In it’s fifth year on the musical map, Camp Barefoot 5 provided one of the year’s most positive festival experiences for 2500 music lovers this past weekend at Camp Hidden Meadows, in Bartow, West Virginia.
In an ever-growing music festival world, full of mainstream acts, money grubbing production companies, cookie-cutter designs and investors and promoters who are in it for the wrong reasons, we are lucky when we can find a festival that continues to evolve yet keeps a firm hold to its charm.
The best music festivals do not rely solely on their line-up, their location, or their staff. It is a seamless combination of all of the above that has left a lasting impression on this professional festival goer. I have attended multiple festivals around the world this year and I can’t get around the fact that a festival so quaint could be so satisfying.
Every year just gets better and better. I love how the line-up changes from year to year but still has the local and regional acts that I have grown to love! This is def. one festie you can hit up by yourself and leave with a ton of new friends. ~ MrHarryHood83 on JamBase
When thinking on how to approach this article, I wrote out a list of refreshing and positive points about the fest that became endless. The campers, the location, the weather, lack of cell-phone service, the size, the WONDERFUL staff, the vendors, artists and special large and small-scale musical collaborations. The list went on till I hit about 150 points and put down my pen. I recognized that Camp Barefoot contains everything one might want out of a music festival and that there are aspects of this event that other festivals can’t replicate.
Location, Location, Location: A good drive off the beaten path into the mountains of West Virginia, one of the most important and refreshing aspects of this festival is the location. Once 30 minutes outside of Camp Hidden Meadows, telephone service shuts out. This is such a blessing in disguise for those of us who are addicted to their phones and the internet. Five days of uninterrupted country camping. There is a cleansing aspect felt from the disconnection of this addiction that you feel immediately. There are rivers, walking paths, quaint bridges, and lush green landscape to pop up ones tent.
Thank you Camp Barefoot for the most baller end to my summer I could possibly ask for!!!!!! What a beautiful weekend in the valley, hours away from cell phone service, surrounded by some of my best friends, funky music, and an amazing view!!! ~ Danielle Christenson
As the name suggests, Camp Hidden Meadows is nestled into a small scale valley which should probably hold no more then 3000 people. Tickets were limited to a maximum capacity of 3,000 people this year. VIP only sold 40 ticket making it a nice, small space to get to know your neighbors. The location of VIP this year was much more pleasant as well. Last year, there was cow poop in many of the fields. This year, I heard a rumor that only just the day before did the poop get picked up manually by staff. THAT is dedication! We will definitely be pumping VIP up with more heads next year after the success of this year’s Barefoot.
So down home and earthy :) (giggle!!) I wanna go back!! ~ Aslan Deacon (Jam Cruise Head Cheerleader)
There is a large on-site lake with a make-shift tube slide that functions as a wonderful amenity for those needing a refreshing cool-down from the afternoon sun (which never got TOO hot) or a shower. Personally, you couldn’t pay me to get in that lake (rumor of leaches and what not) but I enjoyed knowing it was there for fun! It was constantly in use and pleased everyone who entered!
One of the greatest aspects of all is the night sky. Camp Barefoot is located 14 minutes away from the World’s largest fully steerable single aperture antenna telescope (http://www.gb.nrao.edu/). The placement of this telescope became knowledge to me while trying to figure out why there were no telephone towers in the area. The placement of this telescope became UNDERSTOOD to me when I looked up into the sky on the second night of the festival. Just…WOW!!
There are no words that do justice to the spectacular view we were given of the constellations on the second night. I literally hung out by the porto-potties in Family Camping getting lost in the Milky Way and various other galaxies for half an hour until a friend walked by and MADE me move. Another time, I saw five shooting starts in one hour. Barefoot places you in the stars. Literally, there are layers upon layers of stars. Seemingly closer, they practically reached out for me in the moments I melted into them.
Sadly, the stars didn’t present themselves in such a manner on the surrounding nights as they did that second night. However, they still shined brighter and truer then this country-girl turned city-chick has ever experienced. I lost the stars to the bright lights of the urban bustle years ago and it’s one of the things I miss most of country living. If for nothing else, the vision of the night sky from this venue is worth everything it takes to get there.
The Dog Element
Dogs are an integral part of the Barefoot experience. Each year, Camp Barefoot walks away with the Rager Award for Best Dog Population. Hands down!! I don’t care who you are, dogs make things better and there are hardly any festivals that allow dogs these days.
It must be noted, especially in the bigger festivals, that our scene has lost its innocence in the canine area. Wookies walk around with aggressive looking breeds on purpose and today’s lot dogs are scary and used for protection and aggressive portrayal. I love all dogs and I try not to discriminate (being an Equal Employment Opportunity Counselor for NYC PARKS and all) but being surrounded by multiple aggressive looking dogs is not something I enjoy. There is no such thing as a scary dog at Barefoot :)
At Barefoot, even my girlfriend who can’t stand dogs was loving up on the sweet faces that ran lose over the weekend. There was a tie-dyed pug, a mini-pin in a dress, an enormous Great Dane with Dalmatian markings that towered over young children and numerous muts with bandanas around their necks who literally ran free wearing smiles. Yes, even the dogs smiled this weekend. Barefoot is blissful.
Continuing the puppy love, there were numerous activities held throughout the weekend that promoted fundraising for the Humane Society of Pocahontas County. Currently raising money for their new shelter, this local shelter is in desperate need of donations to provide for homeless pets. Hippie Olympics ($20 a person), Fans Vs Bands Kickball ($30 a person), and the sale of $1 raffle tickets raised over $1000 this year which went toward the building fund.
In exchange for camper’s generosity, Camp Barefoot hands out phenomenal prizes. The winner of the Hippie Olympics received:
1st place: (2) CB6 “GOLD” ALL ACCESS package passes for 2012, (2) snowshoe all day ski lift tickets, (1) Chapin Matthews Painting, 2) CB5 stickers, (2) William Walter & Co. CDs, (2) DJ Williams Projekt CDs, (2) Funkuponya stickers
2nd place: (2) CB6 VIP passes for 2012, (1) Kevin Vigil painting, (1) XL Williams Walter & Co t shirt, (2) CB5 stickers
3rd place: (2) CB6 general admission tixs for 2012, (1) Rae Vena Painting(1) William Walter & Co medium t shirt, (2) William Walter & Co. CDs, (2) CB5 stickers
4th place: (1) William Walter & Co. small t shirt, (2) William Walter & Co. CDs, (2) CB5 stickers
Kickball participants paid $30 and received a backstage laminate (giving you access to the showers backstage and any other adventures one might find back there) and one of the Barefoot 5 Buddha Posters painted by Aaron “AJ” Masthay. Great stuff if you ask me and even better once you recognize that it’s a small festival and you don’t have TOO much competition against you so the possibility of you winning a prize is large!
Finally, as always, the event is kid and Earth friendly featuring a KidZone and waste reduction programs. Over the weekend I saw little one in the river being washed or running across the fields with a towering dog and leash in their hands. There was also Car Pooling movement that numerous friends took advantage of.
The weather is strange in the sense that it feels as though you run through every season in a matter of hours when the sun goes down. The days are stunningly bright and perfectly sunny but once the sun goes down, within the hour a brisk intense chill takes over and the dew is close behind leaving everything covered in a thick layer of moistness. For those of you planning on attending in the future I suggest you don’t make the mistake I did and be prepared for these changes in the climate. Tank and bikini tops during the day and hoodies and layers for the night!
Just wanted to say thanks to the vendors last weekend also. Great food, clothing, art, and everything else! So much cool stuff to check out, thanks again! Thanks again for my favorite weekend of the summer! Such a great eclectic group of people, music, and art. Thanks to everyone for all the hard work, and thanks to all the bands for bringing it this weekend! Can’t wait to do it again!!! ~ Sean Reville
I am not going to lie, when it rained the second morning a crew of us went to the closet Hilton hotel one hour away for an adventure, a shower and some bad game show network TV until the sun came out. This hotel run was in the plans for a friend of ours before we knew the rain would come. It worked out perfectly as we were able to stock up on things from Walmart for a few vendor friends who needed supplies and campers who threw in a few orders before we left!
Specific Highlights of the Weekend
Crazy Arrival & THE HIPPIE DOME! There was lengthy debate as to what might greet us upon our arrival. Hillary Dovel, my traveling partner in crime, and I arrived at 4:30 am on Thursday morning. We were greeted at the VIP entrance with a big vehicle blocking the only way onto the grounds. Leave it to me to show up when no one is on duty. I had to snicker at the high level of security. I felt like I was home again. The sense of safety in the South felt good.
We left our car and walked down to the venue which was totally dead except for a few Wooks in the mist that hadn’t gone to sleep yet. It took us some time to figure out which campsite was ours because everyone was asleep and the layout of the grounds was different this year. We found our WONDERFUL hippie palace that had been erected but where were our Ragers? They COULDN’T be sleeping? We tried peeking in tents but that got weird pretty much before we began and so we just assumed this pimped out spot was our home for the weekend and our friends had waited up long enough.
Hillary and I choose not to sleep that evening. We spent the hours of 4:30 am to 8:00 am wondering the quiet camp grounds, checking out the space that would be taken over by raging hippies in a matter of hours. It was blissful watching the sun rise over the mountains and casting its golden glow on the green tree tops that create this lovely little dip in the serene The Blue Ridge Mountains. At 8pm, we finally crashed for a few hours. The music began at noon :)
Cuddle Puddles Puffathons ~ Lil B
Kickball: Hillary Dovel has been setting up Kickball games quite literally around the world for our wonderful jam community over the past few years. My first experience with her Kickball games was Camp Barefoot last year (EPIC!) followed by Jam Cruise Kickball in Jamaica (SERIOUSLY EPIC). This year, Camp Barefoot Kickball was supposed to take place each morning at dawn (if players were awake) and there was a Fans vs. Bands game scheduled for Friday which ultimately moved to Saturday.
For the Bands Vs Fans game, each Fan put up $30 with the proceeds, totaling $300, going directly towards the Building Fund for the new Humane Society of Pocahontas County Shelter. In return, players received a backstage laminate (accessing you to the showers) for the rest of the weekend and a beautiful Camp Barefoot 5 poster. I encourage everyone to sign up for kickball next year. It’s so worth it :)
This year, there is no doubt that the event was disorganized and this wasn’t anyone’s fault but our own. Being Hillary’s wing lady, I take partial responsibility for literally dropping the ball! We raged it so hard that we failed to promote kickball properly and have already discussed ways to eliminate this problem next year. Last year we were in the same state of rage but we promoted it much more with megaphones and people not liking us so much in those wee hours of the AM. We are trying to find a middle ground to this promotion for next year!!!
Disorganization and lack of energy aside, there was one Dawn Kickball game that found campers sliding in the dew shortly after the sun came up one the first night. As well, a pick-up game on Friday occurred which ultimately took the place of what was meant to be the Bands VS Fans game Saturday. Multiple fans and members of Pigeons Playing Ping Pong, Segway and The Mantras squared off in a no-rules game of Kickball that had silly hippies giggling from beginning to end. Well, there is one rule…the only rule: NO BUNTING!
Thanks to all the members of the Bands who offered their time to give us such a great laugh as they kicked our butts. There is something really hilarious and wonderful about this event. I hope it continues on and really becomes an integral part of what makes Camp Barefoot a special experience.
Live Painting: I have never seen so many live painters in one spot then I did this past weekend. Jon Blake (Crazyredbeard) (a personal favorite and whose work we just purchased in April at Rock N Roll Resort), Chapin Mathews, Shannon Mordhorst, Jamie Morgan, Amity Dewey (one of my favorite new found artists), G. Scott Queen (who brings an edge and urban flavor to this his art), Kevin Vigil, Rae Vena, Carter Roach, Danny Phillips, and Aaron “AJ” Masthay (creator of this year’s Barefoot gorgeous poster) were all on site and are inspirational to the environment in the moment while painting. It really is amazing and a wonderful treat to buy yourself if you were so inclined and touched by a specific performance.
I think what keeps me painting at shows is the true love I have for the music and for the act of creating art. And what better place to do it then at a concert with a million kids jumping around? I love being able to inspire people with my art; my hopes are that they will go out there and do the same. Everyone is an artist. ~ Jamie Morgan
However, it was entirely too much. Don’t get me wrong, the art work and watching it be created during a live performance is actually very stimulating. In fact, I suppose if I didn’t have a VIP Pass I might just have set myself up in the front row of the general audience near the painters to watch them create. I suppose, the amount of painters didn’t bother me so much as the location they were set up to paint. Set up in the VIP pit, we were forced to dance around them and try not to fall into them. I don’t even drink and I was falling into them at times when I wasn’t raging the rail. It was just cumbersome and slightly annoying because you don’t want to harm their work or their toes. This might be the biggest issue I have with the entire festival and it’s not even something I TRULY care about so that just goes to show ya how great this weekend truly is!!
The Artists Care: Camp Barefoot is the ONLY musical festival I have gone to where members of other bands playing throughout the weekend are set up within the camping grounds mixed in with the fans. Camp Barefoot is also the ONLY festival where I see members of other bands making their way to the front row to completely rage the rail for their favorite sets. I watched the bassist for Pigeons Playing Ping Pong immerse himself in the culture of the festival all weekend playing kickball and wandering around engaging new people around their camp grounds. Segway’s manager did the same.
The smaller bands are humble and kind and there as much to learn and digest the music as much as they are to perform for their fans. I ABSOLUTELY LOVE SEEING this type of involvement. I will always be a fan first and I know how that rail riding feels. But to see other artists doing the same, that is something special.
Music, Sweet Music
Everything at Camp Barefoot screams simplicity and value through it’s small scale. Barefoot delivers the best music their region has to offer by way of the Virginia, North Carolina and Maryland jam band scene with a few special nationally recognized gems thrown in the mix.
Emphasis is on the reflection of the region vs the country’s staple Jam Bands that generally find their way headlining large-scale festivals. It is for that reason I love attending these small festivals. I love finding new talent and recognizing new musicians who are going to open up on our world. I love writing about these groups that never get the coverage they deserve.
The lineup for Camp Barefoot is always littered with wonderful, small scale groups who leave a large impression on all their new listeners. Here are this year’s stand-outs (in my humble opinion).
The Jeff White Band opened up the festival at 12pm Thursday on the main stage. His cover of Paul Simon‘s “Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes” is what greeted me as I awoke in our wonderful campsite. What a lovely, funky way to rise.
Garry: Guitar and Vocals
Alicia: Guitar and Vocals
Tasha: Stand up Bass, Clarinet, mandolin
David Moo Young: Drums & Percussion
From Ashville, NC, Sol Flo was the first band that made me stop and take notice on Thursday afternoon. Originally an acoustic/folk hip/hip trio, Sol Flo has recently taken on a drummer from Central America named David Moo Young which seems to have rounded out their sound. This weekend happened to be David’s first music festival. Gotta love the virgins….
From where I was standing in VIP Camping, they sounded like a young soulful college band with attitude, delivery and some gnarly funky bass. I prefer a bass guitar line for breakfast so I took myself over to the stage to investigate. I was shocked to see a much more mature band. Siblings Garry and Alicia Bullard provided the positively youthful, soulful vocals and guitar play while Tasha Bear played one mean bass. She surprised me the most. With the utmost respect, she kind of reminded me of my mother, only my mother can’t slap a mean bass like Tasha Bear can!
Molly Murphy – Vocals, Guitar, Kazoo,
Sally Murphy – Vocals, Tenor Guitar, Kazoo
Jess Bergh – Percussion, Vocals, Guitar
The Reverend Bill Howard – Vocals, Electric Guitar
Terry Newman/ Remy Duguet/ Lorie Lichtenwalner- Bass
Stanton, Virginia’s The Judy Chops was the first group that got me truly excited. Rightly so, as they are talented members from other bands who have come together to purely entertain. Reminiscent of Django Reinhardt styling one moment and bluegrass hip hop another, The Judy Chops have a refreshing sound and fun concept. They mash songs together or rather “chop” them up and piece them back together to create an exciting musical experience.
In their song “Sex Monster,” I caught at least 15 songs beginning with Bloodhound Gang‘s “Discovery Channel” to Lady Gaga‘s “Bad Romance” to the Talking Heads‘ “Psycho Killer”. Then there was a mix of a Michael Franti‘s “Ganja Babe”, Keller William‘s “Boob Job” and a David Pollard song. After that insanity, they went into a swing-y Ella Fitzgerald tune. It was all over the map.
I gotta say off the top of my head The Judy Chops and Crucial Element were my new favorite find!! ~ Aslan Deacon
Their set was fun, danceable and full of chopped up pop tunes that had the thin crowd smiling ear to ear. As their set progressed, the crowd grew as the music called to them. It’s been a long time since something fun and fresh like this has been put in front of me musically. Their 3-part harmony was smooth amongst the chaos. This band would be killer to hire for a wedding and I mean that in the most positive way! So much fun!
Here is the Sex Monster video. At the very end of the video Jess announces the name of the song and you can hear me scream my response :) I was energized by Sex Monsters.
A member of my camp made friends with the keyboardist’s girlfriend and so we decided to check out this Richmond, Virginia band first thing Saturday morning on the Mustache Stage. Bringing the best Roots and Reggae vibe heard over the weekend, Crucial Element is made up of five musicians who truly get into their music and message as they sing three and four part harmonies with that Reggae fire.
Their female vocalist, ButtaFly Vazquez, was phenomenal! It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to recognize true talent. She was absolutely born to sing. Like many bands at Camp Barefoot, Crucial Element handed out CDs, in this instance, Grow, Crucial Element‘s latest CD showing off the newest line-up of the group.
Ross van Brocklin – Vocals, guitar
Max Collins – Vocals, guitar
Aaron Ahlbrandt -Vocals, keys
Chris Coleman – Bass
Sam Cushman – Drums
I have to be honest with you friends. I have one live recording from this well-known Charlottesville, Virginia band on my computer that was given to me by someone whose musical opinion I value greatly. I attempted three individual times to listen to the show and each time I was turned off by various things. I just wasn’t connecting with them in the right way.
I have heard such great things so perhaps I had to hear them live? Who knows, but it is specifically for that reason that I made myself go to their set and watch it in its entirety 11pm Thursday night on the Mustache stage. And guess what….I loved them!
They are anything but predictable and that is a great quality to have in a group. High-energy raging rock with some jamming musicality. This is a great thing considering that the bassist on stage was making his debut with the band. With a solid sound, they bring a friendly feeling that one might vibe on from a house band.
I loved how super appreciative they were. They kept saying, “Thank you! We appreciate you guys coming up here. We know we are up against some pretty heavy hitters [Perpetual Groove]. Not only that, we are up THE HILL!!” ~ Hillary Dovel
Personally, I was stoked that this band was playing because I have been losing my grip on Perpetual Groove since last year. The highlight of The Belmont set for me was when they broke out with a stellar cover of Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick In The Wall”. Wookies slowly emerged from the mist in every direction. It was killer. Their energy was unmatched that night and I was so happy that the option against Perpetual Groove was Kings of Belmont.
Marcus Horth – Guitar/Vocals
Justin Loew – Drums
Justin W. Powell – Keyboards/Vocals
Brian Tyndall – Bass/Vocals
Brent Vaughn – Percussion/Vocals
A mantra is a sound, syllable, word, or group of words that is considered capable of “creating transformation ~ Thanks WikiPedia
Hailing from Greensboro, North Carolina, The Mantras, led by guitarist and vocalist Keith Allen, had two sets over the weekend. Their high-energy first set was during the day, under the sun. I don’t own any Mantra Cds and so I had forgotten about the sound of Keith Allen’s voice. It reminds me of Les Claypool in the way that he has an unusual inflection in all the right, quirky ways. Les Claypool, however, uses a microphone to create his sound. Keith Allen just brings it naturally. His voice may be an “acquired taste” as I heard one fan put it but their sold out shows in their home state prove that it’s a taste that everyone enjoys.
There is also something to be said about a band who takes pride in their light show. I ADORE a good light show. A good lighting director (like Chris Kuroda or Jeff Waful) knows how light triggers our emotions and stimulates parts of our brains. Healing Bear is the name of The Mantra’s light director and he brings that extra layer that every late night show needs. I heard that he was asked by other bands to help them out as well. Gotta love the family sharing vibe.
I saw Keith backstage the last night of the festival and asked him if he was ready to close this mother down. He said he felt great and had made sure to get a good night sleep because he was planning on bringing the fire. That he did.
Their late night set BEGAN at 4:35am. Amongst their signature, fun-named songs like the bass-thumping “Magillicuddy” and “Metrognome,” there was a killer cover of The Grateful Dead’s “Terrapin Station.” I was in Vendor Row when this song was being played and the notes trickled down the hill into my ears. I noticed multiple hippies around me spinning. It was a joyful site to behold. The Mantras also threw down a solid cover of London’s progressive rock band King Crimson‘s “Thela Hun Ginjeet.” An enthusiastic set to say the least, bassist Brian Tyndall is always fun to watch as he throws around his black hair and it was a pleasure to see the group with their new keyboardist, Justin Powell who filled the slot nicely.
The Mantras are huge in their region and there is no questions as to why. I could go on and on about thier set however The Mantras are one of the few bands who got recorded so I will let you take a listen and decide for yourself! Enjoy!
Set List: Sweaty Monster Pt. 1, Cairo, The Prelude, Ska Face, Man You Rawk!, Dr. Ssanasinod, Thela Hun Ginjeet, Jabberwocky, Five Roads, Terrapin Station, Magillicuddy, Metrognome.
Walton – Guitars/Vocals
Wolf – Keys/Vocals
Ashby – Basses/Vocals
Bakes – Drums
Hyman – Sound
DJ Possum – Lighting Design
Former Champions was a pleasant find. Or perhaps it found me. My best friend from high school is best friends with the drummer’s wife. Did ya get all that? Needless to say, I had to come give some love to this set and give it more than my usual ADHD infused attention.
This live electronic rock band from Richmond, Virginia took me a few songs to get into but once I got into their groove, I was into them fully. Getting down in the front row and dancing up the sides. Describing themselves as “a modern, high-energy, musical ensemble focused on expressing ideas and emotions through sound and words,” they did just that. They played well-composed songs with on the spot improvisation, which is fine. That is what all jam bands strive to do. However, this bands goal is to influence and inspire the human spirit with their music and I felt it, I really did. I could tell because of the smile on my face, my happy ears and my grooving booty.
Their jamming and dark Nine Inch Nails’ cover of “Closer” was a highlight of this set for me. I am going to say, one of my top five songs of the weekend, hands down. I remember looking around thinking how happy I was to be dancing around all my best girlfriends and I know the music helped fuel my happiness in that moment. The song took on so many meaning in that moment. All bands seek to connect with something and Former Champion’s music reaches out and gets into you. That is their goal and they succeed in that goal.
Roberts, Walter and Deitch
Holy Hell!!! POWER TRIO OF THE YEAR! Barefoot, like most musical events, is subject to a Radius Clause. Due to nature of the clause, bands can not play inside a certain mileage of a previously booked show so as not to draw audiences away from bigger venues. The contract stipulation is an lucky inconvenience for Barefoot due to the Masontown, West Virginia’s All Good Music Festival and Floyd, Virginia’s FloydFest flanking Barefoot’s dates and location.
Personally, I love these contractual clauses for a very specific reason. Do you have any idea how many super groups have been created due to this clause. I could go on for hours but I will just speak on the super group that got plugged this year for Barefoot.
First, you got the heavy, soulfully jazzy Hammond B3 organist Robert Walter from Robert Walter’s 20th Congress and The Greyboy Allstars. He is one of my top three favorite organists in our Jam scene. For those of you who were there, I am sure you enjoyed his facial expressions as his music flowed from his body. He is HEAVY with his playing teasing rock, jazz, soul, funk and multiple effects creating sounds only his fingers can find.
Next, you have New Yorker Adam Deitch who was simply born to drum. Keeping bands such as Pretty Lights, Lettuce, Dr. Klaw and BreakSciene on beat, Detich is one of the brightest stars in the drumming community and my homie from NYC. This fierce set reminded me how much I enjoy his talent.
The music and the people made the festival! One of the best parts about Camp Barefoot is every year I feel like something happens (collaboration, sit-in, etc) that is a one of a kind event most likely to never happen again. Perfect example is Walter, Roberts, and Deitch all playing together and THEN Karl Denson running on stage like a kid in a candy store to join in. ~ Cullen Seward
...I liked that it wasn’t a mile walk from main stage to my spot. I left R,W & D to pee and get a beer and was back in like 5 mins! ~ Jeanelle Myers
Finally, you have masterful guitarist Eddie Roberts from The New Mastersounds out of Leeds, England. His energy and styling is fresh, free and his sense of humor is on point. As a dense Wookie in the audience threw a bottle on stage to which Roberts exclaimed, “If you are going to throw bottles, please make sure they are full.” During another point in the performance, both Deitch and Roberts took turns having fun with a campers’ stuffed weasel named “Terrance” that made its way on stage and eventually tied to Robert’s mic by his stuffed tail.
This superb power trio had only performed together three times before gracing the main stage on the last night of Barefoot. I was told earlier that they had chosen a collection of rare B-side songs to perform but they had so much fun on stage that they only got through a few. They ended up playing two of Deitch’s songs and a two of Water’s songs. “Flood in Franklin Park” is a Grant Green song which Robert Walter’s made his own. “A-1 Sauce” was a song that I didn’t recognize but Deitch killed it. The entire set was the highlight of the whole weekend. I see massive amounts of live music and it’s not always that I get to see a new group in its earliest creation! You never would have guessed they had only played together three times prior to Barefoot. The set was pure gold.
Kyle Hollingsworth’s Talking Heads Set
Kyle Hllinsgworth – Keys
Garrett Sayers – Bass
Dave Watts – drums
Kyle Hollingsworth (String Cheese Incident) is one of my favorite keyboardists after Robert Walters and this set was magnificent. You also can’t go wrong with one of the best rhythm sections in America backing you up with Garret Sayers on bass and Dave Watts on drums. YOWZA! The Kyle Hollingsworth Band also played a regular set of their wonderful music however it was this Talking Heads set that left the lasting impression.
The energy from this set was unmatched as famous songs like “Psycho Killer” and “Crosseyed and Painless” made their way through the fields of dancing and singing campers. I weaved in and out of the crowd for this set and it was interesting to see the age differences recognize and not recognize the songs. Just a superb dance party. In those moments, I was so happy that Kyle was bringing this music to the ears of these musical newbies I found in the audience. This is the one set that I wanted to find the most as a download. I am hoping it turns up.
Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe
Karl Denson – Saxaphone
Chris Littlefield – Trumpet
DJ Williams – Guitar
David Veith – Keyboards
John Staten – Drums
Chris Stillwell – Bass
A saxophone led band, I mean who doesn’t love that? It’s unique and Karl Denson is the hardest working man in the Jam community. Just go follow him around at Jazz Fest in New Orleans and you tell me different. Setting the bar in funk, Karl Denson came on after Roberts, Walters, and Deitch to complete the funky filled night of smiles and dancing. Karl Denson can make you smile before even playing a note. He is just walking charisma.
DJ Williams (DJ Williams Projekt) has been asked to play in place of Brian Jordan while Brian takes on new musical challenges. I was so pleased to see DJ Williams being picked for this slot. He filled Brian’s shoes wonderfully and brought his own style of Virginia funk to the position. Drummer John Staten is SICK!! I mean, what can I keep saying about him? He is simply amazing and stands so grand behind his rig.
If anyone befriended a space ghost or a man with big’ol fake boobies on his chest this weekend, please do get in touch!!! ~ Dave Fullerton
Thank You Camp Barefoot
Thank you, thank you, and thank you!!! As a music lover, a music festival junkie and a critic, I can’t give enough love to this festival. A festival that is surrounded by as much love and positivity as is put into it. From the grassroots foundation to the focus on developing bands in the region’s scene, Barefoot is a Diamond in the Rough as far as music, environment and experience goes. There just isn’t a better place to spend your weekend. When the dates for next year’s Barefoot surface, you can be sure that I will be pressuring all my people to attend. I hope that this tiny (wink) review will stimulate you to do the same.
Below is a list of media that I collected while putting together this article. Please give these groups a listen. They are all spirited, high energy, wonderful regional groups from Virginia, North Carolina and Maryland and all deserve your attention. Thank you to everyone who tapes, records and captures the memories of these events.
* I heard from a number of people that this was their favorite set of the weekend
DJ Williams Projekt
Down Home Country Band
Jesse Chong Band
The New Deal
People’s Blues of Richmond
Pimps of Joytime
Set I: Savannah, Butter You Up, Troubles, Working With, Shark Fin, Let It Out, Scrambled Eggs
Encore: Twisty Twisty & Headed Home