Find yourself immersed in the music festival scene long enough, and it’s inevitable to witness the rise and fall of bands. As a festival fairy who grew her wings at Jibberjazz events, Dr. Slothclaw and Mystery Fyre are great examples from within that microcosm: musicians who submerged themselves into performing and participating in shows across the local festival circuit for years, before allowing themselves the personal time and private life that we all as humans need.
But more often than not, you can expect a reunion show to pop up here and there. How long can a musician resist the stage, after all? Just this last July, Mystery Fyre broke a nearly nine-month dry spell and opened for Scott Pemberton Band at the Abby Bar at Appalachian Brewing Company.
Now, the brothers gear up for another 2019 show at this annual Austin Dam Show, August 24-27 in Austin, PA. This time, calling upon Dr. Slothclaw’s Brett Knoel and Josh Stoner to enhance their percussion section.
“Dr. Slothclaw and Mystery Fyre have shared many stages and spent many years growing together in our own ways, so it is particularly sweet to be teaming up with these two great guys sharing our talents together in the love of music,” Mystery Fyre guitarist Wes Knorr grinned.
Why two percussionists—on top of Mystery Fyre’s original drummer Joseph Knorr—you may ask? Completed with Start Making Sense’s Dave Hooper on keys, the supergroup is harnessing all the rhythm they can draw upon to embody the music of Santana.
This year’s Dam Show will be unlike any of the others organized before the old Austin Dam ruins when the music started seventeen years ago. For the last three years, the Dam Show has gone with a “Classic Rock by Classic Rock” theme, allowing bands to tribute half of their set to a rock n’ roll legend of their choice alongside their own material. Many probably remember Mystery Fyre’s tribute to the Doors, a performance born from the Dam Show and carried to crowds at Peace of Mind, the Abby Bar, and beyond.
This year, in honor of the 50th Anniversary to the music festival that started it all, the Dam Show is transforming into Dam Stock.
Each band on the lineup will correlate to a band on the original Woodstock ’69 lineup. Some bands will blend original and tribute music, some construct full tribute sets, and others will even dedicate the entire set to be played as it were on that iconic summer weekend in 1969. Since the Door’s did not play Woodstock, the Fyre’s torch has been passed from Morrison to Santana.
“I personally am super stoked to be covering Santana,” Knorr said. “If you haven’t seen or heard their live performance from Woodstock then do yourself the favor of changing that. Having seen the Woodstock movie in my younger years, it was always Santana that stood out to me as the band who really made waves that day. They ripped the stage apart with their divine tribal-like energy and raw delivery, leaving fans with a memorable electric set igniting their legendary success from that day onward.”
On top of rocking on stage with Mystery Fyre and gearing up as the elusive “Thereman” for late-night shenanigans, Wes Knorr plays a vital part in the organization, promotion, and talent scouting of the festival. Contrary to his previous lineup-building strategies, bands were hand-selected by Knorr for their set.
“With so many incredible bands on the table, I wanted to deliver the best original tribute experience I possibly could…To be honest, there is not a single act on our lineup that I wouldn’t put on at 10 p.m. on Saturday. I look forward to seeing what these bands will bring to Dam Stock,” Knorr said.
An ideal place to recognize a historical event, the crumbling stone of the dam walls are a nostalgic piece of history themselves. At night they light up with psychedelic projections, and this year, the light art will be created in real-time as the bands play. When the music’s over, they will convert into the movie screen for the late-night documentary feature of Woodstock.
“Just think of a music festival with a night at the drive-in as the encore,” Knorr said.
Other tribute acts include Philadelphia’s Splintered Sunlight doing, of course, The Grateful Dead, Flux Capacitor as Jefferson Airplane, Darla ft. Nik Greeley as Sly & the Family Stone, Medusa’s Disco as The Who, and Chestnut Grove paying tribute to the 60s Queen Janis Joplin.
“I can already feel the love, see the smiles, and hear the music from our regions most talented bands singing the songs of those who made history with their tunes, inspiring endless generations to come,
“On a more personal note, I remember thinking 5 or 6 years ago that my band, Mystery Fyre, was going to perform at the 50th Anniversary Woodstock Celebration. That was the benchmark of success in my mind at the time. Little did I know that I would end up helping curate our own Woodstock event to perform at,” Knorr said.
The Dam Show is the event of the year for locals and an annual pilgrimage to many, this special edition tops another layer of magic to the Dam.
Only 750 tickets are available, get yours here.