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Posts Tagged ‘Miles Davis’

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.

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Larry Keel and Natural Bridge just played a show at Ft Ashby in WV at the RoadHouse Pub. Jeff Henry from the Appalachian Independent got to sit down with Larry and ask a few questions.  Click here for the original post and a couple photos.

 

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What was it like working at Tokyo Disneyland?

It was really cool. I learned a lot. A friend was living down in Florida, he sent me word up to Virginia that they were doing auditions for a bluegrass band to go to Tokyo Disneyland. It was something different, I was a mountain boy – had never been out of the mountains before so going to Tokyo was extremely exciting. We got our chops down – playing six shows a day. Each show was a half hour. We’d have a half hour off, then a half hour on. We did this for about six months.

Folks were intrigued by bluegrass and I was intrigued by the Japanese music. I like music (genres) of all flavors everywhere. With a lot of the soldiers being there during WWII there was a pretty big bluegrass following and interest in Tokyo. I met a lot of great musicians there.

What do you like to do while on tour?

I like to do a lot of stuff while on the road – like to sample the great food out there, visit friends all over the country, take in all of the sights like national parks. I like to fish as much as I can, if I have my fishing pole with me and there’s a mudhole somewhere, I’m liable to cast in it.

You’ve played festivals, theaters, pubs, and bars – what do you like about these venues and what brings you back to small towns?

I like all sorts of venues. I like to get a crowd in and get ’em focused in what we’re doing, take their minds off their troubles for a little while… and just have some fun and get the energy level up. No matter where you’re at, if you’re doing your job right (the crowd will love you). As far as coming back to small towns – I just love small town America. That’s what America is – it’s all the people you meet at these places, it’s a beautiful thing.

When will you be back in the area?

We’ll be up in Morgantown in the beginning of December (author note: December 11, 2010 at 123 Pleasant St). We’ll be back in Frostburg in February. I always advise everybody to check out our website (larrykeel.com). That’s what I do… I don’t know where I’m going to be half the time (laughs).

If you could jam with one musician, dead or alive, who would it be?

I’d probably want to play with Miles Davis. He had a whole lot of things figured out in a very simplistic and complicated way. I’m a big admirer of his music.
There are so many of them who have come and passed – Bill Monroe and Django Reignhardt. I try to pay my respects to them while I do my thing.

CLICK HERE TO READ THE ORIGINAL POST AND VIEW PHOTOShttp://www.appindie.org/index.php/arts/84-arts-and-leisure/1799-five-questions-with-larry-keel?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=Feed:+AppIndie-AllSections+(All+Articles+on+The+Appalachian+Independent)

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