Seeing as Camp Counselor Nick already shared his thoughts on some of the headliners (as well as some of his favorites) from last Friday’s announcement, I thought I would cover some lesser known acts that I’ve really been digging lately.
So read on for a preview of Five acts you should know before May 23!
Bill Evans’ Soulgrass
If you are not familiar, saxophonist Bill Evans spent a decade of his musical career playing along side the late and great Miles Davis. Today he is the front man for a project called Soulgrass. I use the word ‘project’ because this band works under a concept that redefines musical genres. Under the direction of Evans, the group collectively pushes the boundaries of musical expression, covering everything from funk to bluegrass.
The project also brings together a variety of musicians, from a variety of backgrounds, creating a unique musical landscape every time they take the stage. Bill Evans creates a space where exploration is encouraged and then exploited. In the past, Evans has collaborated with some of the most naturally talented artists in the music scene like Jake Cinninger of Umprhey’s McGee and John Popper of Blues Traveler and it just so happens that both of these musicians will be playing Summer Camp 2014! Go figure! This will also be the first time Bill Evans will play Summer Camp Music Festival and I am keeping my fingers crossed that he will be included in the Everyone Orchestra show.
For just a taste of what I am talking about, check out this video of Bill Evans’ Soulgrass featuring Jake Cinninger of Umprhey’s McGee, John Medeski of Medeski Martin & Wood, and John Popper of Blues Traveler at the Blue Note last year.
Spread is a home grown Summer Camp Band. After securing a lineup spot two years in a row through Summer Camp’s On the Road competition, they have now been asked back for the second year in a row. This improv heavy quartet produces a very diverse, progressive rock sound with heavy guitar licks and strong base lines.
While the group formed in Carbondale, IL, they have spent the past two years establishing themselves in Chicago’s jam scene and even took up a residency at the Cubby Bear in Wriglyville this past fall. Now they are ready to take on a summer full of shows and are most excited for Summer Camp 2014.
Guitarist Dave Patrizzo shared, “Summer Camp is definitely our favorite festival. Not only does it bring our friends and fans from all over together to one gig, it’s also the best exposure we could hope for. We love playing to an open minded, fun loving crowd, while spreading our sound to as many people as possible!”
Here is a sweet video of Spread at Summer Camp 2013 covering Paul Simon’s “50 Ways to Leave Your Lover.”
The Heard is another young Chicago-based group that took up residency at the infamous aliveOne in Lincoln Park for the past year. This funk band provides high energy sets that are nothing short of funktastic.
There seems to be a insurgence of new age, white boy funk and the jam scene just can’t seem to get enough of it. It almost feels like jam fans are grasping on to funk as a reaction EDM, myself included. The Heard contains a full horn section that is ridiculously tight and on point with their delivery. Add in the slick and sassy guitar style of Taras Horalewskyj and it becomes pretty obvious that this act produces straight up baby making music. 2014 will be The Heard’s first year at Summer Camp Music Festival and since they have never played the fest before, here is a great clip from their set at last year’s Northcoast Music Fest.
Together they produce an electronic fusion that is exaggerated and theatrical. Much like Future Rock, this group has enough passion and gusto to make your grandmother get down to their electronic sound. They provide a full frontal performance with all the bells and whistles necessary to get you on their level. This year Auto Body will play Summer Camp for the first time and with a new EP released at the beginning of this year, I am sure they are excited to showcase some new music at a new festival.
Wyllys has his own outlook on electronic music culture and his approach is both old school in style, yet extremely progressive in taste. His sound is essentially nu disco mixed with practically any genre this guy can get his hands on, so long as it’s fresh.
To top it all off, he will also be playing a set at Summer Camp with Digital Tape Machine guitarist Marcus Rezak for a project being billed under the name Fade Runner. Wyllys has already been hyping these Summer Camp sets on twitter, promising more than we could ever imagine from this all night party host. He might be just as stoked to play for us as we are to have him back! I will never forget walking into a packed VIP tent at 7am on Memorial Day 2012 only witness Wyllys & The New York Hustler Ensemble raging Escort’s “Cocaine Blues.” This is the stuff legends are made of people!
Don’t forget to check out Camp Counselor’s Nick Stock’s rundown of the most recent artist addition! We also have coverage of the First Round of Artists here, the Second Round here and the 2014 VIP Lounge Sets here!