From June to September, I get to enjoy camping at many music festivals. I am committed to creating gathering spaces for my extended music family/community, so they can gather and play music together!
One summer, I traveled up to New York State from St. Simons Island GA for a workshop on storytelling. There I met my husband, Kai, who is a singer, drummer and curator. On our second date while camping on Lake Champlain, he asked me to marry him. I said “yes” and we have been having camping adventures ever since our beginning. We honeymooned-camping on Cumberland Island, Georgia!
The following year, Kai took me camping at Winter Hawk/Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival. Falling in love with bluegrass I became a dedicated Bluegrass Camping “Babe”. This involves setting up tarps and multiple shelters for our musician friends who enjoy playing music 24/7. I love my outdoor kitchen! Cooking: baked cheese grits, low country shrimp boil, hot coffee, corn bread, sinful pie, all from my Black Cast Iron skillets, surrounded by our musician friends:
Key West Jack, Seattle Howard, St John Joe, Blue Knuckles Lou, Accordion Stroker, Mandolin Joni, Harmonica Alan, Poncho Rick, Banjo George, Dobro Adam, Fiddler Richard, Model A David, Singing Stefanie, Dancing Mary and many more musician friends.
One day, the producer of Grey Fox asked me if I would please host a pre-festival event, we called it “The Fox Hole Pickin’ Party”. I set up Fox Hole headquarters and the Pickin’ party begins. Then there is Rhythm & Roots Cajun Zydeco Festival, and Old Tone Music and Dance Festival. Columbus Day weekend we help to set up The Big Squeeze / Old Timey Music Party complete with Apple Pressing, a Caldron hung over an open fire, many Model A Fords and tractors in use for creating camping space for more musicians.
Our signature Red and White tarp “Mighty Fine” is set up for fun! From the end of school year through the end of October, I am out doing whatever needs to be done to make the many festivals success for all. I make sure that campers leave at least 10 feet between their tents, helping the farmers cutting down hay, covering gopher holes, whatever needs to be done including interfacing with Police and local Health officials.
Because of my dedication to these events my husband and I were both featured in a bluegrass documentary “ BLUE GRASS JOURNEY”.
When I am not camping, I reside in Rowayton, CT with my husband Kai Underwood, and our three parrots and one cockatiel. During the school year I teach KINDERGARTEN. I enjoy doing yoga, paddle boarding, riding my yellow biking. We have a new grandchild living in San Diego, CA who we are enjoying immensely. I hope to soon become a San Diego Bluegrass Babe. I also get to celebrate bluegrass in Georgia! visiting with my mom. We do girls weekend at the Jekyll Island Club where we dance to Big Bands and more!
Since 1983 this has been my Journey and it keeps on going with strife and smiles! Moonrise, Sunsets and Rain Fall! Dancing in the Moon Light! My gifted name from my friends is Queen O’ Hay!