The Milk Carton Kids & Sarah Jarosz Photos and Recap

Words: T. Hays

Photos: Kerri Photography

Last Sunday night, the DSMvibe crew was lucky enough to be in attendance for the Des Moines stop on the brief collaborative tour between up-and-coming folk/bluegrass stars The Milk Carton Kids and Sarah Jarosz.

On their own, each group has a lot to offer and has rightfully gained a ton of new listeners over the last few years as they’ve come on to the scene. In collaboration, however, as the name indicates was not like seeing the groups separately. The entire show was done around a couple of mics, with different band members singing lead, switching off on different instruments, and doing a variety of each group’s songs, along with several choice covers songs.

The entire evening had the vibe that you were sitting around someone’s basement watching this talented group of young musicians rehearse. The stage set-up was complete with rugs, wooden chairs, lamps, and even a vintage style AM radio that was playing prior to the show.

Together, the groups sounded great. Great harmonies, great picking, and lots of great banter between songs. Hoyt Sherman Place was the perfect venue for a show like this, and the audience was incredibly attentive throughout the show.

Nitefall on the River comes to an epic close tonight

trampled_by_turtles_1sm-680x453The bad news is that Summer has officially come to an end, and unfortunately that also means the end of the Nitefall on the River series until next year.

The good news though….is that we get one more chance tonight to boogie on the river tonight (9/18) when Trampled By Turtles and Apache Relay come to town.

Doors open at 6, and show starts at 7. Tickets are still available, and oh by the way….it’s going to be a gorgeous night!

Music University Dates/Schedule Announced

MU2014-newsletterThe DMMC‘s annual Music University is set for October 4th and 5th at Drake University and will include a number of different forums, presentations, panels and even some live performances. 

More details can be found here, but a few highlights include discussion and mini acoustic set from Matisyahu, Bob Mould songwriting workshop and showcase performance, and a number of other great sessions covering everything from marketing and PR to recording and podcasting (including panels featuring several locals).

Whether you are looking to break into the music scene, already an established musician or just interested in hearing some great perspective on music in this fine city, you don’t want to miss this event.

Registrations are open now (standard registration $35, with other discounts available for students and musicians).

80/35 Dates Announced!

20Mark your calendars ladies and gentlemen. 80/35 Music Festival will take place once again in Western Gateway Park in Des Moines on July 10th and 11th, 2015.

Much to early to start speculating about possible line-ups, but it will be interesting to see if the shift away from the 4th of July weekend will open up more booking opportunities, and how it will affect overall attendance.

Check out for more info.

Widespread Panic ticket reminder

WP-fall-2014-admat-FV-for_side_copyIt was announced a while back, but because we care….we wanted to remind you that Widespread Panic tickets for the upcoming Iowa shows (Cedar Rapids on 10/28 and Ames on 10/29) will go on-sale this coming Monday, 8/25. Tickets for the shows range from $45-$48 plus fees.

For more info on these shows, check out

Umphrey’s McGee TONIGHT!

Des Moines! Prog/jam rockers Umphrey’s McGee are in town tonight playing at Simon Estes as part of the Nitefall on the River series. Doors open and 7, show starts at 8. Tickets are still available for $30 at the door. Umphreys loves Des Moines….lets show them that Des Moines loves Umphreys.


Here is a clip from their show at Nitefall a few years back when they covered Africa by Toto

Camp Euforia photos and recap

CampEu_7561logodWords by T. Hays

Photos by Kerri Photography

It was a somewhat soggy, yet completely euphoric weekend in Lone Tree, IA for what would become known as CEXI (or…Camp Euforia 11). Having never had the opportunity to attend a Camp Euforia, I must say first that I was incredibly impressed with the beautiful location, gracious staff and overall positive vibe throughout the weekend. The production was top notch and much better than many larger festivals I’ve been to.

The weekend kicked off late Friday afternoon and slowly ramped up until it’s peak later that evening with Euforquestra’s first headlining set of the weekend. Among the highlights for me were Keller Williams joining them for his song “More Than A Little” (after playing a solo set himself), and an epic jam on the their song “Soup”.

The positive vibes continued into Saturday (despite an overnight downpour) and were highlighted with morning yoga and some acoustic tunes from former Iowa City songwriter Chris Gelbuda. The afternoon included a few guest appearances from Euforquestra guitar player Mike Tallman who sat in with Des Moines bluegrass band Mr. Baber’s Neighbors, and then a bit later with The Kyle Hollingsworth Band. I was also digging reggae/blues trio Aaron Kamm & the One Drops, and yet another one man band Funkmaster.

Rain Saturday night didn’t dampen the spirits too much, which eventually culminated in a massive jam at the barn stage that included members of The Motet, Juno What!? and Euforquestra (and maybe some others).

Overall the weekend was great, and it seemed like the bands were having just as much (maybe even more) fun than all the festival attendees. I think it’s great how Euforquestra puts on this event every year and it was clear to me just how much they still love Iowa. Everything from food vendors, continuous music all day/night, Jerry’s bar, and the rest of the production was perfectly executed.

I will definitely be back, hopefully many more times in the years to come.