On a weekend getaway to Aspen, I found myself driving past some campgrounds in the vicinity of Snowmass Village. It wasn’t just that people in Colorado have a higher level of appreciation for nature (though I get the feeling they do). The reason for the pitched tents was fully explained by a hanging sign further down the road. The hamlet was the center of a unique food, beer and music festival called Snowmass Mammoth Fest. There is little buzz around this festival outside of Colorado as far as I can tell. A quick search for news post show doesn’t turn up much. But it happens to be the kid sister of the more notable Telluride Blues & Brews Festival held in September.
Though I hadn’t expected to check out a show, with the festival going on, Thievery Corporation playing in Aspen that weekend and Houndmouth doing a post-fest show at a bar nearby, I felt I had to check out Mammoth Fest. Unfortunately, the grand chili tasting had occurred the day before by the time I arrived on Sunday evening to catch Les Claypool’s Duo de Twang and the Chris Robinson Brotherhood but I still had the opportunity to enjoy some other fare from Colorado eateries including some unique popsicles, mac and cheese and fresh-fried donuts made all the more gluttonous because they were only available by the dozen.
The weather was gorgeous as was the location, which is shown in the larger gallery of images on Facebook and in some of the images below. And I would have happily just lounged in the field simply just to eat and or drink. But there was music to be seen. Artists liked Leftover Salmon, Xavier Rudd, The Motet, Houndmouth, The London Souls, and many others had already played as I arrived and checked in at the media yurt (!) for my photo pass for the final two acts of the weekend.
Les Claypool’s current project Duo de Twang with Bryan Kehoe, is a freaky funky project as to be expected and he played through a bunch of Primus material, including “Wynona’s Big Brown Beaver” and some covers plus as a shoutout to Colorado, the theme song from South Park which Claypool had written and sung. Chris Robinson, from the following and headlining act, joined the duo on stage for a song and some jokes. Then he returned to the stage with the CRB, whose throwback ’70s rock sounds fit the scene well. The band jammed through “Reflections”, “Beggar’s Moon” and many others just as the sun was coming down over Snowmass. The town may not yet be a destination for music lovers, but if you are in the area, stop by as Mammoth Fest offers a resort within a resort.
Les Claypool’s Duo de Twang
Chris Robinson Brotherhood: