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The Infamous Stringdusters, a 2011 Grammy-nominated progressive bluegrass band, will headline the third-annual Rooster Walk Music and Arts Festival on Memorial Day weekend near Martinsville, Va.

A six-piece outfit from Nashville, Tenn., the Stringdusters received a Grammy nomination in the Best Country Instrumental Performance category for their song, “Magic #9.” The band will perform at Rooster Walk 3 on Saturday, May 28 at Blue Mountain Festival Grounds.

“We couldn’t be more thrilled to have the Infamous Stringdusters at Rooster Walk this year,” said festival co-founder Johnny Buck. “This is a band that sells out shows across the country and tours abroad. They’ve won some of the biggest awards in the bluegrass world, but they’re also hugely popular on the jamband and ‘newgrass’ music scenes. We can’t thank them enough for coming on board. They are the perfect fit for the atmosphere and vibe we’re trying to cultivate at Rooster Walk.”

The Stringdusters achieved almost instant stardom. In 2007, while touring in promotion of their debut album, “Fork in the Road,” they won three awards at the prestigious International Bluegrass Music Association awards ceremony: Emerging Artist of the Year; Album of the Year; and Song of the Year.

The band’s live performances have been described as “anti-formulaic, groove friendly, and mind‐expanding – not your granddaddy’s bluegrass, unless your granddaddy was Jerry Garcia.”

“We are really intently focused on creating music in the moment,” said Travis Book, vocalist and upright bass player, when asked to describe the band’s style. “That means there’s some improvising and some jamming going on. People are playing different solos every night, and it seems to me to be a more dynamic experience than your typical bluegrass or string-band show. … It’s definitely a good time. That much I know.”

The ‘Dusters just finished a two-day performance at Merlefest over the weekend, where they were once again main-stage performers. Other notable events on their summer tour schedule will include sets at DelFest in Cumberland, Md., the Telluride Bluegrass Festival in Telluride, Colo., the legendary Red Rocks venue in Morrison, Colo., and the band’s own event, The Festy Experience near Charlottesville, Va.

Despite nearly unlimited options, Book said playing at Rooster Walk made sense on a number of levels.

“It sounds like a good time, and that’s largely one of the guiding principals of what we do these days: What sounds like the most fun, for us and for people who want to come be a part of it?” said Book. “And Rooster Walk fits the bill. It’s gonna be a really great time, and that’s one of the most important things to us. Since we’re all just spinning around on this planet, why not try to enjoy it as much as possible?”

The Mantras are a jamband from Greensboro, N.C., with a rapidly growing fanbase

RW3 will feature 19 primary bands. The current lineup offers rock, jam, bluegrass, blues, soul, folk, funk, jazz, country and reggae. Rooster Walk will also feature arts, crafts and food vendors from the area, children’s programming, a new workshop stage and on-site camping.

Bristol-based roots rockers Folk Soul Revival (FSR), this year’s festival hosts, are the only band scheduled to play both nights of the festival.

Asheville, N.C.'s Sanctum Sully will bring their infectious mix of bluegrass, rock, folk and improv Rooster Walk

Other bands performing will include: The Mantras, the Jesse Chong Band, Sanctum Sully, Rob Cheatham & GUNCHUX!, the Lizzy Ross Band, the Kings of Belmont, the Big Fat Gap All-Stars, Jamal Millner & Comrades, Poverty Level with special guest Sammy Shelor, Relacksachian, Travis Elliott, Mariana Bell, the Martinsville Community Jazz Ensemble, Levi’s Gene Pool, Riggs Roberston and the Boys and Girls Club Steel Drum Band.

Rooster Walk honors the memory of two young Martinsville natives who passed away in the last four years: Edwin G. Penn IV and Walker E. Shank. Both were graduating members of Martinsville High School’s class of 2000. Proceeds from the volunteer-led festival go to the Penn-Shank Memorial Scholarship Fund at Martinsville High School.

In two years, organizers have donated $10,000 to the scholarship fund. Sara Kasey, a current freshman at Randolph College, was the inaugural recipient in 2010. The announcement of the second annual winner is expected in May.

General admission tickets for RW3 are currently $40 for a weekend pass and $90 for a VIP weekend pass. Those prices will increase to $50 and $125, respectively, on festival weekend. Tickets are available online or locally at the Southern Virginia Artisan Center in uptown, Binding Time Cafe and Woodall’s Music.

For more information, including details on tickets and band biographies, visit www.roosterwalk.com.

Rooster Walk is a family-friendly festival set for Memorial Day weekend at Blue Mountain Festival Grounds. Last year, 100 percent of all parents survey said they would bring their children back to Rooster Walk 3.

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Larry Keel and Natural Bridge head back though Richmond, VA to play the Capital Ale House on Friday April 22nd, 2011.

Style Weekly did a nice preview stating, “Sporting the wildest mutton chop sideburns since Ambrose Burnside, flat picker Larry Keel plays bluegrass Americana that exhibits the kind of technical mastery of acoustic guitar only time can provide. Born in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, the veteran player and songwriter — alongside his band, Natural Bridge — has remained a much-respected fixture of the Appalachian musical tradition. With the kind of gruff vocal delivery that could take Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder by surprise…”

Listen in to a wonderful interview podcast with Larry and Jenny Keel on Eternal JamNation here: http://eternaljamnationradio.com/shows/LarryandJennyKeel.mp3


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Dehlia Low pushes bluegrass squarely into the emerging Americana genre, combining their tenacious, authentic vocal style with extraordinary instrumental prowess in original songs that feel at once both old and new. Their upcoming album, to be released this summer, will be their first on the venerable Rebel Records label (Ralph Stanley, Steep Canyon Rangers), and is an eagerly-anticipated follow up to their acclaimed 2009 independent studio release “Tellico.” Since stepping off the stage at Merlefest in 2010, the distinctively Appalachian country/bluegrass sound of Dehlia Low has transcended their native Blue Ridge, bringing the band across the US and Canada on their exciting 2011 tour.

Photo by Sandlin Gaither

Dehlia Low performs in NY, PA & VA this April!

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Sat, April 16th ~ Bena Country Store Hayes, VA
Sun, April 17th ~ Sellersville Theatre w The Steel WheelsSellersville, PA
Wed, April 20th ~ Sportsman’s TavernBuffalo, NY
Thurs, April 21st ~Abilene’s Rochester, NY
Fri, April 22nd ~ Wellsville Creative Arts CenterWellsville, NY
Sat, April 23rd ~ The MockingbirdStaunton, VA

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Dehlia Low came together in late 2007 as part of Asheville, North Carolina’s roots music renaissance. Singers Anya Hinkle (from Blacksburg, VA on fiddle) and Stacy Claude (from Atlanta, GA on guitar) pulled together a group of talented pickers from the region: Aaron Ballance on dobro (Winston-Salem, NC), Bryan Clendenin on mandolin (Hurricane, WV) and Greg Stiglets on bass (Jackson, MS). The group’s sound is focused on original music rooted in bluegrass but with a distinctive country/folk feel true to their southern Appalachian roots.

Dehlia Low is pleased to announce their newest project, a studio album to be released in summer 2011 through the oldest and most respected bluegrass record label, Rebel Records. The project will be recorded in Asheville and produced by Travis Book of Grammy-nominated and IBMA emerging artist winners The Infamous Stringdusters. The group is currently planning an exciting international tour around the release, with details available at www.dehlialow.com.

Photo by Sandlin Gaither

Dehlia low on the web:
www.dehlialow.com
twitter.com/dehlialow
www.reverbnation.com/dehlialow
www.facebook.com/pages/Dehlia-Low

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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

. . .    . . .    . . .

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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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 a few videos of Donna the Buffalo’s Jeb Puryear and Tara Nevins. They were filmed performing a duo session on Charlottesville radio station WNRN before therir show later that night at the Jefferson Theatre.

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All year long, Larry and Jenny Keel & friends support lots of great causes including the cause AGAINST mountaintop removal with Appalachian Voices; pick up an “I Love Mountains” sticker at one of their shows!  Last weekend, on Nov 27th, Larry and his brother Gary Keel played the Annual Toys for Tots Party to benefit the Rappahannock Council on Domestic Violence. The Keels are involved in two other music-filled benefits for the holiday season as well -see below for press release details- please join them if you’re in the areas!

The Work’s 9th Annual Christmas Jam Benefit Show Saturday, December 18th

The Greenville based, six-piece band The Work return to The Handlebar again for their 9th Annual Christmas Jam Benefit Show, an Upstate tradition since 2002. This Feature Holiday Event will take place on Saturday, December 18, 2010 at The Handlebar in Greenville, SC and all proceeds raised go to benefit the Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Carolinas, a “home away from home for families of critically ill children receiving treatment at area hospitals.”

This year’s Christmas Jam will feature music by The Work, with performances by a veritable treasure trove of guest musicians. And this is part of the allure of the event, the ever changing line-up of musicians. According to Craig Sorrells, “every Christmas Jam brings great memories for me with the completely unusual arrangement of musicians that come and perform with us.” The band is very excited about this year’s line- up as it includes such world renowned musicians as: Larry & Jenny KeelCurtis Burch (New Grass Revival), Tom Gray (Delta Moon), and many more to be announced. Also joining this year will be several regional & local musicians including, but not limited to the Shane Pruitt BandDoug Jones (Cravin’ Melon), Jonathan LloydJeff HollandViolet & The Beauredarde’sTez Sherrard, plus many others. As well, there will be special surprise guest musicians making appearances during Christmas Jam.

In its previous 8 years of operation, The Work’s Christmas Jam has raised $40,000 for local charities.

www.handlebar-online.com
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Keller Williams’10th Annual SPCA Benefit on Sunday December 26th

Before the NYE run kicks-off, Keller Williams brings his three-set extravaganza to his hometown of Fredericksburg, VA for his annual holiday concert to benefit the SPCA. To celebrate the ten year anniversary of the event, which will take place on December 26 at the Fredericksburg Field House, Keller has invited local marching band Elby Brass to join the show for set break music. 100% of the concert’s profits will go to support The Fredericksburg Regional SPCA. Less than 3% of The Fredericksburg Regional SPCA’s budget is received from the City of Fredericksburg, forcing the branch to rely almost solely on individual and corporate donations and fundraising events like this. The Fredericksburg Regional SPCA is a “no-kill” shelter whose mission is to tackle the problem of pet overpopulation through education, adoption, rehabilitation and spay/neuter.
  • Set I will be reggae, dub and funk versions of Keller favorites with Jay Starling on keys, Mark D on drums and Keller on bass
  • Set II will feature the bluegrass stylings of Larry Keel on guitar and his wife Jenny on bass with Keller playing his mini twelve-string (wanna-be mandolin) guitar.
  • And Set III will be old school Keller on acoustic guitar with his trademark looped-out dance grooves. Big screen video visuals will be provided by Scott Sunn.
Find out more about Keller’s holiday tour here.

Show Specifics:
Sunday, Dec. 26th, 2010
Fredericksburg Regional SPCA Benefit
Fredericksburg Field House in Fredericksburg, VA
Doors at 7pm, show at 8pm
$25, All ages
www.fredfieldhouse.com

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