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M897 Artist Spotlight: April 2016

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LIBBY DeCAMP

Romeo Musician Finds 'Broken-Folk' as Her Juliette

Story by LCC Radio Reporter Sarah Spohn

Libby DeCampGrowing up in a picturesque charming village of peachy Romeo, Libby DeCamp spent much of her time enjoying the great outdoors. Walking down tree-lined main streets and horseback riding through open fields, it’s almost a wonder that this twenty-year-old musician didn’t end up an equestrian or a botanist.

The multi-instrumentalist plays banjo, guitar, violin, fiddle and a few other instruments, despite her biggest regret of never experiencing ‘that one time at band camp’ while in high school. Having performed as a folk duo in The DeCamp sisters, landing her original tunes on the MTV program “Catfish,” toured with Olivia Mainville & the Aquatic Troupe, and collaborating with Jack and the Bear, this young musician has never had any formal training.
 
“I don’t have any schooling in music,” DeCamp said. “Most of what I’ve learned comes from studying other people perform, watching videos, and doing research. I still haven’t forgiven myself for not taking band in high school, though,” the singer admits.

Inspired by Pete Seeger, Dock Boggs, Tom Waits, Louis Armstrong, Patsy Cline, Led Zeppelin, Leonard Cohen and more, the old-folksy-soul produces music coined as ‘innocently dark’ and ‘captivating,’ or as Libby calls it, ‘broken folk.’

Libby DeCamp - Romeo, MI Musician“Many of the songs are inspired by traditional folk framework but take an altered shape by extracting from various genres, and often juxtaposed with heavy lyrical subjects,” she said. “We focus on arranging and producing the songs to support the mood and meaning, and inflict emotion.”

This redhead spent many of her time gaining freckles in the summer sun and equates one of her biggest sources of inspiration to having horses.

Spending time around the fire with her aunts, uncles and grandparents singing songs like “Amazing Grace” and “Take Me Home, Country Roads,” harmonies and all, DeCamp cites family reunions as her most fond music memories.

Aside from John Denver singalongs, the artist also draws from American Literature and looks up to many well-known authors.

“There is a deep well of admiration to some of the music and literary greats who’ve reflected and challenged the times; Woody Guthrie, John Steinbeck, Nina Simone,” she said.

Music is both a passion and a full-time job for DeCamp, who keeps busy with original solo music, playing with Olivia Mainville & the Aquatic Troupe.

“Most all of my work time is dedicated to music,” she said. “Non-traveling days are separated into writing, rehearsing, booking, etc. In the moments I’m not working on music, I’m usually outside or making a pie.”

Libby DeCamp - M897 Artist SpotlightIf being the next Betty Crocker isn’t in the cards, DeCamp would be thrilled to be a part of FarmAid alongside Neil Young. While dreams remain big, that’s not to say the twenty-year-old folk instrumentalist doesn’t love the music scene right here in Michigan, though.

“I am blown away by how welcoming and burgeoning the Michigan music scene is,” she said. “It’s interesting to see all the different pockets, too.”

One of Libby’s favorite venues in the state is Ann Arbor’s own, The Ark. Having attended many shows there before, DeCamp referred to playing the gig as a special experience.

“There is a sense of magic in the venue,” she said.

Up next for the outdoorsy, fiddle playing, semi-professional pie maker is planning her next tour for later this year, and lining up content for a full-length album.

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Libby DeCamp - Put the Kettle On
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