I am heading to South Dakota today to get all of my plans settled and details worked out for the guitar camp that I'm going to be running this summer on the Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation for the community of LaPlant. I am always happy to get ready for summer, because it means that I'm getting ready for tour! I'm not going to lie, it's my favorite part of the year. I get to connect with friends and family that I don't get to see very often, and I get to spend months traveling around the country. What's not to love?
This year's tour is going to be the best one yet, because I'll be teaching a guitar camp on the Cheyenne River Reservation during the weeks that I'm not touring. I'll be spending five weeks between shows spending time with curious young musicians, and learning fun songs. ('Smoke on the Water' and 'Pumped Up Kicks' have already been requested.)
How did this come about? I'm so glad you asked…
Last summer, during a quick visit to LaPlant, (where Bryan had been all summer), I played a few songs at the end of the week during a community cook-out. After I was done, I was literally swarmed by children. They asked me all sorts of questions…'How do you hold a guitar pick? How many chords to you know? If I strum, will you play? Do you know Taylor Swift?'…you get the idea.
So, last summer's barrage of questions led me to thinking about what a huge role music played in my life as a child, and the huge amounts of joy that it brings into my life each day. How great would it be, to be able to offer that same joy to a community of people?
So, that's the plan. This summer I'll be carting guitars out to South Dakota, picking up tuners and strings along the way, and of course, as I travel from town to town, I'll be bringing along our 'camp guitar', which will be used to bring back messages of encouragement and hope from my friends around the country to my friends on the reservation. I can't wait!
This reminds me, to mark my summer tour departure, I'll be bringing along a new EP - I'm really thrilled about that as well! It has five songs, they're about comfort, love and kindness, and the general idea behind the cd is to slow down. We could all enjoy life a little bit more if we'd just let ourselves, don't you think?
Anyway, below is a sneak peak of the album cover photo for those of you that aren't friends with me on Facebook. Pretty great huh?
To follow along with my tour, and the summer guitar camp, please stay in touch through my blog: www.kristengraves.com/blog, my twitter: @kristengraves, or Facebook: facebook.com/kristengmusic.
Talk to you again soon! Kristen