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Posts Tagged ‘Magraw Gap’

Announcing Larry Keel Winter and Spring Tour dates as of 1/5/2011

Flatpickin Guitar Master Larry Keel has been busy pickin and fishin all around this past year and has a ton or surprises in store for the New Year, so stay tuned!

“Keel has had a heck of a year dropping a new CD, “Thief,” with long-time buddy Keller Williams in the spring, and then touring all over the country at some of the country’s biggest festivals with Larry Keel and Natural Bridge, Keller and the Keels, Keel and Adam Aijala, Jeff Austin and The Keels, Magraw Gap, and other interesting collaborations. ” ~Dave Lavendar

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

Look for more in 2011.  The Keels tour dates as of 1/5/2011 are posted below.

Larry Keel has a fantastic 2010!

Keller & the Keels ~ Thief is #37 WNCW Top 100
Keller & the Keels ~ Thief is #86 ~ Americana Music Association Top 100
Keller & the Keels ~ Thief is #6 ~ Jambands Online Top 10

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“Keller and the Keels proved that teaming the creativity of Keller Williams and the musical prowess of Larry and Jenny Keel makes for some fine magic in ‘Thief,‘ an album that covers everyone from the Grateful Dead to the Butthole Surfers.” Best in Music 2010: The Corner News: Rock/Jam/Bluegrass By Wildman Steve
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Listed #4 live music event in Boone NC!
Larry Keel & Adam Aijala ~ “When flatpicking virtuoso Larry Keel teamed with Yonder Mountain String Band guitarist Adam Aijala, there was no doubt that strings would fly. The duo performed early 2010 at Boone Saloon, seeming to defy the laws of physics with their high-energy, expert picking (accompanied by plenty of grinning). Meanwhile, Keel’s wife and bassist, Jenny, mingled with the crowd, making good on the Keels’ grounded and friendly reputation.”
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Larry Keel Music Tour Dates

Larry Keel and Natural Bridge

Larry Keel – Guitar and Vocals Jenny Keel – Bass and Harmonies Mark Schimick – Mandolin and Vocals

02/03/11 LKNB Pisgah Brewing Company Black Mountain, NC
02/04/11 LKNB Clementine Cafe Harrisonburg, VA
02/05/11 LKNB The Otter House Fredericksburg, VA
02/10/11 LKNB Gerstles Place Louisville, KY
02/12/11 LKNB Spring Street Music Hall Johnson City, TN
02/18/11 LKNB Mountain State Brewing Company Thomas, WV
02/19/11 LKNB Dantes Bar Frostburg, MD
03/24/11 LKNB SUWANNEE SPRINGFEST Live Oak, FL
03/25/11 LKNB SUWANNEE SPRINGFEST Live Oak, FL
03/26/11 LKNB Pour House Charleston, SC
06/03/11 LKNB John Hartford Memorial Festival Bean Blossom, IN
06/04/11 LKNB SMILE FEST 2011 Pinnacle, NC
06/05/11 LKNB SMILE FEST 2011 Pinnacle, NC
06/11/11 LKNB Bill Monroe Bluegrass Hall Of Fame And Uncle Pen Days Bean Blossom, IN
07/30/11 LKNB FLOYD FEST FLOYD, VA
07/31/11 LKNB FLOYD FEST FLOYD, VA

Keller and the Keels

Keller Williams – Guitar and vocals Larry Keel – Guitar and vocals Jenny Keel – Bass and Harmonies

01/13/11 Keller & the Keels VILAR CENTER FOR THE ARTS BEAVER CREEK, CO
01/14/11 Keller & the Keels SHERATON BALLROOM STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, CO
01/15/11 Keller & the Keels AGGIE THEATRE Fort Collins, CO
01/16/11 Keller & the Keels Boulder Theater BOULDER, CO

Larry Keel – Guitar and Vocals

01/21/11 Steep Canyon Rangers w/ Larry Keel The Orange Peel Asheville, NC

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Here’s a great Q & A with Larry Keel in Awaiting the Flood that was posted over the holidays.

(Way More Than) 12 Questions with Larry Keel

By Lindsey Grossman in Awaiting the Flood

Alt-grass legend and flatpicking guitar genius Larry Keel has been a busy guy this year. Keel launched a new website, Fishin’ and Pickin’, as well as a facelift of LarryKeel.com, complete with new music releases and daily fishing reports.

Keel played a full summer schedule, hitting the biggest and best festivals and events across America, performing as Larry Keel and Natural Bridge, Keller and the Keels, Keel and Adam Aijala, Jeff Austin and The Keels, Magraw Gap, and other interesting and irresistible collaborations.

We caught up with the legendary Keel via email during his tour right before the holidays to talk about life on the road with his fabulous wife, collaborating with Keller, and of course, ATF’s infamous 12 questions.

How would you describe your brand of bluegrass?
Original, and from the soul.

Old and young alike flock to your shows. How do you account for such an eclectic base of both traditional and progressive bluegrass fans?
Must be because our music has soul and creates happiness… that’s our goal anyway.

We see you have some tour dates scheduled with your brother. How does it feel to share the stage with the guy who gave you your first guitar and taught you how to play?
Playing with Gary is always a true honor, and it’s always so REAL… it’s the best.

What’s it like to tour with your wife (who plays a mean upright base, by the way)? Any secrets to having a happy marriage on the road?
We always knew from the git-go that we wanted to work together, whatever the work was gonna end up being. It’s a blessing to be able to play music together, travel everywhere together. No secret to pass on to you about it all, we just want to enjoy life.

Your latest collaboration with Keller Williams, “Thief,” came out earlier this year with quite the proverbial grab bag of cover songs. How did you decide which songs to cover?
That was all Keller’s doing. We just go in there after a bit of rehearsal and hangin’ out together, and then we record what he’s arranged for us. We trust him entirely to make awesome choices… he never disappoints.

We love your beard! How long have you had it? Have you ever been tempted to shave it off?
I’ve had a full beard since I was 16, but I’ve shaved it many times, had all kinds of looks. But the beard is pretty much a trademark.

And the Infamous 12 Questions:

1. What’s for supper?
This week we’ve had large mouth bass that I caught, and a deer roast that my buddy Will Lee shared with us (plenty more of both in the freezer) along with lots of my mom’s garden vegetables and herbs from this year’s canning and freezing.

2. List five items currently in your refrigerator (or if you’re on the road: cooler, glove compartment, backpack, suitcase).
Guitar strings, sunglasses, coffee, nutritional yeast and Tums.

3. Fitzgerald or Hemingway?
Hemingway.

4. What are you listening to and reading these days?
Danny Barnes and the local paper.

. . . Read Questions 5-11 at the original post . . .

12. What’s next for Larry Keel?
Tons of surprises.

READ THE ORIGINAL POST HERE: http://awaitingtheflood.com/q-and-a-with-larry-keel/

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ATTENTION: THIS SHOW (Casbah Durham Dec 17th)HAS BEEN CANCELLED due to The Keels being snowed in in Virginia; however, we did want to post the article as an archive for you all to enjoy!

Bluegrass at the Casbah with Keel

THE HERALD-SUN, DURHAM, N.C. | DAWN BAUMGARTNER VAUGHAN | Thu, Dec 16, 6:56 PM

READ THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE HERE

Dec. 16–Longtime flatpicking guitar playing bluegrassman Larry Keel thinks just about any song could be turned into a bluegrass song.

“I believe whether a Miles Davis song or a reggae song, the bluegrass sort of creeps in there. Though your hardcore purists might say no,” said Keel in a phone interview from his home in Lexington, Va., on the side of a mountain.

Tonight he’ll be at Casbah in Durham with his band Natural Bridge, which features his wife Jenny Keel on upright bass and Mark Schimick on mandolin. Larry Keel and Natural Bridge is named for the, well, the natural bridge that’s a wonder of nature and tourist stop in southwestern Virginia. Keel lived in the community of Natural Bridge for 15 years before moving to Lexington. The group’s last record was “Backwoods.”

Over the course of Keel’s career, he’s played with several groups — Magraw Gap, the Larry Keel Experience, the Keel Brothers and Keller & the Keels.

Keller & the Keels is composed of Larry and Jenny Keel with Keller Williams . Their latest, out this year, is “Thief.” It’s filled with covers of songs that seem a natural segue to their Americana sound — like the Grateful Dead’s “Mountains of the Moon” — to songs you didn’t know could be bluegrass, like “Pepper” by the Butthole Surfers, “Bath of Fire” by Presidents of the USA and “Rehab” by Amy Winehouse.

Larry Keel said that the song choices were Williams’.

“I’m just glad to be a part of it, to put it out there to kids who might not normally hear it,” Keel said. In recent years new bluegrass bands have veered from playing only traditional tunes.

“I sort of look at it as bluegrass has to change to keep it growing. I see younger groups trying to turn their age groups on to bluegrass by playing songs they know in a bluegrass fashion, and therefore preserving bluegrass,” he said.

Keel plays a little bit of all of it — traditional, originals and covers.

“With my style of traditional bluegrass, I do a lot of writing and always try to write something new from something that inspires me — people I meet, all the places I go to,” he said. Fishing, too, is part of the experience.

“It’s a very Zen-like activity, very magical. You’re concentrating on one focused-type thing, and music is like that,” Keel said.

Keel said that as he grows older, he definitely takes his music very seriously, but not too serious.

“I try to keep an audience happy,” he said. “It’s nice to uplift them when they come out to a show, and I get back that good energy.”

Keel has his own youtube channel,http://www.youtube.com/user/Larrykeelmusic. Keel will be back in North Carolina again for a New Year’s Eve show in Charlotte with Keller & the Keels.

READ THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE HERE

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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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Here’s fun blurb about Larry Keel & Natural Bridge’s upcoming show at the V-Cub this Friday!

by DAVE LAVENDER, The Herald-Dispatch

A Friday night bluegrass blast

Burn away winter’s frost with the red-hot picking of Virginia flat-picker Larry Keel and his band Natural Bridge, who are blowing into the V Club, 741 6th Ave., Huntington at 10 p.m. Friday, Dec. 10.

Keel has had a heck of a year dropping a new CD, “Thief,” with long-time buddy Keller Williams in the spring, and then touring all over the country at some of the country’s biggest festivals with Larry Keel and Natural Bridge, Keller and the Keels, Keel and Adam Aijala, Jeff Austin and The Keels, Magraw Gap, and other interesting collaborations.

Tickets are $10 in advance or $12 at the door. Go online atwww.vclublive.com/tickets.php for tickets or call 304-781-0680. Read an interview with the great bearded guitarist in Thursday’s Herald-Dispatch Lifesection.

READ THE ORIGINAL POST HERE:http://www.herald-dispatch.com/entertainment/x885909916/Smorgasbord-of-music-on-tap-for-Tri-State

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Great preview in the Fredericksburg Freelance Star about Larry Keel and Natural Bridge’s upcoming show at the Otterhouse this Saturday, September 11th.

FLAT-PICKERS WITH LOCAL ROOTS REMAIN AT THE FOREFRONT OF PROGRESSIVE BLUEGRASS

Keel’s local bluegrass roots branch out in many directions

Date published: 9/9/2010

BY RYAN GREEN

FOR THE FREE LANCE-STAR

Most area residents are aware of the numerous national claims to fame our local bluegrass musicians have made. Yet, some may be unaware that perhaps the most prolific and progressive flat-picker performing today spent many nights picking away in and around Fredericksburg.

Photo by Bright Life Photography

For the versed and unversed alike, on Saturday night Larry Keel and his band, Natural Bridge, will rock The Otter House and demonstrate why his act is consistently touted as the hottest, most provocative and most entertaining bluegrass band of this decade.

Growing up in Warrenton, Keel frequently played the open-mic nights at the Irish Brigade (located in the same spot that The Otter House now calls home). As he made connections with other local musicians, he spearheaded a healthy progressive-bluegrass scene in the Fredericksburg area with his band Magraw Gap and later the Larry Keel Experience.

Becoming increasingly more renowned for his flat-picking virtuosity, Keel claimed several first-place prizes during the mid-’90s at Telluride competitions, which for all intents and purposes are the World Cup of bluegrass.

In 2005, Keel formed his much lauded band Natural Bridge with his wife, Jenny Keel, on string bass and Mark Schimick on mandolin. Their latest release, “Backwoods” (2009) is a course in the direction the Keels are leading the bluegrass scene, which is to say they are taking the scene somewhere new. It is a must listen for anyone claiming to be tuned to the motions of country/bluegrass music. Within, you find the complexity and virtuosic instrumentation of traditional bluegrass in the vein of Bill Monroe and Earl Scruggs–but the comparisons need not go much further.

In a recent phone interview, Jenny Keel remarked on the band’s determination to go beyond traditional bluegrass.

“We put a lot of energy into honoring the forefathers of bluegrass. They were the original alternative music makers of their time,” said Jenny Keel. “But bluegrass has to grow, it has to evolve. None of the greats in the last three generations have stayed true to the Monroe-Scruggs way.”

Indeed, the Keels’ original tunes stand alone in a genre driven by the cover. The melodies, grounded by Larry Keel’s uniquely deep timbre, are backed in places by overhanging Tom Petty- esque harmonies and the pulse of Jenny Keel’s quiet-yet-strong bass playing. Meanwhile, both Larry Keel and Schimick set the standard for virtuosic picking throughout by melding classic bluegrass runs with elements of rock, gypsy jazz and the blues. In the end, progressive bluegrass may be an understatement, but it is clear that what the Keels are doing is progress.

The Keels also recently released their equally acclaimed second album as Keller and the Keels–a collaboration with hometown hero Keller Williams–titled “Thief.” This genre-bending album is a collection of covers (e.g., Amy Winehouse, Marcy Playground) that existed beyond the canon of bluegrass before Williams rearranged and captured them with the able hands of the Keels behind him. This album’s astounding success is an indication of how the branches of bluegrass are outgrowing its roots in our mountainous landscape and becoming, in some ways, a form of pop music.

While some traditionalists fear these changes, the Keels fully support them. For the most part, it is through this growth that the youth of today are learning about the wonderful music our area has produced for hundreds of years.

Larry’s attitude (in the words of Jenny Keel) is, “If I’m out there doing my thing and I throw in a Bob Marley tune, then I’ve got them listening. Then I lay on a full-on mountain song, like a Ralph Stanley song. Then I’ve got them to listen to Ralph Stanley when they might never have heard it.”

For this Saturday’s show, fans should arrive, as cliched as it is to say, expecting the unexpected.

“Larry grew up with a bunch of pickers, and there is likely to be some crazy hijinks beyond our Natural Bridge format,” said Jenny Keel.

Rumors have it that Will Lee (son of Ricky Lee, the Ralph Stanley-backing legend) and Gary Keel, Larry’s brother, will be in attendance, and likely onstage.

To be sure, the same creativity and cohesion that drive the constant evolution of this band will be present. Count in the virtuosic musicians and the feel-good atmosphere of the Otter House and this show becomes a bargain too sweet to pass up.

Ryan Green is a freelance writer and musician in Richmond. Reach him at
Email: ryugreen@yahoo.com.

Read original ==>> Fredericksburg.com – >> FLAT-PICKERS WITH LOCAL ROOTS REMAIN AT THE FOREFRONT OF PROGRESSIVE BLUEGRASS – page 2 FLS http://fredericksburg.com/News/FLS/2010/092010/09092010/573655/index_html?page=2#ixzz0z3SFWhbw

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I am super excited about the upcoming Smilefest Reunion in Pinnacle, NC. Not only is one of my all-time favorite festivals getting ressurected this spring, my favorite bands are playing, and all my friends will be there; but it is also my birthday weekend!

Come on out and help me celebrate!!!


Here is a message from the Smilefest Staff:

“We are extremely excited to be announce the return of one of our favorite NC festivals, Smilefest 2010! After taking a 3 year hiatus, one of the best  festivals in the southeast is back…with a twist. Smilefest is a PRIVATE, INVITATION ONLY event this year. ALL TICKETS MUST BE PURCHASED IN ADVANCE!

Because you are friends with Erin and Dreamspider Publicity, we would like to extend a special invitation to you to join us at Smilefest 2010. Come and help celebrate Erin’s birthday weekend. If you purchase your tickets before 4/23/10 you will be entered to win a special VIP package which will include a meet and greet, autograph session with Michael Franti.

When: May 21-23, 2010

Where: Jomeokee Campground in Pinnacle NC

Event Website: www.smilefest.com

How to get tickets: Go to the website and click on ticket link. Password to purchase ticket is “vassar”. OR send an email to smileagain4@gmail.com and request an invitation to Smilefest. Be sure to mention that you were invited by us.

Confirmed Artists: Michael Franti and Spearhead, Keller Williams and The Keels,  Acoustic Syndicate, Pimps of Joytime, Cornmeal, MaGraw Gap, Josh Phillips Folk Festival, Shane Pruitt and many more. Check the website for a list of all artists.

Hope to see you all at Smilefest in May!

A great video from the vault: Acoustic Syndicate from Smilefest 2004:

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