago, the Scranton-based bluegrass outfit is a staple at Peach and brought two sets of tasty jams to the festival, which they’ve been part of many years since its inception in 2012.

In the jam band scene, southern rockers Widespread Panic had two headlining sets on Saturday and Sunday nights. They brought a mix of originals, threw in some mid-set covers, and hosted a guest spot by 14-year old guitarist Brandon “Taz” Niederauer, whom delivered a fierce solo on “Surprise Valley,” which left attendees yelling for more, and even earned a nod from Panic guitarist, Jimmy Herring.

Other notable sets from the weekend came from Greensky Bluegrass, Umphrey’s McGee, Lettuce featuring Chaka Khan, God Street Wine, Mike Gordon Band, Joe Russo’s Almost Dead, and a solo, unplugged set from Philadelphia-based Tom Hamilton.

Before Panic closed out the festival on Sunday, the blues rock guitar icon Joe Bonamassa delivered a fiery set of hard rock, blues and horn-heavy jams that kept everyone on the tips of their toes and edges of seats.

The New York-based musician might be a new face to the festival, but his roots go back several years when he opened at the age of 12 for the legendary B.B. King. And for those who weren’t familiar prior to this weekend, they’re sure to be spinning his records in their living rooms sooner than later.

The festival, which is set around a water park and is a family friendly affair, provided experiences and memories for both those familiar and new, and if this year is any indication of what’s to come, next year is sure to bring another incredible lineup and continue to run strong for years to come.

For now, festival goers can catch up on some much needed rest and sleep on the experiences and moments that the Peach brought to them.

We’ll see you next year on the mountain!

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Christopher Holland

Christopher Holland

Christopher Holland is a researcher for Lehigh Valley Business and blogs on arts and entertainment in the region.

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