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Slatyfork, WV – Join Larry Keel & Natural Bridge and friends for Trout & Tunes: three days of instruction, small concerts, incredible food and lodging. You’ll be hanging out at the Elk River Inn, Cabins & Restaurant located in the high peaks of West Virginia at the base of Snowshoe Mountain. Guitar, mandolin, banjo and bass guitar instruction are the highlights of Trout & Tunes. Picking sessions on Thursday, Friday and Saturday will build up to a very special concert Saturday evening to cap things off with Larry Keel, Natural Bridge and friends. Elk River has plenty of things to do when not learning a new lick. Fly and spin fishing for trout, hiking and mountain bikes trails are right out the door. Or just relaxing with a cold beverage near the campfire.

Guests arrive on Thursday between 4 and 7pm for a family style dinner; to meet with Larry, the band, special guests and fellow campers; and to settle in to a cozy cabin, Inn or bunk house lodging. All meals from Thursday evening through Sunday breakfast are included in this very special weekend. Between music workshops and jams, fishin is aplenty at the local rivers such as the Williams, Elk, or one of the dozens of native brook fisheries. Guests can also learn to fly cast with Elk River’s Orvis Endorsed guides in a Saturday workshop.

“With an unofficial title of ‘Bluegrass Legend and Master Fisherman’, Larry Keel 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 moonshine on a riverbank… 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.” ~ Mousike Magazine

Joining the award-winning Flatpickin legend to make up Natural Bridge and to host Trout & Tunes are the vastly talented Mark Schimick on mandolin and vocals, Larry’s life-long picker pal (and fishing phenom) Will Lee on soulful, blues-grass style 5-string banjo and penetrating lead vocals, and wife Jenny Keel with her impeccable timing and solid, yet imaginative bass lines as well as tenor vocal harmonies. Expect to see some other special guests to host music workshops and sit in on the jams!

The cost for the Trout & Tunes weekend is $495.00 plus tax in the Farmhouse (5 bedrooms share 3 baths) and $595.00 plus tax in the Private Inn (room with private bath) or groups of 3-6 person private cabins. For more information or reservation, please call 304-572-3771 or 866-572-3771. You may also email info@ertc.com and visit the lodge website: www.elkriverinnandrestaurant.com

There is also more information for the musician fisherman or the fishin music-lover at Keel and company’s website Fishin and Pickin. Also stay tuned for more information on the 4th annual Fishin and Pickin: Big Bass and Bluegrass weekend near Perry, Georgia in the fall.

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Fishin and Pickin Presents “Trout & Tunes”
A Fishing & Music Workshop weekend with Larry Keel & Natural Bridge
Thursday- Sunday, April 28th – May 1st, 2011
4-7pm Thursday check-in; 10am Sunday morning check-out
Elk River Inn
Slatyfork, WV

For more information:
info@ertc.com
304-572-3771 or 866-572-3771
www.elkriverinnandrestaurant.com
www.fishinandpickin.com
www.larrykeel.com
Also find Trout & Tunes on Facebook

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Check out this great article about the inaugural Infamous Stringdusters Festival, The Festy, that took place this past weekend in Nelson County, VA.   Diane Wildman Farineau is the author and Milo Farineau is the photographer that took this amazing shot!  The two of them have joined forces with Chester Simpson Photography and are working on a book called, The Festival Project to document the music festival lifestyle and to chronicle all types of music festivals, with an emphasis on the revival of bluegrass music... Also click here for Diane’s complete interview with Larry Keel and Natural Bridge at the Festy!

Introducing The Festy

by Diane Wildman Farineau

Incredible music, a breathtaking venue and promotional visionaries got married about a year ago and gave birth to a baby this weekend and its name is The Festy.

The first cries issued forth from this newborn on Saturday, October 9th on the double stages in front of the Devil’s Backbone Brewing Company, in beautiful Nelson County, Virginia were soft and sweet, with performances by Sarah Siskind, Robinella and Crooked Still, but as the evening and weekend progressed, the cries turned lusty and ferocious culminating with stage thumping and fist pumping performances by the Infamous Stringdusters (the event’s curators and hosts) and Railroad Earth.

Like most newborns, this baby didn’t get much sleep this weekend, as the jams went on well into the wee hours both on stage and in the form of impromptu campfire performances throughout the campground. “I was walking back through the camp zone after it got dark and I saw all these fires, and heard the sounds of picking and people hanging out and that’s a big piece of the whole puzzle that makes a great vibe,” said Stringdusters guitarist, Andy Falco, “there are not enough facial expressions that we can make to show how excited we are about this festival.”

That the award winning Stringdusters could line up a few friends to “gig for a weekend” wouldn’t surprise anyone. The true indicator of success, however, lay not only in the breadth of talent represented, but also its depth. Included in the line up were legendary flat pickers Larry Keel and Tony Rice. The crowd was in awe, as were a number of the performers. Said Keel about their involvement: “We were called by the Stringdusters and they said they were having a festival up here…I couldn’t believe it, I love playing in the hills of Virginia, and they said they really wanted us to be a part of it, so we worked it out and we’re real glad we did.”

Unlike some festival events, where bands roll in and roll out in a dizzying cloud of dust, the goal of these organizers was to create an environment and a vibe where performers would want to stick around, not only to catch up with friends, but also to sit in and jam with one another, something so many love to do, but for which they don’t always find the opportunity. Said Jenny Keel; “The hanging out factor was good. Having the band mastermind it all had a great impact and a very positive one.” There was a veritable love-fest backstage, between artists, organizers, the production team, and volunteers and this vibe flowed from behind the curtain out across the stage and into the crowd which sang and danced their hearts out for two full days and nights. Said Allan “El Ron” Ronquillo, promoter from Running Smooth and good friend of Railroad Earth “When an event is done well like this, everyone, from the band to the fans, walks away feeling empowered.”

More than just a concert, the Festy was designed as a lifestyle, wellness and music experience. In addition to music, the event hosted both a trail running and mountain bike race on the two mornings. Yoga classes were free and available to all participants. A climbing wall, massage therapists, a host of food and beverage vendors, instrument workshops and educational workshops on environmental sustainability were all in the mix. “What we’re doing here” said Michael Allenby, (owner of The Artist Farm, and event co-producer) “is creating an experience for people who love the outdoor culture.” Said Devils Backbone Brewing Company owner and venue developer, Steve Crandall, “we’ve done a lot of work to point event participants in the direction of local resources here, we’re about creating sustainability.” With crisp fall weather and access to hiking and biking trails, participants took full advantage of what the area had to offer. “People come to this area and fall in love with it instantaneously, we can’t manufacture or fabricate any of these mountains around us, that’s their dream, the Blue Ridge Mountains, when folks pull in here…..it’s overwhelming ” said the event’s production company, Cerberus’s co-owner, Justin Billcheck.

Great time, great music, great location, this nascent event just knocked it right out of the park. Go ahead and mark your calendars, this baby will turn one next year on October 8 & 9, 2011 and that’s going to be a birthday party no one should miss!

Click here for the post on the Bluegrass Blog with more photos from Milo and here for photos from the Festy staff photog Tom Daly.

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