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Peter Rowan and The Mosier Brothers Present “Roots and Branches”
An Eclectic A-Z Musical Journey of Songs & Stories From the Life of Peter Rowan

Wednesday, June 13th   Riverbend Festival  Chattanooga, TN
Thursday, June 14th   Pisgah Brewing   Black Mountain, NC
Friday, June 15th  The Pour House  Charleston, SC
Saturday, June 16th  The Handlebar  Greenville, SC

*****
themosierbrothers.com/roots-branches
peter-rowan.com

We are thrilled to announce Peter Rowan will be joining The Mosier Brothers for a series of select shows! Peter Rowan has played in Bill Monroe’s Bluegrass Boys, with Jerry Garcia and David Grisman in the supergroup Old & In The Way, and with Tony Rice and a host of other acclaimed musicians throughout his storied career. Now, the Grammy winner joins The Mosier Brothers, the Atlanta band that evolved from the psychedelic hick-hop jamgrass band, Blueground Undergrass.

Rowan says, “I am always ready to collaborate with Jeff Mosier and his fine musicians, to explore the musical tree of Americana-bluegrass roots. We might even find some new branches on the old tree! We can harvest new fruit from old roots!”

Jeff Mosier and Peter Rowan met in 1985 on Mosier’s radio show in Atlanta. Since 1998 they have shared the stage together many times including Suwannee Springfest and Magnolia Festival in Live Oak, Florida. Rowan has always been a key figure in The Mosier Brothers career giving them what Mosier calls “the inspiration to fly between the extremes of traditional and progressive bluegrass music styles, even entering into psychedelic jamgrass and rock.”

The Mosier Brothers, originally from Bristol, Tennessee, have always maintained their “brother sound” amid their various configurations. The solid band sound that Rowan had heard from them over the years, along with their collective stage experience, eclectic musical taste, and genre bending tendencies, created the perfect creative soil in which to forge ahead with a project which both Mosier and Rowan had been thinking about for years. Johnny Mosier’s ability to switch-hit between playing bluegrass with flatpick style guitar, to rock, swing, and jazz on electric guitar, along with Jeff’s unique ability to compose “pick and jam” rock songs on the banjo, are the true ingredients of the “Mosier sound.”

Johnny and Jeff Mosier. Photo by Ian Rawn.

Veterans of the jamband and jamgrass scenes, The Mosier Brothers have been entertaining audiences for over 30 years (longer if you consider pickin’ on the front porch with their family), first with the bluegrass band Good Medicine for 23 years. In the late 1980’s, Jeff Mosier got his first experience playing Rock on the cutting edge of the newly developing jamband scene as a founding member of Col. Bruce Hampton’s Aquarium Rescue Unit, the band that gave him the stage name “Rev.” In 1994 he toured with Phish and tutored them in the ways of bluegrass. The Phish Companion writes “Perhaps no guest artist has had as great an influence on the band’s music as the Rev. Jeff Mosier…”. The brothers re-joined in 1998 in Jeff Mosier’s first nationally known brainchild, Blueground Undergrass, one of the earliest bands to merge bluegrass instruments and traditional tunes with the magnetic energy of Rock n Roll. Then, in 2010, they formed The Mosier Brothers which more finely blends the traditional bluegrass sound of Good Medicine and the jamming of Blueground Undergrass into a more song-driven Americana roots rock unit, all while remaining an eclectic endeavor.

For these “Roots and Branches” shows, Peter Rowan and The Mosier Brothers will be performing an A-Z retrospective of Rowan’s musical career.

Peter Rowan. Photo by Ronald Rietman.

The band will take the audience on a musical journey that builds throughout the evening, starting with the traditional bluegrass of Rowan’s days with Bill Monroe in the 1960’s, then leading into the progressive bluegrass years of Old and In The Way, Crucial Country, and The Free Mexican Air Force. The result: a night of life-affirming songs with rich melodies and harmonies, all led by the compelling stories of Peter Rowan that will serve as the backdrop for each musical number. Of that, Mosier says, “I think people really want and need to hear ‘songs’ now more than ever, and more importantly, the stories that inspired them.”

Mosier continues, “We can go anywhere Peter wants to go musically with this show, because his career helped mold our own musical taste. He’s been such a major influence on us. He’s like our Bill Monroe and Beatles all in one. The Monroe generation of players spawned the Rowan generation, and the Rowan generation spawned the Mosier generation, no doubt.”

Johnny Mosier adds, “After years of enjoying Rowan’s music from the audience, to actually perform with him on stage is a true joy and career high for me.”

Peter Rowan and The Mosier Brothers will be both acoustic and electric for each performance, as will their band of Kris Dale on bass, Edward Hunter on fiddle, and Will Groth on drums. The Rowan/Mosier recipe will give the songs a new spin while keeping the original flavor, in what promises to be one of the tastiest of musical collaborations.

themosierbrothers.com/roots-branches
peter-rowan.com

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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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