As many of you know, The Ragbirds have become a Summer Camp staple playing the past two years in a row after the Saturday night Umph > moe. > Umph > moe. headliner blastoff.
What many of you may not know though is that this amazing eclectic world fusion group does a few things different than most other touring bands out there. For starters, they just successfully funded a kickstarter campaign to get themselves a new vehicle. Not only is it a new tour bus, but they are converting it to run off of vegetable oil. This isn’t a new thing for them either, they have been doing this for thousands of miles already in their old van.
So wait! Why does the band need a new vehicle if they already have a green machine? Well they have a new tour member now of course! Erin Zindle the front woman of the band with her husband Randal Moore, gave birth to a beautiful baby Aviva on August 23rd 2013
They already completed their first tour since the baby officially dubbed “The Brave New Baby” with Aviva on board. I had the chance to speak to Erin on the phone during the tour and she was very enthusiastic while adjusting to this new way of life. I find her motivation to continue touring while raising a new born child just amazing! The tour went well and you can find many pictures from it on their official facebook page.
The band is home for holidays now in Michigan, but if you are around you can catch a few amazing annual holiday shows they host every year. They already have road dates lined up starting in February too. Here are the dates:
- 12/13/13 – Ann Arbor, MI | The Ark – Holiday Show
- 12/15/13 – Hartland, MI | Hartland Music Hall – Holiday Show
- 02/08/14 – Donnellson, IA | Music Under The Watertower
- 02/09/14 – Cedar Rapids, IA | CSPS
- 02/15/14 – Columbus, OH | Columbus Performing Arts Center
- 03/19/14 – Minneapolis, MN | 7th St. Entry
- 03/20/14 – Stoughton, WI | Stoughton Opera House
For more official dates visit TheRagbirds.com/tour/.
My fellow SCampers!
With many of my immediate festival family members driving across the country to Hulaween in Suwannee, FL for what I am considering the official END of outdoor festival season, I sit and ponder to myself what a great season it has been. I review over all of the material I have shot, all of the great music I have witnessed, and most of all the people I have met throughout this entire journey. I am one very happy and amazed festy goer. I don’t really know how I managed to pull off this run, but in hindsight I got nothin but smiles.
Here’s the Pun-Recap of my journey of four major festivals in one summer starting with our favorite festival:
Summer Camp Music Festival 2013
Being a Summer Camp Counselor in training opened more doors for me as a blogger than any past experience has. I feel that the Camp Counselors have an even greater chance at direct impact on the media aspects of Summer Camp than anyone who was official media. They gave me so much opportunity to shine as a blogger and to meet a lot of my favorite musicians on the planet to boot. I got a real good look on the operations behind how things roll and I hope to continue lending a helping hand for years to come. The family of folks behind the scenes that run this amazing event really do a great job at trying to make every year at Summer Camp better and better. It was an inspiring thing and it really brought out some of my best energy this year. It was a rainy year, but it didn’t stop me from running with my camera through a downpour to get to the VIP tent for amazing once in a lifetime performances or to the red barn for Everyone Orchestra shows that blew minds. A lot of love was shared.
Mountain Jam Music Festival 2013
This was the first time I ever drove out of the state by myself to a festival. This was also the longest I have ever driven to enjoy a fest. I truly enjoyed my time and experience at Mountain Jam. It is a very beautiful festival experience being literally on the side of a mountain. It was also another rainy weekend, but everyone still made the best of the weekend. This was the only festival I had no media obligation to. I just enjoyed myself and my friends all weekend long.
Electric Forest Festival 2013
Being from Michigan this is my home festival. I have been enjoying this venue since 2008 at the first Rothbury Festival. Every year since 2011, I have had the amazing opportunity to shoot highlight videos for the people at the festival with photo and video credentials. I attempt to trump myself every year and this year was really special for not only myself, but many of my festival family as well. It instilled an assurance that Rothbury really is one of the coolest venues and it lives up to the crazy expectation of bettering itself every year.
Lockn’ Festival 2013
This amazing festival popped up as a blip on the radar right away for me, as the line-up was just something that couldn’t be ignored. The amazing amount of epic jam they brought to the table sparked my interest enough to apply for media and led me to making the trek all the way from MI to Arrington, VA. I am really glad that I did because it allowed me to really have a once in a lifetime chance as a photographer to get as many amazing photos as I possibly could. The stages weren’t too large for my lenses and it really broadened my portfolio out. I couldn’t have been happier to be shooting some of the most amazing photos that I have to date. Here are a few of my favorites.
- Michael Kang w/ Zac Brown
Overall I couldn’t be happier with all of the amazing experiences I have had this year. With winter approaching quickly, everyone bundles up with anticipation for announcement and dates for what is to come next season. I know I am excited to shoot a few indoor local events to keep my festy gland from tingling out of control. I hope everyone finds a way to keep themselves at bay as we await the amazingness that is festival season 2014!!!
This year I ended my festival season with a bang by making the trek from MI all the way to Oak Ridge Farm in Arrington, VA for the first ever Lockn’ Music Festival. What I found special about this particular event was the stacked line-up of epic jam mixed in with the idea of making the music never end in a seamless fashion. I was determined to not miss this one.
Luckily I got hooked up with a photo pass and had the time of my life shooting some of the most amazing artists all weekend long. In case you weren’t aware, Lockn’ featured three sets from both Furthur and The String Cheese Incident including special guest appearances and collaborations all weekend long. Widespread Panic, Warren Haynes, Trey Anastasio Band, Zac Brown, John Foggerty, The Black Crowes, and Tedeschi Trucks give you a good sense of what the festival entailed.
What made the festival so amazing for me was the fact that it was the first opportunity I have had to photograph many of these legendary artists. I was definitely one of the happiest souls in the photo pits all weekend long.
My favorite moment of the weekend was when Trey Anastasio came out and performed with Furthur for the first time ever. He helped finish out Casey Jones of Furthur’s rendition of Workingman’s Dead (the entire album) and played other favorites including Scarlet Begonias and Truckin’
I managed to snap some of the best pictures I’ve ever shot. Have a look and get a feel for what Lockn’ was like.
As some may know, Summer Camp Music Festival wasn’t my only festival this season. Thus far I managed to also catch Mountain Jam in Hunter, NY and Electric Forest back home in Rothbury, MI. I am also hoping to attend Interlocken, but it’s up in the air.
One artist I missed at SCamp this year was Nahko (Medicine for the people), but I luckily ran into him (literally) at Electric Forest this year and caught an amazing personal solo performance in the nest area of Reincarnation in Sherwood Forest.
Ever since this day I have been hooked on their music and I highly recommend checking them out ASAP!
This is their most recent music video of one of my favorite songs.
They have a newer album out called dark as night. I really hope to see them at Summer Camp next year!
Eric here and I noticed that our favorite post headliner blastoff band The Ragbirds is in need of a new set of wheels to be able to continue touring this fall with a new baby! They have 7 days to complete their Kickstarter goal and raise the money for their new eco-friendly vegetable oil powered vehicle.
In case you weren’t aware, The Ragbirds are one of Michigan’s top touring bands that has been moving up the ranks on the festival circuit for a few years now. They are a 5 piece folk-rock-world-fusion band out of Ann Arbor, MI and their sound is amazing. I highly recommend checking them out.
Here is the link to their Kickstarter campaign and a few videos for your listening pleasure!
Hello fellow SCampers,
I had a wonderful weekend at Summer Camp this year. My experience as an official Camp Counselor in training was amazing and allowed me to capture many moments I could not have without this sweet title. Having the experience of seeing how everything happens behind the scenes was a really special experience. I was able to meet many of the organizers who work year round to put on this amazing event every year. I was really thrilled to shake so many hands all weekend, as well as interview some of my favorite musicians. I am proud to become such an integral part of the driving force behind promoting such an amazing festival. Here are a few favorite moments from my weekend.
First a foremost, I was very excited to have my camera this year at Summer Camp and see what I could accomplish with it. Last year I shot most content with my Iphone and this year proved to be a good opportunity to vastly improve my photography skills. Here are a few of my favorite shots from the entire weekend.
I shoot a lot of amazing video with my camera as well. I was able to capture some absolutely once in a lifetime collaborations. First I caught was this video of Victor Wooten playing with most of the members of Family Groove company including Janis Wallin. Also seen here is a few members of brainchild and sitting in is also Roosevelt Collier playing slide steel.
Another amazing moment of collaboration I caught during the weekend was Everyone Orchestra. In case you weren’t aware, Everyone Orchestra is a collaboration put on at multiple festivals bringing the best talent together for a once in a lifetime jam session. On the lineup this year at Summer Camp was Victor Wooten, Al Schnier, Joel Cummins, Carly Meyers, Allie Kral, Mike Dillon, Roosevelt Collier, and Alex Steele. It was my first time catching an Everyone Orchestra set and I was amazed at the artists ability to pick up and jam.
I also had the ability to interview (coming soon) Victor Wooten of Bela Fleck and the Flecktones and Reed Mathis of Tea Leaf Green. It was one of the most amazing moments of my life! It was the first time the two had met and their energy hit it off right away. They did a jam for me after the interview that was just mind blowing. Here is the jam.
I also got to help shoot interviews for other Camp Counselors and managed to meet Jason Hann and Michael Travis of Eoto/String Cheese Incident. With Electric Forest being one of my home festivals, I couldn’t have been more excited to meet them.
Overall I felt like I was running around constantly all weekend trying to get footage of everything possible. Summer Camp did an amazing job giving me more opportunities than I could shake a stick at. I am so grateful I was able to capture this many amazing moments.
With all of the video/pictures I shot I made this short highlight video with some of my best shots. I hope you all enjoy. Stay tuned for more!
BTW I love festy sunsets!
Another wonderful weekend at Summer Camp is coming to a close, but not without another day of music. Sunday has proven to be a very wet end to the festival. The rain did not stop me from getting out and enjoying some music.
I managed to catch a strings workshop in the church including many great musicians from the weekend.
Later I caught some amazing footage I can’t wait to release of Everyone Orchestra.
To help stay dry I caught a lot of acts under shelter. I went to catch the Ragbirds playing in the VIP Lounge and it turned out for some great photos.
I truly enjoyed my weekend as a Camp Counselor in Training and all of the experiences that were put before me have been amazing. I will be working hard on getting some of my videos published for you all as soon as I am home.