Summer Camp Music Festival Artist Spotlight — Sister Sparrow and the Dirty Birds

Simply Shawn N Jenn Disclosure

One of the bands that I am very eager to see again is Sister Sparrow and the Dirty Birds.  I love a band that puts on a good stage show and I feel like they put on one of the best.

Summer Camp logo

My very first artist interviews happened at Phases of the Moon. I remember being so nervous and feeling like a fish out of water. I was welcomed and greeted by the bands that I spoke with and some of them made me feel so welcome. One of those artists was Arleigh Kincheloe from Sister Sparrow and the Dirty Birds. Her soulful vocals are truly something that you should be sure to catch this year at Summer Camp 2016. I am so excited that she is going to be there and I, for one, am going to be headed to wherever she is at as I can’t imagine missing her set.


Photo was taken from the band’s website.  Credit to photographer Joshua Timmermans.

Sitting down with Arleigh Kincheloe was like sitting with my long lost college roommate and catching up. Her friendly demeanor and instantly fun personality took over and I had a great time getting to know her. I recently pulled this interview from Phases of the Moon from the blog so that I could run it again and share with you all a little bit about her passions and her inspirations. In all of my time of doing interviews, there have only been two times where I have ever felt this at ease and Arleigh made me feel so welcome….like I was really a friend that she just was catching up with and hadn’t seen in a while.
What is it that you hope that your music invokes in people?

“I actually think about that a lot. I started singing when I was really little kid. I was like nine. I think one of the reasons that I fell in love with it was become of the responses and reactions. I could see what it did to other people and I was like oh I can do something that makes other people happy in some small way. Even in the body language or the facial expressions watching someone perk up. As a small child that was probably something that I really loved, although I couldn’t articulate that until now. I get a lot of joy out of it and obviously that’s what I want. I want people to feel that through me and have similar experiences. That’s one of the main reasons that I do it. I don’t know what other artists would say that their motivation is but that’s huge.”

Where does your passion come from?

“Sometimes I don’t know. It feels like a very deep seeded natural organic thing that just sort of flows out. I think that when you are doing something that you love sometimes it is hard to explain why. I guess it feels like home a lot. Being up there I feel very comfortable. I have been doing it for most of my life so it brings me to a simpler time when there wasn’t all of this other stuff going on. You just get up there and sing. You are just in the moment where you are free simple and full of pure joy.”

When you were little and performing, what types of places did you perform at?

“Well my parents were in a band. They had a bluesy rocky funky cover band. They were just playing like Stones songs and The Band…that kind of stuff. They would play in dive bars or in weddings. So, I definitely remember being in a really shady Red Roof Inn bar when I was like twelve. That is one of the memories that I have very clearly. Of course, you could smoke back then so they were like she’s our daughter. She is allowed to come in the bar. I don’t know how that’s possible, but I guess it was different times back then. It was a lot of weird stuff that actually prepared me for what I do now. We do a lot of weird bars. Sometimes you even wonder should I even be in here?. It’s a fun experience to just sit and think back on. Like, what were my parents thinking.”

Do your parents still come and see you a lot now?

“Yeah, my dad’s band has opened for us. It was really cute. It was in our hometown in upstate New York. He still plays some percussion and stuff. And my mom lives in the city so she comes to all of our New York shows.”

Do you play in New York a lot?

“Not really any more. We used to but now days it’s like every three or four months because we are just touring all of the time.”

What do you hope to do in the future?

“I guess in a broad way I just want to keep doing this. I love touring. I really do. So, I want to make sure that it’s always a part of what we do.”

How many shows do you do a year on average?

“We average around 150. With booking 150 dates and travel days, we are out for over 200. We’re not home very often but when we are out we try to have a comfortable pace. Otherwise we just get so burned out. And of course we are traveling in a van and van touring is a lot more wear and tear on your body. You’re in a van all day and you have to stop and sleep in a hotel. We have a nice van too and I guess I’m lucky because I can sleep in a van since I’m itty bitty but the boys have a hard time.”

“I see bands like, a lot of bands playing this festival….watching Tedeschi Trucks because they are like my favorite band. I love them so much! And that’s kind of been an inspiration. I want to get to a point where we are on the same path that they are now. Obviously it’s going to take a lot of work and a lot of years. I see how much work they put into it and their whole lives, just earning that place. They’re so deserving.”

We talked a little bit about Derek Trucks and my own husband seeing him in the parking lot of a Phish show with a little cardboard sign that had his name written on it in permanent marker.

“I saw him when he was really young. I was still in high school and he’s not much older than me….he’s what 35. He must have been in his early twenties. That’s crazy! And he was phenomenal and I was like who is this kid?!?. “

Do you go to a lot of their shows whenever you can catch them?

“Yeah, we’ve had the pleasure to share festival stages. This year, I think that this is our third, no maybe fourth time. It is so great because then you get to hang out. It is so nice to just be able to hear them, let alone to be able to tell them how much you enjoy their show. I was so intimidated at first with introducing myself. I was so scared and she was immediately so sweet and so chill and made me feel so comfortable. It was really heartwarming to know that people are good, even if they are that talented…they’re still just people.”

Who are your musical influences?

“I grew up listening to a ton of Bonnie Raitt, EmmyLou Harris, Little Feat, The Band….that kind of stuff. In my parents house growing up with that it’s kind of eclectic…weekends it would be classical music. Then my mom is into Graham Parsons and Patsy Klein, more old country music and my dad was more into the Grateful Dead. I got a good range of Americana. As I got older and was on my own, I got more into soul. I listened to a lot of Aretha Franklin, Etta James, and Stevie Wonder. The roots are in the stuff that my parents listened to and I still find myself listening to that type of music more now. I have been through the gamet as to what type of musical tastes I might have acquired. At the end of the day, it’s like no just give me some Bonnie and I will be cool.”

So, what type of stuff do you listen to?

“As I said Tedeschi Trucks right now…I’m obsessed with them. The last couple of years I haven’t been able to really stop listening to them. The Wood Brothers for me right now…love them. I mean, I’ve been a fan of theirs for a long time. I try to branch out. I’m one of the worst people about new music and I have a hard time finding it or listening to it. I don’t actually listen to a lot of radio. I try to branch out but the boys always make fun of me. I’m such a creature of habit. I just want to listen to the albums that I love….like that you can sing along to. Especially when I’m driving, I want to have my records on.”

What do you not prefer to listen to?

“I guess it comes down to being able to sing along to it. So for me if it’s really far out there experimental jazz stuff…like free jazz; I have a hard time really digging my heels into that. I can listen to it and appreciate it but I’m not like wooo. But some of the guys, it really gets them going and it’s a very different palette than what I came from. I listened to a lot of hip hop growing up because my older sister was really into Biggie. Then my brother got into Emenem so there is a whole different side as well. That comes out sometimes when I’m singing and I have a little bit of a percussive way. Sometimes I will be a little rappy when I do the lines. It probably comes from being in high school and listening to TuPac.”

What are dream stages? If you could play anywhere in the world, where would you want to play?

“I’m looking forward to the day that I can go to, let alone play, the Red Rocks. I’ve never even gone there. I just hear that it is supposed to be such a phenomenon. For some reason the Hollywood Bowl is in my head as one of those places. I feel like I’ve had a lot of really amazing opportunities to play a lot of really amazing stages. We played at the Beacon with Gov’t Mule…two New Year’s Eves ago. And that was one of those is this really happening moments. I try to take it all with a grain of salt. Every one accomplishment that you have is going to be backed up with like seven disappointments. So you just have to keep the wheel spinning.”

It was so refreshing to hear an artist talk about being a fan and to talk with her about her goals and aspirations.  She truly is a one of a kind performer but she’s an even more amazing person and one that I hope to catch up with a bit this year at Summer Camp.

Summer’s Coming and You Know the Hottest Place to Be is Summer Camp Music Festival 2016

Simply Shawn N Jenn Disclosure

Summer Camp logo

The 16th annual Summer Camp Music Festival is going to be one amazing weekend of music and fun.  Each year, I fall a little more in love with my Summer Camp family.  Yes the people in my family change from time to time but I can always be certain that it is going to be a good time.  As a mom, I have found that festivals are no longer the same that they were without kids….but that does not mean that I still can not go and have an amazing time.  Actually, when my children go with me, it becomes a magical family experience that is honestly one of our children’s favorites.

The 2016 Summer Camp Music Festival Line Up

Of course one of the first things that you are going to want to check out is the line up for this year’s festival.  The bands that are coming this year include old favorites as well as new bands that I want to check out and bands that I have always wanted to see.

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Get Your Tickets Now….Before It’s Too Late

Of course, you are going to want to pick up your tickets so that you can see all of the amazing talent that will be at Summer Camp Music Festival 2016.  You can get your tickets here.


Phases of the Moon Music and Arts Festival — A Look Back at 2014 and This Year’s Ticketing Options #Phases2015 #SeeYouatPhases

Simply Shawn N Jenn Disclosure

Surviving Flash Floods, Seeing Amazing Music and Art – All Possible with Phases of the Moon Music and Arts Festival


Music and art lovers from around the United States traveled to Danville, IL for the first ever Phases of the Moon Music and Arts Festival from September 11th-14th. While many were greeted with less than desirable conditions, the spirit of the festival was like being among a group of your closest friends and family.

Torrential Storms Leave Problems that Organizers Were Quick to Try and Solve


Starting on Wednesday night organizers allowed the first patrons to enter the park. Due to intense storms that included torrential downpours, many of the campsites were left underwater. Campgrounds had to be moved and changed based on the areas that were able to support the weight of vehicles and campers. This did cause there to be a few times when gates were closed and attendees were unable to enter the park, but festival promoters and staff were working non-stop to make every effort possible to have the areas safe and ready for those entering.

Despite having Mother Nature be against them, festival promoters chose to make it their mission to have the best festival conditions possible. This included trucking in several tons of gravel and sod while using equipment to dig out and move mud. Helicopters were even brought in to hover close to the ground in an effort to help dry the ground. The efforts were not left unnoticed and many festival goers could be heard talking about everything that they were seeing take place.

While it is expectant that festival promoters would do what they could to make things safe and comfortable for the attendees, it was surprising to hear about how the entire community of Danville came together. In a press release issued by the organizers, it was mentioned that the Sheriff’s Department, Mayor’s Office, and Visitors Bureau were among the groups that were providing assistance to the organizers to ensure that everyone had a safe and comfortable festival.

Many festival goers were bussed back and forth from their cars that were parked at the Vermilion County Speedway and the Vermilion Regional Airport. Co-founder Barry Shear stated “The rain came in pretty hard and left sections of the park underwater, making things very challenging. We are so grateful for the cooperation from area officials, who have been working around the clock with us. Most of all grateful to the fans who have been so patient while trying to enter the park after traveling great distances. This festival is for them. THEY are the festival. THEY are the community we have strived to create at Phases. The whole concept of Phases of the Moon doesn’t exist without them. We are doing everything we can to continue to get everyone in here as quickly and safely as possible. And it seems to have worked. That’s all that matters to us at this time.”

The Sweet Sounds of Music


From the time that artist in residence David Gans opened the festival with an intimate show that was enjoyed by festival goers old and young alike to the final moments when he closed the festival with the Rumpke Mountain Boys there was no stop to the amazing music that was seen.


Highlights of the festival included top notch performances by nationally touring headlining acts including: The String Cheese Incident, Widespread Panic, Railroad Earth, Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, Chris Robinson Brotherhood, Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe, Tedeschi Trucks Band, Gov’t Mule, and Robert Randolph & The Family Band.

One of the things that was so amazing about the festival is how the different performers were perceived. Many times when watching the crowd you could not determine whether those in attendance were listening to one of their old favorites that they had been following for years or a new band that they were hearing for the first time.

For many the top show was the amazing Lunar Conspiracy Landing that was curated by the String Cheese Incident. It was amazing to see the many different artists interacting together to create some amazing music and have the performance of the festival. The performance of “Bad Moon Rising” with JJ Grey and Bill Payne (of Little Feat) was a favorite of the weekend for many festival goers. Vince Herman, the Mofro Horns, Sunshine Garcia, and Andy Thorn also graced the stage during the show.

Grace Potter and the Nocturnals put on a show that was filled with light, love, and soul. It was so strong that you could almost feel her passion radiating from her during the set. Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe was another favorite full of high energy and a lot of fun for those who were dancing in the crowd.

Widespread Panic put on shows that were filled with power and kept fans wishing for more despite the frigid temperatures that they were experiencing during the show. Even the late night sets had a lot of festival goers in attendance despite the fact that at times it reached to temperatures below 40 degrees.

Along side these well known acts were many amazing bands and artists that gained an instant following of new fans. Among these were The California Honeydrops, The Brothers Comatose, Sam Bush Band, Sister Sparrow and the Dirty Birds, and Clare Dunn.

During some time spent talking with Clare Dunn it was easy to forget that she was a performer as talking with her was like talking to an old friend. She was very gracious about her performance at the festival and about her fans. Coming from very humble roots she brings something new to the stage and a performance that brought about many new fans, including those who were not traditionally fans of country music.

The Sanctuary


While there was so much musical talent where POTM seemed to go above and beyond was all of the additional things that were taking place on the festival grounds. There was a Santuary area that offered workshops, yoga classes, healing massage, and even a sound immersion experience.

The Sanctuary had a full schedule and line up of events. Many festival goers raved about the fun that they had at the yoga classes. One of the best things about these is that there was yoga available for beginners, families, and even those who had been practicing for years.

Spiritual healing was also taking place during the festival. Along with the spiritual healing came amazing healing through the power of touch and massage. There was a great massage area where attendees could sign up for a time to come back and enjoy a great massage.

Workshops made it possible for festival goers to learn new things. There were workshops available on many different topics. One could learn how to become more independent and have more confidence, how to hula hoop, and even how to reduce their carbon footprint.

The Crescent Moon Kids Camp


The Crescent Moon Kids Camp area featured art supplies and games for children of all ages. Children and families could be seen at the camp throughout the weekend. There was a very popular tire swing, an area where children could express themselves creatively, a small area for dress up, and even circus performers for entertainment.

Thanks to the dress up area and props children could pose for some crazy photographs for their parents. Then they could take a turn with one of the many hula hoops that could be found lying around in front of the camp tent. Children were even invited to participate in the parade with the circus performers on the last day of the festival with these props and toys in hand.

One of the best possible quotes from the festival occurred when 3 or 4 year old boy dressed as an astronaut saw the performers on stilts. He started jumping up and down and running to get a closer look, yelling “look at the big humans.” It was an adorable moment that witnesses would be sure to remember for years to come.

Sharing the Need to Give Back and Become Involved

Participation Row offered festival goers a way to give back with The Conscious Alliance, Head Count, and Love Hope Strength among others. You could easily become a marrow donor, register to vote, donate food, and help spread the word about cleaning up after yourself and protecting the environment while attending the festival.

Throughout the Phases of the Moon Festival The Conscious Alliance was on site collecting canned goods and non-perishable food items to distribute to food banks in local Illinois communities. In exchange for donating 20 items one could receive a limited edition festival poster.

Head Count was on site as well. One could sign up to vote in their tent or with one of the many volunteers who were walking around the ground with clipboards in hand. They could be seen educating people about their right to vote and the freedom of choice that voting allows everyone to have.

In today’s world it is hard to believe that you can easily save a life with something as simple as a bone marrow donation. Love Hope Strength has made it their mission to attend music events and get people registered as bone marrow donors. Samples can be obtained with a painless mouth swab. It’s amazing to think that swabbing your mouth at a festival can lead to saving a life in the future.

From Tradition to New Age – A Look at the Art of Phases of the Moon

The art that could be seen included many amazing and skilled artists, photographers, and artistic performers. There were different various art shows as well as live art happening. Plus there were a number of amazing large scale art pieces that could be seen throughout the festival grounds.

With so many performing artists on hand there was no end to the places where you could see performances. Sometimes it was possible to catch a performer joining a band on stage. Other times you could catch performers in the crowds. The Nomadic Circus was a treat for those who were interested in something a little out of the ordinary.

Laser lights, fires, hula hoops, and many unique contraptions were used in conjunction with music to entertain the crowds who were hoping to see something that they had not seen before. On many occasions it was not unusual to see someone who was walking through the performing arts stage stopping to take a look at a performance that was happening at the time.

Visual arts could also be seen throughout the festival grounds. From time to time there were art galleries or showings in different tents at the festival. There were also many amazing art sculptures. One of these was done by Nature Dreamweaver and was a unique circular stick structure that you could sit in the middle of while enjoying some live music.

In addition there were many Guildworks creations throughout the festival grounds helping to separate stage and tent areas while leaving festival goers with a little something extra to look at. Art lovers could even watch artists create some amazing pieces of art and paintings, some of which could be purchased during the festival.

The Spin Art Crew was even on site to power the Charon by Peter Hudson which was an amazing site to see. It was a huge wheel with skeletons on it that seemed to dance as the human powered zoetrope moved. Many lights and creative light up exhibits were also evidenced throughout the festival grounds for the enjoyment of the attendees.

It was a well rounded experience and one that will be sure to leave a stamp on the hearts of those who were in attendance this year. Depsite the problems with weather and having gates closed many festival goers could be heard talking about how they were excited to be headed back to Danville for the second Phases of the Moon Music and Arts Festival next year.

Are You Ready for 2015???

One thing is for certain after the amazing time that I had with my family at the 2014 Phases of the Moon Music and Arts Festival, I am excited to check out what they are going to offer in 2015.  If you have not purchased your tickets yet then you need to get on the ball so that you can see me at Phases.

General Admission — Full Event

This year things have changed a bit on ticketing.  In fact you are going to have to purchase your camping and parking passes separate from your tickets.   When you purchase the General Admission tickets you are gaining access to the festival grounds from Friday October 16th, 2015 through Sunday October 18th, 2015.   You also gain access to the late night shows.

They are on Phase 3 now of pricing and tickets will run you $179.95 or you can get set up on a 3 payment plan for payments of $80.95.

Saturday + Sunday — Weekender Pass

The Saturday + Sunday Weekender Pass is going to allow you access to the festival grounds on Saturday October 17th and Sunday October 18th, 2015.  Camping is also not included in the weekender pass so you will have to purchase that separately.

VIP — Full Event

One of the biggest advantages of VIP camping is that you get next to car camping for free with this option.  That means that you are going to be able to camp next to your car without the additional charges that are included with the regular ticketing.  You are also able to get into the grounds a day early on Thursday October 15th starting at 4 pm.  VIP ticketing also includes up front viewing stages, meals, drinks, showers, private lounges, group campfires, VIP gifts, and discounts on alcohol.

VIP Passes start at just $524.95 or $190.97 if you choose to go with a payment plan.

Camping Passes

Camping passes are sold per vehicle.  Early entry camping passes can be purchased for $79…these allow you to enter on Thursday instead of waiting until Friday like the general population of the festival.

Next to car camping is $55.95 and allows you to park next to your car so that you do not have to carry all of your gear in.  (TIP:  If you are taking children this is something that I would consider necessary.)

Tent only camping is just $29 but you will have to carry in all of your gear.

Reserved Camping Sites are already sold out, so unless they release more this is no longer an option for you.

RV Ticketing

If you are planning on bringing an RV then you are going to need special ticketing for that.  RV Reserved is already sold out like the Reserved Camping.

RV Unreserved is primitive so you will not be able to hook up to any power.  This camping is going to cost you $259.95 per spot.

RV in VIP is still available but you have to call and make special plans to be able to take advantage of these camping spots.  To put in your request you can send an email to

Ticketing Add – Ons

There are a few ticketing add ons that are special upgrades that you can take advantage of.  These include the following two options:

Camping Gear Rental from Get Outfitted is available to you.  This is a really cool program that I have not used but find to be something that you would find super handy if you were staying in one of the camping spots that are not by your car.  You can choose from a number of packages to reserve the camping gear that you need for the festival and make your life a lot easier, you even get to avoid the majority of the packing.

Shower Pass is something else that I have not seen before.  The Shower Pass is coming soon and will offer you unlimited showers during the festival for $29.95.

Where to Order?

You can order your tickets online or you can pick them up at a local ticket outlet that offers them.

Phases of the Moon Music and Arts Festival — Line Up Additions Announced #Phases2015 #SeeYouatPhases

Simply Shawn N Jenn Disclosure

Have you seen the newest additions to the 2015 lineup for the Phases of the Moon Music and Arts Festival?

If you haven’t I have got to share with you the great bands that have been added to their already amazing line up.

Warren Haynes and The Ashes & Dust Band

Warren Hayns

Most people know who Warren Haynes is.  This addition has many fans cheering as they are hoping to hear old favorites and new music now that he is performing with a new band, The Ashes & Dust Band.  As a grammy award winning artist, Warren Haynes can offer you something that other artists can not.  He can offer you a fresh take on some of your favorite music and even more.

Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe (spotlight and artist interview coming this week!)

Karl Denson

One of the highlights of Phases of the Moon 2014 was getting to meet the legend Karl Denson.  He has such a vast and exciting music career that it was really amazing to sit down and chat with him about what life was like on the road and more.  He was so warm and welcoming that he made me feel right at home during the interview even though I was probably a little starstruck.  His musical achievements have included more than just performing with his own band, he has actually performed with bands from around the world including The Rolling Stones.

Additional Artists Added

There were a few additional artists that were announced in this level 2 line up as well.  They included Birdcloud, Blaine Cartwright, and The Dropper.

We all know that Phases is really going to be rocking this year and I am super excited to see what all of the music is going to have in store for us.

Celebrating 50 Years of the Grateful Dead #Dead50

Simply Shawn N Jenn Disclosure

Recently I was asked to write about what the Grateful Dead meant to me for the Campfire blog as one of the Summer Camp counselors.  I will admit that the music of the Grateful Dead has meant more to me than any other music and has carried me through so many of the events in my life.

I described a defining moment in my life where I understood that the music of the Grateful Dead was more than just music.  That even occurred as I listened to the song Ripple which is still my favorite song to this day.  I was not lucky enough to get tickets to any of the Dead50 shows which left me saddened.  However I was blessed enough to head to Park West on Friday night for the opening show of the three day run to see it on a live feed and to see Leftover Salmon play the set breaks and the after show.  It was a great night full of memories that I will treasure and a certain sense of a new beginning that I will not let go.

I know that many Deadheads were upset with the announcement of Trey as the addition to the band.  I think that this sadness comes from a front man of any other band being put into Jerry’s spot.  For me, I chose to look at it in a new way.  I looked at in the way that without the music of the Grateful Dead there would not have likely been Phish, because admittedly their music and their scene was greatly influenced by that of the Grateful Dead.  Trey was not there to replace Jerry.  This is the first thing that you have to remember.  Trey was there to be Trey to try and reverently respect the music of the Grateful Dead and to really give the fans his own spin on the songs.

I personally think that Trey was the best possible choice.  I might be biased since I love Phish.  The symbolic passing of the torch between old and new, generations past and generations to come…a perfect melting pot of what was and what is yet to become.  The remaining members of the Grateful Dead know that this is the end of the road for them.  Their long strange trip has reached its end, but that does not mean that it is the end of the scene and the music.  There can never be another Grateful Dead.  Their journey is one in its own and it has been an amazing journey that has touched so many lives.  I do not believe that any other band has brought together a group of people in the same way that the Grateful Dead have.  People from all walks of life flock to them.  However I believe that you can find new music that you can become a fan of as well.

For me, the closing of this first night with the encore of Ripple made me feel as though my trip had come full circle.  It has been a long strange trip for me as well.  I married way too young and had my first son.  For months we contemplated over names, me wanting to name him Jerry, his dad eventually won out on this fight.  I can still remember listening to the music of the Grateful Dead in the delivery room and for a month while I was in the hospital on bedrest with nothing to do.

The music of the Grateful Dead is what kept me sane during that time.  When I got my first divorce it was Touch of Grey that reminded me that I would survive this part of my journey.  During college I became very interested in the sociological impact that the Grateful Dead had on its fans and followers.  I was lucky enough to have a sociology professor who believed in me.  She allowed me to have an entire semester course where I got to research and write about the impact that the music of the Grateful Dead had on its fans.  I loved working in that environment and getting to meet so many wonderful Deadheads, some of whom I am still friends with to this day.

Years later I would make another poor choice in choosing a mate and would go through a second divorce.  Again it was the music of the Grateful Dead that kept me moving forward and knowing that I was worthy.  When I felt like no one else in the world believed in me, I was able to gain inspiration and love through the music.  To simply say that I am a fan would be so misleading.  The music of the Grateful Dead has literally guided  me through my life.

When I met my soul mate and we found out that we were expecting a baby girl, it was no question that she would be named after one of our favorite Grateful Dead songs.  Althea seems to embody the song for which she was named after.  I tried for months to get tickets to tonight’s show in hopes of having her see her song sung live, but as of now it looks like we will be sitting on the couch cuddling as we await what I think is going to be played.  Shane and I also had an amazing connection to the song Doin’ That Rag which has since been our song.  So much of our life has been influenced by the amazing music that I am very emotional as I see it all coming to an end.  We will always have the songs to cherish but there simple will not and can not be another Grateful Dead, a band that embodies this spiritual connection to their music that has the power to change your life.

From the bottom of my heart I am so grateful for everything that the band has meant to me over the years.  Much love and let’s remember that the music will never stop.

Phases of the Moon Music and Art Festival 2015 Lineup Announced #Phases2015 #SeeyouatPhases

Simply Shawn N Jenn Disclosure

A short while ago the Phases of the Moon Music and Art Festival announced the exciting 2015 line up and I sure hope that I will be able to be in attendance this year.

Phases logo 2

Last year I was very fortunate that I was a part of the media team for the first year of this exciting festival.  I really had the time of my life even though the weather was some of the worst that I have seen at a festival.  The promoters did an amazing job and I will share more with you in a follow up recap where I can show you some of the amazing things about the festival that I have enjoyed.

Some Things You Need to Know

Of course before I share the line up with you there are some things that I think that you should know.

**The festival has been moved from Danville IL to Mulberry Mountain in Ozark, AR.  (Although many festivals have taken place on these grounds it is one place that I have not previously been before!)

**The festival is taking place October 16-18. 

Lineup Announcement 1.0

Now here is the good stuff.  You are going to see some amazing bands and a few that are family favorites in this house.

STS9**The Disco Biscuits**moe.**Yonder Mountain String Band**Lunar Conspiracy Landing**Beats Antique**Xavier Rudd & the United Nations**Leftover Salmon**Brett Dennen**Lettuce**Lake Street Dive**Rusted Root**ALO**Papadosio**The Werks**Wookiefoot**The New Mastersounds**Everyone Orchestra**Larry Does Jerry**The Motet**Dirty Dozen Brass Band**Larry Keel Experience**Pimps of Joytime**The Bright Light Social Hour**Kung Fu**Yo Mama’s Big Fat Booty Band**Earphunk**Turkuaz**Andy Frasco & the UN**Pink Talking Phish**Mingo Fishtrap**Cabinet**The California Honeydrops**Poor Man’s Whiskey**Pert Near Sandstorm**The Giving Tree**Roadkill Ghost Choir**Samantha Phish**The Brothers Comatose**David Gans**Rumpke Mountain Boys**Sophistafunk**Spoonfed Tribe**Head for the Hills**Mountain Sprout**Spoonfed Tribe**Head for the Hills**Dirtfoot**Horseshoes & Hand Grenades**Family Groove Company**Old Shoe**The Coop**Wood and Wire**Dustbowl Revival**Good Gravy**The Ballroom Thieves**The Hillbenders**Jon Wayne and the Pain**Levon Helm Tribute**Indubious**Useful Jenkins**Henhouse Prowlers**Afternoon Moon**Gypsy Moon**Strung Like a Horse**Heartbyrne**Earl & Them Mouth**Pigeons Playing Ping Pong**Roxy Roca**Rowdy Shadehouse**The Way Down Wanderers**El Dub**James Jones Trio**Coyote Union**Charliehorse

As you can see, this year there is definitely going to be a little something for everyone with a vast array of different styles of music.


Summer Camp Music Festival Guide — 10 Things Every Dad Needs in His Backpack at Summer Camp @SummerCampFest #SCamp15

Simply Shawn N Jenn Disclosure
As a father and follower of the music scene, it is important to be well prepared to ensure that both you and your kids have a great and memorable festival. I have found that stuffing the following items in my backpack reduce trips back to camp and keep everyone happy in most cases.

Water and Juice

 I carry a CamelBak backpack and will stuff some juice boxes or pouches in it in the case of sudden misbehavior. If we sit down and have a drink we can generally diffuse the situation.

Glow Sticks

 Who doesn’t love glow sticks.

Protective Ear Wear

We need to protect our kids from damaging their ears so they can have a long future of enjoying music and continuing to create a positive experience at music festivals.

Small Toys, Playing Cards, or Dice

Preferably something cheap that they have never played with before. This will keep their attention longer and won’t be a tragedy if they lose it while you are watching a band.


A brief game of Minecraft or Jetpack Joyride can often times allow you to finish that concert that your kids have obviously become bored with.


Insect Bands

Wearable insect protection will ensure they are not devoured by insects causing an uncomfortable and long bedtime.


We need to keep them from getting a sunburn to prevent the aforementioned long bedtime.


Don’t forget to grab lots of pictures of the memory that you shared.


Make sure to protect this as my kids seem to take delight in ensuring that gets lost.


Something like peanuts or a snack mix is perfect. Something that won’t be messy or be crushed in your backpack.
Most of all, have patience which will help you have a great and positive experience that you and your kids will never forget.
This post was written by Shane Walton for Simply Shawn N Jenn.  (I have to admit that I am pretty proud that my hubby included sunscreen on his list.  He’s a keeper!)

Summer Camp Music Festival Guide — Dad’s Ultimate Guide to Summer Camp @SummerCampFest #SCamp15

Simply Shawn N Jenn Disclosure
Be sure to have a memorable year at Summer Camp with your kids, but also make sure to see some of the local bands along with the big names that are playing Summer Camp Music Festival this year.  Below is a small portion of my to do list to be sure my kids are raised with knowledge of great music.
-Keller Williams & Grateful Grass
-Trampled by turtles
-Umphrey’s McGee
-Con the wife into taking them for a bit to enjoy Godboner meets Gene Ween
-Family groove company
-Old Shoe
-Bruce Hornsby and the Noise Makers
-Chicago farmer
-Victor Wooten
As the kids are sleeping, be sure to trade the wife kid sitting time so you can both enjoy a mixture of Keller Williams, Greensky Bluegrass, STS9, Moe, theNEWDEAL, and the Everyone Orchestra or just have a relaxing time listening to the closest stage while your kids get some sleep.
This post was written by Shane Walton for Jenn’s Blah Blah Blog.

Summer Camp Music Festival Guide: A Dad’s Favorite Summer Camp Memories with His Kids @SummerCampFest #SCamp15

Simply Shawn N Jenn Disclosure
This year looks to be another great music line up that will be sure to create some good memories for you and your kids.
There are also many activities to do with the kids to keep them entertained and happy. Plus, the extra activities generally makes bedtime easier and faster.
Kids Camp has always been a family favorite and they generally get to express their creativity and create some unique crafts, see interesting people, and play with new camp-oriented toys.
Head to the Soulshine tent and check out a number of activities such as Stepping Into the Hoop, Victor Wooten’s Nature set, Speakeasy art center, Live Art Gallery, or Amazeballs.
Be sure to get some relaxing time with the kids at your camp with kites, frisbee, or glow stick construction of something you can haul to their late night show before bedtime.
The more activities you are able to do with the kids at the festival will keep them from getting bored and allow you all to have a memorable experience.
This post was written by Shane Walton for Simply Shawn N Jenn.

Summer Camp Music Festival Guide — Feeding Your Kids at Summer Camp @SummerCampFest #SCamp15

Simply Shawn N Jenn Disclosure

“Mom, I’m hungry.”


“Hey mom, I need a snack!”

Anyone else dread these words from their children’s mouths?  If so, I will promise you that you are not alone.  I HATE hearing from my children that they need a snack and are hungry because if it were up to them they would never eat a meal and would live completely off of crappy snacks.  (Sadly they like all of the bad stuff that I HATE buying for them.)

When it comes to being at Summer Camp Music Festival I will admit that I like to plan ahead for my kids.  For one they are not going to eat a meal sized snack so vendors are generally out when it is snack time.  For another they are kids so, while there is tons of kid friendly foods (more about that keep reading!!), there are times that they just want their favorite.

I try to choose goods that are not going to have damaging effects on the environment and most of the time we use BPA free containers and such for everything but sometimes I need to be more convenient.  I also like to feed them whole foods or organic snacks but sometimes I relax and just pick up their favorites.  Festival time is one of those times when I let them choose what they want and let them have all of their favorites.

Suggestions for Feeding Kids at Summer Camp

Feeding your kids at Summer Camp is a necessity.  How you do it is up to you.  90% of the time in life we eat whole healthy foods.  90% of time we choose snacks that we can put in recyclable bags and containers.  Summer Camp is not one of those times for us.  I am all about convenience when it comes to Summer Camp and feeding my children.  I want it to be easy.  So I choose a lot of convenience based products.

I am a list person so for those of you are like me, creating lists is going to help you stay on top of things.  If you are not a list person the following “lists” might annoy you.  I prefer to group my lists into categories.  Then I prefer to list the things that I need to buy and pack.  I will admit that I do allow the kids to eat some of their less than healthy favorites (so please no judgements!).  These are not foods that they get to eat often.


*Mini Cereal Boxes (For some reason these are one of my kids most exciting things about camping…weird, huh?)

*Fruit (I will have a big bowl of cut up watermelon and a big bowl of mixed berries and grapes this weekend!)


*Lunchables (I know, I know…these are awful but my kids have honestly not had one in over three months so I don’t feel bad letting them have a few this weekend!)

*Pasta Salad

*Veggies and Dip


*Sandwich stuff


We eat dinner at the festival because that means that we do not have to pack grills or anything to cook on.  This is one thing that we take a little extra money for.  The convenience alone is worth spending a bit and one great thing about Summer Camp is that there is a wide variety of foods that are healthy and affordable.


*Snack Packs (I get the small cracker and cookie snack packs because they are easy to throw in the kids’ bags and take with us anywhere in the festival.)  Remember to teach your kids not to litter.

*Small Bags of Chips (Yes I bought a big box of the small bags of chips as well.)

*Goldfish (I know that these are not that healthy either buy all four of my children love them and I try to avoid buying them as a general rule of thumb but this time they are a special treat for them.)


*Gallons of Water (my kids each have a few water bottles and a Camelbak that we will take with us)

*Gatorade/Powerade/Sports Drink (each kiddo will have a water bottle that is dedicated to Gatorade throughout the festival)

*Juice (I prefer to take in jugs and use the Gatorade bottles for this.  I do pick out bottles without a straw because I do not want to have to clean out a straw or mouthpiece that has been used for anything but water.)

*Sprite (My kids do not get soda very often but they love it so why not offer them a little special treat each day that we are enjoying the festival.)

Remember that it is very important that your kids stay hydrated.  Keep them drinking all day long and make sure that they are getting enough to drink.


Okay, so who doesn’t love a treat every once in a while?!?  I know that I still enjoy a treat from time to time.  These are the treats that I take for my kiddos.  Keep in mind that you do not want to take treats that could melt so that is a lot of the reason for the specific treats that I choose.


*Chewy Sweet Tarts

*Blow Pops

*Tootsie Roll Pops

*Caramel Apple Pops

*Tootsie Rolls

I will admit that mommy really likes candy after having a few drinks, so on my late night some of these might be mommy treats too!

Tips for Parents of Kids with Allergies

I am hoping to publish an allergy guide that can serve not only for this festival but that I can pull from for pre-festival coverage in the future.  I attempted to figure this out beforehand but it was kind of impossible.  I will be walking around to food vendors on Thursday night and Friday so that I can get this allergy guide posted and linked up to the social media feeds.  This should help parents who are worried about allergies and you can access it from your phone to have on hand.

Know What is Being Served

*If your child has severe allergies you might want to ask if that food is served from the vendor.  Cross contamination at a festival is very likely and no parent wants to deal with an epi-pen level emergency at a festival.  So it is my opinion that if a food is served by a vendor that you choose to not feed your child food from that vendor.

Don’t Forget to Ask About How It Is Cooked

*Ask how the items are cooked.  If your child has a peanut allergy there is a chance that foods could still be cooked in peanut oil (actually our zoo cooks all fried foods in peanut oil so it is something real that you have to be aware of!).  This is a HUGE lesson that you should learn now to avoid issues in the future.

Ask Staff if They Have Eaten the Allergen in Question

*This is a question that might feel odd and will feel unnatural to you.  When it comes to figuring out how to avoid your child having an allergic reaction at the festival you have to be proactive.  You have to be willing to figure out everything that you can about the food being cross contaminated with something else.  Taking this extra step is really going to minimize any issues that you might have.