Hi-Desert Music News By Judy Wishart
11/09/2012 01:21PM ● Published by Denise Brown
The 8th annual Cracker/ Camper Van Beethoven Campout at Pappy and Harriet’s was a tremendous success this year. The Cracker fans (Crumbs) once again came from all over the world to spend three days of fun and music with their favorite bands.
Thursday night started with a set from the The Dangers, followed by an acoustic set from Cracker frontmen David Lowery and Johnny Hickman. This is my favorite night of the Campout and was a fun-filled singalong in a small intimate setting.
Friday night was the start of the outdoor stage with an outstanding set from our own Gram Rabbit, who along with their new stage show and songs have pleased Cracker fans since they played at the first campout. Gram Rabbit was in rare form and things have been going very well for them, and it has been my pleasure to watch them grow knowing that they were going to go far. The dress theme for Friday was Cowboys vs. Aliens and there were some great costumes.
Camper Van Beethoven then took to the stage for a two hour eclectic rock set that included all their hits. After the show was the annual Porchstock at the Pi-Town motel where the music went on way into the early hours of the morning. The Crumbs had taken over the local Travelodge and held a wiffle ball tournament and potluck on Saturday morning that was also attended by many band members. I have never quite seen a more fun and loving group of fans than the Crumbs. They even helped in an online campaign to help bring Johnny Hickman’s other back up band, The Piggies, to the Campout and they raised enough money to do it and get them home. The Piggies did an early well received set on Saturday and they told me they had so much fun.
The outdoor stage hosted Chris Shiflett of the Foo Fighters. The dress code for Saturday (there is a dress code every year and just adds to the fun) was superheroes vs. monsters, and as Cracker hit the stage David Lowery was Batman and Johnny Hickman the Joker. It was a two hour whirlwind of rocking favorites and new songs. Cracker has been out on the road all year and were the first to admit this was the best Campout EVER!
There was also the annual meet and greet for the fans to hang with the band and get their posters signed. Thank you so much to Robyn and Linda from Pappy’s and to all the crew from Pitch a Tent and to the bands, it was once again the highlight of my year and a much needed vacation.
There are some other great shows coming up at Pappy’s in the near future including The Oh Sees on Oct. 26, the 8th annual Pappy and Scarriet’s Halloween bash featuring Grim (Gram) Rabbit with special guests Spindrift on Oct 27, The Sumner Brothers on Nov. 15, and they just added a special evening with Jorma Kaukonen on January 31!
Concrete Blonde is back home after playing sold-out shows at the Belly Up in Solana Beach and the Troubadour in Los Angeles. They will be heading to Europe next year and we wish them the best! The Fred Drake-Desert Dream special edition CD will be available at Donation=Creation art store, The Red Arrow Gallery in Joshua Tree, Oasis Office Supply in Yucca Valley, and the 29 Palms Visitor Center during the Hwy 62 Art Tours. The CD sampler is primarily drawn from the three albums recorded during Fred’s decade in Joshua Tree, where he was the start of a music scene that has become enormous out here. His hospitality even earned him the title of Mayor of Joshua Tree. We miss you Fred.
Please check our website for more news and music dates. As winter approaches there are going to be many surprises coming up!