by Salm “Fong Torres”
Interview with Steve Adams of ALO
Ladies and Gentlemen, in theory it’s summer. You know what that means; hot sun, swimming holes, sun dresses, love, barbaques, big smiles and festivaaaals! What better way to kick the summer into high gear than the 21st installment of the High Sierra Music Festival in Quincy, CA. If you’ve been before I really don’t need to say much except see you Independence Day weekend. If you haven’t been or are unsure ask yourself, “What else am I going to do that weekend?” Oh, I know hang out in Tahoe with the thousands of out-of-towners, getting stuck in tourist traffic, road construction, grocery store congestion and general local mayhem.
I have a much better idea. How about four days of freedom, music, good friends, dancing, and partying? You know what else? This year’s festival dates are June 30-July 3rd, so you can still make it back to Tahoe for fireworks. The line-up is one of the most solid they have had in years and the music doesn’t stop until the wee hours. From hippies to hipsters, adult contemporaries to funk junkies, High Sierra has what you need to shake that extra winter weight off your ass and get that sun deprived skin some color.
A couple musical highlights include Ween, My Morning Jacket, Chris Robinson of the Black Crows, Yonder Mountain String Band, and about 40 others. See you out there. Do yourself and your soul a favor.
I caught up with ALO’s Steve Adams while he was working on the program for this year’s High Sierra. I asked him a few questions about his High Sierra experiences. Here’s what he had to say.
RS: What is your favorite thing about playing High Sierra year after year?
Steve Adams: I love all the people who show up and the High Sierra spirit. They get dressed up in costumes or they bring fun weird things. Like when you’re walking around and come across a kiddy pool with a bunch of dudes drinking beer. It’s the random stuff that makes people want to come and have fun. Besides that, the music is always incredible. There’s always an incredible line-up as well as musicians who just show up and end up playing on a street corner or at a camp. It’s the High Sierra spirit. It’s the people who come and what they bring. It’s good vibes and good energy.
RS: What is the key to having a good time at High Sierra?
Steve Adams: Not having expectations or hopes. High Sierra will always provide for you. You want to come in open minded and walk away with something new, whether it be the music, the people you meet or an experience. You could get swept away by a parade for a hour, get into a conversation you didn’t expect to have. With a positive outlook it’s an easy place to have a good time. If you want to have a good time you will.
RS: When do you play at this year’s festival?
Steve Adams: ALO is playing a Big Meadow set on Friday, as well as, a late night in the High Sierra Music Hall on Saturday night with Tuobob Krewe. They are great. That set will be a Viva Las Vegas theme. So, bring something from Vegas. We’re going to have the ambiance from Vegas and work on our Vegas set. Maybe a giant Wheel of Fortune on stage.
I’m also playing with Nicki Bluhm and the Gramblers on Thursday. Me and Dave from ALO are doing a playshop on Friday. It’s called “Brokedown in Bakersfield” and is a country set along with Tim Bluhm from the Mother Hips, Nicki Bluhm, Lebo and Scott Law. It’s the songs of the essential California country musicians like Buck Owens, Merle Haggard, Graham Parsons, Flying Burrito Brothers and others. Then there’s the “Guitarmaggedon” which will be a tribute to the Rolling Stones on Sunday. Bring a handle of whiskey and an inflatable guitar. I am also bringing an acoustic bass to do some busking. Me and Brogan will be playing with Simon from Poor Man’s Whiskey on the RV and at camp.
RS: Do you have a Favorite High Sierra moment?
Steve Adams: I had a memorable time on the RV wearing the love bandit costumes with Lebo and Friends. The night before I put on the suit to cruise around and went into the Vaudeville tent. The Slip was playing and Brad Barr recognized me and called me on stage. I was wearing a skin tight green suit and a a giant foam finger from a baseball game. It was funny. What we love about High Sierra is all the musicians that are there. It’s a reunion for everyone. We are all from different areas and get to hang and watch each other’s sets. We can catch up and play music together. That’s the rad thing about High Sierra.
RS: Is there anything new we can expect at High sierra this year?
Steve Adams: Yeah, there’s the Dr Bronner’s – All One Ark. It’s a foam spa, You can come in and get a foam bath like a car wash. Also, Nathan Moore will be ending his Hippie Fiasco at High Sierra. Since February, Nathan has had a 24/7 web stream of his life from house concerts to live shows to him watching TV. You can watch it at http://www.hippiefiasco.com. It’s moments from his life. It will be steaming from High Sierra from his point of view.
For more info on High Sierra including line-up, schedule, tickets, you name it check out
To check out more of Ryan Salm’s Photography –
This week in Tahoe area music:
06/16/11 Thursday Dead Winter Carpenter’s – Truckee Thursday CA
Buddy Guy – Grand Sierra Resort , Reno
06/17/11 Friday Eclipse , Tribute to Pink Floyd – Crystal Bay Club – Free
06/18/11 Saturday Bri Anne Michelle w/ The Estate – Crystal Bay Club – Free
Dead Winter Carpenter’s – Wingfield Park Amphitheater , Reno
Mushroom Head – Knitting Factory, Reno
06/20/11 Monday Strung Out, Face to Face, The Darlings – Knitting Factory, Reno