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Next week starts the official summer music season with the Campout for the Cause.  This masterful event conceived by True Local Scotty Stoughton is in its fifth year.  Musically and recreationally, it has matured to a premiere early season music festival as judged by the variety and quality of the music line up plus the additional activities planned. Making The Campout a cause for entertainment with a soul.


The headliner at this year’s Campout is Oakland California’s Zion 1.  An intriguing hip hop duo that at times conjures up Outkast musically and Eminem lyrically.  They will be juxtaposed on stage by Mountain Standard Time. MST is a non-traditional bluegrass band if anything like that can exist. Heavily influenced by bands like String Cheese and Leftover Salmon, they bring a full rock band entourage with them that includes plenty of electric instruments for their expert noodling.  Then there is the multi-faceted, spiritually sensual, presentation anticipated by Govinda. The threesome will make some gnarly, trippy sounds for your post midnight groove.


Though the headliners alone promise an eclectic musical experience, we haven’t even spoken of the MTHDS.  In trying to describe their music, I came across their own definition it’s “like the Partridge Family if mom was Lauryn Hill and the kids were Jimi Hendrix, Peter Tosh and Sid Vicious.” Be prepared for a massive barrage of reggae, hip hop amongst progressive rock influences from a band who most recently has been touring as a Beastie Boys’ tribute show and now has a new album to promote. With this much activity going on, expect them to take the stage more than once throughout the weekend.  It’s where they belong.


Portland Oregon is the home of Americana band Fruition who should make for some nice acoustic sunrises over the Colorado River.  The third album from the quintet moves pretty comfortable from Hank Williams’ two stepping country to Laurel Canyon acoustic sounds as exemplified on the their tasty “Wastin Away.”


All of that scheduled entertainment and we haven’t even mentioned trusty standbys YAMN, Whitewater Ramble, and Stoughton’s own band Bonfire Dub who will be debuting their newest release live on KZYR Friday morning.  Furthermore, when you add fine up and coming stars like MilkDrive and Jarden Carlson as  the under card, you know you going to be treated to a weekend of glorious sounds in an epic setting.


But the Campout is about more than the music. It’s an experience and of course at its heart is the cause. This year, organizers are introducing a dedicated yoga tent with multiple classes being held at Rancho Del Rio with workshops to help balance the yin with the yang of fine back beat music.  However, at its core the Campout is about Stoughton’s dream to bring artists and fans together to share a sense of community.  This year’s shows will benefit amongst others All Hands- a disaster relief organization Stoughton has personal experience with and has aligned the Campout with their efforts.  The philanthropic minded will also get a chance to engage not just with performers on stage, but through a series of round table discussions where organizations and individuals can share ideas and visions of a better world.


It’s fortunate our community is full of such noble individuals who go to great pains to bring world-class sounds and entertainment to the Valley and make you feel good while enjoying it. Support the Campout For the Cause. Your heart and ears will thank you.