By Camp Counselor Sydney
It’s all about girl power this Summer Camp!
There’s just another week until the SCamp Fam is reunited at Three Sisters Park for the 22nd Summer Camp Music Festival! SCampers around the country have several weeks of planning and packing under their belt, and with the recently announced schedule, there remains the question: which artists am I going to discover this year? In my experience, I have discovered several outstanding artists at Summer Camp, from my first SCamp in 2017 watching Jaden Carlson Band to recently discovered pop duo DRAMA in 2022. Very quickly, I realized my favorite musical discoveries at Summer Camp are female-led. With knockout lineups each year, I’ve made it a goal to check out the female artists kicking ass in the scene. Read on to view my picks on which leading ladies to check out at Summer Camp 2023.
Allie Kral & The Mighty Pines
One could argue I’m biased on this pick as Allie Kral & The Mighty Pines are St. Louisans like myself, but there’s no disagreeing Allie Kral shreds both the fiddle and vocals. Did you catch her sit-in with moe. last year covering Led Zeppelin’s “Immigrant Song”? It was definitely a moment to remember for several SCampers. Many may recognize Kral’s talents from her eight year run with Yonder Mountain String Band, but several highlights for this Camp Counselor are her various sit-ins and ability to mesh with any musician she collaborates with from Leftover Salmon to Fruition’s Mimi Naja. If you’re itchin’ for some pickin’, be sure to head to the Campfire Stage Saturday at 6pm for Allie Kral & The Mighty Pines.
“I need Moore Kanika!” is a common phrase one may hear around SCamp or any festival Kanika Moore is performing at. Since Doom Flamingo’s birth in 2018, Moore has been making her way around the country performing with Doom and several other SCamp artists including Sunsquabi and Tauk. With an electric stage presence and a voice that will send chills down your spine, it’s no wonder Kanika’s talents have been highly sought after and enjoyed by all who are lucky enough to catch a set. No matter the time (as Doom Flamingo is quite fond of late night sets) or the setlist (the Queen tribute by Doom was a SCamp memory to treasure forever), Kanika will give any performance 110% – not something you’ll want to miss as she graces the stage THREE different times with Doom Flamingo Friday at 5pm on the Sunshine Stage and 1:45am at the Red Barn, and with Tauk at 2am on the Campfire Stage.
Oh He Dead
If I’m being totally honest, Oh He Dead only came on my radar after listening to the 2023 Summer Camp Music Festival playlist on Spotify. Ever since, I’ve seen the group appearing on several festival lineups across the country. Leading lady CJ Johnson’s bluesy, raspy vocals had me hooked from the first listen and the band’s tunes seem to fall under a wide umbrella including jazz, blues and funk – although that may be limiting their musical capabilities. Johnson is joined by five other band members including Piano Johnson on the keys. With two fantastic female musicians in the group, Oh He Dead is one set you won’t want to miss as they take the Illumination Stage at 6pm on Sunday.
Summer Camp Music Festival via YouTube
Jennifer Hartswick Band
In my senior year of high school, I was blessed with the sweet sounds of the Big Gigantic album, Brighter Future, which introduced me to the glorious sound of vocal powerhouse, Jennifer Hartswick. Hartswick is featured on two tracks from the album: “I’ve Gotta Know” and “Got the Love”. These tracks led me to discover her talents shine in several other projects including the Trey Anastasio Band and her own band, the Jennifer Hartswick Band. There’s no doubt Hartswick elevates each and every performance with her band as her joyful and electric charisma bring outstanding musical heat to the stage. Don’t miss the Jennifer Hartswick Band as the group graces the Campfire Stage Sunday at 6pm.
Camp Counselor pro-tip: expand your horizons
Several more paragraphs could be written about each of the female artists playing Summer Camp: Maggie Rose, Sierra Hull, Maddy O’Neal, Joslyn & the Sweet Compression and many many more, but perhaps you will discover their greatness yourself as you branch out and explore the wide variety of music the festival has to offer! In a male-dominated industry, leading ladies in the scene bring a new, unique listening experience to the game, so branch out from your lineup essentials and explore new music at Summer Camp – perhaps your new favorite artist is just over the field at the Illumination Stage!
I’ll see you on the rail in just a short few weeks!