Posted: March 3, 2023 11:11 am
The AmeriServ Flood City Music Festival has announced its headliners, Los Lobos and Keller Williams’ Grateful Grass feat. The HillBenders, along with a varied underbill of touring artists and local and regional talent. The festival will take place Aug. 4-5.
“Los Lobos headlined the festival back in 2010, and it was the best night we’ve ever had at the festival attendance-wise. They are consummate musicians, popular with virtually everyone – they will be fantastic on Saturday night,” said Ron Carnevali, festival co-chair. “Keller Williams’ Grateful Grass feat. The Hillbenders will be a huge crowd-pleaser, playing anything-but-traditional interpretations of Grateful Dead classics, performed by some of the best bluegrass musicians in the business.”
The two-day, three-stage festival is held at Peoples Natural Gas Park, a venue that was developed by the festival’s producer, the Johnstown Area Heritage Association.
AmeriServ Financial is the festival’s title sponsor for a record 27th year.
“Each year, the festival committee works hard to secure a wide array of musical genres. This year will be no exception! We are excited to be a long-time partner of such a worthwhile event and look forward to bringing our community together for a weekend of great music, friendship and just overall good times,” said Jeff Stopko, AmeriServ Financial, Inc., president and CEO.
Early-bird two-day passes are $40, or $65 for a VIP Pass, which includes access to the VIP Lounge and the site’s only full bar and indoor restrooms, as well as a special viewing area at the mainstage. Single-day general admission tickets will go on sale when early-bird prices expire at 11:59 pm on April 30. Regular prices for passes are $50 for two-day passes, $75 for VIP, and single-day general admission tickets will be $30 for Friday night, and $40 for Saturday night.
Tickets are being sold through the Eventgroove platform, and may be bought online at www.floodcitymusic.com beginning at 1:30 pm today. Passes will go on sale in person at the Heritage Discovery Center and Johnstown Flood Museum beginning Fri., Mar. 3.
JAHA members are entitled to a free upgrade from general admission to VIP passes – to take advantage of this benefit, passes must be purchased in person (limit 4 per family membership; limit 2 for individual or dual memberships).
“In addition to the headliners, our audience should be really excited about the touring talent on this year’s bill,” said Bryan Hummel, festival co-chair. “We’ve caught a lot of rising stars this year – several of these acts are poised to become huge. And as always, we have a strong slate of local artists to round out the bill.”
More about the artists:
Los Lobos: Los Lobos has sold millions of records, won prestigious awards and made fans around the world. But perhaps its most lasting impact will be how well its music embodies the idea of America as a cultural melting pot. In it, styles like son jarocho, norteño, Tejano, folk, country, doo-wop, soul, R&B, rock ’n’ roll and punk all come together to create a new sound that’s greater than the sum of its parts. In 2023 the band will celebrate its 50th anniversary, a rare and impressive feat. Their list of accolades includes three Grammy Awards, the most recent in 2022 for Best Americana Album, and being named a 2021 National Heritage Fellow by the National Endowment for the Arts. Los Lobos headlined the AmeriServ Flood City Music Festival in 2010, and we are delighted to welcome them back.
Keller Williams’ Grateful Grass feat. The HillBenders: Definition: “Loose interpretations of Grateful Dead songs done in a bluegrass style. Take my fascination with Grateful Dead songs and mix it together with my love of psychedelic improvisational bluegrass music and out burps this project. WARNING: If you like your Grateful Dead songs performed in their original way, or if you prefer traditional bluegrass, this is not the project for you. If you like singing along to Dead songs in that song’s normal tempo but dancing double time to the music, this is definitely your jam. A lot of people seem to dig it and I dig them for that,” says Keller Williams.
Trouble No More: Trouble No More is an 8-piece supergroup honoring and celebrating the iconic catalogue of The Allman Brothers Band featuring close relatives and friends to the original group. Their intense and up-tempo renditions of the bands’ classic songs aim to bring energy and vitality back to the legacy of the greatest Southern rock band to date.
Lineup includes Brandon “Taz” Niederaurer (guitar, vocals), Daniel Donato (guitar, vocals), Dylan Niederauer (bass guitar), Jack Ryan (drums), Lamar Williams Jr. (vocals), Nikki Glaspie (drums), Peter Levin (keys) and Roosevelt Collier (pedal steel guitar). Brandon “Taz”Niederaurer (2022), Roosevelt Collier (2021), and Nikki Glaspie (2014, with Dumpstaphunk) have played the festival before, and we’re delighted to have them back with Trouble No More.
Doom Flamingo: Doom Flamingo is a six-headed synthwave beast with a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde element to the songwriting. Top Gun guitar riffs and Miami Beach poolside lounge-vibes, are all at once contrasted with darksynth sounds eerily reminiscent of old John Carpenter films. The cast of talented musicians in this project (which includes bassist Ryan Stasik of the progressive jam band Umphreys McGee) came together organically through friendships and past collaborations in their hometown of Charleston, SC – and the dynamic vocal range from vocalist Kanika Moore sets this project into hyperdrive.
Melt: Based in New York City, this young band formed in 2017 and is making waves on the music scene. With a sound that continuously pulls from new realms, at Melt’s core is a shared love of soul and psychedelia, existential pop songs and ethereal jam sections, and a deep love for each other. Melt initially made a name for themselves with their first single “Sour Candy” that reached #5 on Billboard’s US Viral 50 Chart when they were 18 years old. They have since released their first EP “West Side Highway” in 2021: a bold project inspired by an eclectic mix of artists from Diana Ross to Wilco, The Grateful Dead to Maggie Rogers.
Dogs in a Pile: Dogs began when Philadelphia University of the Arts guitar gun-slinger Jimmy Law began playing with young Joe Babick (drums), a student at the Count Basie Theater program in Red Bank, NJ. Lightning struck when they were introduced to Berklee School of Music student and bass player Sam Lucid, who immediately suggested fellow Berklee student and keyboard player Jeremy Kaplan. The addition of fellow Berklee student Brian Murray (guitar) in 2019 made for the quintessential final piece in the Dogs’ puzzle. Merging funk, jazz, and rock and roll with psychedelia, the quintet presents a completely original vibe built on kaleidoscopic soundscapes.
Big Sandy & His Fly-Rite Boys: Since forming in 1988 in Southern California, Big Sandy and His Fly-Rite Boys have become one of the world’s most beloved Americana/Roots acts, drawing from the deep musical waters that flow just beneath the surface of rock & roll’s fertile soil. After nearly 35 years on the road, and more than two dozen releases to their credit, they remain key figures on the ever-changing Americana circuit, both on record and in live appearances. Big Sandy & His Fly-Rite Boys last appeared at our festival way back in 2004, and we’re delighted to welcome them back this year!
Yam Yam: Yam Yam is dedicated to exploring and creating beautiful music together. The members bring a diverse range of influences to the group, including jazz, gospel, jam, and funk. Michael Dempsey plays piano and organ with a focus on jazz, gospel, and New Orleans boogie, while Xander Moppin provides the foundation of funk on bass. Tyler (Kokko) Fuller brings the pocket to the drums, and brother Tom Fuller adds his groove and ethereal and psychedelic soloing on guitar. Then finally, is the virtuous saxophone playing of Jason Mescia, bringing influence from Eddie Harris and John Coltrane among others. Together, they create a high energy, soulful, and psychedelic sound that is sure to get fans moving. The band had its start in Harrisburg, Pa. and has since traveled throughout the U.S., bringing their music to wherever listeners may be.
The Mallett Brothers Band: The Mallett Brothers Band is an independent rock and roll / Americana / country band from Maine. Their busy tour schedule since forming in 2009 has helped them to build a dedicated fanbase across the U.S. and beyond while still calling the state of Maine their home. With a style that ranges from alt-country to Americana, country, jam and roots rock, theirs is a musical melting pot that’s influenced equally by the singer/songwriter tradition as by harder rock, classic country and psychedelic sounds.
Chalk Dinosaur: Based in Pittsburgh, Chalk Dinosaur features a fusion of electronic dance music, funk and psychedelic rock. It has distinctive melodic themes coupled with a heavy rhythm section and augmented with synthesizers and electronic textures. The live shows are characterized by high energy and emotional diversity.
Gabe Stillman: Gabe Stillman hits the stage in high gear and only goes higher, embracing corners of American roots music with his impromptu selection of original gems and carefully chosen covers. Since landing in the final eight of the 35th Annual International Blues Challenge in Memphis, and further honored as the recipient of the esteemed Gibson Guitar Award, Gabe and his band have been focused on expanding their footprint on a national and international level.
Jeff Webb & the Delectable Sound: Heavily influenced by a variety of musical genres and musicians, Jeff Webb was led to a career as a music professor where he could explore and teach the music that influenced his life. In 2014, Webb formed The Delectable Sound as a vehicle to present a wide array of music that was in line with his influences. Mixing a blend of original material with cover songs, the band features male and female vocalists, keyboards, guitar, drums, bass, and horns. They last appeared at the festival in 2019.
The Evergreens: The Evergreens are an indie folk duo hailing from Johnstown. As full-time musicians, they perform at a wide variety of special events and locations across Pennsylvania and surrounding states. In addition to timeless-sounding originals, they cover hits that have stood the test of time and have never “gone out of season” – much like evergreen trees. They put their own indie/folk twist on hits ranging from the 1950’s-1990’s (with a few modern songs in the mix), so they can connect with all people in an audience – young and old.
The Jaded Lips: “Homegrown rock & soul.” That is both how The Jaded Lips describe their sound as well as their band mantra. This dynamic Altoona-based trio, comprised of Michael Wertz on guitar and vocals, Hunter Karns on bass, and Dave Applas on drums, have gone from the basement to the big stage in two years through hard work, tight songcraft and high energy performances. They expect to release their debut album in summer 2023.
The Platelets: The Platelets is a genre-crossing rock band from the Johnstown area formed in April 2016. Their lineup consists of Clint Sparling on vocals and guitar, Nate Jackson on lead guitar, Ron Jezeskie on bass, and Dylan Jackson on drums. Their debut album, Steelworker’s Soul, was released in August 2022, and they expect to release another disc this summer.