Good Times has compiled a killer playlist in preparation for the seventh annual Mountain Sol Festival on Sept. 18 and 19. All you have to do is download the songs and pack your bag.
Side 1 (Saturday):
“Cuckoo” – Rising Appalachia (1:45pm) Chloe and Leah Smith’s rendition of the traditional Appalachian folk tune is a Pogues-Tennessee Ernie Ford lovechild. The duo’s piercing harmonies sail alongside a punch-drunk fiddle that glides up and down with rhythmic intensity.
“Skin on the Drum” – Michael Franti & Spearhead (5pm) Franti’s live performances are difficult to beat, but this track’s funky-cool vibe is layered with miles of grooves that don’t let up: “I’ve been fully marinated, and now I’m ready for the fire,” Franti croons. Try to resist those fresh beats. I dare you.
“Mean Ol’ River” – Wolf Jett with Marty O’Reilly (noon) Need good ol’ Americana that channels some sludgy country soul? —the band dubbed it “Cosmic Mountain Music.” Whatever the hell it is, frontman Chris Jones’ southern fried scatting and howling is electric.
“Dreaming” – Dustbowl Revival (3:45pm) The folk outfit’s all-enveloping sound is reminiscent of L.A. neighbors Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros. Meanwhile, the sextet keeps their rootsy side intact, Old Crow Medicine Show style.
Side 2 (Sunday):
“Like You Mean It” – The California Honeydrops (3:45pm) Most Honeydrops’ songs are tightly wound cornucopias of funk, soul and R&B, peppered with an ever-present New Orleans-flavored horns section. It’s hard to go wrong.
“I’ll Rise” – Ben Harper (5:15pm) Close your eyes, and you may think Otis Redding is back from the dead, unleashing the mighty prose inspired by Maya Angelou’s “Still I Rise.” There is a good reason why Harper is a multi-Grammy Award winner who’s sold millions of records.
Any Jerry Garcia song – Jerry’s Middle Finger (noon) Frequent Jerry Garcia collaborator Melvin Seals wouldn’t sit in with any Dead/Garcia cover band, but these guys are just that good.
Anything Live – Dumpstaphunk (1:45pm) Straight out of the Big Easy, complete with a pair of Nevilles in tow, the septet’s 2021 record—featuring Marcus King, Trombone Shorty and Chali 2Na—is good. It’s damn good. But it doesn’t quite capture the excellence of the jams birthed during D-Phunk’s live shows.
Gates open at 11am. Regular passes sold out (2020 festival passes honored); limited bundle ticket packages available; kids 10-17/$45 per day; 2-9/ free (only with ticketed adult); for more information and safety protocols, visit santacruzmountainsol.com.