Larry Keel Experience
Larry Keel – Acoustic Guitar / Lead Vocals
Jenny Keel – Stand Up Bass / Harmony Vocals
Will Lee – Banjo / Lead Vocals
Larry Keel is described by reviewers as the most powerful, innovative and all-out exhilarating acoustic guitarist performing today. Keel has absorbed the best lessons from his Country and Bluegrass family upbringing, both sides deeply steeped in the rich mountain music culture and heritage of Southwest Virginia. From there, he has always integrated that disciplined musical grounding and natural-born talent with his own incomparable approach to playing the guitar and composing original music. He’s also got a knack for choosing interesting and appealing material from all realms of music with guts, whether it’s a tune written by a fellow song-writer/musician friend, or a tasty cover from any number of genres all over the map. The combination is pretty irresistible, and has earned Keel the highest respect and billing among the top acoustic musicians alive, and some now gone: Sam Bush, Del McCoury, Oliver Wood (The Wood Brothers), Chance McCoy (Old Crow Medicine Show), Tony Rice, Chris Thile,Vassar Clements, John Hartford, Bill Monroe, Peter Rowan, and Darol Anger to name a few. And his fierce, high-spirited energy also appeals to young rockers, jammers and alt country players and fans who are equally drawn to Keel’s deep rumbling voice, his earthy and imaginative song-writing, and his down-home-gritty-good-time charm. Keel regularly collaborates with Americana giants Yonder Mountain String Band, Railroad Earth, Greensky Bluegrass, Infamous Stringdusters, Keller Williams, Steep Canyon Rangers (with Steve Martin), Jorma Kaukonen, David Nelson, Little Feat, Rebirth Brass Band, Dirty Dozen Brass, members of String Cheese Incident and Leftover Salmon, amongst others.
Keel has a variety of musical formats swirling around the calendar each year: look out for his core band, The Larry Keel Experience (featuring Will Lee on soulful, blues-grass 5 string banjo, penetrating vocals and exceptional song-writing contributions and Jenny Keel on upright bass, with impeccable timing, solid yet imaginative bass lines and vocal harmonies), Larry Does Jerry (Keel performing the music of Jerry Garcia), Keller Williams and The Keels, Keel paired with artists such as Drew Emmitt, Danny Barnes, Peter Rowan, Sam Bush, and appearing as special guest with a multitude of major acts and artists on the tour circuit.
Throughout his career, Keel has released 15 albums and is featured on 10 others. The most recent release, “Experienced” is an entirely original work that showcases both Larry’s and band-mate Will Lee’s exceptional songwriting, singing and jaw-dropping instrumental performances, accompanied by Jenny Keel’s upright bass-playing and harmony vocals. Added to the raw sophistication of Keel’s progressive acoustic style are several guest musician-friends who appear on various tracks: Sam Bush, Del McCoury, Peter Rowan, Keller Williams, Jason Carter (Del McCoury Band), Mike Guggino (Steep Canyon Rangers) and Anders Beck (Greensky Bluegrass Band)
In addition to his performing and recording work, Keel also plays host to a special music event concept, ‘Fishin and Pickin’, which combines 2 unique but thoroughly complementary pleasures: the satisfying thrill of sports fishing, and the energizing intensity of live music, all conducted in all-inclusive style settings hosted on live water properties. There, experienced musicians teach every level of acoustic instrument players how to advance their musical ‘chops’ , while also having the chance to catch some big fish in the process. Bass and Grass takes place in Georgia each year in the fall, always with a fantastic roster of musician-instructors, and outstanding bass fishing! Similarly, there have been memorable events at Trout and Tunes featuring fly-fishing styles and mountain-music study and entertainment set in the misty mountains of West Virginia. More destinations on tap: The Salmon and Henry’s Fork Rivers in Idaho and the Maury River in Rockbridge County VA. There’s no end to the places Keel wants to play music in and fish, with like-minded folks!
For Keel the musical mission is always clear: to let technical skill and excellence, honest emotion and fearlessness connect the playing and singing to audiences, to entertain and to thoroughly enjoy the experience of creating and sharing in music.
NORTH CAROLINA FOLK ROCKERS ACOUSTIC SYNDICATE REACH NEW HEIGHTS ON “ROOFTOP GARDEN”
Produced by Grammy winner Stewart Lerman, Acoustic Syndicate showcases a unique legacy of rocking folk and bluegrass with songs that speak of a better world and a richer heart.
Whether they’re tilling a field or digging deeper into their unique blend of rock and bluegrass, the members of Acoustic Syndicate have a distinct way of reaching back in order to move forward. With their evocative new album “Rooftop Garden” the quintet takes a giant leap into the next chapter of their 20-year history of making unforgettable music, working the family farm and advocating for the environment. If there was ever a band that could capture the universal truths of life from the roots up, it’s Acoustic Syndicate.
“The tunes on this album were written with an essentially positive message, one about humanity, earth, responsibility and peace,” said singer/guitarist Steve McMurray. “And not saying ‘Baby’ too much,” he joked.
“It’s been eight years since we made our last record,” Steve added. “With the passage of time, if we are paying any attention at all, we see just how fragile and tenuous human life really is. It gives you a strong sense of the incredible importance of community, family and love. These feelings come out in our writing.”
The band revisits topics of love, kinship and the natural world on this album but in other ways this disc marks a creative shift for the Syndicate. While McMurray has long been Acoustic Syndicate’s charismatic lead singer “Rooftop Garden” captures the rise of another distinctive voice in the band, cousin Bryon McMurray. On this disc Bryon’s familiar, funky banjo often takes a backseat to his Fender electric guitar that along with his warm and even vocals create a sound somewhere between Bruce Hornsby and The Samples.
“I could sing harmonies all day long but I never felt the confidence to sing lead so much until this record,” said Bryon. “My head has always been full of melodies but this time the lyrics just came so naturally. I knew these were songs that needed to be sung.”
In addition to Steve and Bryon, drummer Fitz McMurray (Bryon’s brother) and bassist Jay Sanders create the core of Acoustic Syndicate, with the deeply accomplished dobro playing of Billy Cardine now rounding out their sound.
A favorite of dobro heavyweight Jerry Douglas, Cardine’s music gives the Syndicate a bigger, richer feel. “What Acoustic Syndicate does is so honest and homey it allows me to be this ribbon tying it all together and adding spice at the same time,” said Cardine. “They have such a down to earth quality to their music that in their own way what they do is virtuosic.”
Raised in a valley of the world’s oldest mountains, brothers Bryon and Fitz, along with cousin Steve, still farm the land in Cleveland County, N.C. that has been in their family since the 1700s. The impact of the years spent with their hands in the soil, growing wheat, soybeans, tomatoes and sorghum, has informed their music as much as the hours spent with their hands on their instruments.
“We are farmers,” said Steve about the McMurray men in the band. “We have a strong ancestral tradition and we will never give it up. In many ways it’s what gives us purpose and has much to do with who we are.” And it’s also why the band can bring such genuine home grown music from the field to the stage.
“But the truth is, the concern for the land can not just be important to us,” says Steve, “the folks who work it, grow food on it for others to eat, tend it from one generation to the next. Even the most apathetic and uneducated citizen might one day wonder why the rain burns their eyes or why there is a hole in the sky – why they can’t breathe or escape the heat. For some of us, only then will we truly realize the seriousness of our situation. And then it will be too late.”
And so the band plays on. Jamming and grinning and singing these deep and hopeful tunes encouraging people to think as they dance, expand their minds and open their hearts to the good that can be done around them.
“Through our music, we have tried to maintain a consistent message, a reminder, that this Earth is the only one we will ever have. And though we speak of some lofty ideals in our music, my most fervent hope is that when people listen to us or come to our show, they leave with a laugh and a smile and the satisfaction of having been a part of something positive.”
Now that sounds like seeds well planted.
The Get Right Band | Funk Rock Reggae from Asheville, NC
THE GET RIGHT BAND is “hip-shaking, earthquaking pure funk fun” (The Alternate Root). They are one of Relix Magazine’s “On The Verge” picks and Home Grown Music Network’s 2015 “Best New Band of the Year” choice. They have performed on the famed World Cafe, a nationally syndicated NPR show. Combining catchy, clever songwriting with musical expertise and fearless improvisation, the live show promises to move your head, heart, and hips.
Relix called the band “an ass shaking good time” and Martin Anderson of WNCW radio comments that “The Get Right Band is one of those acts that make Asheville’s music scene so vibrant and exciting. They lay down some very cool grooves.” Home Grown Music Network named GRB the “Best New Band of The Year” in 2015.
The band is built on the musical brotherhood that guitarist/vocalist Silas Durocher and bassist Jesse Gentry have formed playing music together since middle school. Durocher, who is a trained composer and has been commissioned to write for symphonies and chamber groups, possesses guitar chops that can soothe or rage and a charismatic swagger as a frontman and a singer.
“Durocher has an impressive range and rich clarity to his vocals—think a more soulful Dan Auerbach,” writes Connect Savannah.
Gentry’s virtuosic bass playing “catapults from elastic to nasty” (The Mountain Xpress).
With the addition of Jian-Claude Mears, a powerful and dynamic drummer, the group’s sound has become an unstoppable force.
The Get Right Band has been wowing audiences around the country and the Caribbean since their inception in 2011 with an unparalleled live show and a relentless tour schedule, playing such legendary festivals and venues as FloydFest (Floyd, VA), Music City Roots TV Show (Nashville, TN), Music City Brewers Fest (Nashville, TN), All Go West Fest (Asheville, NC), Steppin’ Out (Blacksburg, VA), The 8x10
(Baltimore, MD), The Orange Peel (Asheville, NC), The Pour House (Charleston, SC), The Green Parrot (Key West, FL), Ziggy's (Winston-Salem), Skipper’s Smokehouse (Tampa, FL), LiveWire (Savannah, GA), The Beach Bar (St. John, US Virgin Islands), and many more.
The band has rocked hard and jammed relentlessly every step of the way.
On August 5, 2016, The Get Right Band will release their latest studio album, Who’s in Charge?
The record was made at Asheville’s legendary Echo Mountain Studios (whose clients include Widespread Panic, Zac Brown Band, Smashing Pumpkins), engineered, mixed, and co-produced by Julian Dreyer (who has worked with The Avett Brothers, Dawes, Band of Horses), and mastered by six-time Grammy winner Brian Lucey (who has worked with The Black Keys, Grace Potter, Dr. John, Beck, Dr. Dog).
While seamlessly blending a number of different genres, the album is held together by The Get Right Band’s honest songwriting, fierce playing, and strong self-identity. The powerful songs and the pop/rock/psychedelic approach to production puts the album in the realm of acts like My Morning Jacket, Dr. Dog, and The Black Keys (with hints of Sublime and early Chili Peppers).
The band released their hotly anticipated first full-length album, Bass Treble Angel Devil, on September 12, 2014. The hour-long juggernaut of high-energy tunes, bold and witty lyrics, and adventurous production approach has listeners singing along and shaking their booties from track one. The album gained traction on college and independent radio stations nationwide and was lauded for its “infectious, danceable blend of funk, rock, reggae and just plain unique sounds” (Augusta Chronicle).
The Get Right Band has had the honor of playing shows with national acts such as Galactic, Rusted Root, Victor Wooten Band, Martin Barre (of Jethro Tull), Turkuaz, Mike Dillon Band, Jeff Sipe Trio, Yo Mama’s Big Fat Booty Band, Jeff Coffin’s Mutet, Larry Keel, and Bobby Lee Rodgers.
In much the same way that iconic southern dishes such as Louisiana gumbo or Brunswick stew can include any number of flavorful ingredients, so too does bluegrass music rely on a recipe that can vary wildly, depending on who's doing the cooking. For Asheville, North Carolina-based bluegrass band Town Mountain, the key ingredient of the musical stew that is their career-defining fifth album, Southern Crescent, is the same confident – yet entirely embraceable – swagger that has distinguished the group since they first formed in 2005. The new album is due out on April 1, 2016 on LoHi Records.
With an insatiable musical hunger, the members of Town Mountain (Robert Greer on vocals and guitar, Jesse Langlais on banjo and vocals, Bobby Britt on fiddle, Phil Barker on mandolin and vocals, and Nick DiSebastian* on bass) made their way to the little south-central Louisiana town of Breaux Bridge, where they recorded their most cohesive, most satisfying album to date. Produced by legendary GRAMMY-winning musician (and Louisiana transplant) Dirk Powell at his Cypress House studio, with low-swooping live oak trees and the picturesque Bayou Teche nearby, Southern Crescent is nothing less than a musical tour-de-force. Adam Chaffins* plays bass in the touring outfit.
The 2013 winners of IBMA Momentum Awards for Performance Band and Vocalist of the Year (Robert Greer), Town Mountain has earned raves for their hard-driving sound, their in-house songwriting and the honky-tonk edge that permeates their exhilarating live performances, whether in a packed club or at a sold-out festival. Just as a gumbo recipe starts with the "holy trinity" of staples (onions, bell peppers and celery), and can contain a wide variety of additional ingredients and inspiration, the hearty base of Town Mountain's music is the bluegrass triumvirate of Bill Monroe, Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs. It's what else goes into the mix that brings it all to life both on stage and on record and reflects the group's wide-ranging influences – from the Grateful Dead's Jerry Garcia and the ethereal lyrics of Robert Hunter, to the honest, vintage country of Willie, Waylon and Merle.
Sol Driven Train
“If you need to visualize the soul, think of it as a kind of train. Yes, a long, lonesome freight train rumbling from generation to generation on an eternally rainy morning: its boxcars are loaded with sighs and laughter, its hobos are angels, its engineer is the queen of spades – and the queen is wild. Whoo-whoo! Hear that epiphanic whistle blow. The train’s destination is the godhead, but it stops at the Big Bang, at the orgasm, and at the hole in the fence that the red fox sneaks through down behind the barn. It’s simultaneously a local and an express, but it doesn’t transport weaponry, and it certainly ain’t no milk run.”Tom Robbins, Villa Incognito
Grandpa's Cough Medicine
Grandpa's Cough Medicine is an outlaw bluegrass trio that ignores certain traditions of the genre, such as gospel themes and Blueridge mountain cabins, and instead focuses on frenetic picking, blazing tempos and dark subject matter. Bluegrass music is seldom played with such aggression and attitude, yet backed up by the musical competency and skill that embody the genre. The simple combination of flat picked guitar, Scruggs-style banjo, thumping upright bass and tight vocal harmonies are combined into a proverbial bluegrass hand grenade that explodes with foot stomping intensity. The Florida Times-Union included the band's CD "Jailbird Blues" among the top ten local albums of 2011.
The Carter Brothers Band
The Carter Brothers Band
My brother Tim and myself have been writing, recording and performing music together professionally for 27 years. It wasnt until the past 10 years or so that the word began spreading like wildfire about us being related to the Carter Family. Well, we indeed are of the same blood. It's something that we never made a big deal about because it just seemed natural for the both of us to be playing music since we could walk. We were always encouraged to be thankful and humble for our abilities. We were also taught to be openminded, original and creative about music and life in general. By no means were we ever required to learn, record or perform the music by A.P., Sarah and Mother Maybelle. After all, they invented their own sound, without even knowing at the time that they were creating something totally new and all their own and we wished to do the same. All of us out here recording and touring understand the philosophy of wanting to write words and music in ways that have never been done before.
We always wanted to be totally new and original as well&.we also wanted to do it all on our own without the using the 'crutch' of the family name. We purposely played down that aspect although a lot of people were saying that we were foolish not to exploit our heritage to help further our careers quicker, especially in the earlier lean days.! We were stubborn and steadfast to prove to ourselves that we could be successful totally on our own merits. And it worked. Our first signing to a major record label, Capital Records, came 14 years ago without the label heads even knowing a thing about the Family connection. They were livid later on, after we were dropped, upon learning our family heritage and the marketing possibilities. Well, we had made it that far without making a big deal about it and that means a lot to us although now I can understand the label's disappointment on a business level.
With few exceptions, the piano does not play a prominent part in Appalachian or Americana music, and is rarely the lead instrument. But Jeff Little is an exception – and a remarkable one. His distinctive two-handed style, much influenced by the mountain flat-picked guitar tradition, is breathtaking in its speed, precision and clarity.
Little’s involvement with fiddle tunes, old time country, and traditional blues dates to his growing up in Boone, North Carolina, where his family, owned a music shop. The shop was a regular gathering place for musicians who would just stop by to pick a few tunes. Beginning around the age of six Jeff would regularly sit in with many of the musicians from the region, including one of America’s most influential musicians: Doc Watson. These influences helped shape Jeff’s approach to the piano which is based on these deep musical traditions. But there is also an echo of more contemporary mountain tradition in Jeff’s performances.
A professional musician since the age of 14, Jeff is conversant with traditional old-time country, bluegrass, rockabilly, and blues. With a rack-mounted harmonica and vocals, he can also be a one-man show. Jeff settled in Nashville for a while, where he worked as a session man in between stints on the road. He also worked with a wide range of commercial country artists as a musician or manager most notably Keith Urban. Several years ago Jeff and his family returned to the Blue Ridge where today he is the Director of the Entertainment Technology Program at Northeast State in Bristol TN.
National Public Radio, PBS, National Council for the Traditional Arts, American Piano Masters, The Smithsonian Folklife Festival, and The American Folk Festival just to name a few. Jeff has also performed internationally including concerts in Sri Lanka, Oman, Tanzania, and France.
Steve Lewis is an award winning guitar and banjo player from Todd NC and is one of the most respected acoustic musicians in the country. Steve is well known for his flat picking on guitar and his mastery of the five string banjo. Steve has won many championships for his guitar and banjo playing. Some of the prestigious events include the Walnut Valley Nationals, Merlefest, the Galax Old Time Fiddlers Convention, Renofest and the Wayne Henderson Guitar Competition. Steve is also a two time national champion on the banjo as well.
Rounding out the trio is upright bass master Josh Scott from Fleetwood, NC. Josh has been featured on stage and in the studio with many critically acclaimed artists of acoustic and Americana music.
Charlyhorse is what Americana Music has always strived to be. A group of outstanding musicians and modern day troubedours who weave tales of small southern towns and the roads they have traveled. Vivid stories in sound, populated by trailer-park queens, hellfire preachers, shuttered cotton mills and down-home philosophers.
The music of Charlyhorse is firmly anchored in the Americana roots tradition. Influences from rock, country, bluegrass, R&B and soul gives each tune it's own unique feel.
Onstage, the upshot is compelling, soulful performances — spirited rockers paced with wistful ballads of lost love, life and death. Chuck Johnson’s presentation, salted with wry humor, and band camaraderie invites the audience into the act.
Charlyhorse, American made.
Chuck Johnson: head troubadour, lead vocals, guitar
Tom Kuhn: bass, mandolin, backing and harmony vocals
Dale Meyer: guitar, dobro, backing and harmony vocals
James Brock: drums, percussion
Chuck Johnson, Lead Vocalist, Guitarist, & Song writer is more than comfortable as frontman and most recognized face of Charlyhorse. Someone once said "If Tom Sawyer had grown up to be Woody Guthrie the result would be Chuck Johnson" He draws his stories from the lore of the land. You can hear his influences of Chuck's song writing musical hero's woven throughout his work:John Prine, Bob Dylan, Guy Clark and Townes Vanzandt. Chucks warm whiskey vocals, and dry wit bring the stories of Charlyhorse alive, and the audience becomes part of a huge family gathering where favorite relatives tell tall tales and spin yarns.
Charlyhorse has recently played at the venues:
Festival in the Park - Charlotte, NC
Americana Music Festival - Lake City, SC
The Double Door Inn - Charlotte, NC
Roof Top Bar - Columbia, SC
Oktoberfest - Hickory, NC
The White Mule - Columbia, SC
The Evening Muse - Charlotte, NC
The Peace Center - Greenville, SC
Tilman Arena - Greenville, SC
The Loft - Helen, GA
Greenville Alive - Greenville, SC
Smokey Joe's - Charlotte, NC
Heritage Music Festival - Lake City, SC
Thirsty Beaver - Charlotte, NC
The House 5 Points - Columbia, SC
Piedmont Interstate Fair - Spartanburg, SC
Neighborhood Theater - Charlotte, NC
Melissa Reaves is known to audiences throughout the US and Europe for her avant-garde, fire driven’, deconstructionist approach to rock-n-roll. Reaves has amassed a word-of-mouth following most notably for her experimental guitar work but also for her propensity towards spontaneity and seamless improvisation during live performance. She deconstructs the blues, pushes jazz to the outer limits and burns through rock-n-roll like the love child of Jerry Lee Lewis and the MC5. The real deal! Melissa's, "New Rock Song" was placed on the 55th GRAMMY Awards nomination ballot for Best Rock Performance.
Performing over 200 shows per year, Melissa spends most of her time touring with her eclectic solo show as well as her band. In January 2000, Melissa was chosen to participate in a "Women of the Millennium" showcase at the MIDEM conference in Cannes, France and toured in both England and France which included opening for Robert Plant of Led Zepplin.
In 1999, Melissa won the Lilith Fair Talent Search for the Charlotte area. She took the stage at Tremont Music Hall by storm and blew the crowd away. Melissa is well-known for her electrifying performances which leave her fans screaming for more. Her performance at Lilith Fair was incredible, and Melissa ended up on the main stage at the end of the night and truly brought down the house.
Melissa's third CD, Sentimental Anthem, includes a blend of some incredible grooves and the powerful extremes of Melissa's vocal abilities. Nine tracks are originals and the CD includes a dynamic rendition of "Purple Haze" with the Willy's, as well as a beautiful acoustic version of "I Know You Rider." For Reaves, one of the goals for this CD was to capture the intense energy of her live performances. Sentimental Anthem was released in May 1999, and has received outstanding reception from both fans and radio play.
Another of Reaves'accomplishments was the independent release of her debut album, Fall From Grace. Reaves wrote and arranged the entire album which includes ten listed tracks along with some extra surprises. Melissa has one track on the GO ON GIRL '97 CD compilation. The CD features female fronted bands from across the U.S. & Canada and is the brain child of Susan White at Fret Less Music.
Originally from North Carolina, Melissa Reaves tours nationally as well as internationally including New York,Boston,Atlanta,New Orleans,Seattle and Vancouver,BC. Melissa has shared the stage with Robert Plant, Sarah MacLachlan, Leon Russell,Sheryl Crow, Cyndi Lauper, Sister Sledge, Gloria Gaynor, Kenny Wayne Sheppard, Doc Watson, Little Feat; and has performed for many benefits and rallies including New York Pride, Battered Women's Shelters, and PETA. Melissa has also been a featured artist at the MIDEM, CMJ, & LMNOP conferences and at the NEA Extravaganza.
Melissa Reaves' unique sound and charismatic presence has received excellent reviews for their shows in Seattle, NYC, and in the Boston area. Rob Bloom of NYC's Manhattan Mirror said that, 'Melissa sings the blues all heart and soul...Melissa delivered the goods and shook the place,' while Steve Rylie of Creative Loafing says, 'Reaves will electrify any audience and send chills down your spine.' Melissa has propelled herself forward in the independent music scene with enormous strides. With her dynamic stage presence and burning desire to entertain, Melissa Reaves is someone who will excite and energize any audience!