Organizers of the Summer Camp Music Festival will be in Des Moines this weekend as the Summer Camp on the Road tour makes a stop at Wooly's (504 East Locust Street). Organizers are touring the nation looking for bands to play this year's festival, which will take place on May 24 through May 26 in Chillicothe, Illinois. On Saturday, January 19, four Central Iowa bands will compete for a spot at the festival at Wooly's, and audience voting will determine the winning band. Doors open at 8 p.m., and the music starts at 8:30 p.m. Tickets are only $5, and they may be purchased at the Wooly's box office or online through Ticketfly. Here is a look at the four bands that will have their eyes on the prize this Saturday.
Coming off a show at Thumbs in Ames the night before, The Smoothsayers hope to punch their ticket to Summer Camp on Saturday night. The jam band consisting of J.B. Williams (guitar/vocals), Justin Handel (bass/vocals), Zach Von Stein (drums), and Pete Neel (keyboards) just started gaining visibility in the area in the fall of last year with gigs at Mullet's, el Bait Shop, and Wing Ding 2012.
Old Road Riot is a psychedelic jam band out of Ames. Their music is a blend of classic rock, folk, funk, modern dance, and indie rock. You can listen to ORR's two albums See One, Take One and Live at the Chesterfield on Grooveshark. The band consists of David Koithan (vocals/bass/guitar), Jeff Koithan (vocals/guitar), Clayton Davis (guitar), and Dan Hartnett (drums).
Mr. Baber's Neighbors are a Des Moines bluegrass band that has been a Central Iowa favorite for years. The "Solar String Band" consisting of Paul Perkins (banjo/vocals), Jeff Blanchard (guitar/vocals), Jerry Hoehle (bass fiddle/vocals), Billy Kearney (fiddle/mandolin/vocals), and Charlie Formaro (dobro) has played throughout the Midwest and are veterans of festivals like 80/35, Wakarusa, Camp Euforia, and Little Big Fest.
The final competitor is Aquamarine Dream Machine. The Des Moines-based Psychedelic Jam Rock band consisting of Daniel Wipf (guitars/vocals), Joseph Antelman (keyboards/percussion), Justin Kurtz (bass), Nikolai Charikov (drums), and Erik Brown (trumpet) has developed quite a following in Central Iowa. You can check out a sample of the band's music below, and if you like what you see, you can track down some of their songs on iTunes.
This year's Summer Camp Music Festival will feature performances from Umphrey's McGee, the Trey Anastasio Band, The Avett Brothers, Big Gigantic, Yonder Mountain String Band, Cornmeal, Family Groove Company, and moe. In all, there will be over 75 artists on 7 stages. For more information about the Summer Camp Music Festival or Summer Camp on the Road, visit the festival's website.