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Archive for May, 2011


Original, and from the soul, Larry Keel, an acoustic Americana flatpicker, delivers inventive bluegrass, country, jam rock, roots reggae and indie-alt while always honoring those that introduced Bluegrass and Mountain Music. When Larry and his brother Gary Keel team up, as they occasionally do for live shows and two albums in the past six years, expect lightning-fast flatpicking!

The Keel Brothers 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 a glimpse into the fantastic family energy that launched young Larry into virtuoso playing by the age of 17. Home Grown Music Network writes about the Keel Brothers album Volume 1, “Perhaps the most enjoyable aspect of The Keel Brothers project is the happiness that pervades this recording. It is obvious that the Brothers are having a great time putting down into a permanent “record” these tunes that were absorbed during a youth spent in seizing every waking moment to play music: on the porch, in the kitchen while Mom’s cooking, at family and community picnics, cake walks, VFW benefits. And at night, while the rest of the family and the world’s asleep, Larry and Gary would be closed up in one of their bedrooms picking and recording long into the night.”

Listen to the Keel Brothers here.

Keel Brothers

John Allison Public House
Friday, June 24th, 2011

717-643-0218
104 E. BALTIMORE ST
Greencastle, PA 17225

Dante’s
Saturday, June 25th, 2011

301-639-1734
16 W.Main St.
Frostburg, MD 21532

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Jonathan Scales is offering a free download of a song off his new album “Character Farm and Other Short Stories.”

Character Farm is available at http://www.jonscales.com along with a glossy 19 x 13 poster depicting the custom designed comic book graphics illustrating each song with artwork by Gregory Keyzer.

Jonathan Scales: “The Trap” featuring Casey Driessen

Scales states, “I wrote ‘The Trap’ for a performance that I felt obligated to do (hence the name). I didn’t know all the details about the event but they asked me to compose a piece using those first 8 notes. In hindsight, the jaggedness of the melody was probably a hidden form of rebelling against this show that I didn’t initially want to do. But we played ‘The Trap’ at the event and got a standing ovation! At that point I went into the studio and recorded the track to be added to the album. Glad it all happened!”

Artwork for "The Trap" by Gregory Keyzer.

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MARTINSVILLE, VA. – A lights-laden performance from Grammy-nominated headliners the Infamous Stringdusters, two long sets from festival hosts Folk Soul Revival and a packed list of events at the workshop stage: These are just some highlights from the Rooster Walk 3 schedule recently released by event organizers.

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The Infamous Stringdusters, a progressive bluegrass band from Nashville, Tenn., will perform from 8:40-10:10 p.m. on the Creekside Stage at Blue Mountain Festival Grounds on Saturday, May 28. The band, which tours throughout the country and abroad, will be making its first trip to Rooster Walk.

The Infamous Stringdusters will headline Rooster Walk 3 on May 27-28 at Blue Mountain Festival Grounds near Martinsville, Va. Members of this Grammy-nominated band are (on floor): Travis Book, (on couch, from left) Jesse Cobb, Jeremy Garrett, (standing, from left) Andy Falco, Andy Hall and Chris Pandolfi.

“It sounds like a good time, and that’s largely one of the guiding principles of what we do these days: What sounds like the most fun, for us and for people who want to come be a part of it?” said Travis Book, a vocalist and upright bass player for the Stringdusters. “And Rooster Walk fits the bill. It’s gonna be a really great time, and that’s one of the most important things to us. Since we’re all just spinning around on this planet, why not try to enjoy it as much as possible?”

Roots-rockers Folk Soul Revival are the only band scheduled to perform during both nights of the festival. The group, which formed in Wise just three years ago, will play on the Blue Mountain/Bassett Furniture Stage from 10:25 p.m.-midnight on Friday, May 27. FSR will play one night later on the Creekside Stage from 5:30-6:50 p.m.

“We’re very excited to be a part of this and be the festival hosts,” said Folk Soul Revival guitjo player Justin Venable. “We’re pumped to play, and also we’re excited to be there as fans of the other bands. It’s gonna be a great time.”

Joanne Lane (left) and daughter Hunter Lane pause for a picture during Rooster Walk 2 on Memorial Day weekend, 2009.

Another new addition to the festival is the Arts at the Rives Theatre (ART) Workshop Stage, a smaller, temporary structure that will play host to nine activities on Saturday, May 28, ranging from children’s programs (painting, guided creek walk, drum circle) to yoga, songwriting and guitar workshops.

“We’re very excited about this year’s offerings at the ART Workshop Stage,” said Johnny Buck, a co-founder of Rooster Walk and an ART board member. “Being able to add programs like an educational children’s nature walk along Snow Creek, a Saturday-morning yoga class and a songwriter’s workshop will really compliment the atmosphere we’re trying to cultivate and promote. Music, the environment, education: Each one is a critical part of the Rooster Walk experience.”

Festival gates will officially open at noon May 27, with the Blacksburg-based kids rock band Levi’s Gene Pool getting things started at 4 p.m.

Mainstreet Moonshine, a band of Hampden Sydney College students that features Martinsville native Riggs Roberson on guitar, will play at 4:50, followed by the Stuart-based band Poverty Level at 5:50 and Relacksachian, of Roanoke, at 6:55.
Festival favorites Sanctum Sully will hit the Blue Mountain/Bassett stage at 8 p.m., followed by Charlottesville pop-troubadour Travis Elliott, Folk Soul Revival and jamband stalwarts the Kings of Belmont.

Gates will open at 8 a.m., on May 28, and the Pan United Youth Movement Steel Drum Orchestra will start the day’s music. The Martinsville Community Jazz Ensemble will perform at 11:35 a.m., followed by the Australian-born singer/songwriter Mariana Bell. Bluegrass behemoths Big Fat Gap will fire up at 1:45, and the soulful vocals of the Lizzy Ross Band will start soaring at 2:55.

Charlottesville rockers Rob Cheatham & GUNCHUX! Will play at 4:05. Folk Soul Revival will then perform on the Creekside Stage, followed by reggae-rocker Jesse Chong on the Blue Mountain/Bassett stage.

The Infamous Stringdusters will get going at 8:40, as Berkeley Dent of 81 Productions cranks up a full-fledged lights show. Guitar wizard Jamal Millner, of Jamal Millner and Comrades, will begin at 10:20 before giving way to The Mantras, a popular jamband from Greensboro, N.C., who will close out the festival.

A mother and daughter dance at Rooster Walk 2 on Memorial Day weekend, 2009.

Proceeds from Rooster Walk go to the Penn-Shank Memorial Scholarship Fund at Martinsville High School. The fund, like the festival itself, is named in memory of late Martinsville natives Edwin “the Rooster” Penn and Walker Shank. In just two years, festival organizers have donated $10,000 to the merit-based scholarship fund.

This year’s scholarship winner will be chosen from the current senior class at Martinsville High School. He or she will then be honored during the festival on May 28.

Tickets are currently $40 for a general admission weekend pass ($105 for VIP), and camping is $20 per vehicle with no limit to the number of occupants per vehicle. Tickets are available in the Martinsville area at the Southern Virginia Artisan Center uptown, Woodall’s Music in Collinsville and Binding Time Cafe in the Druid Hills shopping plaza.

Ticket prices will increase to $50/G.A., and $125/VIP at the gate on festival weekend.
For more information, visit www.roosterwalk.com. For a detailed band schedule, head to the festival blog at www.roosterwalk.wordpress.com.

MUSIC SCHEDULE:

Friday, May 27 (Gates open at noon)
4:00 – Levi’s Gene Pool – Blue Mtn/Bassett Stage
4:50 – Mainstreet Moonshine – Creekside Stage
5:50 – Poverty Level feat. Sammy Shelor – Blue Mtn/Bassett Stage
6:55 – Relacksachian – Creekside Stage
8:00 – Sanctum Sully – Blue Mtn/Bassett Stage
9:20 – Travis Elliott – Creekside Stage
10:25 – Folk Soul Revival – Blue Mtn/Bassett Stage
Late Night – The Kings of Belmont – Creekside Stage

Saturday, May 28 (Gates open at 8 a.m.)
11:00 – Pan United Youth
Movement Steel Drum Orchestra – Creekside Stage
11:35 – Martinsville Community Jazz Ensemble – Blue Mtn/Bassett Stage
12:45 – Mariana Bell – Creekside Stage
1:45 – Big Fat Gap All-Stars – Blue Mtn/Bassett Stage
2:55 – Lizzy Ross Band – Creekside Stage
4:05 – Rob Cheatham & GUNCHUX! – Blue Mtn/Bassett Stage
5:30 – Folk Soul Revival – Creekside Stage
7:00 – Jesse Chong Band – Blue Mtn/Bassett Stage
8:40 – Infamous Stringdusters – Creekside Stage
10:20 – Jamal Millner & Comrades – Blue Mtn/Bassett Stage
Late Night – The Mantras – Creekside Stage

ART WORKSHOP STAGE SCHEDULE:
Saturday, May 28
10-10:30 a.m. – Yoga
Join Allison Wilkie, the yoga instructor and fitness director of Chatmoss Country Club, as she leads you through a stretch of exercises that will get you ready for another awesome day of festival goodness.

11:05-11:35 a.m. – “Honey Bee Where Are You?”
“Honey bee, where are you?” is a serious question being asked around the world today. Honey bees are extremely important, but they are becoming extinct! Join Patrick County author Martha Scott as she reads her rhyming children’s book that explores life inside a honey bee colony. The book also gives ideas about how people of all ages can help these tiny, fuzzy insects continue their fight for survival.

Noon – 12:30 – Kids Painting with Redbeard
Jonathon Blake has been a fixture at Rooster Walk since Day 1, painting live performance art as the bands perform. Blake’s reputation as a performance painter is well established along the East Coast, and now he’s going to share some of his tips with kids at the festival. The result of the workshop will be a group-made painting.

1:05-1:45 – Songwriters workshop
We’ve brought together two accomplished young songwriters to discuss their craft. Travis Elliott (Charlottesville, Va.) has written about  subjects ranging from love to spaceships on the way to a song catalog of more than 500. Lizzy Ross’ work has been drawing critical acclaim since she hit the scene in Chapel Hill, N.C. roughly three years ago.

1:50-2:30- Kids’ Creek Walk
Put on your water shoes and join Robin Jensen of the Virginia Museum of Natural History as leads a guided walk along – and into – beautiful Snow Creek. Children will learn about macroinvertebrates and aquatic ecosystems as well as the importance of protecting their environment.

3:35-4:05 p.m. – Guitar workshop
Two guitar masters from different disciplines will combine forces for a very special guitar workshop. Jamal Millner brings a jazz background and classical training, while John Garris has been playing bluegrass since he was old enough to hold the guitar. Both are incredible musicians.

4:15-5 p.m. – Tie Dye
Follow our group leader step-by-step as you tie dye your own Tshirt! Buy a Rooster Walk shirt from the Merchandise Tent or bring your own. Fun for the whole family.
5-5:30 p.m. – Kids Drum Circle
Bring your budding musician for the chance to play on bongo drums of various shapes and sizes. Led by Martinsville native Jeff Sharp, kids will try their hand at keeping a beat and making some music for all to enjoy.

6 p.m. – Joe Washrag Memorial Duck Race
Once, there was a band. A band so skilled that their every song was a perfect soundtrack to the incredibly popular duck race at Rooster Walk. … Though Joe Washrag has disbanded, their spirit lives on in the form of tiny plastic birds floating down Snow Creek, with great prizes awaiting the quickest finishers.

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Tokyo Rosenthal’s “Who Was That Man?” was released May 1st through Rock n Sock Records. Here are what the critics are saying:

“Great CD Toke! Once again you have outdone yourself.” – Simon Barrett USA Today/BNN

“It would be a mistake and a shame to saddle Tokyo “Toke” Rosenthal with the label ‘singer/songwriter.’ Better to call him one of the most entertaining story tellers working today.” – No Depression

Pic by Vikas Nambiar at the Evening Muse

“‘These are the gritty points of life that make a song interesting and visceral. Listening to this album was like looking into the soul of the artist.” – MUZIK Reviews

“Thus I conclude that Tokyo Rosenthal is not an ordinary singer-songwriter and ‘Who Was That Man?’ is not an ordinary album. Terrific from start to finish.” – Bluesbunny Music

“Tokyo ’ s new tunes will grab Americana fans all over the World.” – Keys and Chords

“‘Who Was That Man?’ Is an addictive nice disc from an exceptionally gifted songsmith from North Carolina.” Alt Country

“Storytelling style remains strong on singer-songwriter’s latest Americana album.” – Creative Loafing Charlotte


See Toke In Charlotte This Thursday:
Tokyo Rosenthal
The Evening Muse
Thursday, May 19, 2011

7pm door, set at 8pm, $10
704.376.3737
3227 N. Davidson Street
Charlotte, NC 28205
www.theeveningmuse.com

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Featuring Justin Ray on trumpet, Steve Alford on clarinets, Jacob Rodriguez on saxophones, Mike Holstein on bass, Ben Bjorlie on drums

Spork! is a 5-piece jazz ensemble from Asheville, NC that combines unique instrumentation, high-energy musicianship and widely varying influences to create a totally new sound. A sound deeply rooted in the jazz tradition, but coupled with the raw power of rock or the sly grooves of hip hop. Trumpeter Justin Ray, clarinetist Steve Alford, and saxophonist Jacob Rodriguez make up the front line; playing horn lines with Tower of Power-like precision before taking off on solo flights that bring memories of Miles and Coltrane. Bassist Mike Holstein is a wizard, filling the space with bass lines, but also somehow conjuring guitar riffs and piano chords from his instrument all at the same time. Drummer Ben Bjorlie is the glue, providing exactly what is needed at any given moment, from frenzied solos to deep pocket grooves. These musicians come together to create the Spork! experience.

Spork! was born when Ray and Rodriguez moved to Asheville from New York City. They were quickly accepted into Ashevilleʼs thriving indie rock/original music scene, and Ray soon began to look for the musicians he needed to perform his own compositions. Enter Alford, who had recently arrived in North Carolina from Chicago and itʼs one-of-a-kind avant-garde jazz community; North Carolina native Holstein, a giant among the jazz musicians of the southeast; and Bjorlie, a drummer equally comfortable in jazz, rock, funk, and the host of other influences that compromise the Spork! sound.

Since its inception, Spork! has been a favorite among musicians of all types. Their first gigs at clubs around Asheville were populated almost exclusively by members of the music community. Their audiences have continued to grow, mostly through word of mouth. They hope to reach even more fans through the upcoming release of their self-titled 2 disc live recording on May 26th, 2011. The recording captures performances at two different Asheville clubs (The Rocket Club and The Magnetic Field) with the group at its funky and frenetic best.

Spork! will continue to record and perform after the release of its debut double volume CD recorded live in Asheville. Collaborations with other artists and groups are currently taking shape, including performances with a string quartet and a DJ in the continuing attempt to bring more influences under the Spork! umbrella.

Find out more about Spork! and see some great videos at http://www.facebook.com/Sporkband.

Spork!
CD release Party
Thursday, May 26th, 2011
MoDaddy’s Bar

9pm, $5
828-258-1550
77-B Biltmore Avenue
Asheville, NC 28801
www.modaddysbar.com

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I am thrilled to announce jazz/ rock Steel-Pannist Jonathan Scales is touring around his album release with a few shows opening up for classically trained pop cellist Ben Sollee this June!

Ben Sollee is a genre-bending cellist and vocalist who released his new album “Inclusions” on May 10th. Armed with a cello, Sollee is canvassing the country, sometimes by bicycle, imploring folks to rediscover the connections between music, art, film, dance, their community, and personal relationships. American Songwriter states, “Inclusions is a thoughtful and thoroughly imaginative album about what a huge and complicated undertaking it is to truly relate to other human beings, what with all our mismatches in expectations and differences in background, experience and belief.”

Jonathan Scales has been called a “…rising star of the steel drums…” by Traps Magazine, while Pan on the Net refers to him as “the Real Deal” and having “A Thelonius Monk-like attitude with a Mozart creativity that works.”  When Steel Talks sums it up with, “At the end of the day, Scales is going to be a major play in rewriting the books on steelpan music outside of the box.” Like Sollee, Scales is also touring around a new release “Character Farm & Other Short Stories” which features guest appearances by Jeff Coffin (of Dave Matthews Band/Bela Fleck & the Flecktones), Yonrico Scott & Kofi Burbridge (of Derek Trucks Band), and fiddle virtuoso Casey Driessen. “Through the album’s countless turns, Scales manages to blend in the very particular sound of steel pan seamlessly with everything from a flute, horn and saxophone to the oft-accompanying electric guitar, all while showing off the easily stereotyped instrument in a new light,” declares Exclaim.CA.

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Jonathan Scales and his Fourchestra will be opening for Sollee on:

Friday, June 3 ~ Old Rock House ~ St. Louis, MO
Saturday, June 4 ~ White Rabbit Cabaret ~ Indianapolis, IN
Sunday, June 5 ~ 20th Century Theater ~ Cincinnati, OH

Click the Pics to Get the Albums Today:

Ben Sollee Inclusions

Jonathan Scales Character Farm and Other Short Stories



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Explore the Asheville Art Scene through the Eyes of a Local Artist:

Introducing LaZoom Asheville Art Tour

With Artist Guide Gabriel Shaffer

LaZoom Asheville Art Tour is a first-of-its-kind art tour of Asheville, beginning Saturday, May 21, and running every Saturday at 11:00 a.m. from the French Broad Food Co-Op.  The entertaining, non-comedic tours explore the neighborhoods and studios of numerous working artists, including Downtown, the River Arts District and West Asheville, while learning about the Asheville art scene, from local artist Gabriel Shaffer.

“We are connecting people who are interested in contemporary art to the contemporary artists.  We are raising an awareness of the Asheville contemporary art scene by taking people directly into artist studios,” says Schaffer.  “This Art Tour is a way to make the contemporary Asheville arts scene accessible.”

The LaZoom Asheville Art Tours include a musical act and will explore the neighborhoods and studios of numerous working visual artists, including artists working downtown, in the River Arts District and in West Asheville, while providing insight into the local creative history. Confirmed participating artists: Ben Betsalel, Julie Armbruster, Heather Knight, Moni Hill, ClaySpace Co-Op, Sean “Jinx” Pace, Melissa Terezza, Alena Hennessy, Dustin Spagnola and more.

The tour will cover a broad scale of genres, mediums and locations to demonstrate the diverse creative landscape. Customers will walk away from the tour with a glimpse into the process of art-making and a better understanding of the Asheville art community.

DISCOUNT ART TOUR TICKETS FOR MAY AND JUNE
Tickets for the Art Tours will typically be $35 each, but for the months of May and June, LaZoom is running a special of $28 per ticket ($15 for kids).  Tell your friends!!  This tour is a one-of-a-kind glimpse into the Asheville Art Scene through the voices and work of local artists.  It’s truly a wonderful and educational experience.

To Purchase Tickets and Find out more:

828.225.6932 or http://www.LaZoomTours.com

More About LaZoom Bus Tours of Asheville

City tours with a twist! LaZoom’s iconic purple bus takes visitors and locals to the funny side of Asheville on their city-wide afternoon and evening Comedy Tours – historical and hysterical! Night-time, adult-only Haunted Comedy Tours take you to the campy, scary sections of town! Or get on board the Asheville Art Tours where a real live artist guides you through the River Arts District, downtown and West Asheville arts communities showcasing art-makers in their studios.

About Gabriel Schaffer

Artist Gabriel Schaffer, lives and works in Asheville, NC. He is the son of renowned folk/visionary artist Cher Shaffer and has an extensive background in writing and music, performing at such notable events as South By Southwest, Austin, TX and Around The Coyote Festival, Chicago, IL. Gabriel has exhibited his visual artwork across the country and sold hundreds of works throughout various major cities nationally and internationally.

GET ON THE BUS!

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