For those of you who don’t know, the foundation of any good music event is the street team. If you are on one, you understand what I mean. If it wasn’t for the people on the street, spreading the word, how would anyone find out about that concert? Now imagine putting together a festival…how many concerts are there? There’s got to be at least 50. And since that’s 50 times the size of one show, well we need 50 times the street team. So I implore you Summer Campers, get your street team act together. Go out to your community and tell them about summer camp.
Recently, I made a video for the Umphrey’s show that came through Denver. Check it out here and put something together of your own for Summer Camp.
What up Scampers?!?!!
This weekend I got to see an amazing show, the Kyle Hollingsworth Band, SOLD OUT at Cervantes in Denver! I must admit, I am a casual fan of SCI at best and I paid little attention to their side projects. Kyle Hollingsworth, however, is AMAZING and has opened my eyes…I once was blind but now I see…please don’t hate a wretch like me…
Well, Kyle was super funky and way more synthesizer based than I anticipated. I don’t know the names of his songs, but Michael Kang came out for a bunch and they were some awesome jams. I was way too into it at the time to pull myself away and get any footage, and for that I am deeply sorry. In any case, you can look up some clips if you like but I am telling you, you don;t need to. If the Kyle Hollingsworth band comes anywhere near you, go see him!
The same can be said for some buddies of mine, Roster McCabe. Have you hear of them? Well you will now. Roster McCabe are a great group of guys and are a well traveled band. They were opening for Kyle Hollingsworth at this show and I got a chance to ask them a few questions…You can see that below. I also managed to grab a video of them doing Fame by David Bowie with Kyle Hollingsworth. Check out the video and then check out Roster McCabe. They believe you should have some music in your life regardless of what you got in your pockets so you can download ALL their music for FREE at www.rostermccabe.com/
Jeff – Hey guys, so thanks a lot for answering some questions, let’s start off with the basics, where are you from, individually and as a band?
Roster McCabe – Jeff is from Grand Forks, ND; Alex is From Brooklyn Park, MN; Drew is from Bloomington, MN; Mike is from Oconomowoc, WI; Scott is from La Crosse, WI. We all met in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area in Minnesota.
J – Nice, I always like to ask, where did your band name come from, it’s usually a good story, no?
RM – It is a great story, yes, but it is also a secret.
J – Haha all right, playing a little hardball, this one should be easier, how long have you been playing together?
RM – Jeff solidified our lineup in January of 2008. We started full time touring in 2009, playing 150 shows in 2009; 175 in 2010; and this year we’ll get to about 180.
J – Cool, and what festivals have you played before?
RM – We’ve played a couple big ones but we’ve also played a lot of really cool smaller festies that are definitely worth mentioning. The full list is: Summerfest, Harvest Fest, Shangri-La, Bella Music Fest, Midwest Fest, Rock the Vine, Bandit, Co. Fair, Ifdakamp, Browntown, Jam-Boree, The Family Reunion, Great Aberdeen Pigout, Cosmic Railroad Family Gathering, Prairie Grass, Engelbrechts Homegrown Fest, Jam for Jam, and this year we’ll be doing Wookiefoot’s Snowball Festival in January.
J – Well hopefully this year you can add Summer Camp to the list…Including all those festivals, what would you say your biggest show has been so far?
RM – It’s a tie between opening for Stephen Marley at Summerfest, Matisyahu at Shangri-La Festival, and a show we did this past Saturday at Cervante’s Ballroom in Denver with The Kyle Hollingsworth Band and Michael Kang. Kyle sat in with us for a rendition of David Bowie’s fame. Definitely a show we’ll remember for the rest of our lives.
J – All right, let’s switch gears a little bit, because I like to know more about the inner workings of bands and to see how that all goes, so, I know it’s a rather vague question, but tell us a little about where you are at in your career as this band and what kinds of initiatives you are taking to continue moving forward…
RM – We’re still a growing and changing band because we’re still so young. This is only our third year being on the road full time and we’ve changed A LOT in that short time. I’d imagine we’ll continue to change and evolve as time goes on cause we get bored easily. We’re constantly writing and re writing our tunes to get them to a point where we’re happy with them and to get them to the point where we think they’re good enough to share with people. We’re also constantly introducing new instruments into the band as we evolve. A most recent introduction is the use of Ableton Live to get some of the new stuff sounding as close to a DJ as we can while still playing all the actual parts. We’re never satisfied with where we’re at. We always want to sound tighter. We always want to reach new highs with our performances. We always strive to be a better band in every way possible and I don’t think that we’ll ever stop doing that.
J – So, are you trying to get into Summer Camp? If so, what is that process like?
RM – Absolutely. Summer Camp has been on our list for sometime. We think it’s a great festival with awesome people so yeah, it’s definitely something we would like to do. Really we’re just trying to grow as much as possible in Chicago and the rest of the area as possible to ensure that we’ll bring people to the fest. We’ve been doing a good job of that recently, so hopefully they’ll take notice this year.
J – Anything you’d like to add to tell the fans of SC music festival?
RM – All of our music is available for free on our website at rostermccabe.com/downloads and we’ve got a bunch of live shows on the Live Music Archive. To get a good feel for what we’re doing now make sure to get a recent show because like I said before we’re always changing – even if you listen to something from 6 months ago it won’t sound how we sound now. And if you guys dig what you’re hearing make sure to let the people of Summercamp know!
Some of you may have read my post on the Almost Famous Halloween, if not, check it out…What you don’t know about that show is that I created an electric light guitar suit to wear there.
This lead me to a dream, a dream of Scampers of all lights and colors! Where Blue Lights, and Yellow Lights, and Red Lights, and Purple Lights can glow together!
I challenge you Scampers, to light up Scamp 2012…Let’s see what you got! Check out the video below and LET THERE BE LIGHT!!!
We are so excited that the following artists will be joining our hosts moe. & Umphrey’s McGee at the fest this year.
Weir, Robinson, Greene Acoustic Trio
Hot Buttered Rum
Family Groove Company
The Giving Tree Band
And this is just the beginning. We will be announcing so many more artists in 2012! Make sure to get your Not-So-Early Bird Tickets now before they sell out. Our Not-So-Early Bird Layaway Tickets are also now available.
Have an amazing weekend!
Your Summer Camp Director
CIT Taraleigh Weathers Gives a Recap of STS9 in Burlington, Vermont.
For all you Umphrey’s McGee fans I bet you were just as stoked to hear about a new UM cd as I was. Well it finally came in September and I could not wait to listen and guess what….I didn’t wait. New songs to end a great summer is the bees knees and I was on that CD like white on rice. I could not wait and was ready for some good lyrics, awesome bass and amazing piano. When it came I was ready.
The thing that sucks about being a huge fan of any band is when a new album comes out you expect nothing but greatness and a breath of fresh air. Now to be totally honest with you at first I wasn’t too keen on the album name Death by Stereo. It seemed a little punk rock to me, not saying it is a bad name just saying I didn’t quite know how I felt about it. I can’t wait for an opportunity to chat with one of the guys to get their input on it but I am sure it comes from somewhere and something (obviously hahah) I just want to know what. But enough about the name lets get to talking about the music.
I know this is the 3rd time I expressed this but I was expecting a lot out of this album. I wanted to see UM spread their wings and fly to far off places with this one. Now I am not at all going to bash this album in any way shape or form but what I took from the album was not what I was expecting. The first two songs I am not going to lie through me off a bit. After listening to the lyric of ‘Miami Virtue’ I had a lot of respect for the song. It reminds me of my teenage years, listen to the song and you will understand. The guitar in ‘Domino Theory’ also through me off, to me it didn’t sound like tradition UM but it’s a new album and no one wants to always sound the same I know that but I will have to say that is the song I think I listen to the least amount. Just stating my opinion. I know people who do like that song because it is a new sound, but call me old fashion it’s not my favorite. What I liked was that they took a UM classic from waayyyyy back in the day and put it on the album to make it official, number 10 ‘Hajimemashite’ or other known as ‘Haji’. Great song that I just can’t get enough of. They also put another known UM song on Death by Stereo that we know and love as Booth Love. ‘Deeper’ has, to me, the same funky sound as Booth Love and I think that is why I like it so much. I can really appreciate ‘Deeper’. ‘The Floor’ has that good ole UM sound I know I enjoy, you know where they start out nice and chill and have that slow and steady build up until finally it reaches that point of ridiculousness where you can’t help but scream because the built up worked that well hahaha, oh yeah. ‘Dim Sun’ is a very nice relaxing acoustic song with the faint sounds of birds chirping in the background that you can sit back, close your eyes and enjoy the moment for that moment. The title explains the song to a T. ‘Conduit’ is another not so new song they threw on this album. It’s one of those songs where you can remember when you heard it live and feel how you felt at that moment. Those are always priceless. Now I’m not going to tell you about every song, if you want to know more then you’re just going to have to go and buy it for yourself.
All in all my opinion of Death by Stereo is that I liked it. Fans are a bands hardest critic and I would be lying if I say I don’t enjoy listening to it. I would have enjoyed to hear more newer songs and maybe even the songs they said would be on the album from Summer Camp 2011 but hey, maybe they will come out with another album soon. We will have to see.
Counselor in Training
So one band that I didn’t get to catch this year at Summer Camp was Peoria natives and 7 time festival alumni Brainchild. I heard they were making their way to Fort Collins as part of a three-night Colorado run. So on a crispy Saturday night in the Fort I headed down with Amy and on old friend to Road 34. As we entered more than one person in the Lot out back commented on the fact that I was the Summer Camp Counselor. Road 34 is a bar / bike shop and a great place to see live music in an intimate setting. The opening band was the local group, Twine! They have been working their way around the scene and playing some strong performances on the Front Range. They are certainly young but I was fairly impressed with how far they’ve come in just a couple short years. Sure they are loose and they missed a few cues but to be honest they have a ton of potential. Mainly playing instrumental tunes they broke into some solid jamming heavily anchored by their rhythm section of Michael Vargas and Sam Mitchell. Ben White took on a silly front man role with the irreverent Skate Legs. However, they actually reached a serious high with Paradox, which included a nice Zeppelin nod. I see them making waves as long as they can hold it together for a few more years.
For more info and some streaming music check out their Reverb Nation page at,
The main event of Brainchild took the stage and they blasted through their almost two-hour set with an alarmingly powerful musical prowess. I had heard good things about them but little could prepare me for the talent they brought to what was essentially a bar stage. They literally audibly assaulted the crowd of thirty or so with strong jamming and interesting lyric. Everyone that had come to Road 34 that night could not help but be impressed for the amount of musicianship they received for the five-dollar cover. They played classic Brainchild songs like Follow The Mornin’ Sun which lasted almost 17 Minutes and saw a wide variety of sonic transitions in the form of epic jamming. They also busted out an instrumental version of Billie Jean into Smooth Criminal, which was certainly a crowd pleaser. I don’t get out to the bar shows that often as my music schedule is jam packed but this was one night I was very happy that I made it. Elements of funk, jazz, and jam all made their way into this eclectic show. Probably the most interesting pieces of the puzzle were the vocal inter-layering between Ponce and Mooberry. The crowd began as a sort of loose affiliation of kids out enjoying a drink and broke into an all out dance party. They encored with a stunning version of Rage Against The Machine’s Killing in the Name Of. There were maybe 20 people left at this point and the front of the stage became a borderline mosh pit. Most bands try to leave the audience mellow, as they finish, not Brainchild. They tore it and worked the attendees into a frenzy before bidding them goodnight. I grabbed a quick photo with Roy and he kicked me down a couple of CDs so that I could dive a little deeper into their repertoire before Summer Camp next year. I can honestly say that if they are on the bill next year, and I hope they are, I will not be missing them. Thanks for an awesome night of music Brainchild; you killed it.
Summer Camp Counselor
So, it was getting close to crunch time for Umphrey’s McGee’s Red Rocks and
Blue show. I had a request in with Summer Camp but it wasn’t until the Wednesday
before the show that they finally got approval for my photo pass. I was stoked. It
was the first time I had gotten photo access at the famed venue that I call my
summer home, The Edge.
So when the day finally arrived I grabbed a ride with my buddy Jeremy and
we hit the Lower South Lot around 3:30 p.m. I immediately met up with J-Man from
MusicMarauders and we took a minute to catch up. It was amazing how many
people recognized me as the Summer Camp Counselor. No less than 10 people
asking if I was the CC stopped me as I wandered around the Lot. It was kind of eye
opening in the sense that I realized how widely my work as the CC had spread my
image. J-Man and I walked back down to Will Call to get our credentials. Amy came down with some other friends so I headed to Upper South Lot to meet them before going inside.
We got in just as The New Mastersounds were starting their set. I quickly
made my way to the photo pit while the rest of my friends found a spot around row
15. The place was still fairly empty which meant there was plenty of room to move
around. I took photos for the first three songs as I was instructed was the protocol.
NMS riveted the audience early and blew away the crowd. Hailing all the way from
the United Kingdom they came to Red Rocks to play. I got a chance to chat with
bassist Pete Shand at setbreak who informed me they were used to playing 3 hour
shows with a half hour encore. This fact didn’t stop them from delivering the greasy
funk for just under an hour at Red Rocks. The New Mastersounds are an all-
instrumental funk based band. They stayed true to their nature by just playing a
jam-tastic set. I was very impressed with The Mastersounds at Red Rocks.
The Easy Star All Stars were up next with their mix of reggae and classic
covers. Overall it was a fun show with selections from Radiohead, the Beatles, and
Pink Floyd. Everyone has heard Dub Side of the Moon but to hear them play live
was actually a really interesting experience. I thought their originals were a nice
way to mix it up and they truly did energize the crowd. As they finished there was a
hiccup and before they could go into Time they were cut off.
No matter I was there for the main even and that was definitely Umphrey’s
McGee. They opened their set with a solid Jazz Odyssey. Here is the rest of the
setlist from PT.
SET I: Jazz Odyssey>, Bridgeless, Professor Wormbog, Puppet String, Hurt Bird
Bath, Deeper, Plunger, No Comment, Plunger
SET II: Nipple Trix, Divisions, Forks, Sledgehammer, Red Tape, Jimmy Stewart,
Red Tape, Day Nurse, Hajimemashite
ENCORE: Release, Bridgeless
The set was one of peaks and valleys, at times making the audience really work a
bit. I felt there was a bit of a disconnect with the crowd. A possibility is some level
of disappointment with attendance. At this point there was only about 4500 people
in the 9000-seat venue. Either way there was some real highlights from the show.
The open was solid coming out very strong. I was down in the pit for the first fifteen
minutes of the set and got a chance to snap some solid pictures. As I learned at
Summer Camp being that close to the powerful playing of Umphrey’s can be intense Surrounded by a cavalry of professional photogs I focused on getting my photos so I could enjoy the rest of the show. Plunger to close the first set was awesome and typical of UM’s back and forth song setlist writing.
The second set was definitely better and focused on the sublime jamming
Umphrey’s McGee is known for. Jake Cinniger was the VIP of the evening with his
pinpoint accurate guitar work. His progressive licks and ability to segue on a dime
was definitely a highpoint of the show. UM’s cover of Peter Gabriel’s Sledgehammer was a surprise and a nice way to jump off the path for a minute. The Red Tape, Jimmy Stewart sandwich saw the most interesting playing of Red Rocks and Blue. Hajimenmashite was a solid close to the show before UM disappeared from the stage.
Umphrey’s came back for their encore with a beautiful rendition of Eddie
Vedder’s Release and closed the show with their previously unfinished Bridgeless.
All in all I thought it was a good show with a few rocky points. I hope that the lack of
attendance is not a reason to deter this event from happening next year. A full show
from Umphrey’s at Red Rocks is always something I will look forward to.
A big thanks to Summer Camp for getting my pass and giving another unforgettable
Video From Red Rocks
The New Mastersounds
Summer Camp Counselor
Cervantes Summer Celebration June 10th (Ape Tit feat. Members of the Big Motif)
For those of you who live in Colorado, you know how fun a place Cervantes can be. And when they decided to have their Summer Celebration party this year featuring a bunch of local bands, I was ready to go…plus I just moved 3 blocks from the venue, both awesome and dangerous. Anyway, The Summer Celebration party featured a bunch of local bands. The first band I saw was Big Wheel Electrosoul. Awesome live hip hop featuring my good friend Mr. Charles Parker Mertens on the bass. Normally I don’t get into the hip hop too much, but whenever there is a live backing band I’ll give it a chance. I was glad I did. Holding down great beats with socially conscious lyrics, Big Wheel Electrosoul is one not to miss.
The last band I saw, yes I’m skipping to the end because my personal highlight came mid-show, was Whiskey Tango. I guess you’d call the grass rock or something as they have a traditional bluegrass lineup with the addition of a synth and drummer with full kit. These guys rock and for sure know how to hold it down. Once again, I don’t normally get into the bluegrass but these guys were really good. I’ve seen them before and I’d see them again. With driving beats supporting a twangy vibe of excellent songwriting, this band will be doing their thing in Denver for years to come.
The highlight of the evening, however, was a band called Ape Tit. Yes, as in the breast of a gorilla. I thought it was a play on words of “appetite” but I was wrong. This band features a local Denver guitar player paired up with the drummer from the Big Motif. If you know the Big Motif or saw them at Summer Camp, you know these kids, and I mean kids, are super young. It’s always a treat to see the entertainment on stage have big black “X”s on their hands, always wondering, where is this kid gonna be in 10 years when he’s had an opportunity to be exposed to all the music scene has to offer? Some people don’t make it, but if this performance was any indication, the kids from the Big Motif have their heads on straight and will be around for a while. Ape Tit was great. Hip Hop and break beats with layers of delayed guitar put over it. All fine in it of itself, the show really took off when Big Motif’s bass player joined in and took the event to another level. If you get the chance to see Ape Tit in Denver, do it, if not, catch the Big Motif and see these young kids before they are a ticket to tough to get.
Counselor In Training
At the end of every summer, you usually sit back and recap. You remember swimming at the lake everyday for two weeks straight. You remember those long car rides to those amazing shows just for the night. You remember sitting by the campfire as you and a bunch of good friends bs until after the sun comes up. I remember Summer Camp Music Festival. Ever since I started going to Summer Camp, I have smiled and laughed as I look at the ridiculousness of everything and how it can never be forgotten. Well, this year was no different than any other but I have to say it was better. I had the amazing opportunity as Camp Counselor In Training and I cannot thank Holly, and the folks at Summer Camp, enough for giving me the opportunity to learn more about the festival and the people it brings.
That was one of the amazing aspects of Summer Camp this year, the people. The festival (I’m pretty sure) doubled in just one year and that is just crazy to me. You have to admit for a fan base to double in just one year is spectacular; they are doing everything right and always have. from The Green Team pickup crew, to all the amazing music that is brought to us for our viewing pleasure, I truly think it is a remarkable place.
Now lets recap on this year alone and the things that stuck out to me. Where to begin? How about with the music that brings us to this weekend of joy?You have your awesome headliners like moe., with their crowd pleasers like Captain America, and Umphrey’s McGee playing some of their new songs off the album coming in September (and not to mention hookin up with Huey Lewis) You have your regulars like Keller Williams who opened his set with Ninja, Cornmeal who played at least 3 sets throughout the weekend (cant say for sure because I couldn’t make it to them all) and Yonder Mountain String Band who got me super pumped when I heard my first No Expectations. And then you get to the great treats that you hope to come back.
This year, I personally think the biggest excitement was Widespread Panic and the Everyone Orchestra with artist such as Kyle Hollingsworth, Al Schnier, Natalie Cressman, along with a group of other amazing artists. The thing that sticks out to me the most thinking about the Everyone Orchestra is what you had to do to see them. Summer Camp came up with an amazing idea for the fest goers. You see, you didn’t buy a ticket, you didn’t win one, you simply had to do things like pick up cig butts , take part in recycling, turn in bags for recycling and things of that nature that would not only promote you, but help keep the festival clean and do your part to help respect and preserve the
earth. I think that was a great idea and cant wait to see what Summer Camp comes up with next. As you can tell, I named off mostly jam bands. I’m not big into the dubstep or electronica scene but Summer Camp still has it. Featuring bands such as STS9, Big Gigantic, EOTO and Bassnectar , you know, the big wigs who know how to make a crowd go CRAZYYYYY. These were a good handful of the memorable music related memories that I will remember at least until next year when I do it all again.
Now, you want to talk aspects of the festival I can’t forget like the rain and mud. Yes, it sucked. Yes, it was cold, but man did it bring a lot of joy to a lot of people. From purposely mud sliding to accidentally mud sliding, I got a kick out of people falling into that thick juicy mud. I wont forget the mud sliders in the woods only feet away from our campsite or hearing about a friend who drank too much and slipped on his way back to camp to sleep. We all got a good chuckle in when he returned to camp super pissed and full of mud. The Sunday morning storm was awesome. I have never been in a tent during a thunderstorm and I personally loved feeling like I was up in the sky as it happened. May sound weird but it was pretty relaxing. The storm and the mud was fun, but the people made the festival. So many faces from all over the country. In our group alone we had people from Colorado, Wisconsin and New York. I met people from Indiana, from Tennessee from here, from there. It was pretty cool.
Everyone was nice and respectful. I personally didn’t see any altercations or brawls and that is exactly what I would hope to get from a fest, a comfortable safe environment. An environment with happy faces. I won’t forget the faces at Ryan Stasik of Umphreys playing kickball with us in the wee hours of the a.m. Yes that was fun. I was happy I made it this year and I’m sure Stasik and his team were very pleased when they took the victory. (by the way, they came prepared this year with more than one ball so no one could steal it again).
Recaping my recap, Summer Camp 2011 rocked my socks off. Well, I didn’t have socks, just mud but you know what I mean. it was EPIC. The lineup could not have gotten any better, the crowds could not have been any more energetic and high spirited and the experience could not be replaced with anything else in my book. I met some amazingly fun people who I wish I could have spent more time with ( Joe, Jon, Taraleigh, Jeff and Nick). And thanks again to Holly and Summer Camp. Without you, I don’t think my experience would have been so rewarding. Now everyone…..check out the fest, you won’t be displeased.
Counselor In Training