Camp Barefoot 2012 in Pictures
- By Marc Shapiro
- Published on August 28, 2012
The beautiful mountains of Bartow, West Virginia were the picturesque setting for Camp Barefoot 6, a relaxed festival that felt more like a commune than a concert.
Camp Barefoot perfectly balanced keeping the festival small and intimate with a lineup that boasted national acts and jam scene staples. While a number of bands local to Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia had the chance to rock Barefoot, they were joined by big names like Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe, Keller Williams, Ghostland Observatory, Kyle Hollingsworth, Rubblebucket, Dumpstaphunk, The Motet and many more.
With the two main stages literally right next to each other, and the other stages situated among campsites, everything seemed to be a stone’s throw away from whatever spot you were at. With that kind of setup, it was hard to find anyone short of glowing.
“There’s not a lot of people out here for the wrong reasons,” said The Mantras guitarist Keith Allen. “It seems like most people want to come and see a good variety of music.”
And variety they got. The audience got funked by bands like Dumpastaphunk, The Pimps of Joytime and The Motet; got their jam on with Kyle Hollingsworth and The Werks; and got heavy doses of electronic music from Ghostland Observatory, Brothers Past, Archnemesis and Zoogma.
“I don’t even know how to put it into words,” said Ras Puma, a vocalist from Thievery Corporation who sat in with several bands on reggae covers throughout the weekend. “Just a ton of good vibes.”
When Headstash caught up with Zach Deputy, one of the weekend’s most anticipated performers, he was literally barefoot and drinking kombucha. He had two sets at the festival, but knew not to take it too seriously, calling the festival “a very unstressful situation.”
“I didn’t even write a setlist for the first one,” he said. “My approach is to maybe try to make a setlist happen for the second one.”
Deputy sat in with Tiny Boxes, Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe and Keller Williams, with whom he performed a cover of Harry Belafonte’s “Man Smart, Woman Smarter.”
That collaboration was one of many covers throughout the weekend. On Thursday, The Mantras covered Umphrey’s McGee’s “Hurt Bird Bath” and Meat Puppets’ “Lake of Fire,” That 1 Guy closed with Cameo’s “Word Up” and Dumpstaphunk played David Bowie’s “Fame” and Funkadelic’s “One Nation Under a Groove.”
Friday wasn’t as cover heavy with the headliners, but The Motet was joined by Ras Puma for some classic roots reggae in Steel Pulse’s “Steppin’ Out” as well as an original song from Puma’s DC-based band, The Archives. The Motet, with its funk and Afrobeat-infused jams, also played grooves from several songs by Fela Kuti, the pioneer of Afrobeat music.
Saturday night had one of the most surprising, yet well-received covers, when Karl Denson busted out his flute and Tiny Universe played an instrumental version of The Beastie Boys’ “Sure Shot.”
Ras Puma, who sang with about half of a dozen bands throughout the weekend, said Barefoot really sticks out compared to some of the other festivals he has played.
“It’s just different,” he said. “Its feels like a community. Feels like you’re at home.”
Although it was a rainy Thursday, Freedom Enterprise warmed up the audience with its riff-heavy brand of funky rock and blues. The band features saxophone player Patrick Rainey, a member of iconic (but now-defunct) Baltimore band, The Bridge.
That 1 Guy, one of Camp Barefoot’s more unusual acts, plays the magic pipe, a homemade instrument with two rubber strings and buttons that make a variety of far-out and not-so-far-out sounds.
Nick Daniels (left) and Ian Neville (right) of Dumpstaphunk get funky on Thursday night. With the rain stopped and the crowd warmed up from That 1 Guy, Dumpstaphunk got the dance party is full force with its super-tight brand of heavy New Orleans funk.
Ivan Neville, Dumpstaphunk’s leader, tells the crowd it’s time to dance its worries away Thursday night. Dumpstaphunk has New Orleans royalty in its bloodline – Ivan and Ian are the sons of Neville Brothers Aaron and Art, respectively. Its members have shared the stage with acts like Beyoncé, The Funky Meters, Etta James, Trey Anastasio and many others.
The Motet Horn Ensemble played with Sting Cheese Incident keyboardist Kyle Hollingsworth’s band on Thursday. In between the upbeat jams, Thievery Corporation vocalist Ras Puma sang a chilled-out version of “Stir It Up” and came back later for an original song from his DC-based band, The Archives. The band also covered some Grateful Dead, playing “Slipknot > Franklin’s Tower.”
Some friendly festivalgoers help Pigeons Playing Ping Pong get their van out of the mud on Friday morning in time for the band’s 12:45 p.m. set. After Thursday’s downpour, Pigeons weren’t the only ones stuck in the mud.
A hammock hangs under a misspelled sign bearing a good message for the weekend. No campsite was too sunny at Camp Barefoot, with ample trees offering shade and a great place to hang hammocks and tarps.
Live painters created psychedelic canvasses as bands played throughout the weekend. Here, an artist paints his masterpiece during Pigeons Playing Ping Pong at the Cary Street Café Stage.
Pigeons Playing Ping Pong packed the Cary Street Café Stage, one of the festival’s smaller and less traveled stages, for an early afternoon set of jammed out funk on Friday. The band posted flyers and put up signs throughout Camp Barefoot advertising the set.
Patrick Rainey (sax) of Freedom Enterprise sits in with Pigeons for “Super Funk Regulator Robot Step Squad and the Double Dutch Team.” The song is a funky instrumental by quintessential Baltimore band The Bridge, a band Rainey was a member of until they disbanded last November.
Brent Vaughn of The Mantras moves over to his congas so Geoff Bakel, drummer of Former Champions, can join him during The Mantras’ Friday afternoon set. The band just finished recording a new album with Umphrey’s McGee guitarist Jake Cinninger, who produced the album and graced a couple of songs with his facemelting guitar chops. The band covered Umphrey’s “Hurt Bird Bath” during its Thursday set, and ended Friday’s set with Led Zeppelin’s “No Quarter.”
Camp Barefoot was set in the beautiful West Virginia mountains. The weekend offered a chance for everyone to truly unplug since there was no cell phone service on the mountain or for miles around. That didn’t seem to bother the audience, who could see mountains on all sides, wash off and swim in a flowing river, or go for hikes to find better mountain views.
Ben White of Former Champions adds layers of synthesizers to the band’s electro-rock sound on Friday. Former Champions, who also played Thursday late night, were one of many live electro bands, with their sound bringing guitar, harmony vocals and a variety of percussive soundscapes to the table.
Zach Deputy’s first set of the weekend included “Shark Fin,” a song he said he only plays in West Virginia. Things got freaky, and Deputy was soon singing to the audience to watch out for ‘sharkies on bath salt’ in the river.
Colorado-based Euforquestra played on the Cary Street Café Stage during Rubblebucket’s Friday night set. The band’s funked-out Afrojams provided an alternative dance party to those who didn’t want to hang at the packed main stage area.
Rubblebucket’s Kalmia Traver belts it during the band’s Friday night set. When she wasn’t exploring her tranquil, adventurous vocal range, she would be playing baritone saxophone with the band’s trombone and trumpet players.
Rubblebucket doesn’t just play music from the stage, the band sent giant robots into the crowd to dance, trumpet player Alex Toth crowd surfed as he soloed, and Kalmia popped up in the crowd playing her sax during the show. To keep the crowd interaction going after the show, Kalmia offered to meet fans and paint their faces.
Ghostland Observatory had some of the most extravagant, out of this world lasers and fog machines. Not only did the lasers shine to the ends of Camp Barefoot, the fog machines placed in the crowd created laser clouds that engulfed the campsites. The duo’s hyperactive brand of electronic music included live vocals (that sounded akin to Rage Against the Machine’s Zach de la Rocha) and guitar from frontman Aaron Behrens.
Some traveled to Camp Barefoot in tripped out vehicles like this one, which was conveniently parked next to one of the paths between the vendors and Cary Street Café Stage. At night, a strobe light flashed on another mannequin sitting in the driver’s seat.
Dave Fullerton of Baltimore band Deaf Scene headbangs as he fingertaps during the band’s Saturday morning set. Although it started at 11 a.m., Deaf Scene got the early morning party going with its blend of chilled out grooves, hard rockin’ beats and psychedelic guitar riffs.
Crucial Elements provided some early afternoon roots reggae on Saturday. Ras Puma surfaced once again, to join them for Bob Marley and The Wailers classics “One Drop” and “Crazy Baldheads.”
The river that flows through Camp Barefoot provided a quiet place to meditate, wash off your feet or even go swimming if you could brave the cold water.
The Judy Chops stage was hidden back in one the camping areas. It gave some bands their only performance, and provided others a second chance to perform or a chance to perform solo.
Erika Bresnan (left) and Marisa Cascia (right) of Westminster, MD, do some yoga by their camp on Saturday. With more than 12 hours of music to dance to each day, most Camp Barefoot attendees could have greatly benefitted from some exercises such as this.
Ras Puma, a vocalist with Thievery Corporation, sat in with bands like The Motet, Kyle Hollingsworth and more throughout the weekend, joining them for reggae classics from artist like Bob Marley and Steel Pulse. Here, he performs Steel Pulse classic “Rollerskates” with the Jesse Chong Band.
In the main vendor area, a variety of artists sold their art, a lot of obviously drawing on psychedelic influences. Other festival staples, like tie dye shirts, glass pipes, hemp necklaces and precious stones could be purchased as well.
Farm animals could be seen inside of several fences throughout the property. Goats were kept near the main stage area, and donkeys were in an area near the Judy Chops stage.
Big Daddy Love, who call themselves “Appalachian rock” played a perfect bluegrass cover of Guns N’ Roses’ “Sweet Child O’ Mine” during its second set on Saturday. The band kept the song true to its original form, even playing guitar solos note for note, but gave it a full bluegrass treatment.
Zach Deputy had some help at his Saturday night set. After being joined by a hula hooper for a few songs, he had two topless bodypainted girls shake it as he breezed through danceable loops.
Following Zach Deputy was another much-anticipating looping performer, Keller Williams. His set included “Best Feeling,” a song from his collaborations with String Cheese Incident, and a cover of The Talking Heads’ “This Must Be the Place.”
Keller was joined by his brother in looping, Zach Deputy, for a cover of Harry Belafonte’s “Man Smart, Woman Smarter.” Although the two were all smiles once they got going, Keller did have to remind Zach to “take off your motherfuckin’ shoes when you’re on my rug,” which he sang to beat of his drum loop.
Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe, joined by members of the DJ Williams Projekt, played a mostly instrumental set of its well-polished horn heavy funk. The band focused mainly on new material, but dug into “Satisfied” off of its 2002’s debut, The Bridge.
Highlights of the Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe set included a sit-in from Zach Deputy, who referred to Karl as his “brotha from another mutha” during his set and a surprise cover of The Beastie Boys’ “Sure Shot,” which Denson nailed on the flute.
Following Karl Denson, the Pimps of Joytime kept the dance party going with their brand of rockin’ funk and soul. One of more the atypical lineups, the band featured guitar, bass and drums, and two female singers who both play percussion.
Sunday was Camp Barefoot’s Bluegrass Jamboree, which allowed concertgoers to unwind with some acoustic music as they readied themselves for the journey home. Tara Mills and Strings Attached are pictured here performing on the Eagles Nest Outfitters Stage.
Camp Barefoot 6 had an intimate, laid back vibe that allowed artists, musicians and fans to co-exist for one perfect weekend in the mountains that was all about the music and the community.
[Photographs by Marc Shapiro.]
Find more information about Camp Barefoot 6 on their official website.