The Allman Brothers and friends set up camp in The 570
The Allman Brothers Band is still celebrating “Year of the Peach” after a very busy summer tour that will finally conclude this weekend with two performances at their first annual Peach Music Festival at Toyota Pavilion at Montage Mountain and Sno Mountain Ski Area & Water Park on Friday, Aug. 10 through Sunday, Aug. 12. The multiple stage, 3-day festival will be the first time an ABB-hosted festival has ventured to the northern states, and will feature many of their family and friends including Zac Brown Band, Warren Haynes Band, Tedeschi Trucks Band, O.A.R., The Wailers, Dark Star Orchestra, Jaimoe’s Jasssz Band, Robert Randolph & the Family Band, Blackberry Smoke, Blind Boys of Alabama and Ivan Neville’s Dumpstaphunk. The festival will also feature a number of acts from the region including MiZ, Cabinet and Railroad Earth joining The Allman Brothers newest brainchild.
“Hopefully it’s something that is going to develop like this festival we put together in Florida (Wanee Festival) has over the last seven years,” said Allman Brothers Band drummer Jaimoe. “The first year was surprising how many people were there and it continued to build. Top musicians played it, which helped us a lot. It developed into a great festival with nice vibes. Those who thought they had missed something by not living in the hippie era — they get a chance to taste some of it.”
Jaimoe will not only take the stage with The Allman Brothers, but will also perform a set of music with his side project, Jaimoe’s Jasssz Band. Jaimoe believes that if the festival is well-received, it could become an annual event and may help spawn other events like The Peach and Wanee Festivals in other parts of the country.
“We figured out that we should do this somewhere up north,” Jaimoe said. “Scranton was the place that was chosen. Now all we need to do is get this thing going for the east and try a place like Iowa or somewhere so that those people in that part of the country can have a little bit of it.”
Already inductees of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, The Allman Brothers Band began the year with a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in February, followed by 10 sold-out shows at New York City’s Beacon Theatre and a headlining spot in their annual 3-day Wanee Festival in Florida. Now, they’re gearing up for their Scranton performance. The “Year of the Peach” marks the 40th anniversary of the group’s iconic 1972 live album, Eat A Peach.
The band, Gregg Allman (vocals and keyboards), Butch Trucks (drums and tympani), Jaimoe (drums), Warren Haynes (vocals, lead and slide guitar), Derek Trucks (slide and lead guitar), Oteil Burbridge (bass) and Marc Quinones (congas and percussion), have not only invited an all-star list of jam band superstars to perform on the Montage Mountain stage, they have also acknowledged some artists with deep local roots, such as guitarist/vocalist Mike Mizwinski from the jam/rock group MiZ.
“Obviously we’re looking forward to getting up there on the main stage at Toyota Pavilion,” Mizwinski said. “We’re really excited about it and our fans are really excited about it. We’re just going to blow out a greatest hits set. We’re going to play all our best songs and keep the energy really high. We’ll play a lot of upbeat songs, a lot of dueling guitar stuff and not only play a fantastic set for all of our fans, but also try to make some new fans, too. Another goal is make sure we’re on our A game and that we turn some heads.”
When MiZ is finished with their set, Mizwinski plans to take some time for himself, appreciate the moment and check out as much live music on the mountain as he can. “After we’re done playing, I’m going stay and watch every band that I can. I think it’s awesome. I think any live music fan from northeastern Pennsylvania could agree that it’s pretty awesome that the Allman Brothers decided to have a 3-day festival here.”
With a line-up that focuses heavily on jam bands and good old rock n’ roll, the festival also features bands such as reggae legends The Wailers. Lead singer Koolant said that he feels the music of the Wailers can fit in with many different types of genres and the music itself has universal appeal.
“We’re looking forward to singing for the people,” Koolant said. “We are looking forward to come and do the work and give the people what they want. The music alone shall live. I’m looking forward to good vibes and a good response from the crowd. This music has soul for the people to gravitate to, so it goes along well, no matter the category.”
— tom graham
If you go:
What: Peach Music Festival, presented by the Allman Brothers Band
Where: Toyota Pavilion at Montage Mountain and Sno Mountain Ski Area & Water Park
When: Friday, Aug. 10, to Sunday, Aug. 12
Tickets: Three-day passes are $225 to $450 and one-day passes are $60 to $150. Tickets are available at LiveNation.com, the Toyota Pavilion box office and by phone at 800-745-3000.