From the recording Songshop 2020
"Camp Nana and Papa" was commissioned as a Christmas gift for the grandparents of the Hartwig family. The family consisted of mom (Carrie), dad (Brett), and their daughters Megan (14), Sara (9) and Lena (7).
The family told me about how each summer the girls head out to Michigan to spend time at the family lake place also known as "Camp Nana and Papa". I work best with a great title and thought "Camp Nana and Papa" was a great place to start.
For musical references, they told me their grandparents were fans of The Beatles, Paul Simon, and in general acoustic pop music of the sixties and seventies.
I felt the lyrics and the style was a great pairing. It should also be uptempo and folky - like a song you might sing around the campfire at summer camp.
One of the coolest parts of the project was how involved the whole family got to be when it came time to record. There were three verses written, so each girl sang one verse. The oldest daughter is also a flute player, so I wrote a flute line during the intro and even had her improvise her own solo in the studio! We added group vocals of the whole family singing a few heartfelt lines which made it all the more personal and meaningful!
From start to finish, I worked on this tune for two weeks and was really happy with how it turned out!