Of all of Northern California’s many music festivals, High Sierra consistently remains one of the best intimate shindigs around.
Every Fourth of July weekend, 10,000 people flock to tree-filled Quincy, about 3 hours north of Sacramento. The setting is beautiful, rugged. The four days are packed with live music across three stages, plus late-night shows, small workshops with major acts, yoga, fire dancing and other activities. Jam bands, bluegrass and funk tend to rule, and we expect the faithful return of bands like Lettuce, Chris Robinson Brotherhood and Greensky Bluegrass. This year’s headliners are Ben Harper & the Innocent Criminals, Tedeschi Trucks Band and Thievery Corporation.
Navigating the colossal lineup can be a little overwhelming. Here are 8 acts to keep in your back pocket if you’re not sure where to go.
Liz Vice: Portland, Oregon’s Liz Vice assumed she would die from cancer before ever even considering a music career. Now, she’s a promising new voice in the world of gospel and R&B, with an effortlessly soulful voice. [3:15 p.m. Thursday and 2 p.m. Friday]
Baskery: Swedish sister trio Baskery describes its own sound as “banjo punk,” “ADM” (acoustic dance music), “mud country” and “killbilly.” What else do you need to know? [3:45 p.m. Thursday]
Industrial Revelation: This quartet has received massive praise—and awards—from just about every publication in Seattle. Industrial Revelation blends jazz with hip-hop and electronica to give it fresh appeal to a new generation. [7:15 p.m. Thursday and 1:30 p.m. Friday]
The California Honeydrops: This Bay Area staple swings through Harlow’s Restaurant & Nightclub on a regular basis, but that’s no reason not to check them out again. That’s because every California Honeydrops show doubles as a wild party, fueled by soul, blues and funk. [4:30 p.m. Friday]
Elephant Revival: While its sound is rooted in Americana and Celtic music, Elephant Revival’s rich compositions bounce between blues, folk, indie, jazz and bluegrass with ethereal elegance. The result is wholeheartedly original, and replete with beautiful vocal harmonies. [5:30 p.m. Friday and 12:30 p.m. Saturday]
Dr. Dog: The folk- and psychedelic-tinged rock band’s set at last year’s TBD Fest was easily among the festival’s most memorable. Expect a similar level of artistry and energy from Dr. Dog, now promoting its new release, Psychedelic Swamp. [7:15 p.m. Saturday]
Anders Osborne: One of the most celebrated singer-songwriters in New Orleans, Osborne pairs passionate, bluesy vocals with swampy, sometimes funky guitar. On his new album, Spacedust & Ocean Views, he leans quieter and more introspective, which should translate well on the mid-sized Big Meadow stage. [7:45 p.m. Saturday]
Femi Kuti & the Positive Force: The son of Afrobeat pioneer Fela Kuti, Femi Kuti has already garnered multiple Grammy nominations and an induction into the Headies Hall of Fame, the highest musical honor in Nigeria. He doesn’t shy away from activist themes in his funky, jazzy, Afrobeat sound. [5 p.m. Sunday]
Four-day to single-day tickets are still available for High Sierra, which kicks off Thursday, June 30.