SCRANTON — In its fifth year, The Peach Music Festival continues to bring a high profile lineup to Northeastern Pennsylvania. With a who’s who of Allman Brothers Band alumni, jam icons and vetted performers across the spectrum of live music, the bill is nothing short of sensational.
The 2016 Peach Festival takes place Aug. 11-14 at the Pavilion at Montage Mountain and the surrounding grounds. Around 60 acts perform over three stages including projects by ABB founders Gregg Allman, “Jaimoe” Johanson and Butch trucks; jam outfits Trey Anastasio Band, moe. and Umphrey’s McGee; jazz/funk project Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe; New Orleans songwriter Anders Osborne and a tribute to Wilkes-Barre reggae legend and Factoryville native George Wesley.
Osborne comes to Montage on the heels of releasing his second full-length album. “Flower Box,” released July 22, is a grittier, guitar driven follow up to the atmospheric “Spacedust & Ocean Views.”
Osborne said “Flower Box” started as the latter half of the “Spacedust & Ocean Views” sessions at the end of 2014, which started mellow.
“Then it evolved into some pretty raunchy … there was more aggression, emotion based on me dealing with stuff from the past,” Osborne said. “There are a couple of redemption tunes, but otherwise it’s just basically dealing with that same topic.”
Osborne said working with producer Mark Howard, who adjusts his faders in real time during live recording, provides someone he likes and trusts sonically to be his audience.
“He’s a big, deep, dynamic addition to the band,” Osborne said. “He’s dialing, and his eyes are closed, and he’s playing his instrument.”
The result is a record of basically original mixes that will be an addition to Osborne’s touring catalogue.
Osborne collaborated with an ensemble of consummate professionals on the record, including Joe Russo’s Almost Dead guitarist, Scott Metzger.
“He’s one of my favorite guitar players in the world,” Osborne said. “He’s a wonderful, wonderfully tasteful guy.”
Osborne said he and his band are flattered to be invited to the Peach festival.
“Any festival of this caliber and with this kind of reputation, you’re always excited to be invited,” Osborne said. “You want to be part of the best, and I definitely think this is one of them.”
As Montage Mountain gathers some of live music’s best, Pittston native Mike Mizwinski prepares to pay homage to one of Northeastern Pennsylvania’s best, George Wesley.
Joined on stage by Wesley’s son James, and George Wesley Band alumni John Shemo and Ian McDougal, Mizwinski will play a tribute set dedicated to the memory of the reggae elder statesman who died July 19 after battling liver cancer.
Mizwinski, who has performed his original music at each previous Peach Festival, had Wesley in his life during his formative years.
“My parents divorced when I was 2, and my mom and George were together for about 10 years, through most of my childhood,” Mizwinski said. “He was a mentor to me.”
The four-piece intends to bring on several guest musicians to honor Wesley.
“The rest is going to be a surprise,” Mizwinski said. “That’s really all I can say.”
Mizwinski, who performs as MiZ, is working on his latest solo record and said he wouldn’t have booked the festival had he not been moved to call James Wesley and arrange the tribute.
“I’m honored to do this,” Mizwinski said. “There’s nothing I’d rather do now than pay respect to George. He really touched my life.”
The Wesley tribute performs Aug. 14 after Warren Haynes.