Text and Photos by Ken Spielman.
The hills of Montage Mountain were very much alive with the sound of music this past July 19 through July 22. For the last seven years, The Peach Festival has attracted thousands of music lovers from near and far to Scranton, Pennsylvania to witness an assorted line-up of seasoned veterans and up and comers.
While there's no denying that the nucleus of the Peach is jam-based, there was plenty of musical diversity to be found all around. The festival grounds were set up perfectly, with three stages all within walking distance of one another. With over 60 performances over the four day period, fans would bounce from stage to stage taking in the fascinating song structures of The Revitalists to the legendary riffs of the Ramblin' Man himself—Dickey Betts—to the rock-infused bluegrass funk of Twiddle and the contemporary pop sounds of Z.Z. Ward.
Tye dye fans let their hippie flags fly with favorites from Phil Lesh and the Terrapin Family Band, Joe Russo’s Almost Dead and The Chris Robinson Brotherhood, while things got super funky with Turkuaz (whose horn section made other special appearances), Pigeons Playing Ping Pong and Dumpstaphunk.
While the weather for the first two days was as good as any festival goer could have asked for, things took a pretty dramatic turn by late Saturday afternoon as the skies opened up for the rest of evening. The rain didn't dampen the mood though, as the crowd remained “peachy."
Gear-wise, an hour didn’t go by that a Fender Stratocaster wasn’t on stage. Honorable mentions include a great showing from Mesa/Boogie, Roland and Yamaha. Check out the Peach Festival for yourself next summer, and some terrific photos from this year's event below.