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Posts Tagged ‘upright bass’

Have you Herd? Donna The Buffalo plays Colorado

Thursday – Saturday: The Sandbar Vail (4-14), The Bluebird Theatre (4-15) and The Fox (4-16)

Whitewater Ramble and The Believers open the evenings

Photo by Jim Gavenus

Sandbar Vail ~ Thursday, April 14th
970-476-4314
2161 North Frontge Road
Vail, Co 81657
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Bluebird Theater ~ Friday, April 15th
(303) 377-1666
3317 E. Colfax Ave
Denver, CO 80206

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Fox Theatre ~ Saturday, April 16th
(303) 447-0095
1135 13th Street
Boulder, CO 80302

Photo by Richard Allen

Donna the Buffalo’s feel-good, groove-oriented, danceable and often socially conscious music all began over twenty years ago with roots in old time fiddle music that evolved into a soulful electric Americana mix infused with elements of cajun/ zydeco, rock, folk, reggae, and country. Donna the Buffalo is known for touring the country remaining fiercely independent as one of the industry’s most diverse roots-music bands and has “earned a reputation as one of the most respected, eclectic and hardest-working acts today,” praises Encore.

The dynamic songwriting tandem of vocalists Jeb Puryear and Tara Nevins have penned over 150 songs in their collaboration with DTB and have many more in the making. Although never writing a set list for live show, the Erie Times notes, “they stick to a pattern…usually alternating between Puryear’s rhythmic, Dylan-influenced, guitar-centered songs and Nevins’ breezy, melodic, accordion-driven gems like the folksy Tides of Time and infectious Locket and Key.” As of late, Nevins and Puryear have also been known to perform as a duo on air and at live shows, which is always enjoyable to the fans to hear their favorite DtB songs in stripped down arrangments. The band’s 2008 release Silverlined, on Sugar Hill Records, rose to #8 on the Americana Music Chart and they are heading in studio this spring to work on their 10th album with the current band lineup of Puryear on guitar, Nevins on fiddle, guitar, accordion, and scrubboard, keyboardist Dave McCracken, bassist Kyle Spark, and drummer Vic Stafford.

Nevins & Larry Cambell. Photo by John D Kurc.

Co-DtB bandleader and American roots traditionalist, Tara Nevins, releases an exploration of her own heritage, musical and otherwise, in Wood and Stone, her first solo album since Mule to Ride in 1999 on Sugar Hill Records. Wood and Stone showcases her ever-evolving repertoire as she journeys both back to her own “roots” and head-long into new territory. Set for a May 3, 2011 release date, the album was produced by Larry Campbell with guests including Levon Helm, Jim Lauderdale, Allison Moorer, Teresa Williams and more.

Donna the Buffalo’s fervent fan base, self-named The Herd, follows the band with zeal and has created a unique and supportive community online and at DTB shows across the nation. Puryear declares, “The main thing I like to say about The Herd is that you don’t have to do anything to be a member. You just have to like a song.” In an interview with The Roanoke Times, Nevins conveys, “It’s a great feeling to promote such a feeling of community, like you’re really part of something that’s happening, like a movement or a positive force…All those people that come and follow you and you recognize them and you become friends with them — you’re all moving along for the same purpose. It is powerful. It’s very powerful, actually.” When asked in an interview with the Weekender in PA what new people should look forward to experiencing at a show, Nevins replied “a really friendly, comfortable crowd, and a real community-oriented, positive experience.”

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The Believers

THE BELIEVERS have a serious love for old school country music. They can’t help it if they were raised on punk rock & metal. Founding members Craig Aspen & Cyd Frazzini formed THE BELIEVERS ten years ago in Seattle amid the Alt. Country- No Depression boom of that time and have been recording and performing ever since. Three albums and a decade later they’ve stayed true to their Country/ Rock /Soul sound that has earned them praise from contemporaries like Buddy Miller, Jim Lauderdale and the BBC Radio’s Bob Harris who declared them simply, “Brilliant.”

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Self-described as “High-Octane Rocky Mountain DanceGrass”, WhiteWater Ramble uses a simple recipe to craft it’s sound – bluegrass instrumentation, add drums, and a boundary-less approach to grassing-up everything from disco house grooves to roots Americana. The Colorado-bred quintet combines the elements of Mandolin, Fiddle, Acoustic Guitar, Upright Bass, Drums and Vocals to explore the musical boundaries of multiple genres to fuel their own mixture of original music and innovative cover song interpretations. Whether playing an intimate encore, acoustic and unplugged in the crowd, or surfing on top of the upright bass, WhiteWater Ramble delivers a powerful and memorable live performance.

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Columbus, NC – February 21, 2011 – Pinecastle Records is proud to announce that it has signed Town Mountain to its roster. The band brings a unique energy to the label with their mix of mostly original material that creates a hard-driving, no nonsense, foot stomping bluegrass sound mixed with slow country crooning and a honkytonk edge. Town Mountain safely brings it all together in a way that has wowed not only their local Asheville, NC music scene but also crowds across the country since their first national tour in 2005, which they capped off by winning the prestigious Rockygrass Band Competition. Town Mountain features Phil Barker (mandolin, vocals), Robert Greer (guitar, vocals), Jesse Langlais (banjo, vocals), Bobby Britt (fiddle), and Jon Stickley (bass, vocals).

Musical influence, fine-tuned vocals, precision crafted instrumentalists, and charming stage presence are all ingredients in what makes a sound…unique. One more ingredient that is essential in producing this sound: new songs. Town Mountain has the capacity to bring fresh and exciting material to their high quality music. With topics ranging from love lost and heartache to the weariness of a midnight drive across America’s heartland to politically charged topics that most steer clear of. You will find that Town Mountain’s songwriting is heartfelt, sincere and honest. Their upcoming album, Steady Operator, has an official street date of  May 10th and the band is planning a CD release party at The Grey Eagle in Asheville, NC on March 19th.

“This album is a culmination of thousands of miles traveled across America, playing for audiences as diverse as the traditional bluegrass crowd to the hippie jam band contingent in big cities and festivals to pubs and house concerts. Diverse audiences that have one thing in common, a love for inspired, original, well played music, performed with a spirit that appeals to fans of all types and ages.” -Mike Bub, Steady Operator Producer and Grammy winner with The Del McCoury Band

www.townmountain.net

http://pinecastlemusic.com/pressrelease/2011/townmountain.html

Booking:
Rob Miller
Pickin’ Productions
pickinproductions@gmail.com

www.pickinproductions.com

About Pinecastle Records:
Pinecastle Records has been a key player in the transmission of bluegrass music to the masses for the last 20 years. Orlando, Florida business man Tom Riggs started the label in 1989 as a favor to a friend who was looking for an outlet for their newly recorded CD. Pinecastle has long developed young artists including Kristin Scott Benson, Terry Eldredge, and Josh Williams and has also been the home to bluegrass legends such as the Osborne Brothers, Jim & Jesse, and Charlie Waller & the Country Gentlemen. In all, it has released nearly 250 projects.

Today, Pinecastle is situated in the mountains of southwestern North Carolina owned by businessman and medical doctor, Lonnie Lassiter. After taking ownership on August 1, 2010, Dr. Lassiter brought two of the company’s former executives on board to head up the new venture. Ethan Burkhardt was named the company’s Vice President of Operations and Matt Hood its Vice President of Public Relations.

2881 NC 108 HWY E.
Columbus, NC  28722
828-376-0065
info@pinecastlemusic.com
www.pinecastlemusic.com

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The Keels are heading out today for a great weekend of music in the SouthEast. They play Pisgah Brewing in Black Mtn (Near Asheville) tonight, Feb 3rd.  On Friday Natural Bridge heads on over to Harrisonburg, VA to play the Clementine. Saturday brings a great show at in Fredericksburg at The Otter House; check out the show preview in the Fredericksburg Patch!

Live Music Highlight – Larry Keel and Natural Bridge

Bluegrass flatpicker extraordinare Larry Keel and the Natural Bridge will perform at the Otter House this Saturday.  Ashleigh Chevalier has the preview.

Fredericksburg Patch fredericksburg.patch.com

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Larry Keel, bluegrass flatpicker extraordinaire (and master fisherman), has released thirteen albums and been featured on ten more. He has opened and worked with national acts such as Del McCoury, Bill Monroe, Darol Anger, and Fredericksburg’s music sensation Keller Williams.

. . .    . . .    . . .    The Keels, being Larry and his wife Jenny on upright bass, bring modern societal reflections to the forefront of traditional mountain and americana style music. Add mandolin player Mark Schimick, and the Keel duo is rounded out to The Natural Bridge band. The technical proficiency, harmonies, and relevant lyrics reach across genres and generations. A Keel performance has personality, flavor, and all the soul and edge of a jam rock band that keeps feet a’tappin’.

Larry Keel will play Downtown Fredericksburg’s family owned venue, The Otter House, located at 1005 Princess Anne Street, this Saturday, February 5, 2011 at 10PM. Doors open at 8:30PM. Tickets are on sale for $10. Albums and other “Keel-endise” will be available. The show sold out last time, so come early, enjoy an amazing meal, (The Otter House offers all natural and vegetarian options), and get your grass on with Larry Keel & The Natural Bridge. Check Larry Keel’s music out at larrykeel.com. It is all in there folks, and it’s bound to be a grand time.

READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE: http://fredericksburg.patch.com/articles/live-music-highlight-larry-keel-and-the-natural-bridge

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Below is an excerpt from Mousike Magazine about Keller Williams and his bluegrass project with Larry and Jenny Keel. It is a really in depth and long article on Keller musical influences and project. I have posted below  the paragraphs about Keller and the Keels.  For more on Keller Williams and his one man jam band, his Colorado connection, other fun side projects and more, please do check out the full original post here:  http://mousikemagazine.com/2010/12/biscuits-in-his-gravy-keller-williams/

Biscuits in his Gravy: Keller Williams

Written By Clay Hall

For many of you, Keller Williams needs no introduction. But for anyone left out there who hasn’t heard of Keller, seen his ledendary solo act or followed his many other incarnations, well… I guess I’ve got some ‘splaining to do. Yet how the hell do you write a quick intro about a guy who has just released his 16th album (his first geared towards children), hosts his own syndicated radio show, has five side-projects listed on his website, recently published his first children’s book and is currently touring with a three-piece bluegrass outfit to promote an album of cover songs from artists as diverse as Kris Kristofferson, Amy Winehouse and Marcy Playground? It’s been said that his “Entire career seems like a eries of side projects.” ….

THIEF

Photo by Melissa Colombo

The Keels is one of Keller’s more recent projects, but it could be said that it was 20-some years in the making. Keller began playing seriously with Larry and Jenny Keel in 2004, and in 2006 they teamed up for the bluegrass album not surprisingly titled GRASS, but their friendship and musical collaboration goes back to 1991 when they were all involved in the local Fredricksburg music scene. Larry was playing in a band called Fizzawah, a side-car to his main oufit McGraw Gap and Keller would sit in, and vice versa.

Though they lived a few hours apart in Virginia, it never kept them from getting together for an afternoon jam when they had the time, and Larry also had his own connections to Colorado in the newly formed Leftover Salmon’s original banjo player Mark Vann (a TBF winner himself). Keel and Vann had been friends since they first met in ’89 and formed a bluegrass outfit called Farmer’s Trust and in 1993 Vann convinced Larry to come out to Colorado for the Telluride Bluegrass Festival where Larry surprised even himself by winning the flatpicker’s contest. “I was completely surprised, because there was wonderful talent in the whole thing, you know. Just seeing all that and getting to take in Colorado was prize enough. It’s kept me coming back for years.” Keel says about the mountains and the music during that first visit.

And fortunate we are to have enjoyed those visits over the years. With an unofficial title of ‘Bluegrass Legend and Master Fisherman’, Larry is considered one of the best flatpickers on the planet. Steeped in the old-timey and with a gravelly voice as deep and rich as mooshine on a riverbank, it’s a nice complement to Williams’ smooth-as-silk delivery. Larry’s flat-picking style is as seamless as it is gymnastic and he’s a master at simulating banjo rolls, mandolin runs or even parts that you would normally hear played on a fiddle.

The bridge between Keller and Larry is provided by Larry’s wife Jenny on the upright bass. Born into the bluegrass tradition herself and a young enthusiast, Larry and Jenny met at a bluegrass festival and were soon playing together anywhere and everywhere they could.

The whole album couldn’t flow any better, managing to create a commonality and a cohesiveness to the scattershot playlist. On youtube I found videos of the trio playing songs from THIEF alongside the gentle Rappahannock river in Virginia and the chemistry between the three is captured perfectly. Keller leading the way, at times chopping hardwood, other times throwing in his fluid and almost a-rythmic rolls and fills. Larry charges up and down the neck with his unique style of rollicking flatpicking while the beautiful Jenny Keel ties it all together with her solid timing and gentle attack, sometimes drifting off with a wistful smile, but always keeping one eye on Keller and watching out for his surprises. These videos are a testament to the essence of bluegrass, the depth of their friendship, and that good warm feeling of fraternity that only bluegrass music and good whiskey can produce. It is obvious that these people have nowhere else to be, and nothing else they’d rather be doing than playing music together.

Speaking of their friendship and collaboration with Keller, Larry says, “I’ll tell ya’, he’s always amazed me with his creativity and his ideas and the directions he heads with all of his playin’ as far as not just your typical cover songs or his original material, he’s always got a surprise in there for ya’. His rythm capability is as good as it gets, it’s the best I know of and I just love playing music with him you know, it really fires me up. We tend to read each other like a book now, it’s pretty awesome.”

And when it comes to the diverse origins of the material, the legend from Natural Bridge, Virginia says, “You know with a lot of these songs off of THIEF, me not being the big radio listener of popular music, I hadn’t heard of any of the songs that were on the CD. It was hilarious, we rehearsed ‘em and got ‘em all down and had ‘em tight and then we go out to play these shows in front of thousands of people… and everyone’s singing the words to them. I feel like the odd man out in weird way, but we put our touch on ‘em and I’m real happy to be a part of it.”

It’s easy to get caught up in those cover songs, the diversity of the source material and the unlikliness of it all.  Pickin’ on the Butthole Surfers? Amy Winehouse on corn liquor rather than crack? And who the hell are the Presidents of the United States of America, anyway? But the reality is that this is damn good bluegrass from any angle, and as far as the art of taking other artist’s songs and making them your own while still allowing the songwriting to shine through on its own merits, it is brilliant. These folks are impeccable at playing these songs, without once ever getting in the way of the songs themselves, and I can only imagine that the original artists are delighted to see their material handled with such dexterity and humility.

When I ask Keller how they chose the material for the album, it becomes clear why the choices were so succesful. “You know, a handful of those songs were road tested by the Keels and I and we definitely played them live for a couple of years before we recorded them, so that was really easy to choose those. Others were road tested by me solo and then there were a few others that we put together right there in the studio that I thought were really cool. Like the Raconteurs song, the original is very rockin’… if you listen to the words it’s kind of like one of those old bluegrass murder ballads and it works really well bluegras. It was all about the songs I knew that people would either know and sing along to, or like even if they were hearing it for the first time.”

This album proves beyond doubt that digital technology can and does capture that analog magic, as long as the magic is there to begin with, and in my mind cements Keller Williams as an incredibly talented producer. The irony is that this album is anything but a ripoff. Though it may be other folks that writ the songs, each one is left improved upon, the paradox being that Keller, Larry and Jenny bring out each song’s hidden potential by stripping them down to volume, tempo and timbre. If Keller wasn’t stuck on one-word album titles he might as well have called this record “Pimp My Song – Mountaingrass Edition”.

READ THE COMPLETE ARTICLE HERE:  http://mousikemagazine.com/2010/12/biscuits-in-his-gravy-keller-williams/

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Please visit the Home Grown Music Network’s site to vote for the best HGMN album of the year! THIEF is on the list– hint hint 😉

Check out this great review of Keller and the Keels, Thief, in Acoustic Guitar Magazine this month!

Who knew Amy Winehouse’s neo-soul hit “Rehab” would make a great bluegrass burner? On this mischievous collection of covers by jam-man Keller Williams with flatpicker Larry Keel and upright bassist Jenny Keel, a follow-up to their 2006’s Grass, the trio also tackles the Grateful Dead’s tripped-out “Mountains of the Moon,” Cracker’s cheeky “Teen Angst.” and more stylistically straightforward fare such as Kris Kristofferson’s “Don’t Cuss the Fiddle” and Danny Barnes’s “Get It While You Can.” Williams takes the mando role in this group, adding the bluegrass chops not on an actual mandolin but on a high-tuned Veillette mini-12-string guitar with the top two string courses removed. That leaves plenty of sonic room for Larry Keel’s superfine flatpicking runs and cross-picked rolls, played on a Santa Cruz OM and recorded in sumptuous acoustic detail. In keeping with the repertoire, the vibe of Thief is loose and playful, with all the tracks performed live except for harmony vocals. The trio indulges in a bit of space jamming but overall keeps a light focus on this odd and witty batch of songs, proving along the way that the grass is green out in left field. (SCI Fidelity)

-JEFFREY PEPPER RODGERS

TO SEE THE ORIGINAL POST PLEASE VISIT ACOUSTIC GUITAR MAGAZINE: http://www.acousticguitar.com/article/default.aspx?articleid=25669

Remember to visit the Home Grown Music Network’s site to vote for the best HGMN album of the year! THIEF is on the list– hint hint 😉 http://www.homegrownmusic.net/form/vote-for-the-hgmn-2010-album-of-the-year

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