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Here’s a fun update from the Keels for Labor Day Weekend!

Hey Folks,

After a firestorm of energy and killer shows out west with Natural Bridge and Keller Williams we get right back in the saddle this week with some great shows back on the East Coast.

Keller and the Keels. Photo by J. R. Martin

Check out this live review in Reverb from the Mishawaka Amphitheatre in Colorado from last week’s show with Keller. In it Brendan Magee states,  “Williams opened with a quiet version of Amy Winehouse’s “Rehab” before covering Van Morrison, Ryan Adams and Tom Petty along the way. But first and second set turns with the Keels colored the night bluegrass. Fast-fingered Larry Keel hammered his way into songs with drastic precision and neck-bending techniques. Jenny Keel on vocals and upright bass anchored songs like “Get It While You Can” amidst a picking frenzy.” Also, here are some great pics from the show: http://phatphlogblog.blogspot.com/2011/08/phlog-post-keller-and-keels-at.html

Larry Keel and Natural Bridge. Photo by Vikas Nambiar

This Friday we head out for another Keller and the Keels set at the Head Jamz Festival on Friday in Adams, TN. On Saturday we head back to the great state of North Carolina and play the GETDOWN Music Festival with Natural Bridge. This Sunday, Sept 4th we trek back  to our home town of Lexington, VA to play an evening with Larry Keel and Natural Bridge at The Theater At Lime Kiln (show starts at 7:30pm). We finish the Labor Day Weekend festivities on Monday, Sept 5th in Bridgewater, VA at the Oakdale Community Park Summer Concerts (show time is 7pm).

Have a beautiful weekend and remember to think of your fellow friends and family, go out and lend a hand this week, a lot of folks could use it after this week.

Cheers,
The Keels

http://www.larrykeel.com

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Larry Keel. Photo by Vikas Nambiar

Flatpicking Guitarist Larry Keel’s solo shows:

***

Pisgah Brewing ~ Wednesday, April 6th
9pm, all ages
828-669-0190
150 Eastside Drive
Black Mountain, NC 28711
www.pisgahbrewing.com

The Blind Tiger ~  Thursday, April 7th
9 pm
1819 Spring Garden Street
Greensboro, NC 27403
www.theblindtiger.com

High Rock Outfitters ~ Friday, April 8th
13 S.Main Street
Lexington, NC
www.highrockoutfitters.com


Original, and from the soul, Larry Keel has surfed the changing tides of traditional bluegrass, country, jam rock, roots reggae, and even the currently emerging indie-alt scene always honoring the pioneers that introduced Bluegrass and Mountain Music into popular culture. Larry Keel is an award-winning Acoustic Americana flatpicking guitarist, well known for his entirely unique song-writing, gravelly voice and lightning fast licks and his band, Natural Bridge is “consistently touted as the hottest, most provocative and most entertaining bluegrass band of this decade.”

Leo Weekly states, “Larry Keel’s website sports the countrified boast “Guitar Legend & Master Fisherman.” While I’m sure his unruly beard and general country demeanor support the latter (at least on a surface level), there’s no arguing the former. Whether you catch him in a solo setting, showing off his white-lightning acoustic fingerpicking, or in more fleshed-out musical digs with his Appalachian ensemble Natural Bridge, you’re likely to be transported to a place where moonshine flows aplenty and coal mines loom in the distance. While his rusty, bar-dweller vocals are strictly backwoods beauty, pigeonholing Keel’s versatile guitar playing would be a mistake. He’s capable of dizzying displays of virtuosity and calming, sermon-like reverence.”


Internet Archives for Larry Keel live recordings

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Larry Keel and Natural Bridge

Thursday, Feb 10th ~ Gerstle’s Place ~ Louisville, KY

Friday, Feb 11th ~ Cosmic Charlie’s ~ Lexington, KY

Saturday, Feb 12th ~ Spring Street Music Hall ~ Johnson City, TN
……………………………………

Joining the award-winning Flatpickin legend, Larry Keel, to make up Natural Bridge are Mark Schimick on mandolin and vocals, Larry’s life-long picker pal (and fishing phenom) Will Lee on blistering banjo and otherworldly lead vocals, and wife Jenny Keel holding strong on upright bass and vocals. Jenny Keel has been playing bass with her husband and virtually all of his specialty projects for over 14 years, she is a player known for impeccable timing and solid, yet imaginative bass lines as well as adding tenor vocal harmonies.

“Hot and fluent bluegrass act showcasing Larry Keel’s dazzling guitar skills and gruff, baritone vocals, wife Jenny’s granite-firm bass guitar work and the support of top-shelf backing players. . . Good folks, amazing roots music.” ~ Tad Dickens

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Daytime Big Screen airing of the USA v. England game
Late night dance-party with Afromotive and Josh Blake’s Jukebox

It’s time to get excited for the worlds biggest sporting event! Come and celebrate the kickoff of the World Cup at the Lexington Ave Brewery, the LAB, in Asheville on Saturday, June 12th.  There is a full day and night planned with Funk , World Beats, and Soccer!

The folks at the Lexington Avenue Brewery are showing the first USA game (USA Vs. England) on a projector screen in their main room for the soccer community and fans in Asheville! Kick off is at 2:30pm. This year, The World Cup  is being held in South Africa. Get into the spirit with halftime and post game entertainment in by the Asheville Manding. Asheville Manding is Ryan Reardon and Adama Dembele from Afromotive along with Tasana Camara, who is a singer/kora player/balafon player from Guinea. The band is named after the Manding people of West Africa, one of the largest ethnicities and the “keepers of the flame” if you will, of traditional West African music.

The daytime event is a “suggested donation” benefit for former ABASA president and player Jack Brown and his family. Jack recently was admitted to the hospital with flu-like symptoms and ended up having a serious infection. It turned out that he had to battle a life threatening infection which resulted in the loss of his right leg. We are calling out to all soccer fans to come enjoy this game with a great crowd and atmosphere, and to donate what you can to Jack and his family as they begin to tackle a mountain of medical bills. Members of the soccer league will be taking donations at the door. There will also be a raffle following the game with some pretty sweet prizes.

The late-night dance party features music by Afromotive and Josh Blake JukeBox in the back room at the LAB. The doors open at 9pm with JBJB starting around 9:30pm. Afromotive headlines and the music will go til 2am. The cost for the show is $7.

Adama Dembele. Photo by Jon Leidel.

Afromotive:
Afromotive is creating a new wave of high energy dance music fusing West African rhythms and instrumentation with and American funk and pop sensibility for an experience that can only be described as infectious. Proudly born as a multi-ethnic crew in progressive Asheville, NC, the band has earned a formidable reputation over four years of relentless touring and festival appearances. At their core is thirty-third generation djembe player Adama Dembele from Ivory Coast, West Africa. He has performed with many prominent world acts including Oumou Sangare, Salif Keita, and Sogona Djata, to name a few. Adama’s vast knowledge of West African rhythms and intercontinental touring experience combines with his American counterparts’ hook-laden song writing and polished production for a fresh new take on the world beat genre. With positive reviews and sales of their debut full-length studio album and appearances at various national and regional festivals, including Bonnaroo, Joshua Tree Music Festival, and Echo Project, Afromotive continues to share their passion and energy with the masses.

Josh Blake

Josh Blake’s Jukebox:
On route to Jamaica in January 1997, Josh stopped in Asheville, N.C. to visit some of his friends. Soon thereafter he moved to Asheville to help establish the musical force known as GFE. A multidimensional artist, Josh’s musical understanding is based on his 16 years as guitarist and songwriter. With a travelers knowledge of our world, Josh aims to use his talents to bring unity and jubilation, to spread earth consciousness and end social injustice.

Josh Blake’s Jukebox is composed of some of Asheville’s finest musicians. The drummer Patrick Thomas and guitarist Casey Kramer are from the funky Asheville powerhouse Strut. The band also features Kyle Colclasure on bass from the local hip hop band GFE and more recently Super Collider. Affectionately dubbed “The Hot Sauce” female vocalists Carolyn Smith and Marisa Albert spice up the show with beautiful harmonies. Keyboardist Frank Mapstone from Yo Mamma’s Big Fat Booty Band and The Big Old Nasty Get Down has been known to join in on the fun. Multi-instrumentalist, Matt Williams, adds to the diverse sound of Josh Blake’s Jukebox. It is not unusual for Josh to include any number of special guests during his performances. Along with packing local venues, Josh was honored to have a song selected for the 2008 Mooged Out album, and has been chosen to play many of Asheville’s special events and festivals. With songs that range from rock to ragtime, hip-hop to funk, Josh Blake’s shows deliver what most listeners crave…great diverse music with lyrics that emphasize proper intention.

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by Patrick Hinely/ Open Ear

The Rockbridge Advocate ~  February 09

medlogoCarrying on a heritage can be a difficult task for anyone who wants to extend or expand a tradition as well as preserve it, and grow it must if it is not to petrify. Guitarist and band leader Larry Keel’s gift is to be able to do this gracefully, without sounding like he’s sitting on any fence, though he has one foot firmly planted in the proud history of Euro-indigenous Appalachian musical tradition, while his other sets restlessly out for places the music hasn’t been yet.

He has achieved a balance which eludes many, yielding a sound kinetic but seldom frenetic, capable of a sweetness that doesn’t cloy, as well as an irresistibly driving energy, each unto their own appropriate moments.  Keel does not do this alone, and Natural Bridge too has an unusual balance, one that few ensembles can maintain, in being both organized and organic at once, masters of their instruments, with chops to spare and nothing to prove.

This is a good place to be, especially when heading into a recording studio, where the urge for inclusion can too easily prevail over the ruthless surgery known as editing, with the latter being as essential a part of the creative process for a properly finished album as was the initial creation of the music. BACKWOODS is based in song forms, but not confined by those. Instrumental filigree is flawless, extensive, expansive, in the moment, and thus always tasteful.

“Bluegrass in the Backwoods,” a classic Kenny Baker tune, clock in longest, at 5:30 +, bringing Django pleasantly to mind, as well as, to a lesser degree, Grisman’s dawggy style. The shortest, just under 1:40, is another instrumental, “Bohemian Reel,” by Natural Bridge banjo player Jason Flournoy, who plays it as if possessed by the spirit of Earl Scruggs, which was in turn possessed by the spirit of J.S. Bach. The other instrumental is Keel’s own “Crocodile Man” an exploratory adventure that sounds like the player shad decided beforehand where the song would start and where it would end up, but not how they would get from one to the other. In any case it was a  scenic route.

All seven of the other tunes have vocals, from Keel’s “They,” a declaration of Independence if ever there was one, to the unusual vocal harmonies of the Beatles’ “Mother Nature’s Son” and the philosophical comedy of Tom T Hall’s “Faster Horses,” Mandolinist Mark Shimick penned two tunes, “Ghost Driver” and Swarmin’ Bees” and and generously shares a solo spotlight in both. Keel’s “Bitten By a Snake” may be the most fun, with massed voices resonating joyously, and his “Diamond Break,” co-credited to Chris Jones, is what a hit in Nashville might sound like if the music mafia there was struck with a sudden attack of taste.  There’s something here for all comers , without fluff.

The Selflessness award goes to bassist Jenny Keel, whose pulse steady and fluid, and whose harmony vocals lend a grace that can make the chorus into a choir.

It takes courage as well as focus to face today’s market with an album that times in under 37 minutes, less than half the capacity of the CD format. But then I have to admire anyone who doesn’t keep talking after they’ve finished saying what they have to say. That is an act of mercy, and, on that note,enough said.

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By Noor Al-Sibai

naalsiba@unca.edu

Published: Thursday, September 10, 2009

UNCA’s The Blue Banner

www.thebluebanner.net

Photo by Emily Kerrr

LAAFF 2009

laff 1 laff 3 laff 6 laff 9 laff 11 laff 13 laff 14 //

Fairy wings, rainbow-hued hair, pirate attire and other sundry modes of dress adorned this year’s Lexington Avenue Arts and Fun Festival. Festival-goers, artists and vendors alike said LAAFF is the most local of happenings in Asheville.

LAAFF ran from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Sunday. The three stages, two courtyards, 60 vendors and six bus tours made LAAFF a success, according to PR director Erin Scholze.

“The community really owns it, which is amazing” said Scholze.

The stages, placed at various locations on Lexington Avenue, were the Greenlife Electric stage, the Mountain Xpress Walnut stage and the BoBo Gallery stage.

Each stage offered up a variety of local and national acts, from Pierce Edens to the nationally acclaimed Blue Rags.

“There’s no such thing as free time, and I’m not so sure about luck. There’s no easy way to break up,” sang Shane Conerty and female lead singer Dulci as their band, Now You See Them, played the Mountain Xpress stage.

Listeners at New You See Them show included a couple from Knoxville, Tenn. who came to LAAFF exclusively for the band and for beer, and a baby with a mohawk who split his time between schmoozing with the audience and lead singer Conerty.

Now You See Them, originally from Pennsylvania, were very excited to play LAAFF according to drummer Jason Mercer.

Down the street and a few hours later, Ami Worthen and Jason Krekel of Mad Tea Party ravaged the crowd as various fairy-winged women boogied like zombies alongside men in skirts and face-painted children.

Around sunset at the BoBo stage, acoustic singer-songwriter Angi West captivated the crowd with a voice reminiscent of folk singer Joanna Newsom as fans lounged on the street.

West’s breathy, gospel-tinged vocals accentuated the dwindling sunlight and the ambiance it created during the festival.

The cross-legged audience sat in a hush as Mad Tea Party’s vocalist smiled near the sound booth.

Songwriter’s circle at Liquid Dragon Tattoo’s courtyard had the appearance of spontaneity as local songwriters democratically performed acoustic versions of their own music.

“It’s just amazing to hear a person with their instrument and their song” said Rory Carroll, a local performer.

Cello during Ash Devine’s haunting performance flowed with Carroll’s bluesy voice, while Now You See Them’s Conerty brought about an upbeat note.

“I’m so grateful to be a part of this community,” Carroll said.

Indeed, community was a dominant theme at LAAFF.

Groups of friends gathered on the street and in front of stages, parents and children conversed with other families, and strangers stopped to talk to not only those dressed outlandishly, but to offer genuine compliments to each other.

The party atmosphere was supported by the nature of the goods being sold.

Booths selling handmade jewelry and local foods were flanked by vendors selling clothes both tie-dye and hand-printed, as well as novelty stands selling paintings and pottery.

One such stand was a man with the bottle cap truck, a mainstay at arts festivals such as LEAF, whose proprietor was wearing a white tailcoat with multicolored fuzzy craft balls.

The eccentric attire of many of the festival goers fazed none, and were even considered by some to be beautiful.

“The most beautiful thing I saw was a woman with curly hair down to her knees” said Tommy, a local attendee. “She was slow-dancing.”

Alongside festival-billed oddities such as bike jousting were many impromptu happenings, a symbiosis of street performances and participating spectators.

Near Spiritex clothing store, a woman played harpsichord for hours while another woman played a silver painted snare drum.

The performance art of LAAFF did not end with musicians. There were at least three people on stilts roaming the festival at their leisure, sometimes stopping to pose with other personalities, and otherwise perpetuating the carnival atmosphere the festival created.

Another of the festival’s main draws was the beer.

Eight local breweries supplied LAAFF attendees with enough plastic cups to need “compost only” trash-cans.

The community building reached beyond Lexington Avenue.

Various shops sold scraps of fabric and took donations to support Responsive Education Accessing Creativity for Healing, or REACH, a program for battered women.

LAAFF’s impact varies almost as much as the outfits of those who attend, but they all agree on at least one note: Ashevillians, out-of-towners and artists alike love LAAFF.

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by AskAsheville

The Lexington Avenue Arts and Fun Festival is going to be awesome! Here is Erin of http://twitter.com/dreamspiderweb Dreamspider Publicity in Asheville, NC telling us about the plans for the day. LAAFF is on September 6, 2009 in the downtown area. Thousand and thousands of people will be there. We expect a social bloom to happen in the area at this event. Make plans to come out and attend LAAFF in Asheville!!!

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