Grateful for Spring to welcome John Kadlecik to Mountain Sky in Jermyn
In its fifth year of organizing and hosting festival-style music events, Mountain Sky in Jermyn is gearing up for what could be its biggest season to date.
The venue’s annual season opener, Grateful for Spring will take place May 12 through 14 at 63 Stillmeadow Lane. The three-day event will feature Furthur alumnus and renowned musical improviser John Kadlecik and neo-psychedelic jam band Flux Capacitor in headlining roles as well as a formidable lineup of talented musicians from Northeastern Pennsylvania.
“We’ve come a long way from the days of setting up a tarp to cover the bands,” festival organizer Chris “Kamala” Towns said. “Now we’re running two stages with a permanent main stage that rivals any small festival stage in the area.”
Towns said that while the venue will be bringing in “a lot of exciting bands” that “have yet to be announced” this season, the lineup for Grateful for Spring is a good one.
“We’ve been after John K. for a few years now, and to finally book him for the mountain is surely something special,” Towns said.
Kadlecik will perform his Solo Acousti’Lectric show where his improvisation goes beyond his in-the-moment guitar work.
“What I’ve found in the solo performances is that the improvisation is in the song choice,” Kadlecik said. “I end up interacting in a conversational way with the audience.”
Kadlecik, who draws from “somewhere around 300 different songs” will play anything from his interpretations of Grateful Dead tunes to covers of Jethro Tull and James Taylor songs, even working in his originals like “Hard Highway.”
“I go out on stage maybe knowing what I’m going to start with and maybe a second or third song,” Kadlecik said. “Then, I generally solicit the audience.”
Kadlecik said he’s been experimenting lately with looping and layering different sounds on top of a “particularly tasty acoustic sound” he’s found using one of his effects processors.
“The process allows me to layer in three instruments at a time: an acoustic sound, a bass sound, and an organ sound,” Kadlecik said. “It sounds like a trio.”
Towns said Flux Capacitor has been making “big waves in the jam band scene,” and he expects them to bring new faces to Mountain Sky.
The trio of brothers from Reading has spent the last few months touring the Midwest and the Mid-Atlantic regions and between tour legs has gone into the studio to work on their fourth album.
“Musically, it’s different,” drummer Jason Specht said of the forthcoming record. “We are always evolving ourselves. This album has songs we’ve written together. It also has songs that each one of us has written.”
Flux pulls elements of psychedelic rock and electronica into their unique improvisational sound that grows in complexity and lyrical profundity as the trio develops.
“The recording process is pushing forward in the same way, adding more sounds and instruments and experimenting more,” Specht said.
Specht said he and his brothers are “super excited” to perform at Grateful for Spring.
“It’s going to be our first time playing at Mountain Sky,” Specht said. “It’s going to be a great lineup.”
That lineup is comprised mostly of NEPA-based artists. Featured acts include Stronger Than Dirt — who will be joined by Kadlecik during their set — Jami Novak’s Inner Space Project, Village Idiots, Charles Havira Band, Diane Brigido & Friends, Mountain Sky Orchestra, Riffmatik and Friends Of The Family.
“We’ve got one hell of a music scene going on here, and that’s why Mountain Sky was created, to provide a big stage to showcase our local talent,” Towns said.
Towns said he and other organizers have learned a lot about the event planning business, and he feels the venue is no longer the “new kid on the block.”
“The hopes for season kickoff are always high,” Towns said. “I think this could easily be our biggest in attendance yet.”
Reach Matt Mattei at 570-991-6651 or on Twitter @TimesLeaderMatt.
IF YOU GO
What: Grateful for Spring 5
Where: Mountain Sky, 63 Stillmeadow Lane, Jermyn
When: May 12 through 14. Doors open at 11 a.m. May 12. Music starts at 3 p.m.
Ticket information: Saturday only tickets cost $45. Weekend pass tickets cost $55 in advance and $65 after May 11. Tickets are available at the Mountain Sky box office and online at ticketf.ly/2pyyoob. For more information, visit mountainsky.net.