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Posts Tagged ‘Keel’

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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Larry Keel: Progressive Bluegrass

By Tricia Lynn Strader,  Shepherdstown, WV

Flatpicking guitar virtuoso Larry Keel likes to mix up all kinds of musical styles in his pursuit of progressive Bluegrass. He blends Bluegrass, Jimmie Hendrix or Jerry Garcia, jazz, classical, or George Jones into his versions of popular songs or original tunes. He and Adam Aijala from Colorado’s Yonder Mountain String Band plan to tear it up Wednesday night at Shepherdstown Opera House in a highly energetic acoustic performance—their only one in the region this year.

Keel and Aijala are on a tour of shows in the South East. Last year, their wild riffs and antics in their live shows were very popular out West

Photo by Bright Life Photography

Since he was a boy, Keel has played guitar and performed in various bands around the world. He’s worked with legends such as Tony Rice, Sam Bush, Vassar Clements, Jim Lauderdale, Peter Rowan, and Mark Vann to name a few.

At 18, he began a professional musical career by working for the Disneyland theme park in Tokyo, Japan. But that came after growing up in a musical family. “My father played banjo and guitar,” he says. “He taught my older brother Gary how to play. They were always playing even though they never had a touring band. Every weekend they’d play and have musician friends over.”

At eight years old, his brother bought him a guitar. “He saw I was itching to play. Ever since he bought it for me, I never laid it down. The guitar is always part of me.”

When he was younger, he listened to Flatts and Scruggs, Bill Monroe, and old country like Webb Pierce or George Jones. He says as a teen, he discovered Hendrix, Garcia, and all kinds of music.

“I love it all – bluegrass, country, jazz, reggae, classical. The other styles inspired me to learn different songs I liked.”

Keel started playing in different semi-professional situations like fiddlers conventions or community events. He paid his dues early, as a young player and teen. Then, lady luck began to strike.

“A friend of mine in Florida was playing and told me about an ad for musicians with Disneyland. He talked me into coming down to audition. We found a bass player, and formed a trio. After rehearsing for two weeks, we auditioned, and they gave us a deal with Disneyland in Tokyo.”

Larry and Jenny Keel. By James Mayfield.

He was 18. “It was an interesting learning situation. We played six half-hour shows six days a week for seven months. It really makes you get your chops down.”

Keel met Mark Vann and John Fowler in Fauquier County, VA., and started to explore progressive string music in their band, “Farmer’s Trust.”

They played the festival circuit in Virginia, West Virginia, and North Carolina. Keel and friend Will Lee, son of Ricky Lee from Ralph Stanley’s band, formed Magraw Gap.

Keel says at that point, he and the musicians hadn’t quit their day jobs.

Mark Vann moved to Telluride, Colorado to join the ultra progressive electric Bluegrass band Leftover Salmon. He encouraged Keel to try playing at the Telluride Bluegrass Festival. Keel entered and won first place in the guitar competition.

Magraw Gap did their first studio recording. The band won the 1995 band competition at Telluride.

“Telluride’s a great stepping stone, a good place for a musician to launch a career. There’s a lot of prestige with it. There are some high end musicians there, too. I was proud to be part of it.”

He was playing among the likes of John Hartford, Sam Bush (post-New Grass Revival) and Bill Monroe at Telluride to name a few.

Other musicians of note began using Keel or his band as supporting musicians. He formed The Larry Keel Experience in 2000 with fellow musicians Will Lee and Jason Krekel. He says the name came from the various incarnations of the band, sometimes a trio, foursome, or whatever. To date, he has recorded 10 of his own self-produced projects, most recently two with his ensemble Natural Bridge which includes wife Jenny. He has collaborated on several projects with Keller Williams’ Keller and the Keels and collections of guitar-oriented projects released by Flatpicking Guitar Magazine. Del McCoury and Acoustic Syndicate have recorded his original material. His “Mountain Song” was on Del McCoury Band’s 2005 Grammy-winning The Company We Keep. He was part of a documentary in 2004 called “Larry Keel: Beautiful Thing.” In 2004, he and his brother Gary released “Keel Brothers.”

In his teaming for this tour with Adam Aijala, Keel says Aijala and his band Yonder Mountain come from a dissimilar background, one of punk, rock and metal. He says they play a popular tune to the younger crowd, then throw in a traditional Bluegrass tune, introducing a new generation to the genre.

“He grew up in Boston and takes a whole different approach to acoustic guitar. The last five or six years they’ve been opening the eyes of young people to their Bluegrass. The show is me and Adam on two guitars. We do original songs and some pretty diverse covers to keep it interesting. It’s very high energy. And we like audience participation.”

Keel says he plays everything and uses a Bluegrass band to do it. He says a song may have jazz or reggae mixed in it. He’s got a list of 1,000 ready tunes to pick from.

Show Information:
Larry Keel and Adam Aijala
Wednesday, May 5th
7:30 doors open; Performance 9 p.m.
Shepherdstown Opera House
131 W. German Street
Shepherdstown, WV
Tickets: $20. 304-876-3704

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Larry Keel and Adam Aijala (YMSB) embark on their SouthEast tour today in Shepherdtown, VA; Thursday in Boone; Friday in Greensboro; Saturday in Atlanta; and Sunday in Charleston SC! Check out this inyterview with Larry and the Mountain Times in Boone before Thursday’s show at the Boone Saloon.

https://dreamspider.files.wordpress.com/2010/02/larry-and-adam-may-tour.jpg

Keel & Aijala at Boone Saloon May 6

by Frank Ruggiero

Boone Mountain Times

As of late, Adam Aijala’s guitar playing has been off keel, and with a capital “K.”

The guitarist of bluegrass stalwarts Yonder Mountain String Band has been touring with flatpicking virtuoso Larry Keel, and the duo is bringing its class act to Boone on Thursday, May 6, at the Boone Saloon.

“It’s really interesting how we complement each other,” Keel said. “We like to work on our material, getting it down as soon as we can, but absolutely leaving tons of room for improvisation in every song. I really like to hear what comes out of (Aijala’s) head, and I can see he likes to hear what comes out of mine.”

Aijala agrees.

“I would definitely put Larry in the more aggressive style, while I’m more on the lighter side,” he said. “He’s got a right hand like a jackhammer, but style-wise, there’s some crossover for sure.”
And a complimentary crossover, at that. On their southeast tour, Keel and Aijala have been performing acoustically, playing each other’s own material, along with some choice covers.

“If I’m playing one of Adam’s original songs,” Keel said, “it brings me to play as good as I can play, as it seems like it is with him when he’s playing one of mine. It keeps us on our toes for sure.”

Keel promises some musical rarities, songs not typically heard with any of his other combinations, including Natural Bridge.

“Also expect a pretty wide mix of covers, from reggae to punk rock … all with an acoustic flare,” Aijala said. “It’s pretty diverse. We might even have different instruments this time around.”
But they’ll still have that same excitement, the kind ever so evident in musicians who clearly love their craft.

“He’s one of those musicians,” Aijala said. “In the same way that when I was a kid and would watch (Led Zeppelin’s) The Song Remains the Same or (Jimi Hendrix’s) Jimi Plays Monterey, playing with Larry makes me want to play that much more. He’s very contagious in that way.”


“We’ve got a vast repertoire,” Keel said. “We always try to mix it up every night and play something different for each crowd.”

READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE: http://www2.mountaintimes.com/entertainment_focus/Keel_&_Aijala_at_Boone_Saloon_May_6_id_001246

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After Larry Keel and Natural Bridge‘s set at the French Broad River Festival today, they head off on Saturday, May 1st to Columbia to play the White Mule. Check out this great interview with Larry Keel and the Free Times:

Larry Keel & Natural Bridge
The White Mule: Saturday, May 1

BY KEVIN OLIVER in the Columbia Free Times

For 20 years, Virginian Larry Keel has explored various corners of the bluegrass music world, first with the progressive bluegrass of McGraw Gap, then with the even more adventurous Larry Keel Experience, and currently with the more traditional-based Natural Bridge.

“I just like to play all kinds of music and have fun with it,” Keel says when asked about his various ensembles. “That’s what the crowd wants to see the most, is somebody having fun while they’re playing.”

…   …   …

Though he’s done plenty of different things, Keel wouldn’t have it any other way, he says.

“I love what I’m doing right now with Natural Bridge, playing some wild forms of bluegrass,” Keel says. “I have been doing some playing with Yonder Mountain String Band, and I still get to play with Keller Williams a bunch, too.”

The Williams connection goes back a ways, and Keel, along with his wife Jenny, have a new trio album with Keller Williams coming out in late May.

“It’s all No. 1 hits from the pop charts, done bluegrass style,” Keel says. “It’s fascinating to me because I didn’t know many of the artists we covered when we started recording. We just learned them and put them into a bluegrass format right there.”

The best thing about the new songs so far, he says, has been the crowd reaction at the shows.

“When we’ve played these songs live, the reaction of the kids is that they love it,” Keel says. “It’s not complicated, we just brought out the songs using a bluegrass band as a tool.”

It’s those kids who are the fastest growing part of the bluegrass audience who will appreciate what Keel does the most, but Keel says what he, Williams, and others are doing will bring those new fans into the more traditional side of bluegrass, too.

“I have the theory that all things must change to grow and prosper, and I see that happening a lot with bluegrass,” Keel says. “Yonder Mountain String Band are drawing thousands of people everywhere they go. They taper their set to play songs that the young people know today. If they do it bluegrass style, the kids might know the song but they are listening to it in a bluegrass format, then they play a Bill Monroe right after that and they get them to listen to it, too.”

Other than touring and recording, Keel has another new project he’s put out there; a website called Fishin’ and Pickin’ (fishinandpickin.com), which is exactly what it sounds like — a site for people who like to fish and who also enjoy live music.

“It combines two of my loves: fishin’ and pickin’,” Keel says. “Make sure you don’t put Gs on those words, either. I meet so many wonderful people who are fishermen and pickers, too.”

READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE: http://www.free-times.com/index.php?cat=11011801074507906&ShowArticle_ID=11023004104307021


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