joal1Photo submitted.

Joal Kamps, with his wife Lauren, just returned from a tour in the U.K. and the Netherlands and are now looking ahead to East Coulee Springfest this weekend.

Not intending to be presumptuous, but it may only take a moment to catch wind of what inspires Joal Kamps' songwriting approach. Perhaps it's about capturing the freedom of spirit we all endeavour to possess, or just telling the tales from the wild and spontaneous journey that is this life, and just like the wind, Joal Kamps has travelled from place to place, sharing his music and collecting inspiration along the way. His last two albums: Sojourner (2012) and Heads is East, Tails is West (2014) demonstrate that vagabond style of musicianship and songwriting thoroughly.

Fresh off a four month tour in the U.K. and the Netherlands, playing a mix of house concerts and venue gigs, Kamps and his wife Lauren travelled in search of inspiration for new songwriting muses for the Calgarian artists' next project. Perhaps then, a "tour" is not as accurate a classification of the trip as how Kamps put it, referring to it as a "song-writing sabbatical" with the intention of collecting experiences to turn into tunes. Lauren also brings an artisan touch to the performances, creating and selling her hand-made jewelry at the shows, but according to Kamps, she also took on a more musical role during the trip.

"That's the thing about this trip is we thought we'd start experimenting a little bit with playing music together," explains Kamps. "Right now we kind of joke that we're like a mini traveling folk festival, I play the music, she makes some cool jewelery and we go around with our little special treasure trunk. I think it's really important for both of us to have some responsibilities on the road, so that was the initial direction that we went. But we've been exploring having Lauren sing along on a couple of songs and play various instruments and the feedback was great over in Europe."

joal2Joal Kamps, with wife Lauren, performing at a house concert in the UK. Photo submitted.

Looking ahead to this weekend, Kamps is excited to perform once again at East Coulee Springfest and will bring an interactive listening experience to those who are encouraged to check out his show. Like many other returning artists to this year's festival, Kamps revisits for similar reasons as the others: the overall enjoyable experience.

"I just had such a fabulous time there," admits Kamps. "It's really intimate, you get to know a lot of other people. It's a good place to meet other musicians from the province as well. It's just right up our alley, kind of like a house concert on steroids."

This year's festival is "roided" up, with over forty bands on four stages. It runs May 8-9 out in East Coulee, AB. Click here to check the full list of festival performers.

For more on Joal Kamps and his music, check him here.

Tune into DRUM BEAT with host, Bryan Wilson, every Sunday at 8:00 A.M. and 9:00 P.M. on 99.5 Drum FM.

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