Strange Creek Campout 2013

2013 Lineup featuring:
Max Creek
Ivan Neville’s Dumpstafunk
Donna the Buffalo
Bernie Worrell Orchestra
Ryan Montbleau Band
Marco Benevento
The Alchemystics
Shakedown
Turkuaz
Consider the Source

Bay Road – Big Daddy Love – Big Ol’ Dirty Bucket – Big Something – The Big Sway – Byrne’s Big Suit – Cosmodrome – Danny Pease & the Regulators – Domino Theory – Garcia Project – Gary Backstrom Band – Jabooda – Jeff Bujack’s Silent Disco – Juicy Grapes – Kind Buds – Liquid Pocket – Lucid – Otis Grove – Our Own World – Paranoid Social Club – People With Instruments – Pigeon Playing Ping Pong – Primate Fiasco – Raft – Rebelle – Rebel Alliance – Rev Tor – Rising Tribe – Romano Project – Sun Jones – The Kings – William Thompson Funk Experiment – Wolfman Conspiracy

And many many many more!

Purveyors of a Genre and a Way of Life, Max Creek Celebrates Their Fortieth! They Made It Through the Seventies, and They're Still Going.

Max Creek is a living, breathing historical study in a hugely significant yet too-oft overlooked American subculture: the jam band. Later this month, Max Creek celebrates their fortieth anniversary with a small East Coast tour, hitting intimate venues in Connecticut, Rhode Island, and New York City.

Creek guesses they've performed nearly 3,000 times over their forty years together. They have set lists for 1,851 shows covering the 80s and 90s but there are more shows, both known and unknown, than set lists still exist for. As with most jam bands and their fans, the majority of the 70s are gone. (What does this mean?)

Their first concert as a band was in May 1971 at the Maple View Ballroom (later Woody's) in Washington, MA, a venue at that time owned by Arlo Guthrie. The next three decades were characterized by endless bouts of touring, especially the late 70s and 80s. At their peak in 1982, Creek played 241 live shows. A true jam band, Max Creek and its fans know that the truest experience is the live show. During their long history, they've played some out of this world shows in some out of this world venues, including the Elmcrest Psychiatric Institute in Portland, CT in 1978.

In the early years, Creek toured almost exclusively in Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and New York. Their first ventures into northern New England (New Hampshire and Maine) took place in 1981, and in 1983 they hit the road and took to Philadelphia then back up north to Vermont. Throughout the 80s, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Maine became regular tour stops along with the old mid-Atlantic standbys.

In 1989, they tapped the Mason Dixon line, venturing south to Virginia, North Carolina, Washington, D.C., Maryland, and back to Pennsylvania, adding the Keystone State to their regular tour stops. In 1991 they took a lengthy "ski" trip, playing in mountain towns across Colorado, including Steamboat Springs, Aspen, and Telluride. Later during the 90's they went several times to "the Promised Land" - California, where they played at classic venues such as the Great American Music Hall and Maritime Hall. Perhaps as a result of many year of traveling, they stuck around the East Coast for the rest of the 90s, had families, and played shows pockmarked by occasional westward excursions including to Ohio, and back to Colorado and California.

After this many years, they might have showed some signs of slowing down, but not by much. Earlier in 2011, they produced and participated in January's Jungle Jam in Costa Rica with the Grateful Dead's Bill Kreutzmann.

Seemingly unknown outside their home circuit of Rhode Island, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New York, with smaller followings throughout New England (though their annual Camp Creek summer festival is a big crowd-pleaser), Max Creek has fans that have, over the years, spread out and settled in far-flung regions of the country. They have brought tapes, CD's and other recordings to spread the gospel of the band that had become so large a part of their lives. Also, the band has been pivotally influential on an entire generation of jam bands, and their sound has defined much of the genre as we know it today. Interestingly, Phish did a live cover of the Max Creek song: Back Porch Boogie.

About Phish's cover, Max Creek's Scott Murawski says, "Mike Gordon wanted to do the song which is an instrumental bluegrass song but he knew Trey wouldn't want to cover a Max Creek song so he told the band he wrote it and they performed it." Whether or not Phish will admit the relationship, when you listen to Phish, you can definitely hear the Max Creek influence.

In real life, the band members are a church musical director (Mark Mercier – keyboards), video and event company employee (John Rider – bass), a TV and audio technician (Scott Allshouse – drums), an ADP account manager (Greg Vasso – drums), and a computer programmer (Scott Murawski – guitar). But as playing together for forty years proves, at heart, they are all musicians, and an integral part of a thriving, if under-the-radar, subculture. More than a band, Max Creek has become a major part of the lives of many of its followers over the years, and, like some in the jam band scene, a social phenomenon as much as a musical entity. Many members of its long-time audience liken coming to Max Creek concerts after an absence to "coming back home for Thanksgiving". In the eyes of both the band and their fans, the existence of the band runs much deeper than the music.

Max Creek has never played without a rubber duck somewhere on stage, usually on the bass amp.

Glide Magazine writer Shane Handler got it right when he issued high praise for Max Creek saying "Bands like Phish, moe., Blues Traveler, the Disco Biscuits and others are the trees in Max Creek's seeds of a thriving Northeast music scene that encourages live risk taking on stage and playing according to the feel of the present moment."

Ryan Montbleau Band

Ryan Montbleau, who has been recording and touring as both a solo act and bandleader for much of the last 15 years, moves people. A gifted songwriter, he has developed a very special history and bond to a deeply-rooted fanbase that now stretches all over the United States and beyond. Montbleau's transcendent songcraft and powerful, uplifting voice can tackle intense topics just as easily as expressing life's simple, everyday joys. He continues to speak to a generation of fans who have been along for his rise. Like an intense, slow-burning wildfire, Montbleau has toured relentlessly and connected with audiences night after night, year after year.



A self-described late-bloomer, Montbleau didn't start singing until he was 21 years old while attending his final semsester of college at Villanova University. “I had been playing guitar night and day during those years and eventually I was studying poetry very seriously and writing poetry of my own. Once I started to sing, all of those elements came into alignment I knew what I wanted to do.” In 2003, he formed the Ryan Montbleau Band, which spent 10 solid years on the road until disbanding in 2013 after countless successful national tours, three studio records, and a double-live album recorded in partnership with Boston-based Life is good.



"Currently I am a band of one," Montbleau said in 2014. "I had an amazing group of guys on the road for a decade. We drove about 60,000 miles a year and played 200 shows a year. But last year we closed that chapter of our musical lives. We'll see what the future brings. In the meantime I'm continuing to play solo, as I have always loved to do. And I'm excited to be putting together new band configurations. It's all taking me back to the center of who I am as a performer and as a songwriter and who I want to be as an artist."



In 2014, Montbleau’s band configurations have been as inspired as his art. For his Gathering of the Vibes performance in July—his tenth appearance at the Festival—the band of ‘Friends’ he assembled included Marco Benevento, Mike Dillon, Stanley Jordan, Marc Friedman, John Kimock and Kenwood Denard.



He’s no stranger to playing with such world-class players. Montbleau's last record, For Higher, featured George Porter, Jr. on bass, Anders Osborne on guitar, Ivan Neville on keys and Simon Lott on drums, and was recorded over the course of two days in New Orleans with Galactic's Ben Ellman producing. The album is a bit different than Montbleau's band records in that he added some inspired cover tunes to the mix. But at the end of the day, Montbleau is a writer through and through.



"Songwriting sits at the center of my life, basically. I always look at life through the lens of songwriting and poetry. I tend to get little scraps of writing done constantly throughout each day and night of my life. The real challenge is to build and create finished pieces and to uncover the truth of a particular song. The words have to be just right and I don't stop until I get it right."



At the end of the day, it works. An example is one of his best-known songs, '75 and Sunny,' a deceptively upbeat tune heavy on introspection and wordplay, as are most of Montbleau's songs. He was also invited to contribute songwriting ('Something Beautiful,' 'One Night Only') to Backatown, Trombone Shorty's Grammy-nominated debut album. That went so well, Montbleau co-wrote two more songs ('Do To Me,' 'Roses') for Shorty's 2011 follow-up, For True.



"I've gone through a huge transition over the last year and I feel like I'm coming out on the other side beaming brighter than ever. I'm excited by the new people I've gotten to play with as well as just being able to see the effect that these songs can still have on a crowd. Whether it's solo acoustic, with a trio, or with a full band of amazing players, my goal is to put on a great show every single night and to sing my truth as clearly as I can. I think I've been doing that and it's what I love to do."

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Strange Creek Campout 2013 @ Camp Keewanee, Greenfield MA

Friday, May 24 · Doors 12:00 PM at Camp Kee-Wanee

Off Sale