Joshua Tehee

Six bands to see at this weekend's Yosemite Music Festival including Strange Vine

Strange Vine is one of 17 bands playing the Yosemite Music Festival, July 6-7, 2018 in Mariposa.
Strange Vine is one of 17 bands playing the Yosemite Music Festival, July 6-7, 2018 in Mariposa.

Before Ian Blesse and Toby Cordova started playing as Strange Vine, they served as the rhythm section for the guitar prodigy Corby Yates, who died in 2012 at 31 years old.

It was Yates who introduced the pair to the music of Robin Trower and, later, to the man himself.

Which is why it means so much that Strange Vine has done a good run of dates opening for the famed guitarist over the last two years. "The Trower gigs are especially meaningful for us now, because they help us feel more connected to Corby," Cordova says.

"We know he’d be pumped that we are rocking out with one of his favorite guitarists," Cordova says.

Strange Vine is one of 17 bands playing the Yosemite Music Festival Friday and Saturday at the Mariposa County Fairgrounds. It is an example of the kind of under-the-radar musicians the festival has been bringing to Mariposa for the last 14 years.

"We’re always trying to put together an interesting lineup that is at once powerful and provocative. We like to think of ourselves as building community while attending to the festival goers’ fascination and growing appreciation for live music," writes co-promoter Adam Finney on the festival's website.

Here are five other bands playing worth note at this year's festival.

Ian Moore Band (Day 1): Guitarist/songwriter from Seattle by way of Austin, Texas. Over a 25-year career Moore has morphed from blues guitarist to pop singer and delved into psychedelic, pub rock and straight-up Americana.

Blank Tapes (Day 1): Matt Adams is prolific (and totally DIY) with his '60s-inspired surf-psych-garage rock project. He's released more than a dozen albums since the early 2000s.

Green Machine (Day 2): Some will recognized the name. This reggae jam band has played throughout the region for the better part of two decades.

Atomic Sherpas (Day 2): Yosemite Music Festival veterans from Los Angeles. The band counts among its Influences Mountain, Ornette Coleman, Captain Beefheart, Cream and the punk band X and has the sound to match.

Mapache (Day 2): Los Angeles duo makes throwback Americana country, ala the Eagles or the Band. Meaning, it's all about the harmonies.

The full lineup of bands can be seem at the festival website,

Joshua Tehee: 559-441-6479, @joshuatehee

Yosemite Music Festival

  • 3 p.m. to midnight, Friday; 10 a.m. to midnight Saturday

  • Mariposa County Fairgrounds, 5007 Fairgrounds Road, Mariposa

  • $35-$75


Meanwhile …

Six other noteworthy events happening this week: