Here we are, smack in the middle of the summer music season. We've seen festivals big and small, local bands touring all over the country, and new artists from hip-hop to folk, funk to bluegrass, jam band to electro and everything in between.
This summer has been a whirlwind of insane music performances, from Phish and Dead and Co. on their respective tours to festivals both titanic and microscopic. Many of these bigger tour dates feature pre and post-show events as well, and both local and touring artists are putting together innovative tributes to these legendary musical figures.
One of the best things about the current music scene is the way different styles come together to give the listener a new experience. Festivals are the best example of this, where funk, jam band, bluegrass, electronic, jazz, reggae, soul, and more co-exist.
Festival season is in full swing! All over the country people are traveling hundreds of miles, enduring adverse weather, and sleeping on the hard ground, all to see the music they love. It’s a great community that provides an escape from the drudgery of daily existence and memories for a lifetime.
Summer music season is at our doorstep. We're dusting off our dancing shoes, planning out travel routes, budgeting for all the unexpected expenses that will inevitably occur (I have terrible impulse control), and most of all, excitedly discussing the upcoming shows from our favorite artists.
I realize my column lately has been pretty focused on Summer Camp. While that is a great weekend and you should definitely go, it turns out the music doesn’t stop there! With that in mind, here are some albums that have been on repeat for me lately, and I hope you enjoy them as much as I do (this might stretch out a bit).
1. The Flying Burrito Brothers – The Gilded Palace of Sin
When I went to my first Summer Camp in 2012, I was blown away by the sheer amount of music the weekend had in store. There were so many artists I had never heard of, not to mention a whole scene to learn the ropes of. In any case, as my brain began to wrap around the concept, I started to check out some of the smaller bands, since that’s where you tend to find the gems.
In the last few years, Champaign-Urbana has really become a hotbed of musical creativity of all kinds. The weekly shows downtown in the warm months, the revolving door of acts playing the Canopy Club, and the local artists just making music for the sake of making music.