Materialized f/Scott Law * Cornflower (Playshop) * Pimps of Joytime * Monophonics (RV set) * Cornflower * Youssapha Sidibe * Ernest Ranglin * ALO * Silent Frisco DJs * Ruthie Foster * Ernest Ranglin (Playshop) * Guitarmageddon (Playshop) * Rebirth Brass Band * Emancipator
14 times I stepped up to the mic as an Artist-at-Large at High Sierra Music Festival 2011.
14 times I shared the stage with brilliant inspired artists.
14 times I got to experience the surrender it takes to simply allow music to sing through me.
Here’s my attempt to recap it all.
DAY ONE: Thursday * Four music lovers, Two jam- packed Hondas and one destination – Quincy, CA. My girl and I had visited it a week before,just to feel it out. And it was noticeably a different, fuller vibe as we arrived at the campgrounds we’d be calling home for the next 4
We settled in and built our campsites. I considered it quite deluxe because we had an air mattress and we had a separate tent/ dressing room – turned out to be SO mandatory. It also became a great space to just sit and be quiet in a place that was SO wonderfully alive with
sounds and joyful people! And of course since I was a part of the esteemed BISS crew, there was Chef Bo’s full kitchen and everything you could imagine to make it CAMP HAPPYBISS.
After meeting with my amazing Artist’s Liason, Jen, I changed and prepped for my first sit-in of HSMF. Our camp neighbors, Materialized! A great group of guys and amazing musicians! I sang on a song about San Pablo Ave, here in Oaktown. It was an awesome way to kick off the
DAY TWO: Friday * Up earlyish to attempt to beat the hot water rush. Didn’t happen, took my first of 2 fantastically BRISK showers J - and honestly in that heat, it was pretty invigorating. Going over potential schedule for the day, we meet up with Jen who thinks it may be a good fit for me to sit in at a Playshop with Cornflower (an old dear friend who I haven’t seen in real life since 2002?) It was fantastic to reunite like that, I’m endlessly proud of all he’s done
and is becoming. All freestyle and so inspired! En Lakech!
Immediately off the stage and into rehearsal with Ernest Ranglin and the All-Star Band (Lebo, Inkx, Yossi Fine, Jonathan Korty and Ryan + Alex from Monophonics!). More music = more fun!
At some point we ate foods. Then off to experience Pimps of Joytime blowing up the spot! Wow! The crowd was going nuts and then I was ushered so graciously by Ms. Mayteana and Brian J. to contribute and help take it higher! MY PLEASURE! A highlight for sure! Then water, a quick walk to climb aboard Brent’s fantastico RV! What a view! Rocked a tune with the world-famous Monophonics, always a treat!
While Jen and Pamela looked for other possible sit-ins, I rested for a bit, then hit the car to do a full vocal warm-up, just to stay on top of keeping my voice healthy and practice some of the tunes for Saturday and Sunday that I already knew.
DAY THREE: Saturday * Up even earlier for round 2 with Cornflower, shared in a beautiful original tune of his. Then hustled over to briefly meet the ever-gracious and talented Youssoupha Sidibe. While waiting to sit-in with him, something peculiar hit me, I was starting to get a 6th-sense about when I’d be going on (I only had pre-arranged sets with 2 groups!) so I’d be drinking my kombucha when it would hit me “Get up and go listen further” then moments later, I’d be onstage. It was a cool feeling.
That feeling continued as just in time, on the way back , we ran into the ever-rocking ALO guys who had just enough time to go over the song for the late-nite. Cosmic scheduling! Then off to warm up, change and get ready for my first set with Ernest Ranglin. A very silly and extremely generous person. I stay grateful for him, his music and influence. Big shout to Hamsa Lila crew for the original vision last year at the Global Sol Festival!
Great crowd, great fun. Returning to Camp, I reunite w/ Dina and meet her amazingly talented friend + client, Mr. Steve Taylor. We sing a Radiohead tune together on the lawn of the camp. A unique and joyful moment that only HSMF could provide. Then back to rest up and change
for ALO’s Vegas-themed late night show. Ya’ll may have seen some photos, here’s one of the many vids. A saucy blast! Then right to bed? Nope! I had to sneak in ONE SONG with the Silent Frisco DJ’s, we LOVE those guys! From headphones to earplugs in 15 mins then right to bed!
Busiest of day of all, coming right up!
DAY FOUR: Sunday * Up earliest! Just to get my head together and then get dressed in “my church clothes” to meet up and rock out with the amazing Ruthie Foster and her Family Band. I had heard her version of “Woke Up This Morning” on youtube and thought it would be lovely to
harmonize on, she agreed and we all rocked out, giving praises. Joined on keys by Jordan – whole lotta soul early in the morning!
Early afternoon found me back with Ernest Ranglin, having a little bit more fun on the tunes at the playshop. Then jump back to camp for a quick change in styles, it was time for some rock-n-roll!
Blonde wig, fishnets, stones t-shirt! YEAH! The Guitarmageddon guys were AMAZING! I can only hope we did the Rolling Stones proud! So crazy. So fun!
Super quick-change to more “normal” gear to go sign CDs + Posters. Many sweet new fans came up and it was a surreal honor, just 2.5 months ago the Kickstarter was launched and here I was with the CD. Quite a journey and this is still only the beginning!
Dinner at some point? I don’t think so. I actually recall skipping that to go check out which tunes might work best with Rebirth Brass Band and Emancipator (who would turn out to be my last 2 sit-ins of the festy). RBB, was soul-filled fun! I sang “Little Liza Jane” with them and pretty much marveled at their funkiness.
Emancipator was like coming home to my electronic roots. In a festival full of bands and instruments (mainly), we bonded over his puter’, mash-ups, cinematic tones and his live violinist Ilya. It was quite an epic ending to an epic weekend. We even did a dramatic encore. I giggled all the way through it and sang out strong one last time for some of the most open-hearted music fans I’ve met thus far.
Biggest hugs and thanks to TEAM ANGEL (Pamela, Bo, LaToya, Jen, Kelsea
+ Ms. Natasha) Wow! So proud to do my part to uplift and inspire. Ya’ll inspire me!
Lots of love and gratitude to Roy and Dave and all who made the festival happen!