The Sierra Music Festival continues for the sixth year in a row at J-H Ranch in Oakdale, slated for Saturday, Aug. 23. Gates open at 1 p.m. and the show starts at 1:30 p.m.
The lineup includes a variety of local bands, bands from the surrounding area and beyond, including headliner The Marshall Tucker Band, solo artist John Waite and Bay Area group Moonalice.
John Waite will be performing hits like “Missing You,” “Back on My Feet Again,” “Every Time I Think Of You,” and “Change.”
Singer, songwriter Waite grew up in Lancaster, England and was always intrigued with Western culture and music.
“I was raised on all sorts of different music and there was no real rock radio at that point, it was just radio if you could find it,” said Waite. “Most of the roads that I took led me toward music.”
In London, Waite got together with a few friends and created a band called the “Baby’s.”
“I really didn’t think it was going to happen until the last minute,” said Waite. “I spent two years writing songs and there were many different people passing through the band, some of them twice.”
The band was looking for a singer and since they couldn’t find one, Waite was asked to take on the position since he was writing the music, melodies, and singing them in rehearsal.
A year later the Baby’s got a record deal and Waite’s musical career began.
“I didn’t want to be operatic and start singing arena rock and I really did want to keep it hinged in blues and storytelling to give it some credibility or believability,” expressed Waite. “I believed that 100 percent so we came through and the rest is history.”
After the Baby’s, Waite pursued a solo career for several years and then joined a band called Bad English.
“So I thought if I was in a band it would be easier, it would be more fun and I wouldn’t have to carry all the weight,” explained Waite. “I was trying to do something a little bit different.”
Being a huge fan of bluegrass and blues, Waite was in Nashville and decided to perform a duet. A call was made to Allison Krauss and she agreed so two duets were done, “Missing You” and “Lay Down Beside Me.”
Waite really enjoys touring and has been all over the world. He continues to tour and has released an album called “BEST” this past May 2014 where you will find newly re-recorded hits, live songs, and more.
Waite’s bandmates include guitar player Keri Kelli, who played with Slash, bass player Tim Hogan, who has been with Waite for about nine years, and drummer, Rhondo, who has been with him for about six years.
“The show is pretty lively and the band is great,” stated Waite. “It is just real. I don’t think I could do it any other way; it’s just straight from the shoulder.
“It is a really good time.”
For more information on Waite, visit johnwaiteworldwide.com.
San Francisco band, Moonalice will be performing at the Festival and includes Barry Sless on bass, guitar, pedal steel; Pete Sears on bass, keyboards, accordion, guitar, vocals; John Molo, on bass, drums, vocals; and Roger McNamee, on bass, guitar, and lead vocals. Big Steve Parish was Jerry Garcia’s roadie for 25 years and is part of Moonalice. Parish does not play an instrument but he does open every set for Moonalice with stories from the old days.
The seasoned musicians have started their careers with other bands like Sears that played with Jefferson Starship and a founding member of Hot Tuna. Molo was an original member of Bruce Hornsby and the Range for 20 years and played with other bands as well.
Moonalice was created in 2007 and was put together by “T Bone” Burnett. Most of their performances are all over California and they love playing live music as well as sharing music with others.
“The thing is when you play live music, the funny thing about it is, the band brings something to a show and the fans bring something,” said McNamee. “And it’s really important to go to new places and new venues because every time something happens that never happened before.”
The psychedelic roots and folk music background of Moonalice has many musical influences like the Beatles, Eddie Cochran, Elvis, and Bob Dylan.
“We are not imitating anything, we are just reproducing a certain vibe when music was basically a way for people to get together and share a fun experience with lots of art and lots of other things,” McNamee added. “We are people of a certain age who play electric folk music and something different happens every night, you don’t just get a unique poster.”
Poster art is also something the band is very passionate about and after seven years with 24 artists, there have been approximately 737 posters created specific to each performance.
“We had an art director which is one of the great San Francisco poster artists and we had this idea,” explained McNamee. “We want to help poster artists but we also want to have that same artistic energy brought to our shows.”
Next year Moonalice will be opening a 12,000 square foot studio called the Haight Street Art Center for creating art, a print shop, and a gallery.
“It is on Haight Street and we got this thing for a really long period of time with terms that are really going to allow the artists to prosper and really do great art,” said McNamee. “And it all grew out of Moonalice and we are so proud of the fact that a little rock and roll band might actually improve the lives of all these poster artists and maybe even make a difference in poster art.”
Moonalice performed at the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY and have been asked for the past three years in a row to perform at the Jerry Garcia Tribute Day at the San Francisco Giants game.
“We call it psychedelic but psychedelic music was folk music being played on electric guitars with a really great light show,” stated McNamee. “That is us.”
For more information on Moonalice visit their website at moonalice.com.
The Marshall Tucker Band will be headlining the music festival singing hits like “Fire on the Mountain” and “Can’t You See.” The band was formed in 1973 and produced several albums through the years.
“April Wine” has been rocking and rolling for two decades and made hits like, “You Could Have Been a Lady,” “Roller,” and “I Like to Rock.”
“Remedy” is a local band from Oakdale that has been on the scene for over 20 years playing gigs with their blend of Classic Rock, Country, Funk, and Pop music.
“The High Voltage Band” is a trio of teenagers from Ripon that formed in 2010 with bandmates Matthew Grattan, Paul Grattan, and Nolan Harris. On their Facebook page, it states that their set list includes 16 original pop-punk songs and over 40 covers like Green Day, Ramones, and the Beastie Boys, to name a few.
“Luvplanet” is a band from Northern California that was established by Nicole Sutton and Mark McGee. According to the band’s Facebook page, the band has had four studio releases and plays melodic rock.
“Thin Black Line” is a local band out of Oakdale that started in 2011 with Jeremy Penick and Erik Quisling that have a country rock genre with some modern and non-traditional twists, according to the bands’ Facebook page.
The artists at the Sierra View Music Fest 2014 are set to entertain fans from all over the Central Valley.
The event has been held for the past six years in honor of organizer Jim Brunk’s late wife, Heidi Brunk. As stated on the Sierra Music Fest website, she lived in Oakdale as a “wife, mother, daughter, music teacher and friend to hundreds.”
Heidi Brunk lost her life in a tragic accident in 2008, but her love of music and passion for teaching lives on in the Heidi Brunk Foundation. The foundation is a 501(c) 3 organization that raises funds through donations and ticket sales to offer students an opportunity for a music scholarship.