Archive for November, 2009

Galen Kipar on KPFA

with David Gans on Dead to the World

November 27th, 2009

orginal post by David Gans


Galen Kipar came to KPFA this week for some music and talk. He’s from North Carolina, visiting his sister in Sonoma County. I was given a copy of his CD Why It’s Needed by Erin Scholze of DreamSpider (who also put together a great gig for me while I was in Asheville in October – thanks again for that!), and I was hooked right away.

I was a few seconds late in getting the recording started (which is just as well because the vocal microphone was turned up too high at the beginning of the song anyway) so we join the performance in progress. You’ll hear (most of) “October Snow,” plus “Ebb and Flow,” “For Frieda,” and some conversation. Enjoy! (Approximately 24 minutes)

Posted in Grateful Dead Hour |

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Well, looks like the annual avalanche of x-mas “cheer” is upon us once again.

For those of you struggling not to be swept away by it, retro rock duo Mad Tea (aka Mad Tea Party) is throwing out a rope. Namely, Jason Krekel and Ami Worthen are giving away two rockin’ songs dedicated to the grinch in each of us. A little seasonal angst that you can dance to.

Just go to www.themadteaparty.bandcamp.com to download “Oh Sh*t it’s Christmastime” and “It’s Cold Outside” for your holiday playlist.

You can also hear these songs live at the Mad Tea’s upcoming shows opening for Southern Culture on the Skids – Friday, December 4th at the Grey Eagle in Asheville, NC and Saturday, December 5th at the Cat’s Cradle in Chapel Hill.

— Ami Mad Tea (aka Mad Tea Party)



Happy Holidays from Mad Tea

released 27 November 2009
Mad Tea
Jason Krekel – guitar, drums, vocals
Ami Worthen – ukulele, vocals

Engineered by Doug Williams
Mastered by Seva

Cover art by Jake Hollifield

Just go to www.themadteaparty.bandcamp.com to download “Oh Sh*t it’s Christmastime” and “It’s Cold Outside” for your holiday playlist.

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by —Andrew Ritchey

published in www.indyweek.com

From: Natural Bridge, Va.
Since: 2004
Claim to fame: Looking back to bluegrass

Larry Keel’s baritone rumbles with a timeless gravitas that is the shared voice of railroad steel drivers, traveling hoboes and modern mechanics. Rhythmic mandolin drives the songs, and vocal harmonies cry out like train whistles. The deep sound is beholden, but not bound, to bluegrass, and it bristles with excitement. Banjo solos break out between dingy verses. Keel is one of the premier flatpicking guitar players, but he’ll be given a run for his money at LINCOLN THEATRE, as the legendary Tony Rice joins in for the show. $14-$24/ 9 p.m. —Andrew Ritchey

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See original article and some great photos at www.panonthenet.com

Article written by Pan on the Net

New York, USA – First off: Jonathan Scales is a bad man. He traveled for 12 hours from South Carolina to drop his brand of Jazz /rock/fusion in New York at “The Shrine” in Harlem for a six o’clock performance on September 11. If you are going to perform musically in the stomping grounds of Max, Bird, Dizzy, Miles and Gillespie among others you have got to bring it.

Scales’ eclectic performance was thrilling. This was the first time When Steel Talks had caught a live performance of Mr. Scales and his company of serious musicians known collectively as the Jonathan Scales Fourchestra. We were not disappointed. This cat can play, and his band can perform. Scales has the control and touch of a Robert Greenidge but the controlled, edgy abandonment and creativity of a Len “Boogsie” Sharpe. If everyone else is performing Algebra – Jonathan Scales is performing complex math, Calculus – partial differential equations. We are not talking space cadet stuff. We are talking about a Thelonious Monk-like attitude with a Mozart creativity that works.

The band is well rehearsed but not stodgy. He is equipped with an abundance of talent, but does not take it for granted, with each flick of his steelpan sticks making a musical point – just on the steelpan. With his three bandmates, the Jonathan Scales Fourchestra was in town for too short a time, and with not enough fanfare.

For those who are wistful for straw hats, brightly printed shirts and island fare-styled steelpan, what Jonathan Scales drops is not for the faint of heart. He takes you to the era when a serious group of guys would get together for a jam session which was recorded live, and which, listening to it, makes one to this day, think – what on earth would music be like if that session was not captured.

This does not mean that Jonathan Scales has peaked; by no means. But it is clear that the steelpan in the hands of Scales is a cutting edge musical tool that demands any serious musician stand up and take note – and be aware.

Jonathan was quite remarkable. Catch him if you can; you will be very impressed. At the end of the day Scales is going to be a major player in rewriting the books on steelpan music outside the box. His non-Caribbean approach and roots leave him with a latitude and freedom not seen or executed by other steelpan players except for maybe a Boogsie Sharpe. In addition, Jonathan is not locked into or limited by the instrument configurations as so many other steelpan instrumentalists are.

Catch him – while he is still within reach of the masses.

Related articles:
Steelpan standout Jonathan Scales comes to town
Panist Jonathan Scales is ‘The Real Deal’

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Come ring in the New Year with Donna the Buffalo with some very exciting performances!

Photo by John Darwin Kurc

The band’s New Years Eve show will take place at the Loveless Barn, a very cool and beautiful new venue in Nashville, TN. The band played for the venue’s grand opening in January 2009 and is excited to be back celebrating New Year’s!

Complete show details, including special guests, will be announced very soon.

Tickets will be $60 and will include light hors d’oeuvres, champagne, hats, noisemakers, and a late-night brunch after the show.

It gets even better: On Wednesday, 12/30/09, Tara and Jeb will perform a duo show 9 pm at The Family Wash, which is famous for their Sheperd’s pie. They have a very nice menu with both veggie and non-veggie dishes. Reservations are recommended for the 8:30 seating. There’s no cover–it’s a pass-the-hat affair.

Then on Friday, 1/1/10, Jeb and Tara will perform another duo show at 4 pm at Saffire Restaurant (615-599-4995). For hotel reservations, contact the Hampton Inn (615-662-3133; mention the Loveless Barn show for a $105 plus tax rate) or the Microtel Inn (615- 662-0004; $79 plus tax).


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by Andy Lassiter, Charleston, SC

James Island  Messenger

Just a month ago, Larry Keel and his band Natural Bridge were playing a headline spot at Awendaw Green’s annual Rocktoberfest concert.  What ensued there was anything but expected.  Keel and the band invited local Charleston rockers Sol Driven Train on stage, for an extemporaneous medley of Bob Marley songs, musical interplay, and onstage antics that fired up the crowd and made for an extraordinary end to the weekend.  This kind of musical uncertainty and intensity is part of what has kept Keel in the bluegrass spotlight for over 10 years now.

A fan favorite in Charleston, Keel and the band (Mark Schimick on mandolin, Jason Flournoy on banjo, and wife Jenny Keel on upright bass) will be playing a special show at the Charleston Pour House on November 21, joined by bluegrass legend Tony Rice.  Rice has made a career of his own in the last 50 years, and played alongside legends like Jerry Garcia, David Grisman, Peter Rowan, Alison Krauss, and Ricky Skaggs, to name a few.  He is easily one of the most well respected flatpickers on the scene, and will certainly add a new element to the typically high energy Larry Keel experience.

How exactly Rice influences their performance is still yet to be seen, but as usual, some surprises are guaranteed.  “It’s weird,” says banjo player Jason Flournoy, “We have a real organic approach right now.  It’s real free flowing when [Tony] gets up there.  He likes playing Larry tunes, so we write out the setlist and just wait to see what happens from there.”   It will indeed be interesting to see how the stoic Rice and sometimes unruly Keel will interact on stage.

“Larry can be anything you want him to be, wild, rowdy, intellectual, chill, what you see is what you get,” says Flournoy.  “When he’s on stage, he’s fired up, he’s just happy to be there.”

To be sure, the show will be an exciting night of high energy bluegrass.  The band has a longstanding relationship with the Pour House, and looks forward to every show in Charleston.  “The Pourhouse is just good, professional people,” says Flournoy, “We love everyone there.”  As for how it feels for the band to be sharing the stage with one of their idols, “It’s just freaky, to look over and see one of my biggest heros give me a nod to take a solo…It’s awesome.”

Show Details at a Glance:
Larry Keel and Natural Bridge with Tony Rice
Pour House
Saturday, November 21st

$18 adv & 20 dos
1977 Maybank Hwy
Charleston, SC 29412

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Larry Keel and Natural Bridge with Tony Rice

Pushing the boundaries of both bluegrass music and their instruments; two of the most innovative and influential bluegrass flatpickers around, Larry Keel and Tony Rice, are teaming up for a few fall shows.

LKNB on the web: www.larrykeel.com

Tony Rice: www.tonyrice.com

Friday, November 20th at the Lincoln Theater
8pm, 919-828-4444
126 E. Cabarrus Street
Raleigh, NC 27601

Saturday, November 21st at the Pour House
10:30pm, 843-571-4343
1977 Maybank Hwy
Charleston, SC 29412

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(Asheville, NC) Come enjoy Mountain BizWorks’ Holiday Party featuring the Holiday Art Sale! This is your chance to buy local and support WNC artists by doing some holiday shopping and getting that unique arts gift for your loved one! Finger food, light refreshments, cash bar, music, awards, and more will happen during the Holiday Party portion of the day, but feel free to come early and do some shopping!

This event takes place at Jubilee! located at 46 Wall Street in downtown Asheville. The Holiday Sale will take place from 2-7pm, feel free to drop in at anytime! This is a great opportunity to get to know some of the participants in the Asheville Artist Alliance and to informally meet the staff at MountainBizWorks.

The Holiday Party starts at 5pm going through 7pm. During the Holiday Party Mountain Bizworks will be honoring and thanking their clients, staff, and community members. There will also be awards given out for noted businesses of 2009 and supporters. The Holiday Party is open to the public; please RSVP to naomi@mountainbizworks.org or 828.253.2834 x27 to let her know that you will be attending.

For 20 years, Mountain BizWorks has been in the hope business, the dream business, the opportunity business. Mountain BizWorks values serving all individuals who aspire to be entrepreneurs and they believe that people should be able to create a better life for themselves and their families through business ownership. MountainBizWorks believes that successful businesses create long-term social benefits and economic prosperity, particularly in under-served communities. They value the dignity and work of each individual and encourage self-sufficiency, accountability, and cooperation. Furthermore, they value being a community that bridges the gap between entrepreneurs of varying incomes, geographies andethnicities. Mountain BizWorks is an entrepreneurial, non-profit organization that operates with a double bottom line of social impact and financial viability — ensuring a permanent resource for the Western North Carolina region.

In 2008, Mountain BizWorks was able to provide its services (such as business development classes) to 988 entrepreneurs (65% were low-income, 61% were women, 22% were racial or ethnic minorities)

Those individuals created 159 businesses and expanded 310 businesses.

In turn, those businesses created 292 jobs and sustained 780 jobs.

They also made 64 loans totaling almost $1,002,000 and leveraging $1.3 Million.

The Asheville Artist Alliance is a collaboration between Mountain BizWorks, Arts2People, and the Asheville Area Arts Council. The mission of the Asheville Artist Alliance is to provide assistance and opportunities to WNC artists for the development of business skills needed to succeed in their venue. The Asheville Artist Alliance is in its fifth year of producing Artist Seminar Series workshops and events, which are designed forWNC artists to provide assistance and opportunities to develop successful business skills. For more info visit: www.ashevilleartistalliance.com

Come celebrate 2009 with Mountain BizWorks and the Asheville Artist Alliance!


Event Details  at a Glance:

Holiday Art Sale: 2-7pm
Holiday Party 5-7pm
Thursday December 17th

46 Wall Street, Asheville
Light finger-food provided

Event Contact:
RSVP for the Holiday Party
Naomi Langsner
(828)253-2834 ext. 27

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Yonder Mountain String Band’s Adam Aijala is teaming up with fellow guitar virtuoso Larry Keel for a short run of acoustic shows on the West Coast. This is the first time these two bad-ass guitar players are going to tear it up on stage for their fans to enjoy.  They’ll be bringing their wild riffs and antics to the stage from their experiences picking and jammim’ together backstage and at festivals throughout the years.

12/1 Seattle, WA Tractor Tavern
12/2 Portland, OR Mississippi Studios
12/3 Ashland, OR Stillwater
12/4 Arcata, CA Humboldt Brews
12/5 San Francisco, CA Hotel Utah (2 shows)

Based out of Colorado, Yonder has been touring the country extensively for the past eleven years building a rabid fan base along the way. Hailing from Boulder’s Flat Irons, Yonder bends bluegrass, rock, and jam to create a sound that is all their own. Adam Aijala is a founding member of the band and brings his flat picking prowess and vocals to the group’s dynamic sound.
Meanwhile, Larry Keel hails from the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia and is a true master of mountain music. Over the years Larry Keel has become a world-class flatpicking guitarist, and that talent has earned him legendary status with fans and the highest respect amongst his musical peers. He’s performed with such industry icons as Tony Rice, Vassar Clements, Sam Bush, Norman Blake and many more.

This special tour will highlight the two musicians’ amazing guitar skills, songwriting, vocals and their ability to collaborate and create a new sound that fans of both acts will love. Don’t miss it.


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Keel  and Natural Bridge pounced on Pittsburgh PA last week, enjoying the newly renovated Rex Theater down town..   super warm welcome from the fine folks there, and an energetic crowd of Pennsylvanians who definitely love this wide open Blue Ridge Mountain Music..   can’t wait to return!

Friday night found the band raising the roof in Richmond, VA at the Hat Factory-   wonderful restored old hat factory, for real–    with state of the art production, stage, seating, bar, brick and wood and huge timber beams..   the INCOMPARABLE HERO OF THE ACOUSTIC GUITAR, TONY RICE joined the band for this special evening..     the chemistry between Larry and Tony and Natural Bridge is so special and unique..  using nothing but microphones (no electronic plug ins when you play with Tony Rice!), these expert musicians create the most astonishing sounds and tones–  from ultra delicate and soulful, to rockin wild improvisation..  Bluegrass standards like “Teardrops in My Eyes” and “Salt Creek” are always a blast to play with Tony–   and he shines on Larry’s original tunes “Pioneers” and “Mountain Song”..   but it’s dazzling to hear him go WAY out there on jazz trips like “Kind of Blue” by Miles Davis, and Larry’s “Trance”..    the show was simply outstanding-   wildly enthusiastic crowd commotion..     now we’re chompin at the bit for the next Tony shows this month:  Raleigh and Charleston, SC  in a couple weeks!

Great time at the Attitudes night club in Blacksburg VA on Saturday night–   very cool, jazzy music club vibe..  love the balcony seating and dance floor setting–   intimate yet conducive to rockin out!  Which is what we did–   and, to make things even more special, we were joined by great Blue Ridge fiddler, Shannon Wheeler, for the whole second set..   he KNOWS how to play that thing–   great Grass tone, and able to jump on anything we throw out there..   he’s got awesome energy—  you haven’t heard the last of him!!


Photos by Jon C Hancock:

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