A series of free concerts titled “Americana Music at the Lodge” will be presented at the Lodge at Camp Helen State Park from 6:30 to 8 p.m., beginning Saturday, December 6, 2014, and continuing through March 7, 2015.
The concert series is hosted by Lucky Mud and sponsored by Florida’s Department of Environmental Protection and the Friends of Camp Helen State Park. The concerts are suitable for the whole family.
Saturday, December 6 brings “the William Faulkner of songwriting”–Eric Taylor. A songwriter and singer born in Texas, he brings his uniquely American voice to Camp Helen. Acoustic Guitar magazine describes him as putting his audience down in the middle of a story and making them care. Taylor has written songs with and for Lyle Lovett and Nanci Griffith, among other notables.
On Saturday, January 10, Camp Helen presents Brian Smalley, a singer/songwriter/guitarist with an ability to turn original songs into “musical novellas.” With his mastery of the guitar and his singing ability, Brian Smalley combines covers from artists like Jerry Reed, John Prine, Grateful Dead, Bob Marley, John Hartford, Chet Atkins, Peter Rowan and Richard Thompson “with crowd pleasing original pieces.” He plays with skill and energy.
California twosome Paul Kamm and Eleanore MacDonald offer a concert on Saturday, January 24, providing a complete package in every sense. Beautiful lyrics, infused with killer guitar and harmonies that stir listeners, are their hallmark. Performing together for 28 years, they’ve been applauded throughout the United States and overseas for their “exquisite harmony, compelling songwriting, deceptively simple arrangements and intricate guitar work.” They are Kerrville, Telluride and Rocky Mountain New Folk award winners.
Saturday, February 7 brings The New 76ers to Camp Helen. A Tallahassee trio of young singers/songwriters/musicians, they have appeared on many stages throughout the south. With a sound like Neil Young, Allison Cross and Tom Petty, this family of performers has a “collective respect for acoustic and electric music,” one that depends on their Southern musical heritage. Their mission is “to give love through their music.”
On Saturday, February 21, Granville Automatic will be featured at Camp Helen. From Nashville, the songwriting/performing duo of Vanessa Olivarez and Elizabeth Elkins makes music from their “shared love of history, horses, and war,” bringing listeners Civil War battlefields and a tangle of haunting vocals and beautiful lyrics. Sounding like Lyle Lovett, Gram Parsons, Emmylou Harris and Willie Nelson, they’ve written together more than 90 song–almost all of which tell stories from history.
Saturday, March 7 brings the final performance of the Camp Helen series. Originally from Iowa, Scott & Michelle Dalziel now call Florida home. This singer/songwriting duo delivers “solid melodies, meaningful lyrics, heartfelt and amusing stories, tight harmonies and a solid instrumental foundation,” having performed at more than 200 acoustic venues nationwide. They offer “an approachable performance of touching hearts and lifting moods.”
Entrance to the state park on Hwy. 98 near Lake Powell is free although donations to the Friends are accepted. For more information, call (850) 230-8906, like us on FaceBook or email at CampHelenFriends@gmail.com