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Posts Tagged ‘Earthday’

Larry Keel and Natural Bridge have got a fun weekend in store to celebrate Earthday. They are playing shows in Athens, Ohio; Martinsville, VA; Harrisonburg, VA, and Charlottesville, VA.

Here are a couple great interviews …

Let’s start with Thursday April 16th in Athens, Ohio and an interview with bassist Jenny Keel:

Larry Keel and Natural Bridge prepare for a weekend at Jackie O’s

Bridget Mallon • For The Post • bm257008@ohiou.edu

Jenny Keel. Photo by John C Hancock

Larry Keel and Natural Bridge will open the Almost Bluegrass Fest tomorrow night at Jackie O’s Pub and Brewery.

Keel and his band mates – Mark Schimick, Jason Flournoy and Jenny Keel – will share their eclectic style with Athens during the show. The band uses acoustic instruments including guitar, banjo, mandolin and upright bass.

The Post’s Bridget Mallon spoke with bassist Jenny Keel about the band’s music, its future plans and playing in Athens.

The Post: How would you describe Larry Keel and Natural Bridge’s style of music?

Jenny Keel: We’re a very powerful acoustic ensemble. We play original mountain music. It’s kind of like mountain rock music. It’s really high-energy, emotional and fun. It spans a lot of territory, all with acoustic instruments.

Post: What inspires Larry Keel and Natural Bridge songs?

Keel: Larry writes about everything. There’s historical topics, there’s mountain living, there’s philosophy, there’s family, moonshine, animals, love, war … anything with soul and magic inspires us musically.

Post: What do you hope people take away from your live shows?

Keel: I hope that they have a really good time and leave with a smile on their face and that they want to do it all over again together sometime.

Post: What is your favorite part of playing with Larry Keel and Natural Bridge?

Keel: Just connecting with people all across America and the world and having great honest encounters with people. Our mission every night is to have a good time with people and to go on a musical journxey together … and just to be open for anything that might develop.

Post: What are the band’s future plans?

Keel: To keep making magic as often as we can together as a band and together as human beings. Do something good every day, that’s our goal. Also keep writing music and working to create more music.

Post: Have you played in Athens before?

Keel: Oh yes, we’ve played several venues on the college campus and at festivals around the area. We love the local musicians, and we’re looking forward to getting back there.

READ THE FULL ARTICLE AT: http://thepost.ohiou.edu/Main.asp?SectionID=3&SubSectionID=5&ArticleID=31284

Here is an interview with banjo player Jason Flournoy for Friday, April 16th in Martinsville, VA:

Bluegrass and more set Friday in concert at Rives

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

By ELIZA WINSTON – Bulletin Staff Writer

Jason Flournoy. Photo by Jon C Hancock

Guitarist Larry Keel and his band, Natural Bridge, are known for their bluegrass, but concert-goers can expect to hear much more when the group performs here Friday, said banjoist Jason Flournoy.

“We are a string band that looks like a bluegrass band, but we play just about everything,” Flournoy said. “It is hard to put the band in any certain category.” Keel, an award-winning musician and Virginia native, and Natural Bridge will play Friday at the Rives Theatre in uptown Martinsville. The concert is first sponsored by Friends of the Rives Theatre, a new volunteer group dedicated to preserving the uptown venue. It took over the theater on Jan. 1.

Flournoy, who has been on the bluegrass circuit for more than a decade, said the group plays everything from bluegrass and rock ’n’ roll to jazz and reggae. The audience can expect to hear music that “sounds like everything from Grandmaster Flash to Bill Monroe,” he said.

The performance will feature material off the band’s recent release, “Backwoods.” Keel and Natural Bridge’s performances are always high energy, and the band feeds off the energy of the audience, Flournoy said. ”If the crowd is ready to rock out,” he explained, “the band will be even more fired up.”

Keel, who was born in Manassas and lives in Natural Bridge, has been playing guitar since he was 7. At 18, he became a contracted musician to play bluegrass at the Tokyo Disneyland theme park in Japan for seven months. Since then, he has recorded several CDs, won first place at the guitar competition at the Telluride Bluegrass Festival in Colorado, and has played at MerleFest in North Carolina and many other bluegrass festivals.

Mark Schimick. Photo by Jon C Hancock

Natural Bridge, which formed in 2005, also includes Mark Schimick on mandolin and vocals and Keel’s wife, Jenny Keel, on upright bass and vocals. The band does about 130 shows a year, said Flournoy, who lives in Asheville, N.C. He said touring the Southeast is a lot easier than states such as Colorado, because shows are closer together on the East Coast.

Read more here: http://www.martinsvillebulletin.com/article.cfm?ID=23265

You can also see a fun blurb here in the Roanoke Times.

Mandolin player Marck Schimick also went live on air for a tv interview in Martinsville this past Monday.

Then Saturday, LKNB heads on into Harrisonburg to play the Clementine and then on Sunday to a big Earthday event at the Charlottesville Pavillion.

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Martin Luther King, Jr. Park in downtown welcomes Asheville Earth Day presented by Greenlife Grocery on Saturday April 19th from 10am – 10pm.  The City of Asheville, The Asheville Music Jamboree (AMJam), Arts 2 People and Foothills Brewing are sponsoring this free event.

If, in years past, you have enjoyed Greenlife Grocery’s Asheville Earth Day efforts you will appreciate the change in venue and boost in entertainment.  Greenlife, the presenting sponsor, has teamed up with Mountain Roots Management to bring this years event to a new level.  Plenty of WNC-based vendors will be on hand for the day’s activities.

Asheville Earth Day will feature an expansive Eco-Village, Earth Eco Stage and a variety of musical entertainment.  The Eco-Village will feature conscious cause-defending organizations participating with information booths and calls to action.  The Earth Eco Stage is a platform for educational speakers to develop awareness of how our community members can get involved in creating a sustainable planet.  Participating organizations include Blue Ridge Bio-Fuels, Clean Water for NC, Canary Collation, Mountain Area Information Network, WNC Green Building Council and many others. HeadCount, a national voter registration group will also be on hand to register voters for the upcoming May primary.

Asheville Earth Day  will have live music stage with New Orleans funk masters, Porter, Batiste and Stoltz (PBS) headlining.  Other artists include Josh Phillips Folks Festival, The Asheville Horns, Shining Rock, Boo Ray, Grand Pappy, Mother Song and The Mayan Dancing Group. Music begins at 11am and continues until 10pm.

Beer is being provided by North Carolina’s Foothills Brewing.  A portion of the proceeds from beer sales will be donated to local arts non-profit Arts 2 People, whose projects include the Lexington Avenue Arts and Fun Festival, REACH Programming and the Asheville Mural Project.  To find out more visit http://www.arts2people.org.

Asheville Earth Day is fun for the whole family and will have a Kids Universe featuring arts, crafts, face painting and story teller Laura “Lulu” Edmonds, from the Oakley Library in East Asheville, telling her favorite children’s stories.  Everyone can join in the fun and use their imagination in creating an earth-friendly sculpture project using trash and recycled materials.

Everyone is encouraged to ride their bikes to the event. The first 50 cyclists will receive a free basket for their bikes from Cynthia’s Twigs.  There will be a bike corral hosted by Strive Not to Drive whose goal is to raise awareness about the connection between transportation, air quality and health.  Strive Not to Drive will take place May 12-16;  organizers encourage people to avoid driving their cars part of a day or several days to experience the benefits and opportunities of walking, bicycling, riding the bus, carpooling, rollerblading, telecommuting and other forms of alternative transportation. To find out more visit http://www.blueridgecommute.com.

Another way to take advantage of alternative transportation is to ride Lazoom Tours, the purple biodiesel art bus, from MLK Park to the post-event party at Stella Blue.  Porter, Batiste and Stoltz will take the stage for a late-night set starting around 11 pm.  The ticket price for the after-party is $12.

Mountain Roots Management, an event company based in Black Mountain, has handled the logistics of Asheville Earth Day Celebration for 2008’s edition. Volunteers, non-profit organizations and like-minded individuals interested in participating are encouraged to get in touch with the event organizers at mtnbob4@gmail.com.

Greenlife Grocery sponsors this free event at Martin Luther King, Jr. Park.

For general information, please email ashevilleearthday@gmail.com.

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