The best small fest in PA – Some Kind of Jam 9!
Photography by Steven Philips (StSteven.com) Story by Katie Duggan
The spring has sprung, and festival season finally arrived. For the ninth year, we have kicked off the spring with Some Kind of Jam. For those of you who are unfamiliar, the Jibberjazz production, Some Kind of Jam has been bringing the funk and folk fusion to Schuylkill County Fairgrounds with some of our favorite bands. This year, like the past, festival goers from all areas flocked to the campgrounds on Friday, April 25th and prepared for a weekend of music. The beautiful 60-acre campground consisted of 3 stages (indoor and outdoor) and a weekend of 25 musical acts, fire performances, food and craft vendors, and more.
Heading into Day 1 of the festivities, the weather did not look promising. Campers arrived with tarps and ponchos, not being phased by the stormy clouds and rain rolling in. We met our neighbors, threw on our rain gear and heading to the indoor stage for what we had been patiently waiting for… the music. The dancing had commenced. We caught some dirty blues sounds of The End Men. This edgy duo took some by surprise with their skillful percussion and grungy twist. They clearly earned the interest of the audience and left them wanting more. Next up on the group’s schedule was the Ikebe Shakedown on the main stage. We made our way to the lawn in front of the main stage and found a place to enjoy the show. Ikebe Shakedown brought the funk as usual, and warmed the crowd up for the last sets of the night. Everyone Orchestra was the main event that evening. Matt Butler’s ever-changing Everyone Orchestra consisted of Furthur’s John Kadlecik, Danny Louis of Gov’t Mule, Anders Beck of Greensky Bluegrass, Andrew Altman of Railroad Eart, Chris Jacobs of The Bridge, Floodwood’s Nick Piccininni, and Jami Novak of Cabinet. The conductor guided the crew through their improvisational jams and radiated energy over the audience. It was a great conclusion of day one.
On Saturday morning the campers awoke to sunshine and music. We moseyed down to the main stage at noon for Maitland. Lead vocalist, Josh Hines calming voice and fingerpicking acoustics were sounds I could wake up to every morning. I think many would agree. As I spoke to some of my neighbors, it seemed everyone was looking forward to the late night set with Pigeons Playing Ping Pong. The psychedelic funk quartet jammed till sunrise, and did not disappoint the “flock.” But there was a packed day of music first. Some highlights included a repeat performance by Uzo, who had given everyone a great taste of their high energy rockin blues on Friday. The main stage featured Tauk, The Mantras, and the headliner Assembly of Dust, a rock band with great vocals, and an all American sound. The raging then went into the jamhouse, where things got weird, in a very good way, keeping the party going strong till the Pigeons blew us away with some funk, some disco, some high tech dance tunes, and back to great jams to welcome the sunrise as the bonfire continued to bring the warmth.
Some campers grabbed a few deserved hours of shuteye, said their goodbyes, and made their way back to reality. But not before a few Sunday sets to close things out on the main stage. Some Kind of Jam 9 was a great way to kick-off festival season. Our early concerns about the weather turned out to be just a tease, as the weekend ended up being nearly perfect for outdoor festivities, as you will see in the photo gallery. Jibberjazz has additional events scheduled for this summer. Make sure to check out Madsummer Meltdown 5 on June 27th to the 29th… For more info check out Jibberjazz.com!