Alex did a great job running down some of the big additions in Summer Camp’s Second Round of 2014 Artist Announcements earlier on the blog. As usual the Summer Camp bill is really stacked giving fans a wide array of musical choices, and he broke down the big names that have everyone buzzing.
And while the 2nd round was certainly full of big names, I’d like to focus on a few of the bands that you might have overlooked at first glance.
Obviously the addition of Al Schnier and Vinnie Amico’s Americana explosion Floodwood is great news. Fresh off their inaugural tour of Colorado, this will be Floodwood’s third year at Summer Camp. They also played two top-notch shows in the VIP tent in both 2012 and 2013. If you like moe and acoustic music find yourself at Floodwood whenever possible.
Head For The Hills
I’m personally excited to see my hometown heroes Head For The Hills on the lineup. This has been a long time coming and in my opinion they are one of the best string bands touring today. They have an attention to song craft that harkens back to a nostalgic time. Their strong musical story telling is matched by their powerful harmonizing. Head For The Hills is sure to please any bluegrass fan.
In the last year I’ve had the pleasure of seeing jam standout Twiddle twice. They recently toured extensively with The Werks who will again be returning to Summer Camp. Twidde renews faith in the jam scene with each performance. They are rekindling my love affair with jam and quite frankly, they do it well.
The Devil Makes Three
In 2012 made their initial performance at Summer Camp. Unfortunately their bassist Lucia Turino had suffered an injury to her arm and was unable to play with the band. The fill in was fine, but I look forward to seeing the full group playing at Summer Camp they year. They are in the vein of cowpunk, but they focus on a ragtime delivery with heavy lyrics. They are some slap you in the face bluegrass.
UV Hippo or Ultraviolet Hippopotamus as they are officially known too is relatively fresh to the Summer Camp scene. This will be their third year on the lineup and the Michigan progressive improvisational outfit. They too are part of a young crop of new bands that are focusing on bringing the glory of jam back to the masses. Like Twiddle and The Werks, UV Hippo is carrying a torch that was set aflame with the likes of Phish and Blues Traveler.
Mike Dillon is a mad scientist of the xylophone. He is a percussion king and truly an awe-inspiring performer. For those that aren’t familiar Mike Dillon is a member of Critter Buggin’, Garage A Tois, and Les Claypool’s Fancy Band and has played with everyone from Ani DeFranco to Galactic. This is the second time the Mike Dillon Band has played at Summer Camp, but this group has been touring relentlessly since the release of their debut album Urn in 2012. The energetic and spunky Carly Meyers on trombone is definitely one to watch.
And last but certainly not least Greensky Bluegrass will be making their triumphant return to Scamp. They first performed at Three Sister’s Park in 2009 and this will be their fourth year at the festival. Greensky is an incredible bluegrass experience that knows their craft and delivers night after night. This summer they did a three day run that included their first performance at Red Rocks, a stop Camp Euforia in Lone Tree, Iowa, and they finished the weekend with a show at Forecastle in Kentucky. That’s some serious touring and some serious dedication to spreading their music far and wide. For real string fans Greensky is definitely a favorite.
Well there you have it – a quick rundown of my top 8 possibly overlooked, but most likely widely celebrated, additions to the Summer Camp lineup. With a hundred bands (give or take a few) seven stages, multiple musical workshops, and the random private outbursts of song, it can be easy to get overwhelmed.
Check out the full lineup here! VIP Ticket info and Late Night Shows (including details on the rumored umVIP packages) will be announced on Wednesday!
And don’t forget to buy your Summer Camp 3 Day Passes now before the prices goes up!
Fort Collins has a vibrant music scene; case in point the monstrous bluegrass tainted event at the Aggie featuring the homegrown duo Head For The Hills supported by The Holler!. Much of the time Fort Collins is overlooked when it comes to local music, or seen by touring bands as a warm up show. Over the years I’ve tried to share some of the incredible music that happens here on a weekly basis. This show is a prime example of why I’m happy to call FoCo my home. The Holler! who are usually relegated to playing festival stages, or smaller venuess, found themselves with plenty of room for activities on the Aggie stage. I worried that they would sound thin, but from their opening notes it was clear that they came to play.
Set 1: Kitchen, Karakoram, Wildwood, Beyond The Mirror, You’re So Bad> Come Back Home, Climb, Just Like You, Red Dress> Peak, Memory, Gratitude, Song Remains The Same, Peace Frog
The at times delicate sound of The Holler! filled the room as the few that were already inside wandered toward the stage. They eased into the set with a few originals, before waking up the crowd with a cover of Tom Petty’s “You’re So Bad” into their own beautiful “Come Back Home.” By this point the crowd was steadily growing and they were definitely drinking The Holler! Kool-Aid. Arms flailed as the Friday night crowd showed they were there for a good time. The highlight of the set was an impeccable jamgrass version of Led Zeppelin’s “The Song Remains The Same.” And after that when everyone thought the dance party was over, they closed with The Doors’ “Peace Frog.” I have to say this was the best I’ve seen The Holler! perform, and I look forward to them hitting The Aggie stage again soon.
Head For The Hills is arguably the best musical export Fort Collins has to offer. (I’m sure many Pretty Lights fans would disagree.} They are a local band that has made good performing on the biggest bluegrass stages in the country including Telluride. They recently announced they would play at Rocky Grass this summer. H4TH continues to draw big crowds at home and across the country. They opened the hometown extravaganza with “Down The River Road.”
Set 1: Down The River Road, Instrumental, Light The Way, Instrumental, Never Does, Instrumental, Daylight Turns To Night> 50 Ways To Leave Your Lover> Instrumental, Blue Orchid, Instrumental, Take Me Back, Scrap Metal, Unchain My Heart, New Song?, My Angeline
Set 2: Call Me The Breeze*, Mind Is Moving*, Poor Boy’s Melody, Music For A Found Harmonium, Instrumental, If And When, Midnight Highway, Chili Dawg, Nellie Kane, Lover’s Scorn, High On A Mountaintop, Goin’ Down
Encore: Run To The Hills, Instrumental> Japanese Cowboy, Love Please Come Home
*w/ The Holler!
Focusing on debuting a few new songs, and delivering a top-notch romp through their repertoire, Head For The Hills gave those in attendance quite the show. I don’t know if it was something in the water or perhaps the beer, but just like The Holler! before them, H4TH came out firing on all cylinders. The level of authenticity in Head For The Hills’ lyrics and ability is so unprocessed and at the same time beautiful. First set highlights included the prolific jamming on all of their instrumental tracks, as well as a stellar version of The White Stripes’ “Blue Orchid.” The “Unchain My Heart” was perfect, they closed the first set with “My Angeline.”
The second set began with a huge hometown jam that saw The Holler! sit in on a sweet version of J.J. Cale’s “Call Me The Breeze” before they went into a gigantic version of the Holler original “Mind Is Moving.” First of all, wow, and secondly it was really nice of H4TH to support their opener by playing one of their songs. Additional highlights from the set included a sick version of “Music For A Found Harmonium,” which is a bouncy, lighthearted instrumental. “Nellie Kane” made an appearance, before they closed the set with an incredible “Goin’ Down.”
They began their encore with Iron Maiden’s “Run To The Hills.” First of all, nice play on words there, and secondly way to rock out the grass. Their four song encore ended with a nice “Love Please Come Home.” What a show! This hometown throw down was loads of fun, and both bands really came to the stage correct. Get out and see these guys, hopefully they will be playing together real soon.