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Published: 2007/05/29

Precious moe.ments From Summer Camp

One of the weekends largest multi-band gatherings, Summer Camp, took place in rural Illinois from Friday afternoon through Sunday. After some speculation, the veteran Midwest festival returned to its longtime home at Chillicothe ILs Three Sisters Park, with anchor band moe. offering three shows, Umphreys McGee offering two performances and Keller Williams debuting his new WMDs (which features String Cheese Incident bassist Keith Moseley, guitarist Gibb Droll and Aquarium Rescue Unit/Trey Anastasio Band drummer Jeff Sipe). In addition, the festival boasted performances by Les Claypool, Medeski Martin & Wood, Galactic, The Wailers, Future Rock, Tea Leaf Green, New Monsoon, Oteil and the Peacemakers, Hot Buttered Rum, Toubab Krewe, Assembly of Dust, U-Melt and Vince Hermans Great American Taxi. U-Melt offered the weekends first sit in, inviting out moe. guitarist Chuck Garvey for a cover of the Beatles ‘Tomorrow Never Knows’ early Friday. The rising quartet, who are featured in the June issue of Relix, have played with the members of moe. on several occasions, with Al Schnier, Vinnie Amico and Garvey each having made a guest appearance with the group since 2004.

Always the most social of hosts, on Friday moe. brought out Assembly of Dust for one of its now signature full-band stage switches. First, former Percy Hill/current Assembly of Dust keyboardist Nate Wilson appeared on St. Augustine, before all of Assembly of Dust filtered onstage for a handoff which resulted in a throwback to Reid Genauers Strangefolk days, Westerly. Schnier and Rob Derhak also made a guest appearance with Assembly of Dust during it set, joining their old friends for Songs We Sing. During moe.s final show Sunday, Umphreys McGee drummer Kris Myers emerged for Y.O.Y., while Macpodz trumpeter Ross Huff played on Yodelittle.
Not to be outdone, Umphreys McGee brought out high-profile guests during both of its performances as well. On Friday, recent Chicago transplant Jen Hartswick supplied vocals on the first version of No Ordinary Love since August 8, 2004. Then, on Saturday, moe.s Jim Loughlin played percussion, fittingly, on Ringo. Umphreys McGees Brendan Bayliss also scored some sit in points, helping Tea Leaf Green close its set by playing guitar on the Tea Leaf Green original Sex in the 70’s.
Perhaps the weekends most intriguing collaborations took place late at night in Summer Camps enclosed, and air conditioned, barn. As promised in the weeks leading up to the festival, moe. and Umphreys McGee played a Tag Team show, with all members of both groups, as well as various crew members, filtering on and off the stage throughout the night. The evening began with Umphreys McGee showing off their hip-hop skills, before, one by one, the members of moe. took the stage for a night of unique pairings.
The extended set, which meshed together into a single medley of nonstop music, included material by both groups, such as moe.s Timmy Tucket and Umphreys McGees Partyin’ Peeps, as well as covers like Van Halens Runnin With The Devil,
Bob Marleys Stir it Up and Metallicas Enter Sandman. Tea Leaf Green keyboardist Trevor Garrod also played on Timmy Tucker, while Umphreys McGees Brendan Bayliss and Ryan Stasik showed off their feminine side by playing in drag after losing a bet with moe. The evening concluded with an all-star take on Talking Heads Life During Wartime.
Looking ahead, while at Summer Camp moe. confirmed that it would return to Illinois in August for an appearance at Chicagos Lollapalooza.

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