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Below is an excerpt from Mousike Magazine about Keller Williams and his bluegrass project with Larry and Jenny Keel. It is a really in depth and long article on Keller musical influences and project. I have posted below  the paragraphs about Keller and the Keels.  For more on Keller Williams and his one man jam band, his Colorado connection, other fun side projects and more, please do check out the full original post here:  http://mousikemagazine.com/2010/12/biscuits-in-his-gravy-keller-williams/

Biscuits in his Gravy: Keller Williams

Written By Clay Hall

For many of you, Keller Williams needs no introduction. But for anyone left out there who hasn’t heard of Keller, seen his ledendary solo act or followed his many other incarnations, well… I guess I’ve got some ‘splaining to do. Yet how the hell do you write a quick intro about a guy who has just released his 16th album (his first geared towards children), hosts his own syndicated radio show, has five side-projects listed on his website, recently published his first children’s book and is currently touring with a three-piece bluegrass outfit to promote an album of cover songs from artists as diverse as Kris Kristofferson, Amy Winehouse and Marcy Playground? It’s been said that his “Entire career seems like a eries of side projects.” ….

THIEF

Photo by Melissa Colombo

The Keels is one of Keller’s more recent projects, but it could be said that it was 20-some years in the making. Keller began playing seriously with Larry and Jenny Keel in 2004, and in 2006 they teamed up for the bluegrass album not surprisingly titled GRASS, but their friendship and musical collaboration goes back to 1991 when they were all involved in the local Fredricksburg music scene. Larry was playing in a band called Fizzawah, a side-car to his main oufit McGraw Gap and Keller would sit in, and vice versa.

Though they lived a few hours apart in Virginia, it never kept them from getting together for an afternoon jam when they had the time, and Larry also had his own connections to Colorado in the newly formed Leftover Salmon’s original banjo player Mark Vann (a TBF winner himself). Keel and Vann had been friends since they first met in ’89 and formed a bluegrass outfit called Farmer’s Trust and in 1993 Vann convinced Larry to come out to Colorado for the Telluride Bluegrass Festival where Larry surprised even himself by winning the flatpicker’s contest. “I was completely surprised, because there was wonderful talent in the whole thing, you know. Just seeing all that and getting to take in Colorado was prize enough. It’s kept me coming back for years.” Keel says about the mountains and the music during that first visit.

And fortunate we are to have enjoyed those visits over the years. With an unofficial title of ‘Bluegrass Legend and Master Fisherman’, Larry is considered one of the best flatpickers on the planet. Steeped in the old-timey and with a gravelly voice as deep and rich as mooshine on a riverbank, it’s a nice complement to Williams’ smooth-as-silk delivery. Larry’s flat-picking style is as seamless as it is gymnastic and he’s a master at simulating banjo rolls, mandolin runs or even parts that you would normally hear played on a fiddle.

The bridge between Keller and Larry is provided by Larry’s wife Jenny on the upright bass. Born into the bluegrass tradition herself and a young enthusiast, Larry and Jenny met at a bluegrass festival and were soon playing together anywhere and everywhere they could.

The whole album couldn’t flow any better, managing to create a commonality and a cohesiveness to the scattershot playlist. On youtube I found videos of the trio playing songs from THIEF alongside the gentle Rappahannock river in Virginia and the chemistry between the three is captured perfectly. Keller leading the way, at times chopping hardwood, other times throwing in his fluid and almost a-rythmic rolls and fills. Larry charges up and down the neck with his unique style of rollicking flatpicking while the beautiful Jenny Keel ties it all together with her solid timing and gentle attack, sometimes drifting off with a wistful smile, but always keeping one eye on Keller and watching out for his surprises. These videos are a testament to the essence of bluegrass, the depth of their friendship, and that good warm feeling of fraternity that only bluegrass music and good whiskey can produce. It is obvious that these people have nowhere else to be, and nothing else they’d rather be doing than playing music together.

Speaking of their friendship and collaboration with Keller, Larry says, “I’ll tell ya’, he’s always amazed me with his creativity and his ideas and the directions he heads with all of his playin’ as far as not just your typical cover songs or his original material, he’s always got a surprise in there for ya’. His rythm capability is as good as it gets, it’s the best I know of and I just love playing music with him you know, it really fires me up. We tend to read each other like a book now, it’s pretty awesome.”

And when it comes to the diverse origins of the material, the legend from Natural Bridge, Virginia says, “You know with a lot of these songs off of THIEF, me not being the big radio listener of popular music, I hadn’t heard of any of the songs that were on the CD. It was hilarious, we rehearsed ‘em and got ‘em all down and had ‘em tight and then we go out to play these shows in front of thousands of people… and everyone’s singing the words to them. I feel like the odd man out in weird way, but we put our touch on ‘em and I’m real happy to be a part of it.”

It’s easy to get caught up in those cover songs, the diversity of the source material and the unlikliness of it all.  Pickin’ on the Butthole Surfers? Amy Winehouse on corn liquor rather than crack? And who the hell are the Presidents of the United States of America, anyway? But the reality is that this is damn good bluegrass from any angle, and as far as the art of taking other artist’s songs and making them your own while still allowing the songwriting to shine through on its own merits, it is brilliant. These folks are impeccable at playing these songs, without once ever getting in the way of the songs themselves, and I can only imagine that the original artists are delighted to see their material handled with such dexterity and humility.

When I ask Keller how they chose the material for the album, it becomes clear why the choices were so succesful. “You know, a handful of those songs were road tested by the Keels and I and we definitely played them live for a couple of years before we recorded them, so that was really easy to choose those. Others were road tested by me solo and then there were a few others that we put together right there in the studio that I thought were really cool. Like the Raconteurs song, the original is very rockin’… if you listen to the words it’s kind of like one of those old bluegrass murder ballads and it works really well bluegras. It was all about the songs I knew that people would either know and sing along to, or like even if they were hearing it for the first time.”

This album proves beyond doubt that digital technology can and does capture that analog magic, as long as the magic is there to begin with, and in my mind cements Keller Williams as an incredibly talented producer. The irony is that this album is anything but a ripoff. Though it may be other folks that writ the songs, each one is left improved upon, the paradox being that Keller, Larry and Jenny bring out each song’s hidden potential by stripping them down to volume, tempo and timbre. If Keller wasn’t stuck on one-word album titles he might as well have called this record “Pimp My Song – Mountaingrass Edition”.

READ THE COMPLETE ARTICLE HERE:  http://mousikemagazine.com/2010/12/biscuits-in-his-gravy-keller-williams/

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Thorough and fun interview with Larry Keel by NICK HARRAH For The Herald-Dispatch in Huntington. Nick also wrote a great review of Keller & the Keels “Thief” as well. Check out the album review here.

Below are long excerpts from the interview:

The holidays are a time for being thankful, being with family and friends and maybe doing some charity. It’s all these things too for flatpicking guitar master Larry Keel.

Talking over the phone the day before Thanksgiving from the mountains of Southwest Virginia, Keel, like many others this time of year, talked about being home for the holidays; thankfulness, charity and family came up right away.

Talk about progressive-yet-traditional bluegrass, touring with his wife and bassist Jenny Keel, and an insurance policy on his near-iconic beard, also came up.

Keel, with his band, Natural Bridge (Jenny Keel: bass/vocals; Mark Schimick: mandolin/vocals) and the help of his brother, his old friend Will Lee, are playing more than a few charity events over the holiday season.

Supporting causes ranging from a domestic violence shelter, to Toys For Tots, to a no-kill animal shelter benefit at the end of the month with his longtime friend and collaborator, the Fredericksburg, Va.-based “one-man jam band” Keller Williams, for Keel, already established as a kind of bluegrass deity for his fiery pickin’, it’s great to lend his music to great causes.

“It’s wonderful,” Keel said of playing the various benefit shows. “I really want to do as many of those as I can each and every year. It’s just special. I’m just extremely blessed and fortunate to be able take what I do and translate that across to people who are in need this time of year.”

Playing with Williams, whether it’s covering other people’s songs on “Grass” and “Thief,” or having Williams produce Keel’s 2009 record “Backwoods,” or playing some dude’s couch like they did for a contest this year, is always great, Keel said. Learning and playing a few of the 13 cover songs on “Thief” was a fun challenge for Keel.

“He picked out all the tunes and showed us versions of ’em and we got his arrangements down and went out and performed ’em,” he said. “A lot of the songs I’d never heard the original versions of, like (Marcy Playground’s) ‘Sex and Candy.’ We’d go out and play ’em and people would be singing along and I’d be like ‘I guess I’m the odd man out.’ I didn’t even know any of the words,” Keel said laughing. “We just had a great time being spontaneous.”

The most immediate shows were set to be ones with his older brother Gary, and Larry talked about the early influence on him.

“He bought me a guitar when I was 8 years old, and taught me how to play melodies and rhythm guitar and all that,” he said. “After all these years, getting to get back together to play shows with him over the holidays, it’s one of the most special times of the year for me. It’s super special.”

Talking about his exposure to progressive bluegrass and his incorporation of that into his love of traditional bluegrass, Keel explained how it all came together.

“Well, you know, I’ve always loved bluegrass, that’s definitely always been the heart and soul of my music,” he said. “But from an early age I’ve liked all kinds of music. From jazz to reggae to blues and rock and roll, of course. I guess listening to it so much and loving all those different styles, it just kind of crept into my music. Kind of infected it, in a good way, you know?

“I just love every kind of music. Well, most of it. This new country or new rock developed for record sales, it just doesn’t have a heart or a soul.”

Keel and Natural Bridge are joined by Keel’s old friend Will Lee from Keel’s first band, Magraw Gap, formed in the early 90’s.

“Will has come back out on the road with Natural Bridge and will be at the V Club show and at 123 as well,” he said. “We’ve been really excited about that. Will and I have been playing music together for 25 years or more, and there’s a great chemistry there; we read each other really well.”

New music is on tap for Keel and Natural Bridge in 2011, Keel said. The band will be releasing digital downloads of new songs off Keel’s website. And as Keel brings his bluegrass into the digital age, and as the fans change the way the industry works, Keel changes with them.

“It seems like a lot of the bands and the music industry itself has changed so much, just in the last five years,” he said. “People aren’t buying CDs like they used to; people all have iPods or a computer and can pick their favorite four songs off a record for 99 cents apiece. So we’re getting on that train. On my website we’ll have a whole page dedicated to 99 cent downloads where I’ll be releasing a new song every 30 days or so. So we can take our time with, produce correctly and release the real version we want to release, so we can have something fresh out there.”

And as Keel keeps putting his own contemporary spin on traditional bluegrass, looking back, he realizes making music is what he was bound to do.

“I heard a quote one time, some musician once said they can’t see themselves doing anything else,” he said. “It’s what I’ve always known I wanted to do.”

READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE: http://www.herald-dispatch.com/life/x846271976/Larry-Keel-brings-band-to-the-V-Club-to-support-various-charities?i=0

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Please visit the Home Grown Music Network’s site to vote for the best HGMN album of the year! THIEF is on the list– hint hint 😉

Check out this great review of Keller and the Keels, Thief, in Acoustic Guitar Magazine this month!

Who knew Amy Winehouse’s neo-soul hit “Rehab” would make a great bluegrass burner? On this mischievous collection of covers by jam-man Keller Williams with flatpicker Larry Keel and upright bassist Jenny Keel, a follow-up to their 2006’s Grass, the trio also tackles the Grateful Dead’s tripped-out “Mountains of the Moon,” Cracker’s cheeky “Teen Angst.” and more stylistically straightforward fare such as Kris Kristofferson’s “Don’t Cuss the Fiddle” and Danny Barnes’s “Get It While You Can.” Williams takes the mando role in this group, adding the bluegrass chops not on an actual mandolin but on a high-tuned Veillette mini-12-string guitar with the top two string courses removed. That leaves plenty of sonic room for Larry Keel’s superfine flatpicking runs and cross-picked rolls, played on a Santa Cruz OM and recorded in sumptuous acoustic detail. In keeping with the repertoire, the vibe of Thief is loose and playful, with all the tracks performed live except for harmony vocals. The trio indulges in a bit of space jamming but overall keeps a light focus on this odd and witty batch of songs, proving along the way that the grass is green out in left field. (SCI Fidelity)

-JEFFREY PEPPER RODGERS

TO SEE THE ORIGINAL POST PLEASE VISIT ACOUSTIC GUITAR MAGAZINE: http://www.acousticguitar.com/article/default.aspx?articleid=25669

Remember to visit the Home Grown Music Network’s site to vote for the best HGMN album of the year! THIEF is on the list– hint hint 😉 http://www.homegrownmusic.net/form/vote-for-the-hgmn-2010-album-of-the-year

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AN EVENING WITH: Keller and the Keels

Friday, October 1st

Pisgah Brewery in Black Mountain, NC at the NEW outdoor stage!

8pm show, Doors@ 6pm

LATE NIGHT (indoors)- Ralph Roddenbery Band and friends

Keller and The Keels is a fun, foot-stomping project that includes Keller’s old buddy and award-winning flat picker Larry Keel on guitar, and Larry’s beautiful, rock-solid in-the-pocket acoustic bass playing wife, Jenny Keel.  The trio released their first album, “Grass”, in 2006 to the acclaim of critics and fans alike.  A delightfully bizarre collection of anything-but-traditional bluegrass songs comprised of both covers and originals,“Grass”successfully blended the world of bluegrass, rock and folk into one tasty meal.

In 2010, Keller and The Keels have returned with their follow-up effort to“Grass”entitled “Thief”. This time around, the super-chill trio spent a few days in the studio recording entirely unique renditions of songs originally recorded by a diverse group of musicians such as Kris Kristofferson, The Butthole Surfers, Amy Winehouse, The Raconteurs, Ryan Adams and many others.

Check out “Thief” and discover how, regardless of whether a song is penned by Keller or The Presidents of the United States of America, once again, Keller makes it his own.

Pricing details for the Pisgah Outdoor Stage Show:

Friday, October 1st

$15 General Admission in advance

$35 Hopster VIP Package

Prefered Parking, Private Restrooms, Prefered Viewing, Private Bar, Select Brews/New Releases Available

$65 Brewmaster VIP Package –

Prefered Parking, Private Restrooms, Prefered Viewing, Private Bar, Catered Dinner in the Brewery, Pre-event Tasting in the Brewery, Select Brews/New Releases Available, Pisgah Pint Glass, New Keller and the Keels CD “Thief” -or- Keller and the Keels T-shirt

All prices in advance – tickets here

Click here for directions

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KELLER, LARRY AND JENNY ARE ON THE LAM…and we have no idea where they’ll end up! In a never ending quest to do things that have never been done, we present a opportunity like no other, and if you play your cards right, you may be the lucky one able to assist in their capture and collect the REWARD…..a 90 minute acoustic performance by Keller and The Keels in YOUR living room for you and up to 49 of your friends! All you have to do is buy the new album “Thief” at Keller’s OFFICIAL MERCH STORE by August 31, 2010, and you’ll be automatically entered into the contest. If you preorder “Thief” through www.kellerwilliams.net before May 25, 2010, you will receive TWO entries into the contest.

Remember, as with most cool things in life, there is fine print involved, so go to www.kellerwilliams.net for contest rules and details, and, no, Keller’s mom is not eligible for this contest. Unfortunately, Rhode Island residents are not able to participate, although since medical marijuana is legal there, we don’t feel so bad for you. Also, since we gotta travel to you, folks from the Florida Keys get double entry…..just joking….or are we?
So, go buy a copy, get your friends to buy a copy, and increase your chances to win. Let’s Party!

CHECK OUT WHERE THESE OUTLAWS WILL BE THIS SUMMER…
May 22 Smilefest– Reunion (Pinnacle, NC)
June 17 Telluride Bluegrass Festival (Telluride, CO)
June 17 Nightgrass at Sheridan Opera House (Telluride, CO)
July 4 Gratefulfest– Nelson Ledges (Garretteville, OH)
July 11 All Good Music Festival (Masontown, WV) *Two sets with Keller! Added Bonus AND Moonshine Breakfast with Keller and the Keels
August 13 Grand Targhee Bluegrass Festival (Alta, WY)
October 2 Starry Night (Bowling Green, KY)

CHECK OUT EXCLUSIVE KELLER AND THE KEELS RELEASES AT WWW.THEONCEAWEEKFREEK.COM

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Interview by Scott Preston

Cincy Groove Magazine February 15, 2010

http://www.cincygroove.com/?q=node/1800

Connecting traditional songs of yesterday with their own original and inventive sounds of today, Larry Keel & Natural Bridge create astonishingly powerful acoustic music rich in heritage, heart and hot licks! With a style that evokes both atomic rock energy and dynamic tonal purity, Keel and his ensemble are intent upon taking their instruments and their voices to their fullest potential for emotion and amazement. While paying respect to the legacy left by the forefathers of bluegrass, Keel bridges the gap between traditional and contemporary American Mountain Music. Larry Keel & Natural Bridge includes flatpicking guitar master Larry Keel (guitar, vocals), Jenny Keel (bass fiddle, vocals), Mark Schimick (mandolin, vocals), and, Jason Flournoy (banjo, vocals).

Larry Keel & Natural Bridge will also be sharing the stage with Cincinnati, OH’s own Rumpke Mountain Boys on 2/25/10 At Victorian Midnight Cafe in Columbus, OH and on 2/27/10 at Play By Play Cafe in Cincinnati, OH.

Cincy Groove: So I understand you are working on an album with Keller Williams?

Larry Keel: Yeah we just did some work in the studio about 2 weeks ago. Spent 2 days in the studio and got a lot done. I’m not sure of the exact release date, I’m waiting on Keller to make an announcement about that. It’s some really good stuff, it’s a continuation of Grass, but it’s what we are doing now. It’s really some high energy music.

Cincy Groove: How long have you known Keller?

Larry Keel: I met Keller about 1999. We were always playing the same clubs here in Virginia. We always ran into each other and had a great time playing music together. Just managed to stay in touch with each other, its a beautiful thing.

Cincy Groove: Who are some other people you have played with?

Larry Keel: Actually, just recently I played a bunch of shows in the Pacific Northwest with Adam Aijala from Yonder Mountain String Band. We had a great time and I just wanted to put it out there that there will be some East Coast shows coming up with Adam and myself. You can get a taste of it on Youtube, I believe there are a few videos up there from the west coast tour. The dates with Adam should be coming out in February.

Cincy Groove: I know you are proud of this, Tell me about the Fishin and Pickin website.

Larry Keel: Its something I have been wanting to do for a long time. Touring around being a musician I end up meeting a lot of fisherman and also a lot of great musicians who like to fish as well. So we decided to combine two things we really love playing music and fishing. We started this website and are offering advertisement to fisherman and at the same time putting out news about fishing and music. It also gives people who enjoy fishing and music to come together and talk about it. In the process of working on this project I meet a lot of people who organize fishing tournaments or just big events down on the river. They always need music at their events but can never get it worked out. The title “Fishin and Pickin” came from when I would be pickin and Jenny would ask me “What are you doing, thinking about fishing?”. I would say “I don’t don’t know sort of”. She said it should be picking first then fishing. In my mind I got my priorities straight, I named it Fishin and Pickin (laughing). We are always adding new material to the website and the new music I have coming out will be released the website as well.

Cincy Groove: I see that you have played Jorma’s Fur Peace Ranch here in southern Ohio. Did you have a good time?

Larry Keel: Absolutely, it was quite an honor, I got to play with Jorma and David Bromberg. It really was an amazing experience. Jorma is doing it his way and having a great time doing it. He is just a really nice guy.

Photo by Bright Life Photography

Cincy Groove: Has music always been something that you have wanted to make you main focus in your life?

Larry Keel: I have always wanted to pursue a music career. When I decided to make music my career focus, I had a friend in Orlando, FL give me a call. He said there is a want ad in the newspaper for musicians. It was for a gig playing music at the Tokyo Japan Disneyland. We went down and auditioned and they really liked what we were doing. So they sent us out to Tokyo Disneyland for 6 months. We played 6 days a week and about 7 half hour shows per day. We would play for a half hour and then be off for a half hour. I was playing most of the time, but I did get to see the country and the people were really wonderful. It was a culture shock, I was only 18 and hadn’t been out of the Blue Ridge Mountains up until going to Japan.

Cincy Groove: What was it like playing Telluride for the first time back in the early 1990’s?

Larry Keel: An amazing experience. I wasn’t much of a competitive player at that point, just did my own thing. But in 1993 I played in the guitar competition and ended up winning. A lot of good things happened from winning that and really helped launch my bluegrass career. When I first went out there it was under the advice of my good friend Mark Vann from Leftover Salmon, who has since passed, I miss him a lot. When I won the guitar contest I got to play up on stage so at that point I was really nervous. I had never played to a crowd of that size at that point in my career. I went back out to Telluride in 94 and 95. In 1995 I took my band out with me. In 95 I played in the guitar competition and won, which was a great honor once again. Then my mandolin player, Danny Nicely won 1st place in the mandolin contest. The guy that was playing banjo for us Will Lee, I believe won 2nd place in the banjo contest. Then the band as a whole won the band competition and had the honor of opening the festival with our own set. That was a great year for us and we felt a lot more confident in our playing at that stage in our career. We still love Colorado to this day and try to get out there at least once a year.

Cincy Groove: How did your NYE show go at the Grey Eagle? I heard it was quite a spectacular event.

Larry Keel: It was truly a wonderful time. Bawn in the Mash opened up and absolutely killed it, they did a great job. Dwayne Brooke then performed, he is a gypsy jazz style guitarist, had a great set and I also played some with him. My brother Gary Keel was tearing it up, he was really on fire that night. A lot of folks came out and it was a great time.

A blast from the past – here is a link to some photos I took of Larry & Jenny Keel, along with Mark Vann (Leftover Salmon) back on 1.19.2001 at Stanleys Pub in Cincinnati, OH

Larry Keel & Natural Bridge:
Larry Keel (Guitar)
Jenny Keel (Bass)
Mark Schimick (Mandolin)
Jason Flournoy (Banjo)

Tour Dates:

Feb 19 2010 Mountain State Brewing Company – Thomas, West Virginia
Feb 20 2010 123 Pleasant St. – Morgantown, West Virginia
Feb 25 2010 Victorian’s Midnight Cafe – Columbus, Ohio
Feb 26 2010 Rex Theatre – Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Feb 27 2010 Play by Play Cafe – Cincinnati, Ohio w/ Rumpke Mountain Boys
Mar 5 2010 V Club – Huntington, West Virginia
Mar 6 2010 Dantes Bar – Frostburg, Maryland
Mar 14 2010 Elk River Inn and Restaurant at Snow Shoe – Slatyfork, West Virginia
Mar 17 2010 PJ Kelly’s – w/ Davisson Brothers Clarksburg, West Virginia
Mar 18 2010 The Double Door Inn – Charlotte, North Carolina
Mar 19 2010 New Earth Music Hall – Athens, Georgia
Mar 20 2010 Pour House – Charleston, South Carolina
Apr 2 2010 Pisgah Brewery – Black Mountain, North Carolina
Apr 3 2010 CHEROKEE FARMS – KEEL FAMILY FUNCTION w/ JOSH PHILLIPS FOLK FESTIVAL and COL. BR LaFayette, Georgia
Apr 10 2010 GREENFIELD LAKE AMPHITHEATRE – KELLER and the KEELS at Greenfield Lake Amphithea Wilmington, North Carolina
Apr 17 2010 Clementine – Harrisonburg, Virginia
Apr 30 2010 French Broad River Festival – Hot Springs, North Carolina
May 5 2010 SHEPHERDSTOWN OPERA HOUSE – Larry Keel & Adam Aijala (YMSB) Shepherdstown, West Virginia
May 29 2010 DEL FEST – Cumberland, Maryland

http://www.larrykeel.com/
http://www.fishinandpickin.com/

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Keller and The Keels have officially announced that they  are in the studio recording a new album “Thief”.

This will be the second studio album featuring Keller Willams with Larry &  Jenny Keel.    To get a sneak listen of what’s in store, on Dec 16th they’re releasing a  new LIVE song,  “Dancin’ Fool”– (Frank Zappa) from a past show on Keller’s website in the Once a week Freak section.

Freekers,

The words Frank Zappa and blue grass don’t often appear in the same sentence. That’s what makes this track interesting. This features the rock solid bass and high harmonies from Jenny Keel and the ripping crazy guitar solos and vocals of Larry Keel. I’m proud to say that as you read this the follow up to Keller and the Keels “Grass” is being recorded. It will be a record of covers called “Thief” and it will come out late next year. This track was recorded at the first Delfest in Cumberland, MD. It’s always an honor to be on the same stage as Del McCoury but to be a part of his festival was super cool.

Credits: Dancing Fool, F. Zappa C)1995 Zappa Records/ C) 2009 Starworld LLC

You can check it out here.

Keller

KELLER  AND THE KEELS: Keller Williams and Larry Keel have known each other since their early years, growing up near Fredericksburg, Virginia, both playing in bands that frequently appeared on the same bill at local venues.  Later on, Keel appeared on Keller’s “Buzz” CD along with fellow Bluegrass peers, Magraw Gap.  Since then, Keel has joined the stage with “K-Dub” on many occasions all over the country, with Keel’s band fronting the sensational solo act that Keller has developed over the years. More recently, Keller has brought Keel and bass-playing wife, Jenny, out for various tours nationwide, to present a more acoustic, “Bluegrassy” version of his own original tunes and of great covers of diverse music that all three players love in common.  The chemistry of this trio is special indeed, as anyone attending the “Keller and the Keels” shows can testify. The first studio album, “Grass”, the trio recorded includes  some great covers a la newgrass from the vaults of Pink Floyd, Tom Petty, and Jerry Garcia and the Dead, amongst others. Its also leans heavily on Keller’s original compositions, and with a good measure of humor and bold musicianship that makes the mix completely irresistible.  The soon to be release second album, “Thief”,  will be exploding onto the scene soon and knock you all off your feet, so get ready!

In the meantime, check out their just released LIVE track of Zappa’s “Dancin’ Fool” on Keller’s website in “Once a week Freak!

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