Artist playshops are a delight to fans and musicians alike. These one-of-a-kind fun sets—whether it be a collaboration with other artists, a tribute session celebrating the work of an important musician or a theme-based set—have become part of the High Sierra experience. It’s an opportunity for fans to see musicians in a unique setting, and it’s also a chance for artists to stretch out and shine some light on an artistic side of themselves that doesn’t get to come out in public that often.
All Playshops are in the High Sierra Music Hall.
9:30 – 10:30 AM – Blue Bear School Of Music
11:30 – 12:45 PM – THE THREE KINGS
1:30 – 2:30 PM – 70’s FUNK EXPLORATION WITH GHOST NOTE
Join Ghost Note on a 70’s funk exploration as they take the rudimentary funk principles laid down by James Brown and Sly Stone and bring a fresh take to it by infusing their percussion heavy funk with elements of Afrobeat, hip-hop, psychedelia, world folklore and more. Ain’t nuthin’ but a party when Ghost Note funks it up!
3:15 – 4:15 – A TRIBUTE TO MUSCLE SHOALS WITH THE CRIS JACOBS BAND
Muscle Shoals is the legendary recording studio in Sheffield, Alabama where countless classics were recorded by artists such as Aretha Franklin, The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Boz Scags, Paul Simon, Willie Nelson, Bob Seeger, Elton John, Cher and so many more. Come drop in and revisit some of the great songs to come out of the Muscle Shoals hit factory.
5:00 – 6:30 – THE SLIP
The Slip have played High Sierra more than any other band in the festival’s history. The beloved trio first graced the stages at the last Bear Valley High Sierra in 1999 and returned to play the festival for the next 11 years in a row and then returned again in 2012 and 2015. The Barr Brothers (Brad on guitar and Andrew on drums) who comprise two thirds of The Slip, would move on to put most of their attention into the Barr Brothers but The Slip have continued to play a rare show here and through the years. We’re delighted to celebrate the milestone of 30 years with this indescribably delicious trio.
9:30 – 10:30 AM – Blue Bear School Of Music
11:30 – 12:30 – I Must Be In A Good Place Now: A Tribute To Bobby Charles with The California Honeydrops and Lindsay Lou
Robert Charles Guidry was a singer-songwriter from rural Louisiana who pioneered the genre of Louisiana swamp pop and wrote such hits as “See You Later Alligator” (Bill Haley & The Comets) “Walkin’ To New Orleans” (Fats Domino) and more. Join The California Honeydrops along with Lindsay Lou as they pay tribute to this highly revered songwriter.
1:00 – 2:00 – DUO SESSION WITH REED MATHIS AND TREVOR GARROD
For the better part of a decade (2007-2016) Bassist Reed Mathis and keyboardist Trevor Garrod were bandmates in Tea Leaf Green. You can imagine the chemistry the two built playing music together all those years. Here we’ll get a bird’s eye view of their versatility and ingenuity in this rare duo session.
2:45 – 4:00 PM – 50-ish Years In The Rearview with LEBO & Friends and More Friends.
High Sierra artist at large, Lebo will once again lead a look back on music made 50 years ago, however since we were on the shelf for 2020 and 2021 we’ll feature music from the years 1970, 1971 as well as 1972. Come find out which gems Lebo & Friends and more friends will unearth in this always fun trip into the past.
5:00 – 6:15 – CLASSIC ALBUM: THE WHO WHO’S NEXT
Join Simon Kurth and Mescalito with keyboardist Ben White (Cris Jacobs Band) along with special guests Jeremy Schon (Pigeons Playing Ping Pong), Lindsay Lou, Reed Mathis and Josh Clark (Tea Leaf Green), Bronwyn Keith-Hayes (Molly Tuttle Band) and others as they recreate the Who’s 5th album released back in 1971 that features some of the most celebrated songs in the band’s illustrious history.
9:30 – 10:30 – Blue Bear School Of Music
11:00 – 12:00 – Bluegrass Pick Featuring Birches Bend and Crying Uncle
The High Sierra bluegrass pick session is back and will feature two up and coming bluegrass sensations. Join host bands Birches Bend and Crying Uncle along with guest sit-ins from some of the festival’s best pickers as they kick off the last day of the festival with a hoot and a holler.
12:30 – 1:30 – POLTZ PLAYS PRINE
One of our favorite songwriters pays tribute to one of our favorite songwriters as Steve Poltz plays the music of John Prine, who appeared at the 2nd High Sierra thirty years ago.
2:00 – 3:00 – TRAVELIN’ LIGHT: A JJ CALE TRIBUTE
J.J. Cale was a deeply influential American guitarist/songwriter. His swampy Tulsa grooves and tone-drenched guitar licks inspired legends like Mark Knopfler, Neil Young, Eric Clapton and contemporary faves like Iron & Wine and Hiss Golden Messenger. Songs like “After Midnight”, “Call Me the Breeze” and “Travelin’ Light” became staples for a diverse swath of luminaries from The Grateful Dead to Widespread Panic to Lynyrd Skynyrd and more. Bo & Lebo, along with Steve Adams (bass, ALO) and Wally Ingram (drums) host a tribute to this great American treasure who played to acclaim at High Sierra 29 years ago. Special featured guests will include Steve Poltz, Trevor Garrod, Pamela Parker, Jeremy Schon and more!
3:30 – 4:30 – JUST ADD WALLY
Drummer Wally Ingram returns to High Sierra as a member of Lebo & Friends but Wally has appeared and performed at High Sierra with David Lindley and others. He’s played with so many amazing musicians from Bob Dylan and Bob Weir to Jackson Brown and Bonnie Raitt to Eric Clapton and many more. Whenever Wally’s in the mix there’s bound to be magic in the music. Therefore, JUST ADD WALLY! Join Wally and a slew of guests and friends for an extremely feel good Sunday afternoon session.
5:00 – 6:30 – GUITARMAGEDDON: CHECK YOUR BLOOD SUGAR
Guitarmageddon has been closing out the playshop stage at High Sierra for more than a decade and the tradition continues. Sean Leahy has assembled a bad ass band and a bevy of fiery guitarists to bring you another classic ‘Geddon session. We hark back 30 years ago when two bands, The Red Hot Chili Peppers and The Beastie Boys enjoyed massive success with new album releases in the form of Blood Sugar Sex Magik and Check Your Head, respectively. Guitarmageddon will pay tribute to these two rockin’ records that stand the test of time.