In a summer of cookie-cutter lineups at mainstream festivals, The Peach Music Festival has once again managed to buck that trend, curating an eclectic yet still jam-focused artist roster for their 2018 event, which will return to Scranton, PA’s Montage Mountain from July 19th through 22nd (almost a full month earlier than in previous years). Started seven years ago as the first-ever Allman Brothers Band-inspired festival in the Northeast, The Peach has grown into a summer festival staple that draws in live music fans from across the nation—the 2017 edition of The Peach saw fans from all 50 U.S. states and 13 different countries around the world join in the revelry.
While the losses of both Butch Trucks and Gregg Allman made 2017 a particularly tough year for the extended Allman Brothers family, The Peach Music Festival maintained their spiritual connection to the band with a number of bookings on their packed 2018 lineup. The festival will feature appearances from both surviving founding members of the band, including sets by the newly out-of-retirement Dickey Betts Band and Jaimoe’s Jasssz Band.
The lineup also includes various high-profile sets from two latter-day members of the Allman Brothers Band, Warren Haynes (performing a morning solo set as well as two sets with Gov’t Mule including a “Dark Side of the Mule” set) and Oteil Burbridge (who is reviving the new Oteil & Friends outfit that generated considerable buzz after its inaugural tour last fall).
In the world of the Allmans, it’s all about family—and The Peach certainly embodies that mindset with several younger acts on the bill that learned directly from the ABB, despite never having played with them. Two Peach performers particular, Devon Allman and Duane Betts, quite literally have the Allman Brothers’ music in their blood and will stop at the festival as part of an extensive joint tour showcasing the music of their fathers (Gregg Allman and Dickey Betts, respectively). Also part of that lucky group are young guitarists Marcus King and Brandon “Taz” Niederauer, neither of whom have any “Allman blood,” but both of whom were closely mentored by members of the extended Allman family (Gregg for Brandon; Warren for Marcus). Both will bring their solo bands to the table, in addition to inevitable sit-ins on other sets.
[Photo: Sidney Smith]
[Photo: Mountain Jam]
Then, of course, there are the many bands that were influenced by the Allmans from afar and continue to sustain their legacy through their own musical lenses. One such outfit on the bill, The Main Squeeze, has been known to throw down a killer “Whipping Post” at their live shows when the mood strikes, despite not sounding terribly similar to the Allmans in general. Funk favorites Karl Denson‘s Tiny Universe have recently been touring a special Allmans tribute, too.
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg on this stacked Peach lineup: On-the-up jam bands on the roster like Pigeons Playing Ping Pong, Spafford, Turkuaz, BIG Something, and Aqueous, as well as more seasoned jam acts like moe., Umphrey’s McGee, and Chris Robinson Brotherhood, may not have as direct a connection to the Allmans. However, the musical community in which they thrive exists today, in large part, thanks to the Brothers.
If the Allman Brothers were one pillar of the modern “jam band” scene, then their brothers from Marin County, CA–The Grateful Dead–served as the other. Appropriately, the Dead will also be well-represented at The Peach Music Festival 2018, with headlining sets from Phil Lesh & The Terrapin Family Band and Joe Russo’s Almost Dead (who has worked ABB tunes into their Dead-centric rotation on multiple occasions).
Below, watch a selection of videos that showcase the strong Allman Brothers connection that persists at the 2018 edition of The Peach Music Festival:
Brandon “Taz” Niederauer w/ Scott Sharrard-led All-Star Allman Tribute – “Whipping Post” – Brooklyn Comes Alive 2017
[Video: Live For Live Music]
The Marcus King Band – “In Memory of Elizabeth Reed” [Allman Brothers cover, played on Duane Allman’s Goldtop Les Paul] – Macon, GA
[Video: Gary King]
The Main Squeeze – “Whipping Post” [Allman Brothers cover, Pro-Shot]
Oteil Burbridge & Friends – “Leave My Blues At Home” [Allman Brothers cover]
[Video: Nathan Evans]
Gov’t Mule w/ Devon Allman & Duane Betts – “Statesboro Blues” – 1/27/18
You can check out the entire lineup for The Peach Music Festival 2018 below. For more information, head to the festival’s website.