Bluegrass Holiday Benefit
Featuring Town Mountain and Larry Keel @ Isis Music Hall
Friday, December 20, 2013
A Portion of the Proceeds will be donated to MANNA FoodBank
Doors 5pm (dinner); show 9pm; $20; All Ages
General Admission Standing :: Some Balcony Seating
Isis Music Hall 743 Haywood Road Asheville, NC 28806
As 2013 comes to a close, Town Mountain is excited to be joining forces with Larry Keel and Natural Bridge at Isis Music Hall on Friday, December 20, 2013 for a Bluegrass Holiday Benefit. A portion of the night’s proceeds will be donated to Manna Foodbank.
In Western North Carolina, more than 100,000 people seek emergency food assistance in a single year – that’s 1 in 6 of our neighbors. Of these, 37,000 are children. Local direct service agencies are facing a rapid increase in request for food assistance as food stamp benefits have recently been cut for many local families. Food banks and other non profits cannot close this food stamp gap without help. These types of events take on more importance as hard working families struggle to make ends meet.
“Something very special happens when volunteers, artists, and local business join together to create an event that entertains, celebrates community and helps our Western North Carolina neighbors in need,” says Becky Upham, communications director at MANNA FoodBank. “MANNA’s work would not be possible without so many giving people in our community, and we are so grateful.”
Hard Drivin’ Carolina String Band-Town Mountain:
Town Mountain and their lead vocalist, Robert Greer, are honored to have been awarded two 2013 International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) Momentum Awards. Greer brought home the Momentum Award for “Vocalist of the Year” and Town Mountain takes the honor for “Performance Band of the Year.” The awards cap off a year of fantastic growth for the band which began with the release of their sophomore Pinecastle Records album, Leave the Bottle.
Town Mountain includes Greer on vocals and guitar, Jesse Langlais on banjo and vocals, Bobby Britt on fiddle, Phil Barker on mandolin and vocals and Jake Hopping on bass. Formed out of the fertile music scene found in Asheville, Greer and Langlais met at a jam one evening and they began to piece a band together over the next couple of years. “I’ve been here in Asheville for 12-plus years now and about 15 years ago it really started to blow up as a music town,” says Langlais. “We met through that music scene. “
The sound of Town Mountain can be described as traditional bluegrass, albeit with a rough-hewn side to it that is not too slick or glossy. They are definitely a band of the here-and-now, yet they have a groove that is based on the bluesy and swinging sounds made by the first generation of bluegrass pioneers.
“I feel like we’re closer to original bluegrass than a lot of bands out there today,” says Langlais. “I listened to a radio show recently that featured Ricky Skaggs and he flat-out said that Bill Monroe influenced rock and roll. He said that folks like Elvis and Carl Perkins and those guys were looking up to Bill Monroe. So, I feel like our band has a lot of that influence as well, of the blues and early rock. If you go back and listen to Monroe pre-Chuck Berry, those are Chuck Berry licks. A lot of music in the 1940s and 50s was so over-lapping. It is easy to put genre labels on it today, 60 years later. But to be honest, it was all so new and it was influencing each other at the same time.”
Town Mountain will release a new album in 2014 and will ride the wave of their newfound momentum with appearances at many venues and festivals around the country as the new year unfolds. More information and tour dates can be found at www.townmountain.net.
Flatpicking Legend Larry Keel:
Larry Keel is described by some reviewers as the most powerful, innovative and all-out exhilarating acoustic flatpicking guitarist performing today. Keel has absorbed the best lessons from his Bluegrass family upbringing, both sides deeply steeped in the rich mountain music culture and heritage of Southwest Virginia. From there, he has always integrated that solid musical grounding and natural-born talent with his own incomparable approach to flatpicking the guitar and composing original music. He’s also got a knack for choosing interesting and appealing material from all realms of music with guts, whether it’s a tune written by a fellow song-writer/musician friend, or a tasty cover from any number of genres all over the map.
Joining Keel to make up Natural Bridge are the vastly talented Mark Schimick on mandolin and vocals, Larry’s life-long picker pal (and fishing phenom) Will Lee on soulful, blues-grass style 5-string banjo and penetrating lead vocals, and wife Jenny Keel with her impeccable timing and solid, yet imaginative bass lines as well as tenor vocal harmonies.
Throughout his career, Keel has released 14 albums and is featured on 10 others. The most recent release, CLASSIC (2012) is the 3rd album recorded by Keel and his powerhouse ensemble, Natural Bridge. The project is filled with originals written variously by Keel, the band members or by musician/song-writer friends. For more about Larry Keel and Natural Bridge, please visit www.LarryKeel.com.
MANNA FoodBank is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization serving Western North Carolina since 1983. As an accredited member of Feeding America, the nation’s largest domestic hunger relief organization, the mission of MANNA FoodBank is to involve, educate, and unite people in the work of ending hunger in Western North Carolina. MANNA serves 221 non-profit member agencies in 16 Western North Carolina counties and distributed more than 11 million pounds of food in 2012. To view MANNA’s Annual Report for 2012, or for more information, visit MANNAFoodbank.org or call 828-299-FOOD.