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Posts Tagged ‘Shannon Wheeler’

keel, up close and personal

Exciting News! Larry Keel‘s traveling with a Flip Video recorder!!! This means lots of NEW videos the day they’re recorded in real fun situations!!!

Check out the new YouTube channel here: youtube.com/user/Larrykeelmusic

To see the other videos and look out for more subscribe to the Larry Keel Music YouTube channel!

For tour dates, photos galleries, link to social networks visit larrykeel.com

and stay tuned to Fishin and Pickin

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March 03, 2010 @ 10:35 PM

DAVE LAVENDER

The Herald-Dispatch

www.herald-dispatch.com

Photo courtesy of Ken Bloch Photography Mark Schimick, left, and Larry Keel

Snow piles have melted away, the calendar has turned the page to March, so the heck with waiting ’til May. Larry Keel is starting festival season right now.

Keel, the festival favorite flat-picker who’s burned up the stage with everyone from Yonder Mountain String Band and Keller Williams to the Dirty Dozen Brass Band and Tony Rice, brings his red-hot band, Natural Bridge to the V Club, 741 6th Ave., for a Friday night hoe-down.

Cover is $10 or $13 day of the show to see Keel, who will be joined by Natural Bridge (Mark Schimick on mandolin and vocals, Jason Flournoy on banjo and vocals, and his wife Jenny Keel on upright bass and vocals).

Keel said he’s been holed up this winter writing lots of songs, recording a new CD with his longtime buddy, guitar master Keller Williams, and just waiting on spring.

“I’ve been snowed in and snowed in and snowed out,” Keel said laughing about trying to make it to shows from out of his southwest Virginia mountain home during the maw of the winter. “We went down to Florida during the week and it started snowing down there, and get home and it was snowing again, and we’re going to West Virginia and it’s snowing again.”

A little cabin time hasn’t been a bad thing though, Keel said. Natural Bridge has been holed up, getting tight and ready to unleash the party with their festival friends.

“Schimick and ‘Deep South’ Jason Flournoy we’ve been having a wonderful time and we’ve been working on a lot of new music and they’ve been working on a lot of new music and so we’ve had a little more time to do that,” Keel said. “We’ve got some fresh music and are ready to come in there and wind it up and get wild.”

Keel, who’s been a festival favorite at Sunshine Daydream, Hookahville and the Appalachian Uprising in our region, said there’s something special about coming around the Mountain State to play.

“There’s so many good folks there we love all you folks in West Virginia,” Keel said, “We got started up there a while ago with the Davisson Brothers and we did a lot of hang-time with them and a lot of fishing and eating good and playing music and raising hell and that’s a beautiful thing. There’s a wonderful kind of hospitality with just a lot of the folks and promoters and it seems that West Virginia is brimming with music lovers and artists and that enclave.”

Keel, who has traipsed around the country with everyone from Adam Aijala (of Yonder Mountain) to Rice, said although he travels everywhere to play his new-grassed mountain music, there is something special about these Appalachian Mountains.

“I don’t think the people not from the mountains understand,” Keel said. “It’s my home and it was what I was pushed out of and what I’ll be put back down into. I think a lot of people pride themselves in that and it’s part of that majestic thing of the mountains.”

Keel said he’s very much looking forward to festival season.

For the first time in its 9 year history, he won’t be coming to the Tri-State’s largest jam festival, Appalachian Uprising in Scottown, Ohio.

He does have nearby festival gigs at Hookahville #33 up in Ohio, and DelFest over in southern Pa.

Keel said he was tore up hearing about the loss this winter of John Kevin “Trip” McKlenny, the founder of the Terra Alta, W.Va.-based Sunshine Daydream festival grounds. Trip, a long-time friend of the Keels, was buried last week after a two-year bout with liver cancer.

“I can’t even imagine how many times we’ve played up there, it’s been for years, really, and we’ve played with so many different combos,” Keel said. “One of the first times was with Leftover Salmon and the last time we played up there it was with Tony Rice and that was really a special one. Trip’s really done a lot for music up there and he was a good, good fellow and we’re going to miss him. The older you get the more you lose and you see a lot more loss. The spirit of that fellow will live on because he did a lot for folks and cared a lot about people.”

This year for festival season, the Keels will be releasing a new CD with long-time friend and oft-musical-touring partner, Keller Williams.

“We’ll have a brand new Keller and the Keels CD by June and it’s going to be really hot, it’s on fire,” Keel said. “I’m waiting on a copy right now, just to check it over. We’re super excited about it. I can’t disclose any more info about it other than to stay tuned to his website and mine.”

In addition to the new CD, the Keels have had their web site revamped, and Keel has also launched a new web site that encompasses two of his life’s loves — Fishin and Pickin — with his fishing buddy Shannon Wheeler, a local fiddle player and fishermen who works at the local Gander Mountain, outdoors store.

“I got so many hard-core fishing buddies everywhere I go that have developed over the years and they all love music and fishing and we just started talking more and more and so we have started this web site that has pictures and videos and news from the picking world and the fishing world,” Keel said.

Keel’s already gotten submissions from such musical friends as Aijala, who was down in Central America fishing, as well as Taj Mahal, and others.

Keel, who was known at the nearby Appalachian Uprising for his stage-filling jam that would pack the stage with a dozen or more pickers, said life just is better when you open yourself up and share in the music and good times both on stage and off.

“With me and Adam it’s just the guitars and doing our thing and doing some really cool freaky material and it is just so comfortable and that’s the way the music should be,” Keel said. “There shouldn’t be no hidden agenda just really soulful playing and writing and getting down to business. It is the most serious blessing of the whole thing. I grew up being so inspired by seeing and hearing all of these players like Sam Bush and Tony Rice, and even a lot of names you don’t hear or have never heard of, so it is like full circle for me to now get to stand in that circle with them and make music and trade riffs and feelings off of each other. It is the most amazing thing and I can’t believe it is happening sometimes.”

If You Go:

WHAT: National-act acoustic artist, Larry Keel and Natural Bridge

WHERE: The V Club, 741 6th Ave., Huntington

WHEN: 11 p.m. Friday, March 5. Show starts at 10 p.m. Doors open at 8 p.m.

HOW MUCH: $10 advance or $13 at the door

CONTACT: Call 304-552-7569 or go online at www.vclublive.com orwww.myspace.com/wvvclub

HEAR SOME KEEL: Go online at www.myspace.com/larry keel to hear a batch of original songs from Keel and Natural Bridge, including “Diamond Break,” a tune Keel wrote after Hurricane Katrina about one of his favorite music cities, New Orleans.

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