Archive for October, 2009

Stuff to keep you in the spirit after Halloween’s done gone
by Rebecca Sulock in Vol. 16 / Iss. 14 on 10/28/2009
Elvis once asked why every day can’t be like Christmas. We’d like to know the same about the Halloween season. A zombie record, a zombie author, a haunting release, some wild art and a Dias De Los Muertos celebration to keep you in the spirit.
• Zombie boogie is the latest craze, indeed. Ukeabilly dynamos Mad Tea Party released the Zombie Boogie EP earlier this month, and it’s taken off. The lead track is a silly romp through zombie land, featuring fun lyrics (“Zombie, shuffling in the street / covered in blood, lost half his teeth / Doing the zombie boogie for eternity”) over top MTP’s patented uke-and-guitar rock. We dare you to listen without boogie-ing. Also awesome is the cover art, featuring a creepy-fun letterpress print. The four-track EP features two originals and two covers, plus a surprise bonus. Buy the album as a vinyl 7″ or mp3s at themadteaparty.com or local record shops. Read more at http://www.ukulelerockstar.com.

• Speaking of zombies, Haywood County-based author Eric Brown is a national expert on zombie lit and the author of several works of zombie fiction, many with a Christian theme. His most recent work is World War of the Dead. Look for the release on Amazon.

• Jason Smith of Night’s Bright Colors releases his breakaway project, the 24-track Absinthe Twilight. The hauntingly atmospheric collection represents a 24-hour period; the bittersweet nod to time’s passage accomplished by acoustic instrumentals and hushed vocals. Though Absinthe is a moody, introspective work it’s also accessible, romantic, and cozy as a fireplace on a frosty fall night. Download the full album and its companion EP, Flowers of Evil (with the seasonally-appropriate track “Edward Gorey’s Bedtime Story”), for free at http://nightsbrightcolors.com/absinthe: The site launches today (Wednesday, Oct. 28).

• Before the Screaming Js take the stage at Mo Daddy’s every Wednesday, they set up the art of frontman and piano wizard Jake Hollifield, who’s been painting skulls over found paintings, including portraits of the Kennedy brothers and more. It’s a sight to see, but be sure and stay for the manic boogie mania of the band’s free weekly show.


photo by Jonathan Welch

• Be sure and catch Push Gallery and Skateshop’s show The Arts of Darkness before it goes away on Nov. 3. Featuring the grim, wicked, dark and evil works of 22 terrifyingly awesome local artists (Alli Good, Courtney Chappell, Steve Brown and Ian Dennis among them) and a cemetery art installation in the center of it all. Push is at 25 Patton Ave. 225-5509.


• Follow Halloween’s revelries with something a little more meaningful: A Dias De Los Muertos celebration is to be held in the Mayfel’s Courtyard (accessible from Wall Street) on Sunday, Nov. 1. Celebrators are invited to place offerings in honor of their dearly departed on the alter between 4 and 10 p.m. Some observers will come in skull face-paint to honor the memories of loved ones, others will bring votive candles, photos or pieces of art for the alter. The event has no religious affiliation. The Mayfel’s back bar opens at 4 p.m., food serving begins at 5 p.m.

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by T. Ballard Lesemann

Charleston City Paper

The musical styles will mash up nice and strange this Thursday when Asheville-based duo Mad Tea Party (pictured) shares the stage with hometown cronies Toubab Krewe at the Pour House. Mad Tea Party used to do more of a 1940s-style, vaudevillian/blues/jazz thing, but singer/ukulele player Ami Worthen and guitarist/singer Jason Krekel look and sound more like a polite rockabilly act from the late 1950s these days on their new album Found a Reason. The rambunctious duo’s latest offering might be the coolest Halloween-themed disc of the season — a ghoulish-looking, reverb-heavy four-song CD/vinyl disc titled Zombie Stomp (“So you thought vinyl was dead? And the ukulele? Letter-press? Well, think again,” the band warns).

MTPPress_Window by Sandlin Gaither

Photo by Sandlin Gaither

On a very different wavelength, Toubab Krewe is an Afrobeat/funk fusion musical project out of Asheville comprised of Teal Brown (drums), Drew Heller (guitar, soku), Justin Perkins (guitar), David Pransky (bass), and Luke Quaranta (percussion). Their latest is Live at the Orange Peel.



When: Thu., Oct. 29
Phone: (843) 571-4343
Price: $15, $12 (adv.)
The Pour House
1977 Maybank Hwy


— T. Ballard Lesemann

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October 27th, 2009 Posted in Music, Zombies

Posted in Geek–tastic.com

by Patrick

News about Comics, TV, Movies, Video Games and all sorts of other Geeky Stuff

Many thanks to BoingBoing for pointing out to me the new EP from a band called Mad Tea Party.  The album is called Zombie Boogie, and it’s perfect Halloween party music.  With lyrics like this, how could you go wrong?


Zombie boogie, it’s a killer jive
Zombie boogie, it’s not alive
Zombie boogie, no one survives

Zombie boogie, it’s the latest craze
Zombie boogie, straight from the grave
Zombie boogie, puts you in a daze

Zombie boogie, it’s a solid fact
Zombies died, now they’re comin’ back
It’s the zombie boogie, and you’re a snack

To hear the EP’s songs, including Zombie Boogie and Cemetery Stomp, go here.  You can also download the tracks there as well for about a dollar a song.  If you download all of them, you get a bonus song, a cover of the 80’s classic Abba Cadabra.  Awesome!!!

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Live Review // New Earth Music Hall // Athens, GA // Oct. 9, 2009

posted October 27, 2009

-Review and photos by John Barrett

Performer Magazine’s Blog

Bluegrass has never been my favorite style of music. Although I understand the down-home vibe it channels, it’s always seemed to me a restrictive genre, and most of the bands I’ve heard blend together indistinctively. So when I ventured out to a bluegrass show at New Earth, I wasn’t exactly holding my breath.

Fortunately, the Virginia-based progressive bluegrass band Larry Keel & Natural Bridge completely surpassed my expectations. Whereas I expected a concert filled with predictable, countrified chord progressions and an emphasis on overly cheery vocals, these guys turned the usual conventions of the genre on its head.

larry keel3perfmag

photo by John Barrett

Comprising Larry Keel (acoustic guitar/vocals), Jenny Keel (upright bass), Mark Schimick (mandolin/vocals) and Jason Flournoy (banjo), the instrumental setup was very much akin to a traditional bluegrass band — making the musical contrast all the more unexpected. Of course the foursome incorporated some of the sunny, homespun vocal harmonies that define the bluegrass genre, but they were sparsely utilized. Refreshingly, they focused on intense instrumental jams, during which they tossed solo passages back and forth at dizzying speeds.

larry keel2perfmag

photo by John Barret

Larry Keel, Schimick and Flournoy all displayed stunning virtuosity on their respective instruments. Keel, replete with a beard that could house a bird’s nest, was the clear leader of the group, driving each jam with rapid-fire melodic lines and arpeggios that would be challenging to replicate even on an electric guitar. Schimick and Flournoy pulled their weight as well, rising up to match Keel’s insane speeds. This three-pronged attack created a flurry of motion in the group’s sound comparable to flamenco music. Jenny Keel’s pulsating bass lines provided a firm anchor to the whirlwind, and she also served as the group’s mouthpiece onstage.

larry keel1perfmag

photo by John Barrett

To everyone in the audience’s surprise, Larry Keel & Natural Bridge even got heavy, with a sudden surge of distorted guitars and vigorous, off-kilter riffage that recalled progressive rock.

And in the vein of the freewheeling, all-embracing nature of bluegrass, the band invited no less than 10 musicians onto the stage for the explosive encore, who wielded instruments ranging from tenor saxophone to melodica.

-Review and photos by John Barrett Posted by PerformerMag at 5:40 PM

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Performances by Larry Keel and Natural Bridge, Bawn in the Mash (from Kentucky), Dwayne Brooke (From The Woodshedders), and The Keel Brothers (Larry and Gary).

Video Preview by  G Social Media/ AskAsheville.

LARRY KEEL AND NATURAL BRIDGE is undeniably the most powerful, innovative and all-out exhilarating Acoustic Americana ensemble performing today. Period. Lead by award-winning Flatpicking Guitar genius Larry Keel, this group takes Bluegrass instrumentation into totally surprising places and spaces, from the purest traditional forms to the most astonishing experimental sonic journeys a listener can undertake. The mission is always clear: to let technical skill, honest emotion and fearlessness connect their playing and singing to their audience, to entertain and to thoroughly ENJOY the experience! “We hope,” says Keel to reporter TJ Boley, “to achieve a commonness between everyone that listens to our music, and let the magic of the music take over the moment and bring everyone together. We want them to be pulled into the music.”

Keel himself absorbed the best lessons of 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 to his original music. The combination is pretty irresistible, and has earned Keel the highest respect and billing among the top acoustic musicians alive, and some now gone: Tony Rice, Vassar Clements, Sam Bush, Del McCoury, John Hartford, Bill Monroe, Mike Marshall, Darol Anger, to name a few. And his fierce, high-spirited energy also appeals to young rockers, jammers and alt country pickers and fans who are equally drawn to Keel’s deep rumbling voice, his earthy and imaginative song-writing, and his down-home-gritty-good-time charm. Keel regularly collaborates with JamBand and Rock giants Yonder Mountain String Band, Keller Williams, Jorma Kaukonen, David Nelson, Jim Lauderdale, members of String Cheese Incident and Leftover Salmon, amongst others.

Joining the award-winning Flatpickin legend are his MIGHTY band Natural Bridge: Mark Schimick on mandolin and vocals, Jason Flournoy on banjo and vocals, and wife Jenny Keel holding strong on upright bass and vocals. You won’t believe what these musicians achieve with just these simple, acoustic instruments, with nothing but volume enhancement to deliver the musical message. One live encounter with this artist and his band proves undeniably and out loud to the world that they are the best at what they do and they cannot be replicated, thus placing them in a musical class all theirown: LARRY KEEL AND NATURAL BRIDGE will amaze you!

Fishing Reel Video of Larry Keel and Natural Bridge at Watermelon Park Fest ’09
Internet Archives for Larry Keel live recordings

Bawn in the Mash is Experimental Americana for Intergalactic Folk. “Bawn in the Mash bridge the rarely traversed gap between bluegrass and rock ‘n’ roll with the effortlessness of careful students of both.”- The Nashville Scene. They are from Paducah, KY. www.bawninthemash.com

Dwayne Brooke is a guitarist, singer, and songwriter who shines out like a ray of moonshine from the dense tangle we call West Virginia. Somewhere between Jimi Hendrix and Stephen Foster he became enchanted, and thus supremely influenced, by the (awesome) musical stylings of Django Reinhardt. He has rendered forth a host of modestly incredible songs, which sources report, cause listeners to “furiously oscillate their hind-parts and experience satori…” Dwayne is also crown-prince of “The Woodshedders”, the amazing septet that explores the boundaries of traditional acoustic music, and bring forward an array of influences including Swing, Old-Time, Bluegrass, Rhythm & Blues, and especially the Hot Club Jazz of Django Reinhardt. The Woodshedders’ debut CD “Catch That Yardbird” just won the JustPlainFolks Roots Album of the Year Award for 09. http://www.thewoodshedders.com

The Keel Brothers consider that their music is deeply rooted in their father Jim Keel’s generation and his musical tastes, drawing on selections from the earliest Stanley Brothers, Hank Williams, Doc and Merle Watson, Classic Country Gentlemen, fiddle tunes and flatpicking guitar tunes and old ballads that were always a part of the weekly “jam sessions” of the Keels’ large circle of Bluegrass picker-friends. It was Larry’s older brother Gary (older by 12 years) who taught him to play the guitar at age 7, and bought him his first instrument. The “Keel Brothers” project is the long overdue glimpse into the fantastic family energy that launched young Larry into virtuoso playing by the age of 17. Listen to the Keel Brothers here.

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By Krista Harris, The Brunswick News, Ga.



Oct. 23–Rafters is the place to be Saturday night.

A new group with a new sound will grace the stage. The Galen Kipar Project is all about sound and composition.

This three-piece band based out of Asheville, N.C., offers an eclectic mix that music lovers will appreciate.

“We are a band on the rise,” said Galen Kipar, who plays classical guitars, an acoustic Guild D-40 and Horner harmonicas. “Some of the music you will want to dance to and others you will want to sit down and have a beer … .”

Kipar and the band describe their sound in four words — Blues, fusion, soul and folk.

“It’s basically music that has soul and Blues roots,” explained Kipar. “It’s going to be a great show, and in these hard times everyone needs to have a good time.”

The band has a score of original music, but will also play some cover songs. This year has been a busy one for them — playing at the John F. Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., and at Floydfest in Virginia. The band has been working on a new album for 2010 and just released a single “October Snow” this month.

Kipar said playing in Coastal Georgia has been a long time coming. He is originally from Augusta, and is a graduate of Brevard College where he studied composition and majored in music. He enjoys creating a sound that brings peace of mind. His fellow bandmates are Jon Morrow on guitar and Jeremy Young on percussion.

“This is what we do for a living,” said Kipar. “We love it and its gets easier every year. It is a wonderful thing to travel around and meet different people.”

The Galen Kipar Project is a band on the rise, and will leave people wanting to hear more.

Photo By: Sean Cuddy

Photo By: Sean Cuddy

If you go

The Galen Kipar Project will play at 10 p.m. at Rafters, 315 1/2 Mallery St., St. Simons Island. Cover is $5.


To see more of The Brunswick News or to subscribe to the newspaper, go to www.thebrunswicknews.com

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by Monty Chandler

October 23, 2:38 PM

Charlotte Music Examiner www.examiner.com

Larry Keel & Natural Bridge @ the Visulite Theatre         © Monty Chandler

Larry Keel & Natural Bridge @ the Visulite Theatre © Monty Chandler

Larry Keel & Natural Bridge brought their world class Bluegrass performance to Charlotte’s Visulite Theatre thursday night. The show featured Larry Keel as the master guitarist; his talented wife Jenny Keel on the Upright Bass; long-time friend, associate, co-writer and Mandolinist Mark Schimick; Louisiana native and Banjo master Jason Flournoy.

As a group, Larry and the Natural Bridge members have spent much of 2009 touring and promoting their latest CD release “Backwoods” which has met with critical acclaim across the Bluegrass and Americana national music scene. These guys drive bluegrass to the edge with their song selection, unique material and technical competency on their instruments – man that just doesn’t even cover how good they are!

Photos of Larry Keel & Natural Bridge’s Visulite performance.

Before the show, I sat down with Larry for a short chat while he waited for his to-go dinner to arrive at the Visulite. Life on the road – arrive, unload gear, perform sound-check, grab a bite to eat, deliver the goods in a solid performance – and fit an interview in there as well. Larry was extremely gracious with his time, grounded in his interaction, and thoughtful of the people who make what he does possible.

Larry Keel @ the Visulite Theatre by Monty Chandler

Larry Keel @ the Visulite Theatre by Monty Chandler

Larry has a fun-filled, yet busy, calendar planned for the remainder of 2009 with the Jourma Kaukonens Guitar Camp at the Fur Peace Ranch beginning later in October. Larry supports the Camp as an instructor and mentor for novice and accomplished guitar players alike. Following that the band has 6 shows within the Virginia / Carolina area, several with Tony Rice, before heading over to the Pacific Northwest for 5 shows at the beginning of December. Larry Keel & Natural Bridge will close this year and begin the next with a New Year’s Eve celebration in Asheville, NC.

While bluegrass music has traditionally had an appeal to people of all ages from 18 to 80, I wondered about Larry’s views on the growth of the genre within today’s technology era. He’s already seen the changing dynamic involving trends in music sales transitioning from physical CD’s to online download. Larry shared, “Everything from marketing to sales to production is changing rapidly. Youth today don’t buy CD’s. They buy the song digitally and integrate it with their other devices. The internet helps drive visibility to the music, let’s folks experience it to know if they like it. ” With an audience that also listens to everything from Nine Inch Nails to Hip Hop to Reggae, Larry believes that bluegrass’ appeal is in its own diversity within the genre. “The young folks like the high energy songs and instruments used in bluegrass music. Technology allows for availability of the music and peoples access to that music”.

As a recognized flat-picking guitar master, song-writer, and band leader, Larry shared his thoughts about his roles as performer, teacher and student.    As a performer Larry feels it’s his responsibility to give it his all – “a selfless performance leaving everything on the stage”. Performing is Larry’s avenue for communicating his soul via a spiritual performances. As a teacher Larry gets “enormous pleasure from watching the student and observing their habits while providing them guidance in their achievement of what they want as a player”.  His role is to help them get better. Passing on what he knows and experiencing their joy brings Larry great satisfaction. As a student Larry feels he is in constant learning mode. It’s through “observation of others, from a solo singer performing in excellent tone, to Clapton’s range and rifts on his guitar, to listening to U2’s Edge. Observing how they achieve the emotions and communications of the point they are trying to get across in their music” that Larry continues to expand his music and appreciate others creativity.
Larry Keel @ the Visulite Theatre by Monty Chandler

Larry Keel @ the Visulite Theatre by Monty Chandler

This has been a very good year for Larry & Natural Bridge. Even with the recent release of their newest CD “Backwoods”, the band continues to work on fresh material with approximately 15 different songs under development. With several songwriters in the group, each knows what may fit the bands vibe and brings what they think will work to the table. This keeps it lively for everyone. Larry promises “fresh material throughout 2010”. An indepth article in Bluegrass Unlimited should be out in the February timeframe. He’s looking forward to working closely with Tony Rice and Peter Rowan throughout the year on new material. There’s even a “possibility” that we’ll see a new CD release from Kellar & The Keels in 2010. All new material – let’s keep our fingers crossed for that little prediction to come true! Larry also plans to stay active in the festival circuit next year. It’s his way of keeping in touch with all of the fans of bluegrass music – “shaking hands and meeting people is what it’s all about”. By far the thing that has Larry most excited at the moment is the work he’s doing with a project called Fishin’ & Pickin’. With fishing being his favorite past-time and along with mountain living brings him the balance needed in life, Larry explains that he “needed a way to turn the tables of Jenny’s insistence that pickin’ come before fishin’.   Best way to do that is form a company that allows for both”. The objective of this project is to integrate Larry’s expansive knowledge of everything fishing, from the how to the why to the where to the what with, Larry hopes to produce video with tips on the aforementioned aspects of the fine art of fishing. Putting the content on a Website (Fishin’ & Pickin’) that would feature fresh releases of music video every 30-45 days, pickin’ tips, and highlights of upcoming music events, as well as tackle tips and video of fishing trips to places like Alaska, Belize, Idaho, and Perry, GA. There’s a sparkle in Larry’s eye as he describes his vision for this new endeavor – with that passion there’s no doubting its success.

Photos of Larry Keel & Natural Bridge’s Visulite performance.

In closing our chat, just as Larry’s dinner arrives, he made it a point of asking me to include a humble “thank-you” to all the people who come out to the shows and support live music in their community. That’s what makes it possible for folks like him to do what they do and for the shows to exist.  For one, I’m glad he does it all!

Keepin’ it live,


Click to view a slideshow of Monty Chandler Photographs of LKNB

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By DAN ARMONAITIS For the Herald-Journal

Published: Thursday, October 22, 2009 at 3:15 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, October 21, 2009 at 8:55 p.m.

Asheville, N.C.-based duo Mad Tea Party will crash The Showroom for a performance Friday night.

Asheville, N.C.-based duo Mad Tea Party will crash The Showroom for a performance Friday night.

Much like the creatures that Mad Tea Party sings about on the title track to its new EP, “Zombie Boogie,” vinyl is back from the dead.

The wild and wacky Asheville, N.C.-based duo — consisting of guitarist Jason Krekel and ukulele player Ami Worthen — put out its new four-song, Halloween-themed release on a 7-inch, 33 RPM vinyl record.

“Putting out vinyl is as much for ourselves as it is for the public,” Krekel said. “Even though a lot more people are starting to appreciate vinyl, it still isn’t at the level where you can promote it like a CD. We still have to burn some CDs to send to radio stations because a lot of them don’t play vinyl.”

Mad Tea Party has also come up with a solution for its fans who don’t own a turntable. With the purchase of the record, a code will be provided for easy online access to digital downloads of the material plus a bonus track.

The ultra-cool picture sleeve that accompanies the EP is a Krekel creation, utilizing another old-school medium — letterpress printing.

“I kind of did that for people who might not be able to listen to records, figuring they might be inspired to have (the EP) because an original piece of art comes along with it,” Krekel said. “It’s a linoleum print. I carved it out and handset the type.”

Vinyl seems a perfect fit for a band that specializes in hillbilly-flavored, 1960s-style garage rock akin to that of cult favorites Southern Culture on the Skids.

“I’ve got some great old records from the ’50s and ’60s that still sound better than any digital CD I have of the same artist,” Krekel said. “The Beach Boys’ ‘Pet Sounds,’ to me, sounds so much better with some pops and scratches than it does remastered digitally.

“There’s just something cool about records. It feels like a time machine when you put those things on the turntable.”

Regardless of the format, the music on “Zombie Boogie” is what makes the release special.

Just in time for Halloween, Mad Tea Party has provided a revved-up collection that seems custom made for a party. The title track was written by Worthen, and Krekel provided an original song called “You Spooked Me.”

Henry Westmoreland of the Squirrel Nut Zippers plays a blistering baritone saxophone on the EP, which also includes a pair of obscure cover tunes.

“We had it in our heads for like two years that we wanted to do a Halloween record,” Krekel said. “Ami kind of capitalized on the zombie craze with her song, and I went for sort of an homage to Screamin’ Jay Hawkins and King Kahn & the Shrines with mine.”

Earlier this year, Krekel lost his father Tim, a lifelong musician who wrote songs that were recorded by such artists as Rick Nelson, Jason and the Scorchers, Delbert McClinton and Patty Loveless.

“Whenever I saw my dad, it was usually in the context of a gig,” Krekel said. “He lived his life completely for the single enjoyment of being a musician and never compromised. And, for me, that’s very inspiring.”

Want to go?

Who: Mad Tea Party
When: 9 p.m. Friday
Where: The Showroom, 149 S. Daniel Morgan Ave.
Tickets: $8 (advance), $10
Information: 582-0056 or www.hub-bub.com

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by John Staton

Star News in Wilmington, NC

First of all, they’re not that kind of Tea Party. Second of all, one of these days I’ll write a feature about this awesome Asheville duo – Ami Worthen (vocals, ukulele, guitar) and Jason Krekel (vocals, guitar, fiddle, foot drums), pictured at top– that’s bringing songs from its new album “Zombie Boogie” to town. The title track is a uke-driven rockabilly tune about a teenybopper who’s devoured by a zombie. “You Really Spooked Me” is a garage rock screamer with more than a lotta soul. Sounds like it’s party time. Details: 9 p.m. (doors) Saturday, 255 N. Front St. (ground floor), downtown Wilmington. With Sarah Blacker. $7. www.TheMadTeaParty.com or www.MySpace.com/TheMadTeaParty

Asheville garage/surf/rockabilly band Mad Tea Party plays the Soapbox Saturday, Oct. 24.

Asheville garage/surf/rockabilly band Mad Tea Party plays the Soapbox Saturday, Oct. 24.

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