Sol Slam Mountain Jam

Sol Driven Train and Mountain River Guides are excited to present Sol Slam Mountain Jam, a family-friendly camp out music festival on the banks of the Nolichucky River in Erwin, TN, over Labor Day Weekend, August 31-September 2, 2018.  Our mission is to be the best “end of summer” music festival in the region while celebrating music and life in an intimate, naturally stunning environment. Ticket quantities will be limited to promote the highest quality event experience.

After seven annual Sol Slam Music Festivals in the midst of the sweltering summer heat at Charleston’s oceanfront music venue The Windjammer, Sol Driven Train is moving the party to the Blue Ridge Mountains of Tennessee. USA Raft is a whitewater outfitter boasting a beautiful tent campground along with cabins nestled in the woods.  Daily activities will be offered including hikes, stand up paddle boarding, tubing and caving. Vendors will be on hand selling delicious food and libations.  The musical entertainment will include Yarn (Americana), Empire Strikes Brass (horn funk), Jeff Sipe (jazz/jam), Josh Roberts and the Hinges (rock n roll), Lovers Leap (progressive bluegrass), two nights of Sol Driven Train (jamericana), as well as a Sol Driven Train kids show, and Terraphonics.  Expect collaborations and jams from these longtime musical conspirators.  

A portion of the proceeds will go towards benefiting the Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy and Ziggy's Second Chance Network. SAHC works to conserve the unique plant and animal habitat, clean water, farmland, scenic beauty, and places for people to enjoy outdoor recreation in the mountains of North Carolina and Tennessee for the benefit of present and future generations. We achieve this by forging and maintaining long-term conservation relationships with private landowners and public agencies, owning and managing land and encouraging healthy local communities. ZSCN is a small group of volunteers dedicated to providing care to special needs and senior animals... and spaying all the cats!

 

 

The Music

SOL DRIVEN TRAIN ~ FacebookWebsite | Music 

Sol Driven Train’s music weaves through genres like images in a Tom Robbins paragraph. The band’s playful sonic schizophrenia absorbs songwriting influences like John Prine and Paul Simon, Afro-caribbean rhythmic explorations, and funky New Orleans-style brass into earnest songs of life, love, loss, and long johns. The versatile 5-piece band, based in Charleston, SC, features rotating lead vocalists, and multi-instrumental talent spread across horns, strings, keyboards, and percussion.  Combining rich varieties of American pop and folk music into their own brass-kickin' roots rock sound, Sol Driven Train has carved out a unique musical identity within the Jam and Americana music scene.  

Sol Driven Train's sound has helped shape their hometown’s musical identity for more than a decade. It’s soulful and rich like Charleston’s food, approachable like its people, rooted in history like its architecture, and as diverse as you’d expect from a city that, for instance, has a Prius-driving Democrat for a mayor in one of the country’s reddest states.  During the spring of 2000, a close circle of friends began gathering in college apartments downtown Charleston to create sound and share in the fun and cathartic joy of music. Through the course of nearly 18 years and over 1,500 live shows, this same spirit still guides Sol Driven Train through the rocky road of the music industry. The venues have grown from bedrooms to festival stages, the amps have gotten louder, the lineup has evolved, and the crowds have multiplied, but the sense of brotherhood, mutual support, and creative independence within the band has strengthened. Along the way, the band has performed alongside their musical heroes, sharing stages with greats such as Bruce Hornsby, Levon Helm, Michael Franti, and Blues Traveler. 

The band believes strongly in giving back to their community, and takes time each year to perform for children and donate their services to help local health, education, and environmental charity organizations. Through hard work and a commitment to live performance, the band’s reputation and collective musical ability has grown with every season. 

Named  “2011 Rock Band of the Year” "2012 Jam Band of the Year" and "2013 World/Groove/Reggae Band of the Year" by the Charleston City Paper, and “On the Verge” by Relix Magazine in January 2012, Sol Driven Train is an independent band breaking into the national spotlight. Thirteen independent releases including two critically-acclaimed albums for children, a live concert DVD, a live album, eight full-length studio albums, and 2013's popular “Watermelon” EP document the band’s winding musical development. 

2016 saw the release of Sol Driven Train's "Sunday", the band's first album to feature bassist Matty Thompson and pianist Ross Bogan. Drawing influence from years of experience on the road and their surrogate home in the US Virgin Islands, "Sunday" is Sol Driven Train's most comprehensive album to date. 

2018 will mark the band's 9th US Virgin Islands Tour in addition to the completion of their ninth full-length album. The band continues to tour the United States while making more time to spend with family and good friends.

YARN ~ FacebookWebsiteMusic

 Even the most dire circumstance can offer opportunity for new beginnings. Just ask singer/songwriter Blake Christiana or any of the other members of the once Brooklyn based Americana band called Yarn. At least that’s the conclusion they came to after a period of real life challenges that left the band splintered and unsure of their forward trajectory. Internal tensions were simmering. A new album was scrapped. A major move from Brooklyn to North Carolina added to the uncertainty. For a band that seemed forever on the verge of a big breakthrough, the future suddenly seemed cloudy.   “We were dealing with real life issues,” Christiana explains. “Broken relationships, a sense of having to regroup and put some things -- and people -- behind us. That’s what I was writing about lyrically in the new songs and it became kind of a catharsis. Nothing was contrived. We didn’t have to relate to it in the third person. We were living these circumstances, and that gave us the impetus and inspiration to share our sentiments. Ultimately those setbacks and difficulties led to new opportunities and allowed a little light to shine through.”  Christiana’s referring to the band’s album, the boldly optimistic  This Is the Year . A seamless blend of vibrant, inspired, back porch melodies and narrative, descriptive lyrics that detail the challenges faced when one’s life is jolted off its bearings, the record documents in detail the band’s determination to move forward while balancing precariously on a line that forms a border between love and hate. It’s an album about re-evaluating relationships, making tough choices and sometimes skirting the rules, a tack that was inspired by musicians they admire -- Waylon and Willie, Merle Haggard and other Texas troubadours with a distinctly renegade reputation.  For Christiana, bassist Rick Bugel, singer guitarist Rod Hohl and drummer Bobby Bonhomme, it meant taking a fresh look at where they were versus what they wanted to accomplish. Bonhomme had recently returned to the fold after an extended absence, while another longtime member was purged. “The tension suddenly dissolved,” Christiana says, giving an audible sigh of relief. “Suddenly we were free to express ourselves without having to look back over our shoulders. This album is our emancipation.”   “I think this album is a stepping stone for us, one we desperately needed,” Bonhomme adds. “It marks a much needed change in direction. The title is appropriate. This  is  the year, because now we can look forward. This  is  who we are. For the first time in a very long time we’re not afraid of taking chances. The bond between each of the band members has never been better, and it’s that camaraderie that helped us move forward and created the kind of passion that is evident in this album.”   “This is our best album yet,” Bugel adds. “This is also the happiest the band’s ever been. The chemistry we shared in the studio and on the stage is nothing short of amazing.”  That’s certainly no small accomplishment, especially for a band that spent two years honing their chops during a Monday night residency at the famed Kenny’s Castaway in New York’s Greenwich Village. In effect, it allowed them to rehearse onstage, mostly in front of audiences that often ranged in size from five to fifty people on any given night. Five studio albums followed --  Yarn (2007),  Empty Pockets  (2008),  Come On In  (2010),  Almost Home  (2012) and  Shine the Light On  (2013). The band then took to the road, playing upwards of 170 shows a year and sharing stages with such superstars as Dwight Yoakam, Charlie Daniels, Marty Stuart, Allison Krauss, Leon Russell, Jim Lauderdale and The Lumineers. They performed at any number of prestigious venues -- Mountain Stage, Daytrotter, the Orange Peel in Asheville, the Fox Theater in Boulder, the 9:30 Club in D.C, South by Southwest, the Strawberry Festival, Rhythm and Roots, Meadowgrass and more, eventually accumulating a total of 1,000 shows, half a million miles and performances in 32 states. They’ve driven nonstop, made countless radio station appearances, driven broken-down RVs and watched as their van caught fire. They’ve paid their dues and then some, looking forward even as they were forced to glance behind.  Indeed, the accolades piled up quickly along the way. They received a Grammy nomination, garnered nods from the Americana Music Association, placed top five on both Radio and Records and the AMA album charts, garnered airplay on Sirius FM, I Tunes, Pandora, CNN, CMT and Roughstock.com, and also accorded the “Download of the Day” from  Rolling Stone .  Shine the Light On  found shared song writing credits with John Oates (the Oates of Hall & Oates fame), and when audiences expressed their admiration, it brought the band a populist following of diehard devotees, popularly known as “the Yarmy.”   As odd as that might seem, it’s proof positive that Yarn have made their mark, and in their dealing with emotions, scars and circumstances, they find themselves in a position to share those experiences with others who have sifted through similar sentiments.   In an era of click-bait and sound bites, Yarn provides a real experience.  They're not just a live band, they're a band for people who want to live.

Even the most dire circumstance can offer opportunity for new beginnings. Just ask singer/songwriter Blake Christiana or any of the other members of the once Brooklyn based Americana band called Yarn. At least that’s the conclusion they came to after a period of real life challenges that left the band splintered and unsure of their forward trajectory. Internal tensions were simmering. A new album was scrapped. A major move from Brooklyn to North Carolina added to the uncertainty. For a band that seemed forever on the verge of a big breakthrough, the future suddenly seemed cloudy. 

“We were dealing with real life issues,” Christiana explains. “Broken relationships, a sense of having to regroup and put some things -- and people -- behind us. That’s what I was writing about lyrically in the new songs and it became kind of a catharsis. Nothing was contrived. We didn’t have to relate to it in the third person. We were living these circumstances, and that gave us the impetus and inspiration to share our sentiments. Ultimately those setbacks and difficulties led to new opportunities and allowed a little light to shine through.”

Christiana’s referring to the band’s album, the boldly optimistic This Is the Year. A seamless blend of vibrant, inspired, back porch melodies and narrative, descriptive lyrics that detail the challenges faced when one’s life is jolted off its bearings, the record documents in detail the band’s determination to move forward while balancing precariously on a line that forms a border between love and hate. It’s an album about re-evaluating relationships, making tough choices and sometimes skirting the rules, a tack that was inspired by musicians they admire -- Waylon and Willie, Merle Haggard and other Texas troubadours with a distinctly renegade reputation.

For Christiana, bassist Rick Bugel, singer guitarist Rod Hohl and drummer Bobby Bonhomme, it meant taking a fresh look at where they were versus what they wanted to accomplish. Bonhomme had recently returned to the fold after an extended absence, while another longtime member was purged. “The tension suddenly dissolved,” Christiana says, giving an audible sigh of relief. “Suddenly we were free to express ourselves without having to look back over our shoulders. This album is our emancipation.” 

“I think this album is a stepping stone for us, one we desperately needed,” Bonhomme adds. “It marks a much needed change in direction. The title is appropriate. This is the year, because now we can look forward. This is who we are. For the first time in a very long time we’re not afraid of taking chances. The bond between each of the band members has never been better, and it’s that camaraderie that helped us move forward and created the kind of passion that is evident in this album.” 

“This is our best album yet,” Bugel adds. “This is also the happiest the band’s ever been. The chemistry we shared in the studio and on the stage is nothing short of amazing.”

That’s certainly no small accomplishment, especially for a band that spent two years honing their chops during a Monday night residency at the famed Kenny’s Castaway in New York’s Greenwich Village. In effect, it allowed them to rehearse onstage, mostly in front of audiences that often ranged in size from five to fifty people on any given night. Five studio albums followed -- Yarn(2007), Empty Pockets (2008), Come On In (2010), Almost Home (2012) and Shine the Light On (2013). The band then took to the road, playing upwards of 170 shows a year and sharing stages with such superstars as Dwight Yoakam, Charlie Daniels, Marty Stuart, Allison Krauss, Leon Russell, Jim Lauderdale and The Lumineers. They performed at any number of prestigious venues -- Mountain Stage, Daytrotter, the Orange Peel in Asheville, the Fox Theater in Boulder, the 9:30 Club in D.C, South by Southwest, the Strawberry Festival, Rhythm and Roots, Meadowgrass and more, eventually accumulating a total of 1,000 shows, half a million miles and performances in 32 states. They’ve driven nonstop, made countless radio station appearances, driven broken-down RVs and watched as their van caught fire. They’ve paid their dues and then some, looking forward even as they were forced to glance behind.

Indeed, the accolades piled up quickly along the way. They received a Grammy nomination, garnered nods from the Americana Music Association, placed top five on both Radio and Records and the AMA album charts, garnered airplay on Sirius FM, I Tunes, Pandora, CNN, CMT and Roughstock.com, and also accorded the “Download of the Day” from Rolling StoneShine the Light On found shared song writing credits with John Oates (the Oates of Hall & Oates fame), and when audiences expressed their admiration, it brought the band a populist following of diehard devotees, popularly known as “the Yarmy.” 

As odd as that might seem, it’s proof positive that Yarn have made their mark, and in their dealing with emotions, scars and circumstances, they find themselves in a position to share those experiences with others who have sifted through similar sentiments. 

In an era of click-bait and sound bites, Yarn provides a real experience.  They're not just a live band, they're a band for people who want to live.

EMPIRE STRIKES BRASS ~ FacebookWebsiteMusic

 Empire Strikes Brass (ESB) is a high energy Brass-Funk-Rock band hailing from the city of Asheville, North Carolina. Formed on the streets of their hometown, ESB is rooted in the New Orleans Brass Band tradition of second-line parades and deep moving grooves reminiscent of old school funk. Combining complex musical arrangements with thoughtful lyrical song structure, ESB can stretch out and dig deep when they are feeling it or keep things tight and concise. The fat sound of the horns paired with one dirty rhythm section makes the music downright psychedelically nasty! Founded in 2012, ESB intentionally stretches the boundaries of the stereotypical brass band paradigm, fusing sounds from various genres and weaving them together with the common thread of Brass. The diversity of the music within their sets keep audiences guessing what is next to come.  Featuring rich group and strong lead vocals including Grammy Award winner Debrissa Mckinney (Secret Agent 23 Skidoo), ESB not only takes its audiences on a ride to the dark side and back instrumentally, they also use the force of soaring melody and lush harmony to transport the listeners to another dimension. The band released its debut album, "Theme For A Celebration" in 2017 and it was tapped as one of the top 100 album releases in 2017 by WNCW 88.7 radio. Since their conception, ESB has been a consistent fixture at various festivals throughout the east coast.They've had the pleasure of having Warren Haynes (Allman Bros. Band and Gov’t Mule) sit in with them at New Mountain Amphitheater in Asheville, NC and the honor of headlining four years in a row celebrating the life of Dizzy Gillespie in his hometown of Cheraw, SC, for the South Carolina Jazz and Heritage Festival. ESB has co-billed with such artists as Dr. John & Lettuce. The horns have sat in on performances with Galactic, The Big Something, and many others. ESB horn players JP Furnas, Paul Juhl and Alex Bradley are also featured on the live album compilation from world-renowned artists Beats Antique entitled “Creature Carnival” released in 2015. The band is known to regularly parade off stage into the audience leading the crowd in a raucous procession around the venue before, during or after their set.  Members of the band have also been expanding their musical resumes and repertoire. Notable side projects and performances include keyboardist Lenny Pettinelli’s recording and performing with Jazz is Phish featuring such artists as Jeff Coffin (Bela Fleck, Dave Matthews Band), Chris Bullock (Snarky Puppy), Michael Ray (Sun Ra, Kool and the Gang), the Chase Brothers and many more. The band's founder, saxophonist Paul Juhl, performed with John Oates (Hall and Oates) at MerleFest. In addition to her work with Skidoo, Debrissa McKinney has performed with artists such as Karl Denson and Laura Reed. ESB horn players Kyle Snuffer and Alex Bradley have recorded on Marcus King's upcoming 2018 release produced by Eric Krasno of Soulive and Lettuce.  Later this year, the band is slated to get back in the studio for a follow up sophomore effort to 2017's Theme For A Celebration. Look for the band on the road and at festivals in a town near you!

Empire Strikes Brass (ESB) is a high energy Brass-Funk-Rock band hailing from the city of Asheville, North Carolina. Formed on the streets of their hometown, ESB is rooted in the New Orleans Brass Band tradition of second-line parades and deep moving grooves reminiscent of old school funk. Combining complex musical arrangements with thoughtful lyrical song structure, ESB can stretch out and dig deep when they are feeling it or keep things tight and concise. The fat
sound of the horns paired with one dirty rhythm section makes the music downright psychedelically nasty! Founded in 2012, ESB intentionally stretches the boundaries of the stereotypical brass band
paradigm, fusing sounds from various genres and weaving them together with the common thread of Brass. The diversity of the music within their sets keep audiences guessing what is next to come.

Featuring rich group and strong lead vocals including Grammy Award winner Debrissa Mckinney (Secret Agent 23 Skidoo), ESB not only takes its audiences on a ride to the dark side and back instrumentally, they also use the force of soaring melody and lush harmony to transport the listeners to another dimension. The band released its debut album, "Theme For A Celebration" in 2017 and it was tapped as one of the top 100 album releases in 2017 by WNCW 88.7 radio. Since their conception, ESB has been a consistent fixture at various festivals throughout the east coast.They've had the pleasure of having Warren Haynes (Allman Bros. Band and Gov’t Mule) sit in with them at New Mountain Amphitheater in Asheville, NC and the honor of headlining four years in a row celebrating the life of Dizzy Gillespie in his hometown of Cheraw, SC, for the South Carolina Jazz and Heritage Festival. ESB has co-billed with such artists as Dr. John & Lettuce. The horns have sat in on performances with Galactic, The Big Something, and many others. ESB horn players JP Furnas, Paul Juhl and Alex Bradley are also featured on the live album compilation from world-renowned artists Beats Antique entitled “Creature Carnival” released in 2015. The band is known to regularly parade off stage into the audience leading the crowd in a raucous procession around the venue before, during or after their set.

Members of the band have also been expanding their musical resumes and repertoire. Notable side projects and performances include keyboardist Lenny Pettinelli’s recording and performing with Jazz is Phish featuring such artists as Jeff Coffin (Bela Fleck, Dave Matthews Band), Chris Bullock (Snarky Puppy), Michael Ray (Sun Ra, Kool and the Gang), the Chase Brothers and many more. The band's founder, saxophonist Paul Juhl, performed with John Oates (Hall and Oates) at MerleFest. In addition to her work with Skidoo, Debrissa McKinney has performed with artists such as Karl Denson and Laura Reed. ESB horn players Kyle Snuffer and Alex Bradley have recorded on Marcus King's upcoming 2018 release produced by Eric Krasno of Soulive and Lettuce.

Later this year, the band is slated to get back in the studio for a follow up sophomore effort to 2017's Theme For A Celebration. Look for the band on the road and at festivals in a town near you!

JOSH ROBERTS & THE HINGES ~ FacebookWebsiteMusic

 Josh Roberts and The Hinges are a 4 piece band out of Charleston, S.C. Embedded in their style of rock & roll are blues, country punk and soul influence that link elegant harmonies with the raunchy guitar work of Josh Roberts. Their powerful sound is uncomprimising concert goers speechless…and sometimes exhausted, yet always wanting more. Since their inception JRATH have played 100s of shows all across the country from Denver to D.C. In doing so Josh Roberts and the Hinges have shared stages with artists as diverse as George Clinton and Parliament/Funkadelic, Band of Horses, Drive by Truckers, Shovels and Rope, Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit, Leon Russell, Drivin n Cryin, Big Head Todd and the Monsters, Billy Joe Shaver, Robert Randolph, The Whiskey Gentry, Dead Confederate, Robert Earle Keen, moe., Mutemath, The Futurebirds, The Jompson Brothers (Chris Stapleton), JGB, Moonshine Still,  Stockholm Syndrome,  Have Gun Will Travel, Radiolucent, Angie Aparo, Acoustic Syndicate, 7 Mary 3, Five Eight, and many more.

Josh Roberts and The Hinges are a 4 piece band out of Charleston, S.C. Embedded in their style of rock & roll are blues, country punk and soul influence that link elegant harmonies with the raunchy guitar work of Josh Roberts. Their powerful sound is uncomprimising concert goers speechless…and sometimes exhausted, yet always wanting more. Since their inception JRATH have played 100s of shows all across the country from Denver to D.C. In doing so Josh Roberts and the Hinges have shared stages with artists as diverse as George Clinton and Parliament/Funkadelic, Band of Horses, Drive by Truckers, Shovels and Rope, Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit, Leon Russell, Drivin n Cryin, Big Head Todd and the Monsters, Billy Joe Shaver, Robert Randolph, The Whiskey Gentry, Dead Confederate, Robert Earle Keen, moe., Mutemath, The Futurebirds, The Jompson Brothers (Chris Stapleton), JGB, Moonshine Still,  Stockholm Syndrome,  Have Gun Will Travel, Radiolucent, Angie Aparo, Acoustic Syndicate, 7 Mary 3, Five Eight, and many more.

JEFF SIPE'S "SLAM SHINE" ~ Facebook | Website | Music

 ***This is a special, one time gathering for Sol Slam Mountain Jam consisting of Mike Seal (guitar), Mike Barnes (guitar), Mark McDaniel (bass) and Jeff Sipe (Drums).***  Jeff began to play drums in the sixth grade. Then In 1975, Jeff’s first stepping stone was attending the Shenandoah Conservatory of Music. — One of Jeff’s dreams finally came true when he was accepted to Berklee in 1977. While at Berklee, Jeff studied under Bob Kaufman and Bill Norine, he attended clinics given by Alan Dawson and was taken under by his mentor Lee Venters. Jeff was lucky enough to attend Berklee with an impressive cast of musicians like Branford Marsalis, Bill Frisell, Mike Stern and Jeff Watts, Kevin Eubanks, Dean Parks, Steve Vai, just to name a few. While studying at Berklee, Jeff met and played in a band with Steve Vai and Baron Brown called “Winter”. This experience turned Jeff on to a wide world of music and rhythm which gave him valuable tools that he still carries with him today.  After his stay in Boston, Jeff moved to Atlanta in 1983. There he began gigging and teaching at the Atlanta Institute for Music and at a popular hang out for Atlanta drummers, Atlanta Drums and Percussion. Jeff spent time sitting in with local musicians and was introduced to Bruce Hampton through Dan Wall, a keyboardist that he had been playing with…..and that’s the rest of the story. It seemed too fitting that their first meeting took place at a wedding because not only was there a marriage there was a wedding of vast musical intention. Jeff then asked Oteil Burbridge and Jimmy Herring to sit in on this free willed musical band wagon and the Aquarium Rescue Unit was born.  In 1996, Jeff met up with Swedish-born bass extraordinaire Jonas Hellborg and the Memphis guitar monster Shawn Lane. This Trio did many Europoean tours as well as American tours. Jonas released 4 recordings of this band including “Temporal Analogues of Paradise”, a classic.  Jeff’s interest in bluegrass music led him to 3 years with “Leftover Salmon” where he gigged almost non stop! The recording “Nashville Sessions” was a high lite of that period having an opportunity to work with Randy and Earl Srcruggs, Bela Fleck, Waylon Jennings, Lucinda Williams, Taj Mahal, & Jerry Douglas among others.  Jeff took on his own creation known as the Zambiland Orchestra. This experimental big band featured Ricky Keller conducting members of Phish, Widespread Panic, Michael Ray and the Cosmic Crew, the Derek Trucks Band, the Fiji Mariners, MOE, Little Feat, Sam Bush, John Cowan, Warren Haynes, Stanton Moore, the Atlanta All-Stars, Little John, Sonny Emory Randy Honea, and many others.  The Zambiland Orchestra performed as a charity event for six years in a row every December just before Christmas at the Variety Playhouse as a benefit for Hospice and the food bank. By the 4th year into it there where 83 players on stage being conducted by the great spirit Ricky Keller and Jeff. One invited guest was Matt Butler who was so inspired by this spirited event that he began his own version called the” Everyone Orchestra”.  Even more recently Jeff teamed up with long time friend and guitar maniac Jimmy Herring on a project known as Z, that’s Project Z to most. Together with fellow Atlantian producer/musician Ricky Keller and mega organ/keyboardist Oliver Wells, Project Z recorded a self titled debut album filled with juicy fusionisk tunes that gathered praise from all realms. Since then a second Project Z has been released as well as Jeff’s solo release “Timeless” featuring Paul Hanson, Derek Jones, Jason Crosby, Kofi Burbridge, Count ‘M Butu and Derek Trucks.

***This is a special, one time gathering for Sol Slam Mountain Jam consisting of Mike Seal (guitar), Mike Barnes (guitar), Mark McDaniel (bass) and Jeff Sipe (Drums).***

Jeff began to play drums in the sixth grade. Then In 1975, Jeff’s first stepping stone was attending the Shenandoah Conservatory of Music. — One of Jeff’s dreams finally came true when he was accepted to Berklee in 1977. While at Berklee, Jeff studied under Bob Kaufman and Bill Norine, he attended clinics given by Alan Dawson and was taken under by his mentor Lee Venters. Jeff was lucky enough to attend Berklee with an impressive cast of musicians like Branford Marsalis, Bill Frisell, Mike Stern and Jeff Watts, Kevin Eubanks, Dean Parks, Steve Vai, just to name a few.
While studying at Berklee, Jeff met and played in a band with Steve Vai and Baron Brown called “Winter”. This experience turned Jeff on to a wide world of music and rhythm which gave him valuable tools that he still carries with him today.

After his stay in Boston, Jeff moved to Atlanta in 1983. There he began gigging and teaching at the Atlanta Institute for Music and at a popular hang out for Atlanta drummers, Atlanta Drums and Percussion. Jeff spent time sitting in with local musicians and was introduced to Bruce Hampton through Dan Wall, a keyboardist that he had been playing with…..and that’s the rest of the story. It seemed too fitting that their first meeting took place at a wedding because not only was there a marriage there was a wedding of vast musical intention. Jeff then asked Oteil Burbridge and Jimmy Herring to sit in on this free willed musical band wagon and the Aquarium Rescue Unit was born.

In 1996, Jeff met up with Swedish-born bass extraordinaire Jonas Hellborg and the Memphis guitar monster Shawn Lane. This Trio did many Europoean tours as well as American tours. Jonas released 4 recordings of this band including “Temporal Analogues of Paradise”, a classic.

Jeff’s interest in bluegrass music led him to 3 years with “Leftover Salmon” where he gigged almost non stop! The recording “Nashville Sessions” was a high lite of that period having an opportunity to work with Randy and Earl Srcruggs, Bela Fleck, Waylon Jennings, Lucinda Williams, Taj Mahal, & Jerry Douglas among others.

Jeff took on his own creation known as the Zambiland Orchestra. This experimental big band featured Ricky Keller conducting members of Phish, Widespread Panic, Michael Ray and the Cosmic Crew, the Derek Trucks Band, the Fiji Mariners, MOE, Little Feat, Sam Bush, John Cowan, Warren Haynes, Stanton Moore, the Atlanta All-Stars, Little John, Sonny Emory Randy Honea, and many others.

The Zambiland Orchestra performed as a charity event for six years in a row every December just before Christmas at the Variety Playhouse as a benefit for Hospice and the food bank.
By the 4th year into it there where 83 players on stage being conducted by the great spirit Ricky Keller and Jeff. One invited guest was Matt Butler who was so inspired by this spirited event that he began his own version called the” Everyone Orchestra”.

Even more recently Jeff teamed up with long time friend and guitar maniac Jimmy Herring on a project known as Z, that’s Project Z to most. Together with fellow Atlantian producer/musician Ricky Keller and mega organ/keyboardist Oliver Wells, Project Z recorded a self titled debut album filled with juicy fusionisk tunes that gathered praise from all realms. Since then a second Project Z has been released as well as Jeff’s solo release “Timeless” featuring Paul Hanson, Derek Jones, Jason Crosby, Kofi Burbridge, Count ‘M Butu and Derek Trucks.

LOVER'S LEAP ~ FacebookMusic

 Standing on the precipice of a new and exciting venture, the band members of Lovers Leap decided to jump.  Although it was more of a soaring than a falling when they first played together under the shadow of the beautiful rock outcrop in Hot Springs, NC, for which their name was inspired.  At the heart of Lovers Leap is a lovely balance of lush harmonies and provocative solos, entwined in songs that span from old mountain murder ballads to original tunes set to worldly  rhythms.  As a show unfolds and boundaries dissolve, the nucleus of a performance is steadfast, tugging on the listeners’ heart strings, while also satiating one’s desires through instrumental virtuosity.  Independently, Shelby Means (bass, guitar, vocals ), Mary Lucey (banjo, bass, vocals ), Joel Timmons (guitar, drums, vocals) and Billy Cardine (dobro, vocals), have each made an impact on the evolving Americana music scene.  Means began singing and playing upright bass as a young’un in a family band.  These talents lead her to a GRAMMY nomination with band, Della Mae where she shared the stage with folks such as Willie Nelson, and the Avett Brothers.  Lucey, a founding member of The Biscuit Burners, helped propel the band to international attention with her powerful singing, bass playing and songwriting.  She also played with Uncle Earl alongside John Paul Jones for their album release tour.  Timmons, as a member of Sol Driven Train has played alongside Bruce Hornsby, Levon Helm and Michael Franti, demonstrating his sonic playfulness, danceable rhythms and Americana pop leanings.  Cardine, a slide guitar pioneer, founding member of The Biscuit Burners and current member of Acoustic Syndicate, Rapidgrass and North of Too Far Downs has made a name through his distinct voice on all things slide.  He has performed with Edgar Meyer at Carnegie Hall and collaborated with greats such as Debashish Bhattacharya and Jerry Douglas.  Collectively the bandmates have presented their sound from the Kennedy Center to Bonnaroo, Merlefest to Telluride, Europe and China to Israel and India.  They each have taught workshops throughout the country and internationally on their respective instruments.

Standing on the precipice of a new and exciting venture, the band members of Lovers Leap decided to jump.  Although it was more of a soaring than a falling when they first played together under the shadow of the beautiful rock outcrop in Hot Springs, NC, for which their name was inspired.  At the heart of Lovers Leap is a lovely balance of lush harmonies and provocative solos, entwined in songs that span from old mountain murder ballads to original tunes set to worldly  rhythms.  As a show unfolds and boundaries dissolve, the nucleus of a performance is steadfast, tugging on the listeners’ heart strings, while also satiating one’s desires through instrumental virtuosity.

Independently, Shelby Means (bass, guitar, vocals ), Mary Lucey (banjo, bass, vocals ), Joel Timmons (guitar, drums, vocals) and Billy Cardine (dobro, vocals), have each made an impact on the evolving Americana music scene.  Means began singing and playing upright bass as a young’un in a family band.  These talents lead her to a GRAMMY nomination with band, Della Mae where she shared the stage with folks such as Willie Nelson, and the Avett Brothers.  Lucey, a founding member of The Biscuit Burners, helped propel the band to international attention with her powerful singing, bass playing and songwriting.  She also played with Uncle Earl alongside John Paul Jones for their album release tour.  Timmons, as a member of Sol Driven Train has played alongside Bruce Hornsby, Levon Helm and Michael Franti, demonstrating his sonic playfulness, danceable rhythms and Americana pop leanings.  Cardine, a slide guitar pioneer, founding member of The Biscuit Burners and current member of Acoustic Syndicate, Rapidgrass and North of Too Far Downs has made a name through his distinct voice on all things slide.  He has performed with Edgar Meyer at Carnegie Hall and collaborated with greats such as Debashish Bhattacharya and Jerry Douglas.

Collectively the bandmates have presented their sound from the Kennedy Center to Bonnaroo, Merlefest to Telluride, Europe and China to Israel and India.  They each have taught workshops throughout the country and internationally on their respective instruments.

TERRAPHONICS ~ Facebook | Website | Music

 Terraphonics is the production of songwriter / guitarist Thomas Kenney, and features Alex Kellner on Bass, Brandon Brooks on Drums, and Jonathan Lovett on Keys- as well of a rotating cast of soulful vocalists and M.C.'s - The band's blend of rnb harmony, dance rhythms and psychedelic orchestral elements will keep you moving to a higher place.

Terraphonics is the production of songwriter / guitarist Thomas Kenney, and features Alex Kellner on Bass, Brandon Brooks on Drums, and Jonathan Lovett on Keys- as well of a rotating cast of soulful vocalists and M.C.'s - The band's blend of rnb harmony, dance rhythms and psychedelic orchestral elements will keep you moving to a higher place.

 

The Location

Mountain River Guides

2 Jones Branch Rd
Erwin, TN, 37650

Whitewater Rafting Special

Saturday 9/1/18 - 10am to 3pm  
Nolichucky Gorge Lunch Trip Ages 10+  
$80.00 person
Class 4 Adventure!

Saturday 9/1/18 - 11am-3pm
Lower Nolichucky with Lunch Rafting Trip Ages 4+  
$40.00 a person.  
Class 1-3 Family Float Adventure

 

Mountain River Guides ~ Website | Facebook

Mountain River Guides offers French River rafting and Nolichucky River rafting as well as caving, guided fishing, SUP and river tubing from an outfitter you know and trust. Having offered the best in white water rafting for over 30 years we have been adding more unique guided trips to better serve our guests. Stay in one of our unique lodges and sample our vast menu of adventure options.  Our professional guides focus on providing a safe, first class adventure.  In fact if we can’t be the best at the adventures we are guiding we simply won’t do it!  Our French Broad rafting outpost is just 30 minutes from Asheville and the Nolichucky is 50 minute drive from Asheville.

 

A Good Cause

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Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy ~ Website | Facebook

A portion of the proceeds will go towards benefiting the Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy. SAHC works to conserve the unique plant and animal habitat, clean water, farmland, scenic beauty, and places for people to enjoy outdoor recreation in the mountains of North Carolina and Tennessee for the benefit of present and future generations. We achieve this by forging and maintaining long-term conservation relationships with private landowners and public agencies, owning and managing land and encouraging healthy local communities.

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Ziggy's Second Chance Network ~ Facebook

Ziggy's Second Chance Network is a small group of volunteers dedicated to providing care to special needs and senior animals... and spaying all the cats!

 

The Details

Camping:

Camping will be festival style! We have a lovely site on the banks of the Nolichucky river, but space is limited and we want as many happy campers as possible to attend the Sol Slam Mountain Jam!

  • Check in for camping is Friday at 12 Noon
  • Check out is Monday at 11am.
  • Tent spaces will be close together. Please count on only having room for a tent, small table, and chairs so that more people can camp! You may bring a canopy but please conserve space!  There are lots of trees for hammocking.
  • Practice Leave No Trace Principles! Pack in, Pack out! Bring extra trash bags, don’t litter, clean up after yourself and be a good neighbor. Please do not leave items at the campground when you leave.
  • Practice Kindness and meet your new festy fam! It makes the festival more enjoyable for all!
  • If there is an emergency, or you really need to make a phone call there is a land line in the lodge and the USA Raft Store.

Fires:

  • Campfires are permitted in established fire rings throughout the property. Please do not build additional fire rings.
  • Outside Firewood is prohibited due to the increase in invasive species transfer.
  • We will have firewood for sale in our store.

Tickets:

  • We will not be mailing or emailing tickets.
  • Arrival and check in will be at will call in the USA Raft Store. Please check in at the store for directions to your campsite and instructions for shuttle and offsite parking. Bring a photo ID.

Pets:

  • Dogs on a leash are welcome at Sol Slam! We love Fido!!!
  • Please be considerate of your neighbors and don’t leave Fido alone if he/she likes to bark.
  • Please scoop the poop! Plan to bring bags, but they will be available on site as well.
  • We will keep our resident USA Raft/Mountain River Guides dogs on leash or inside.

Parking and shuttles:

  • Off site parking a few miles away will be the standard unless special circumstances have been prearranged. For example: You have a sleeping setup in your vehicle.  
  • You will have 30 minutes to unload your vehicle onsite when you arrive on Friday. If you cannot pull directly up to your campsite we will have people onsite available to assist.
  • We will provide shuttles to and from off-site parking throughout the day until a hour after the last show.

Store:

  • We have a store onsite that will sell general snack items, bug spray, sunscreen, t-shirts, stickers, firewood, ice, supplies etc..but we encourage you to bring all supplies with you as we do not have a large selection of camping goods.

Vendors:

  • There will be lots of food and merchandise vendors onsite. We will put a list on Facebook soon..

Food and Drink:

  • We will have several food vendors to choose from during the festival as well as our camp store that sells snacks and drinks.
  • Lodging guests are welcome to use our communal kitchen in the Lodge or the charcoal grills on site.
  • Bring coolers for your food and beverages! We sell ice in the store.
  • There will be alcoholic beverages for sale on site, but you are welcome to bring your own.
  • Glass bottles are strongly discouraged as they can break and become a safety hazard!
  • Please remember to stock up on food and drink before you arrive as most parking will be offsite.  There are 2 grocery stores in Erwin. There are also pizza places that deliver to our office.

Trash and Recycling:

  • Practice Leave No Trace Principles!
  • Please help keep our campground clean by picking up all trash.
  • Trash and recycling receptacles will be provided throughout the property.
  • Cigarette butts are NOT biodegradable and will be picked up one by one after the festival so please be considerate.

Cell Phones:

  • We will not have dedicated phone charging areas but campers may use electric outlets in the Lodge to charge cell phones.
  • Signal is extremely limited. AT&T, Consumer Cellular, and Verizon may be able to send/receive text messages. Do not count on phone calls to meet your friends!
  • If there is an emergency, or you really need to make a phone call there is a land line in the lodge and the USA Raft Store.

Lost and Found:

  • The lost and found is located in the store at the USA Raft outpost.

What to bring:

  • In packing for your stay at SSMJ, bring rain gear, warm clothes, and an extra pair of shoes or sneakers in case it rains.
  • We also recommend bug spray, a blanket for seating, sunscreen, hat for shade, a container (or two!) for water, plastic bags for trash, extra toilet paper (just in case), a lantern or a flashlight with extra batteries, a camera, and a smile!

What not to bring:

  • No weapons of any kind
  • No fireworks
  • No illegal substances
  • No unauthorized vending

Whitewater Rafting Special

Saturday 9/1/18 - 10am to 3pm  
Nolichucky Gorge Lunch Trip Ages 10+  
$80.00 person
Class 4 Adventure!

Saturday 9/1/18 - 11am-3pm
Lower Nolichucky with Lunch Rafting Trip Ages 4+  
$40.00 a person.  
Class 1-3 Family Float Adventure