Posts Tagged ‘Bands’

World Cafe 2 600x600

NPR World Cafe’s ‘Sense of Place: Asheville’
Featuring Jon Stickley Trio & The Honeycutters
Live from The Grey Eagle Airs March 31st

Asheville recordings run throughout the week of March 28th

ASHEVILLE, NC — NPR’s World Cafe, produced by XPN in Philadelphia, brought the show to Asheville’s The Grey Eagle on Tuesday, February 23, 2016 for sold out evening of entertainment with Jon Stickley Trio and The Honeycutters, two Asheville-based bands who have both been making headlines across the country. World Cafe host David Dye was in the house to interview with them during their performances. The airdate to hear both band’s performances is Thursday, March 31st as part of the “Sense of Place: Asheville” series. Find out more at www.WorldCafe.NPR.org. Fans can tune into their local affiliate station at the scheduled World Cafe broadcast time and Asheville area folks can tune in to World Cafe on WNCW weekdays between 4am to 6am and 6pm to 8pm.

The full series of “Sense of Place: Asheville” will run starting the week of March 28th. While in town, World Cafe explored Asheville music and musicians with visits to downtown’s Echo Mountain Recording Studio including local musicians Steep Canyon Rangers, Tyler Ramsey of Band of Horses, The Get Right Band, and River Whyless. They also interviewed with some movers and shakers in the scene including Jessica Tomasin (Studio Manager at Echo Mountain Recording), Michelle Moog (The Bob Moog Foundation), and Alli Marshall (Author and Mountain Xpress’ Arts Editor) among others.

Front Row Focus’ David Simchock was on hand to capture in photographs show at The Grey Eagle with Jon Stickey Trio and The Honeycutters and a live audience. He writes, “Let it be known that I witnessed, if not participated in, history in-the-making in Asheville, particularly within our awe-inspiring music… as the night went on, and as David Dye’s insightful interviews delved deeper and deeper into the inspiration behind the artists, I realized how huge this event was/is for all of the musicians in Asheville, if not everyone in the city. Oh, and the actual performances were pretty bad-ass as well!” Check out the images here → http://bit.ly/AVLWordCafePhotos.

The Asheville Citizen times writes, “Jon Stickley Trio and The Honeycutters are two of Asheville’s strongest bands, and they’re both breaking into the national eye in impressive ways.” The New York Times says of Jon Stickley Trio’s sound offers “a turbocharged original with a ska upbeat and a shredding melody. And when Mr. Stickley and friends turn to bluegrass, they sound both respectful and free.” Nashville’s Music City Roots’ Craig Havighurst says of The Honeycutters, “Vocalist Amanda Platt has a voice that’s complex, sweet and aching. Even more potently, she writes songs that folks are citing as up there with the best of the field, such as Mary Gauthier and Lucinda Williams.”

World Cafe Logo wDyeSince launching World Cafe in 1991, David Dye has served as the host of this nationally acclaimed show, now syndicated on more than 200 public radio stations worldwide. World Cafe’s Sense of Place is a quarterly series which brings the whole crew, including host David Dye, to various cities around the world. Previous shows have been recorded in Rio de Janeiro, Iceland, Havana, Stockholm (Sweden), Dublin, Los Angeles, New Orleans, Austin, Pittsburg, Nashville, Memphis, Portland, and more.

For more information, please visit www.WorldCafe.NPR.org,
www.TheGreyEagle.com, www.jonstickley.com, and www.thehoneycutters.com.

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Suwanne Springfest 2012 announced more bands for the fest this past week~ Fantastic lineup!


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Check out some of the Great videos that people have posted of LAAFF 2010!

Stay tuned to this You Tube Channel for more as they get posted as well as many videos of LAAFFs past.


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Galen Kipar Project recently released their 4th album, the Scenic Route. It has been receiving some great reviews as well as airplay on WNCW, 98.1 The River, Davis Gan’s “Dead to the World” on KFPA in Berkely, Wildman Steve Radio, The Wrecking Ball Radio Hour, Penn State’s The Lion, to name a few. www.galenkipar.com

This short review was just posted for Asheville’s Bold Life:

Their fourth album in five years, GKP’s The Scenic Route is simply a cool, refreshing sonic treat just in time for summer. Of course, those familiar with this prolific local favorite won’t be surprised at the detailed orchestration, intuitive structure and obscure but fascinating lyrics of their latest offering. But they continue to push themselves in new directions and I like that. The album opens with two upbeatish tunes of very different stripes, “October Snow” and “Rushing Over My Bones.” While the tunes are great, they don’t seem to fit with the rest of the album – which almost has the pacing and emotion of one of those epic 70s rock albums. Indeed, even the plaintive guitar in “Why” reached out to remind me of Led Zeppelin’s “No Quarter”, while “Riverside” conjures wonderful feelings of the first time I heard Sandy Denny guest on Zep’s “Battle of Evermore.” There are also a few magic moments on this recording when Kipar seems to channel such brilliant singer/songwriters as Rufus Wainwright and Paul Simon (not that he needs to). Kipar is also blessed with a number of collaborating musicians, one of the stand-outs for me being Camellia Delk, who provides some really moving and haunting violin work. As a final note, I think the band would be pleased to know that out of the hundreds and hundreds of albums in my iTunes library, this album is the only one listed under the “unclassifiable” genre category. And I own Disco Volante! ~ Brent Fleury

And from Orgivation Magazine in PA:

From the first track, The Galen Kipar Project’s fourth album, The Scenic Route, will have you tapping your feet. This is folk and blues done so well, with bits of jazz and funk thrown in, making it that much more enjoyable. Track 3 sounds positively serene, and track 8, “Words”, proves how this album is perfect to play while driving along a quiet open road.~ Jessica Selby

and here is what WNC Magazine has to say:

Like countless artists in Western North Carolina, singer-songwriter Galen Kipar finds inspiration in this region’s compelling landscape. The force of a rushing river, the solitude of the wilderness, and the surprise of an October snowfall turn up in lyrics on the latest CD from Asheville’s Galen Kipar Project. Titled The Scenic Route, the eight-song album continues the band’s fusion of folk, jazz, and classical elements, creating a sound that’s intricate and memorable, sophisticated and relaxed. “Headed on down to the waterside, going to find a place to rest my mind,” Kipar sings in “Riversong,” which adds viola and electric guitar to the band’s acoustic core. Guitarist Kipar, eight-string guitar/bass player Jon Morrow, and drummer Jeremy Young all studied music at area colleges, and Kipar’s arrangements draw on his background in classical composition. The band’s fourth album in five years includes ace Asheville musicians contributing on flute, strings, lap steel, and piano. “It comes from an honest place,” Kipar says about the album. No matter where you’re headed, The Scenic Route is a trip well worth taking. ~ Michael Flynn

The best way to get a copy of the new album “the Scenic Route,”  is to come to a show!  For those of you who are too far off our beaten path, or don’t want to wait for us to make it to your town or city,
visit CD Baby or the  iTunes
UPCOMING SHOWS for Galen Kipar Project
MPAC’s July 4th Block Party Weaverville, NC Sun Jul 04 10 08:00 PM
Pritchard Park Asheville, NC Thu Jul 08 10 11:30 AM
Sky City Augusta, GA Thu Jul 08 10 08:00 PM
Square Root Brevard, NC Fri Jul 09 10 08:00 PM
Fletcher Concert in the Park Fletcher, NC Sat Jul 10 10 06:00 PM
Awendaw Green AWENDAW, SC Wed Jul 14 10 08:00 PM
Kudu Coffee Charleston, SC Thu Jul 15 10 08:00 PM
the mill Charleston, SC Fri Jul 16 10 08:00 PM
FloydFest Floyd, VA Thu Jul 22 10 04:00 PM
Awful Arthur’s – Towers Roanoke, VA Thu Jul 22 10 10:00 PM
The Grey Eagle Tavern & Music Hall Asheville, NC Thu Aug 12 10 08:00 PM
Bar Four Brooklyn, NY Sat Aug 14 10 08:00 PM
The best way to get a copy of the new album “the Scenic Route,”  is to come to a show!  For those of you who are too far off our beaten path, or don’t want to wait for us to make it to your town or city,

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Photo by Bright Life Photography

Thursday night in Charlotte, NC at the Double Door Inn

The audience at a Larry Keel performance is not simply being entertained, instead, they are having their hearts and brains happily steamed in a boiling cauldron of blazing instrumentation and BRAND NEW original sounds. Driven jamming is linked in flawless cohesion to brilliant and multiple variations. This band is anything but ordinary! A band of kindred spirits who share a common musical vision.

MORE INFO: http://www.charlottecultureguide.com/event.php?id=7806

Friday night 3/19 at the New Earth Music Hall in Athens!

A two-time national flatpick champion, Keel is known for his guitar style and a low, soulful voice. Also performing: Crawford-band Efren, which released its debut, “Thunder and Moan,” late last year. The evening will be the public’s first chance to taste Iron Tankard Old Stock Ale, the first of four beers in Terrapin’s “Georgia Theatre Sessions,” a limited series of ales brewed to raise funds for the reconstruction of the Theatre.

Terrapin Beer Co. will release the first of its “Georgia Theatre Sessions” brews at a benefit concert for the theater March 19.

At 7 p.m., Terrapin’s Iron Tankard will be tapped at New Earth Music Hall. The old stock ale is named after the iron swimming pool that was housed in the Georgia Theatre when it first opened as a YMCA. BorderHop Trio and Larry Keel and Natural Bridge will play at at 9.

Iron Tankard is the first of four beers in the “Georgia Theatre Sessions” series. Each beer takes on a name from a different era in the building’s life.

READ MORE: http://www.onlineathens.com/stories/031810/mar_592140577.shtml http://onlineathens.com/stories/031110/mar_582889242.shtml

Saturday3/20  at the Pour House in Charleston, SC

Springing Ahead

The Pour House presents a two-day season-change session

by Brian Sewell

On Saturday, Larry Keel will play two sets on the main stage. A bluegrass guitar virtuoso with a fierce flatpicking style, Keel is guaranteed to entertain. With Natural Bridge, his amply capable band of pickers, Keel’s music bridges the gap between traditional bluegrass and contemporary Appalachia.

The Atlanta-based duo of Jeff and Johnny Mosier work Americana stylings and folk music traditions into tasteful tunes. They’ll welcome acclaimed fiddler and mandolinist David Blackmon as well. All three are members of the ensemble Blueground Undergrass.  ~Charleston City Paper

READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE: http://www.charlestoncitypaper.com/charleston/springing-ahead/Content?oid=1844877

If you are in the south and wanting to hear some kickass flatpickin, a strong and steady bass, with some fiery mandolin and banjo; get your bum in gear and head out to one of these shows!

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it’s been an amazing couple of weeks for the Keel Krew-   we’ve become quite skilled at navigating the NOAA weather site… it’s the only chance we have of making it to our scheduled shows these days!  5 cancellations due to weather , in the past 3 months..  including, regretfully, the recent show at Mt. State Brewery in Thomas WV..  that elevation and those roads in and out of there are just a bit beyond our travel abilities, when it has snowed there steady for 4 days in row before the show..
but!  after that, we raged into Morgantown WV and got all wild and wonderful with the happy Mountaineers that night..  the good folks from Half Time String Band always warm things up with excellent pickin and singing, and LKNB got spiritual, spacey and psychedelic with one of the most improvisational shows we’ve ever played..  unforgettable night-

then, weather once again propelled us into a flurry of flight to get us on the road ahead of schedule last weekend, in order to make it to Colombus OH for a big night of mayhem and magic at Vic’s Midnight Cafe, sponsored by the Cowboy Hillbilly Hippy Folk..  5 bands in one night!  it was a 2-ring circus of splendid production–  back and forth between 2 stages, with fantastic sounds and mergings of minds with LKNB, Rumpke Mountain Boys, Cowboy Hillbilly Hippy Folk, Tin Hearts and One Under…!  Supreme fun and seamless flow of music for , like, 8 hours! Paul Painter is the man!

from there, we zipped through the steady snow and slush over to Pittsburgh, PA where things got scary and hairy weather wise—   thank goodness for 4 Low on the transmission..  it helps, when nothing’s been plowed!  but we made it to the wonderful Rex Theater in a super cool section of Pittsburgh..  there, we met up with our great bluegrass buddies, Greensky Bluegrass band, and the evening was launched with 2 huge sets from both bands-  great sounds abounded-   we all collaborated on a mini super set of bluegrass and reggae favorites-  we love the way those guys do “Stop that Train” by Peter Tosh..

onward through the winter fog and sleet down to Cincinnati on Saturday, where we met up with good buddies Rumpke Mountain Boys again, for a fuller night of music from those excellent folks-   they rocked a superb set of music-  talk about the ultimate fun zone!  the Play by Play is a great place to hear music-  the crew there treats everyone right..  we couldn’t help but rocket into some super satisfying pickin –  we’re on a Miles Davis kick right now, so everything has an extra improv-spontaneous-combustion, plus mountain magic feel at the moment..  AND THEN!!!!  as an added, incredible surprise, the great Jeremy Saunders (first horn in the Marine Corps Band, and member of Acoustic Syndicate!!) joined us for our set!  he sends things into an orbit that’s rarely heard, and fosters a musical exploration that we all are eager to take part in!!  then, we added all the Rumpke Mt. Boys for an extended jam that sent everything into ultra orbit..  no one wanted the night to end…..      it was pretty late when it did!

until the next episode————

LKNB. Photo by Bright Life Photography

LKNB. Photo by Bright Life Photography

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On Saturday, March 20th, PhilanthroPEAK Live will feature over six hours of music, visual arts, theatrical performances, live filming, as well as tabling for community businesses and nonprofits all united under one roof at Pack Place and the 500-seat Diana Wortham Theatre in downtown Asheville, located at 2 South Pack Square. This  all ages event starts at 5:00pm and tickets are only $10 in advance and $15 the day of the show. From 5:00-6:30 there will be an opening with beverages and an arts demos by Gabriel Shaffer and Shay Amber, a Moog Synthesiser and theramin demo with Dave Hamilton, and music by Jenny Greer of Jen and the Juice; theatre music begins at 6:30. To purchase your tickets visit www.dwtheatre.com or call 828-257-4530.

To find out more about this event go to my previous Blog post

Get to know the Performers that will be at PhilanthroPEAK Live!

Kellin Watson and Aaron Price:

Kellin Watson and Aaron Price. Photo courtesy of the band

Kellin Watson has been playing music and writing songs for the past 12 years. Releasing her first demo album, Littlethings in 1998, Kellin got her first taste of recording in a studio. Since then, she released her debut solo indie album, Paper Bird, in December 2003, at 22. After touring the east coast, Kellin recorded her second album with her band in 2005, Kellin Watson Band LIVE, Red Flag. Proving to be a fan favorite, Kellin decided to head back into the studio in 2007.

Kellin’s latest album, No Static, which was recorded at Echo Mountain Studio in Asheville NC this past year includes an array of talented musicians. The album includes a song written by Grammy Award winning Gordie Sampson called Your Place In this World as well as a few guest appearances from members of Afromotive, Sugarhill recording artists The Duhks, local singersongwriter Tyler Ramsey, and many others.

More recently, Kellin has been lucky enough to appear on a couple different television shows. Studio South (www.studiosouth.tv) shot for HDTV. As well as a show for CMT called Big Break, in which Kellin Watson made her first nationwide television debut on August 4th 2007. Kellin was chosen as one of the top 2 finalists out of the top 40 contestants from western NC to compete to open for Sara Evans at The Thomas Wolfe Aud.

Aaron Price is a three-time Buncombe County Internet Chess Champion with over 28 wins this year. When not playing internet chess, he can often be found playing keyboard in Kellin Watson’s band. Kellin and Aaron first teamed up in 2005 when Kellin recorded her record “Red Flag” at Aaron’s Collapseable Studios in West Asheville. Aaron produced Kellin’s follow-up “No Static” featuring their co-written “Chains of Love” in 2007. Kellin invited Aaron to join her band following that project.

Aaron Woody Wood:

Aaron Woody Wood - Photo by Push Revolution Photography

“My voice, my music is influenced by the world around me. It’s not my voice or influences I’m describing,” says Aaron Wood who is in a definitive period of his long career.

Wood’s inventive approach to musical style and raw emotion displayed in his songwriting has created a cohesive sound that is hard to find but heavily sought after by music lovers across the country. Throughout his long career, Wood’s has never been a musician that fits neatly into one genre. His appeal runs deeper than just a definition and calls to people who love music no matter if they prefer rock, blues, americana, or soul.

Throughout his career, Woods has toured internationally, performed with an extensive list of music legends, and received national media acclaim. In 2010, Aaron will release a new album with a distinctive approach to the 6-string and his unique twang. Fans will witness a different intensity with a polished approach.

Touring from city to city and stage to stage, Aaron “Woody” Wood will  turn heads with his commanding style. Don’t miss the opportunity to hear someone truly unique that people constantly look for but rarely find.

This is your chance; don’t you feel the push?

“(Woods) success shows, while not truly fitting into one category, TRUE TALENT can still prevail in the face of a genre driven music industry…” GoTriad, Raleigh, NC

“He seems the most likely to single-handedly tear down what seems like a hundred years of accumulated rock pomposity.” SubPop Free Times, Seattle, WA


Jar-E. Photo courtesy of the band

Jar-e’s music has an infectious ethos that dissolves boundaries. It recalls soul, rock and funk; it defies categorization and it’ll make you dance.

Since he started gigging at age 12, Jar-e has played in rock bands, jazz bands and duos and performed as a solo artist. For his sophomore album, Chicas Malas, he found his pace working in the style of hip-hop producers and jazz composers, writing musical sketches for the keyboards, bass, drums, guitars and horns while assembling a crew of skilled cohorts to play the parts. When each musician brings his or her personal style to the music, Jar-e explains, “the vision changes,” and there’s fresh energy to every intense live show. What emerges with Chicas Malas is an album that represents Jar-e more intimately than ever before.

Chicas Malas was conceived in Mexico after Jar-e’s travels took him through Greece, Cuba and Britain. It’s a clear product of his psyche: totally self-sufficient, self-aware and responsive to the environment and people around him. “I start as an empty vessel,” Jar-e says, “and I absorb the sounds of my environment into the music.”

Jar-e both relates to, and is enchanted by, the transgressive, marauding freedom fighters the “chicas malas” (literally translated as “bad girls”) represent. “They’re women that flaunt our definitions,” he says. In Chicas Malas, Jar-e looks at how certain women breed love, desire and jealousy in him. He considers how “women push me past myself, away from what is safe and known.” His music follows suit; he plays with key signatures, rhythm, time and tone, but the melodies maintain a singable, heartfelt charm.

While Chicas Malas was inspired in Mexico, it was born back in Jar-e’s home of Asheville, NC, where Jar-e returned after his travels and convened an all-star group to help him realize his musical visions. In the year and a half since his last release, War Songs and the Muse, the band earned a reputation in the Southeast for adventurous, genuine shows that always get the crowd on its feet.

Longtime producer and friend Keith “Touch” Saunders, came down south and set up a state-of-the-art studio in a barn in the mountains to help bring that live energy to the record. While their work together on War Songs was experimental and sample-heavy, this record emphasizes the raw energy of stripped down live shows. “The thing that links all of his work is a soulfulness,” says Saunders. “We definitely captured that.”

Underhill Rose:

Underhill Rose. Photo courtesy of the band.

Underhill Rose boasts a unique sound built of original songs and heartfelt singing in a genre they like to call country soul. Eleanor Underhill (named Asheville Idol a few years ago) brings her prolific songwriting, soulful singing, and banjo playing to the plate, while Molly Rose Reed too sings straight from the heart, picking that guitar of hers and captivating audiences with her joyful stage presence. Eleanor and Molly Rose met at Warren Wilson College in Asheville, NC in 2002 and soon thereafter were co-founders of what was to become Asheville, North Carolina’s beloved all-female quartet the Barrel House Mamas. From their trips playing festivals around the southeast and making a jaunt to the FOX studios in Los Angeles for an audition call-back, these two ladies have played on stages across the country belting their dynamic tunes. During their time with the Mamas, the band was named the number two folk/bluegrass band by readers of the Mountain Xpress and voted their album gathering one of the top 20 regional releases of 2006.

These roses are very excited about what is to come, and be sure to look for their highly anticipated six song EP in 2010!

The Secret B-Sides:

Secret B-Side. Photo by J. Briscoe

Based in the mountain stronghold of Asheville, North Carolina, the Secret B-Sides turn out magic-made, Soul-powered, future-Funk for kids in love. Blending flowers and chocolate, with R&B, Hip Hop, and Jazz in the mix, the Secret B-Sides help create a world where it is easy to dance, love, and laugh.

The concept of the band is simple to understand; It’s all about three things,
3) Flying saucers, 2) Dinosaurs, and 1) LOVE!
Fully equipped with these three essentials the Secret B-Sides are here on the planet, ready to help the good people of Earth get together, feel sexy, and have unforgettable joy.

The Secret B-Sides foundation of groove is laid down by none other than
Robin Tolleson, a rock-solid funkster with plenty of Old-school credential to go around. Vibrational booty-bump factor is multiplied by Shayne Heather’s considerate electric bass stylings. Juan Holladay contributes sweet and deep lyrical play à la vinyl-smooth vocal-cords and guitar strings. Hammond organ, Wurlitzer, Clavinet, Moog and other classic keys sounds are tastefully dealt through the kaleidoscopic lens of Jeff K’norr. Jason Moore gives up his flute and saxophones with decided heft, as if lifted backward from unknown Hip-Hop instrumentals in his head. Meanwhile, the starry-eyed Sean Smith attempts to kiss the sky with his trumpet, again and again, like an alien beacon, urgently calling out for the Mothership’s landing:
Please, BE . . . HERE . . . NOW!

On a musical mission to connect past, present, and future into one, flowering continuum of love, the Secret B-Sides have touched down running. When cosmic weather patterns are just right, Charles Stewart (the one you know as CHACH the NC MC) appears to share front-man duties with Juan Holladay (“so why we gotta font, man?”) In essence, however, every-man in the band, better known as the B-sides, is a man in front (“so we don’t got to front, man!”) each giving his own interpretation of life and love to the true math and madness of this music shared. The Secret B-Sides bring what has been missing, and deliver like it has been a long time coming, in hopes that you will bliss out like always.
Let the party unfold.

Jenny Greer:

Jenny Greer. Photo by René Treece Photography

Jen Greer travels the guitar neck, deftly cruising the chords of jazz, swing, rock and folk. Jenny Greer is lead vocalist and songwriter for Jen and the Juice. She writes songs that are exciting audiences to connect immediately at both the emotional and fun level, wanting to know her and become part of the groovin’ picture. A multi media wizard who juices websites, music, lyrics, guitars and cover art like Willy Wonka makes candy, Jen’s a powerhouse in the singer songwriter and arts community at large. If ever a person could make things work, rouse a crowd, organize a party, create a concert and art happening with a walloping big collaboration of sound/ fun/ art and anything else, it’s Jen.

The arrangements smart, smooth and funky. Rolling melodies gently cruise through a lyrically painted canvas and stories dot the landscape of their tunes.

Scotch Tomedy:

Scotch Tomedy is the comedy pairing of Asheville’s own Scott Bunn & Tom Chalmers. Both began doing comedy at college: Scott at Wake Forest and Tom at Columbia University. After developing the craft in Podunk towns like New York and Los Angeles, Scott and Tom move to Asheville to make it big and eventually meet. Since arriving in town, they have created and starred in the sketch comedy shows Laugh Free or Die Hard, The Audacity of Ham, and most recently Scottch Tomedy III: Building A Butter Tomorrow. Other area appearances include Tom as Crumpet the Elf in ACT’s The Santaland Diaries, and Scott at The Bebe Theatre in Judy Blume’s Forever and Heathers (where he again teamed up with Tom).

Concepts4Charity, Inc (C4C) is a national 501(c)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to engaging youth in philanthropy through the development of sports and arts programs. C4C’s recent documentary, A Call To Action, featured many high profile artists including tour heavyweights Bob Weir(The Dead), Trey Anastasio(Phish), Dave Matthews, Grammy winner Bela Fleck(The Flecktones) and outspoken activist Michael Franti(Spearhead). C4C hosted the premiere of the documentary at the HBO Screening Room in Times Square.

Concepts4Charity, Inc Contact Information
Christopher Gaspar; cgaspar@concepts4charity.org; 877-656-2469; Concepts4charity.org

March 20th Event Details at a Glance:
PhilanthroPEAK Live
produced by Concepts4Charity
Saturday, March 20th
Diana Wortham Theatre

All Ages
Tickets $10 adv/ $15 d.o.s.
2 South Pack Square
Asheville, NC 28801-3521

http://concepts4charity.org/events/87 (event site for tickets)

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By Justin McIntosh

Graffiti Magazine POSTED: February 23, 2010

Talking to Larry Keel on the phone you’d never get the impression his fingers move as fast as they do. With a laid back, almost lazy, southern draw, Keel’s voice could put even the most active mind at peace.

But on stage, Keel’s virtuoso finger-picking has lit up the crowd across the U.S., winning awards nearly everywhere he’s gone.

Come March 5, he’ll be returning to the Mountain State with his Natural Bridge band, to play a show at one of his favorite West Virginia venues, The V Club in Huntington.

Photo by Bright Life photography

Graffiti: Tell us a little bit about what’s going on with you.

Keel: Man, we’re just super busy right now. I’m sure like you all, you’ve had plenty of snow already.

Graffiti: Yea, we’ve had quite a bit.

Keel: I’m sure like you all, we’ve been rushing around, trying to get out of it. We went down to Alabama and Florida and all that end of it, trying to get out of it at the end of January. And now it’s all snowing down there. You just can’t get away from it.

But every thing’s going fine. We’re just trying to get all of our festivals in line for the festival season. That’s all rolling pretty smooth. We’re playing up in Delfest in Maryland. I love them, the McCoury Boys.

There’s one called Hookahville in Ohio. We’re playing that one, too. That’s a pretty big one. I love getting outside. With this snow, it’s gonna feel good to get outside and shake that cabin fever.

Graffiti: Are you playing All Good this year?

Keel: I’m not sure about All Good yet, but we sure would love to. We’re just trying to play a whole bunch of them and we’re just telling people to keep their ears out to the Web site.

Graffiti: You play quite a few shows here in West Virginia. What keeps you coming back?

Keel: We love the people of West Virginia. We’ve been playing there a long time and we’ve made a lot of great friends, including the Davisson Brothers, which are some great friends of ours. They’ve been really great friends and have introduced us to a lot of great people in West Virginia. We just love it, man. It’s a beautiful state and love to come back as soon as possible.

Graffiti: What are some of your favorite places to play?

Keel: As far as West Virginia?

Graffiti: A little bit of both. Within the state and elsewhere in the country.

Keel: We love playing at the V Club because everybody’s so nice there and have a great time. Patrick and them really treat you good. They’re jut wonderful folks there. I like all the different venues we play. We love the festival scene and we get to play a lot of theaters all over. We like a place where we can get the audience to come out and feel comfortable and we can get everybody on the same brain wave and just have a good time with it. That’s what makes a place special for us.

Graffiti: For a musician that’s accomplished so much, what keeps you motivated to keep practicing, to keep striving for improvement?

Keel: I love a lot of types of music. I’ll get to hear a lot of incredible musicians in all my travels and i Know a lot of amazing musicians and I play in a band with a lot of amazing musicians. The guys in my band are always learning and keeping on top of new music.

I get inspired by all that, big time; wanting to write my own music and hear my own voice and what I have to say about things. It just all inspires me — everywhere I go and everything I do.

Graffiti: Now, you’re new album was produced by Keller Williams.

Keel: We had a bunch of songs down, probably like 25 songs, and I couldn’t figure out which ones I wanted to put on one CD. So I had to call Keller Williams — he’s an old friend of mine, we’ve done a lot of recording together — and he helped me hone it down to a real CD and get some continuity to it. He added some of his flair  and some of his imagination to it and it turned out the way it did. We’re really happy with it.

I’ll add this little note, too. We were just in the recording studio with Keller again to record the second Keller and the Keels CD. That’s hopefully to be released out by June or so.

Graffiti: That’s pretty exciting.

Keel: Yea, he’s a fabulous guy. I’ve known him a long time — old friends from the northern Virginia area.

Graffiti: Are there any other artists you’d like to collaborate with at some point?Keel: Oh yea, there’s so many of them. We’ve been doing a lot of shows with Tony Rice playing in our band. He’s such a master at what he does and he’s such a wonderful person. I’ve very excited that we have more of those coming up.

Got some shows coming up with Adam Aijala from Yonder Mountain String Band that we’re really excited about. We did a big run down the Pacific Northwest, just he and I on duet guitar. He’s really fun and it’s nice bending some ideas off somebody like that.

Contact Justin at jmcintosh@graffitiwv.com

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By Matt Wake
Greenville, SC Metromix, posted originally February 3, 2010


Photo by Bright Life Photography

Folk guitar whiz Larry Keel’s career arc has included close encounters with rural music heroes. His former band, McGraw Gap, once opened for mandolin great Bill Monroe, the father of bluegrass, at a Harrisonburg, Va., show. As Keel and company closed their set with “When You’re Lonely,” a classic penned by Monroe and Lester Flatt, things really got interesting.

“(Monroe) had a walk to the stage that was probably 400 yards,” Keel remembers, “and he danced the whole way there in front of the crowd and got the whole crowd clapping.”

Recently, Keel and his band, The Natural Bridge, have been playing shows with another bluegrass legend, flat-picker Tony Rice.
“Every time I step onstage with Tony Rice, it’s a complete honor and completely awe inspiring,” Keel says. “I’ve been a fan for 30 years now.”

Keel describes his own material as “the music of the mountains.” A southwest Virginia native, Keel has a busy winter and spring lined up to bring those vibes elsewhere. In addition to the Rice tour, Keel and his wife are recording a second “Keller and the Keels” album with jam-scene star Keller Williams.

What’s a way you baby your guitars?
I fly a lot now so I keep them in a good flight case. That tends to really take care of them. I’ve got some old guitars from the ’30s and I don’t really take them on the road. That’s the best way to take care of those.

You’ve played with Jorma Kaukonen from Jefferson Airplane. He’s a guitar player who really gets overlooked when people talk about the all-time great rock guys.
You know I love to watch Jorma play for just the sensual-ness he plays with, and I really, really love the tone he pulls out of an electric guitar. Like you said, he really gets overlooked among rock guitar players, which is a sin. On top of it, he’s probably one of the nicest fellows I’ve ever met.

What’s a loud rock band that you think does acoustic music really well, too?
It’s difficult for me to say. I would have to say that Leftover Salmon was always one of my favorites for being bluegrass and rock ‘n’ roll at the same time.

A lot of your shows are available on Internet Archive. What live stuff have you been listening to lately?
There’s a guitarist from Ireland named Paul Brady, and he’s quite fascinating, really soulful.

You work a lot in the acoustic realm. Do you think a song needs to be able to be performed acoustically to have merit?
That’s a good assessment. I think music can be anything…just the voice is so musical. But I believe music has to have soul.

Larry Keel & The Natural Bridge play Gottrocks at 9 p.m. Feb. 5. Tickets are $10. For more information, call 864-235-5519 or visit http://www.larrykeel.com.

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Americana Roots posted podcasts of

Larry Keel and Adam Aijala!

Larry Keel and Adam Aijala Part 1

Mississippi Studios
Portland, Oregon


– Bloody Mary Morning
– Wildwood Drive
– Long Time
– The Mountain Song
– Hard Rocker’s Blues
– Amos Moses
– Honestly
– Pioneers
– Instrumental

Click here to go to Americana Roots Site and listen to the podcast for Part 1.

Larry Keel and Adam Aijala Part 2

Mississippi Studios
Portland, Oregon


– Corn Liquor
– Not One Drop > Jerry’s Farewell > Not One Drop
– Rain still Falls
– No Matter What They Say
– Stuck In The Middle
– Critters
– The Gilpin Swing
– Culpepper Woodchuck
– Uncle Lucius
– Left Me In A Hole
– Groundspeed

Click here to go to Americana Roots Site and listen to the podcast for Part 2

Larry Keel: guitar and vocals
Adam Aijala: guitar, harmonica and vocals

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