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Washington DC's Premier Site For Bluegrass~Funk~Jamband  Reviews, Interviews & Concert Footage 

Apr
15
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Larry Keel Talks Collaborations and Festivals With Kirby Farineau

The Jefferson Theatre

Charlottesville VA.


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With a rich background in Appalachia, and years of picking their own brand of vivid bluegrass blended jam music, it is undeniable that The Larry Keel Experience is one of the most lively acts on the festival scene today. Attendees at their Jefferson Theater show in Charlottesville, Virginia last Friday got a heaping helping of trademark Keel music. After quick opening sets from experimental newgrass group, P-Grass and Richmond roots-rock band Wrinkle Neck Mules, the crowd was riled and ready for The Experience..

 

Before they came to the stage, I was able to meet with the Experience members. Banjo player Will Lee, bassist Jenny Keel, and the eponymous guitar player himself Larry Keel were getting ready backstage when I had the chance to sit down and ask Larry a few questions.

 

Here’s what he had to say.

 

Q: I hear you recently did some musical collaborations out in Colorado. Could you tell us about that?

 

Larry: “Yeah, at the beginning of March I did a collaboration with two members of The Yonder Mountain String Band, Adam Aijala and Ben Kaufmann, and two others from The Elephant Revival; Bridget Law and Bonnie Paine. Also Drew Emmitt and Andy Thorn from Leftover Salmon .It was great!  We all got together a day or two beforehand and we had all been emailing each other and sharing songs and brushing up on everything. We got to work out a couple nights worth of good music. It was really good and artistic and we really got to showcase every band’s music .. just kind of sized down. That was really fun, they were all real good folk. “

 

“A week ago I did a collaboration with The Infamous Stringdusters members, Chris Pandolfi, and Andy Hall, then Sam Grisman on bass and Sam Bush on mandolin. Man, it was awesome, really high energy. And I was really having to stay on top of the game with picking because there are some mighty players there. We got joined by Emily Clark, a blues singer out that way, and by Fareed haque who used to have Garage Majal. Getting to play to the Colorado crowds was just really cool. They came out ready for it and really supported it in full force.”

 

Q : Speaking of collaborations, I hear you guys are putting an album together, and that there are going to be some big names on there that we don’t quite know yet?

 

Larry: “Yeah we’re working on it, there are gonna be some good names on there, I’ll drop a few… We’re going to have Sam Bush on it, and Del McCoury, Peter Rowan, Keller Williams and many more. We’re really excited about it. Hopefully it’ll be out by the holidays

this year, December.”

 

Q: Fantastic! And to my understanding, having seen and listened to you guys for years that you are far from traditional bluegrass and I hear that with this new album you guys are trying to move even farther away from that?

 

Larry: “I don’t know I think it just seems to happen naturally. I think we all just hear music in our heads that isn't bluegrass, and that’s all good. I mean I love bluegrass and it pours out of me but there's a lot of other stuff in there too. “

 

Q: Any sounds you can tell us we’re going to be hearing in particular?

 

Larry: “Oh you’re going to her some happy sounds and some scary sounds and some really loud sounds and some confusing sounds too. There’s gonna be a little of all of it.”

 

Q: With spring having sprung, and festival season on its way, are there any upcoming events that you want to tell us about?

 

Larry: “Yeah man, a ton of festivals year, a lot of them in Virginia. I know we’re doing the Graves Mountain Festival at the end of May, the Aiken Fest in South Carolina, which is a really good festival. There are so many it’s hard to think of all of them. We’re doing Festy, Floydfest, Delfest. We really just can’t wait. We’re doing the Rise Festival in Colorado, that’ll be a good one too. We’re doing Boats and Bluegrass up in Michigan which they say is really beautiful. There’s really a lot, so yeah just come out and check it. It’s great to get outside and raise some air and raise some hell you know?”

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I think we do Larry. I can hardly contain my excitement.  So many  upcoming shows and new album featuring a cornucopia of musical masters is enough to make any right minded fan ecstatic, and with every foot-stomping, grooving piece of strange jam music the Keel’s played throughout their set that night, I couldn't help but look brightly towards the group’s future.


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20150410-LKE.jpgPhotos By © Milo Farineau

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Apr
14
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The Everyone Orchestra Plays Gypsy Sally's Fri 4/24

w/ Members of Leftover Salmon, String Cheese Incident, Railroad Earth, The Bridge, and Love Canon

Door 7pm/ show 8:30pm; $20 adv/ $25 dos; 21+
202-333-7700
3401 K Street NW Washington, DC 20007
www.gypsysallys.com


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ASHEVILLE, NC -- The Everyone Orchestra has announced shows for the Eastern states for April and May 2015.Joining conductor Matt Butler in the northeast this April are Drew Emmitt (Leftover Salmon), Jason Hann (String Cheese Incident) [DC and Stroudsburg], Andrew Altman (Railroad Earth), Cris Jacobs (The Bridge), Jesse Harper(Love Canon), and Jay Starling (Love Canon). They are set to play Thursday, April 23 at Tally Ho Theatre in Leesburg, VA; Friday, April 24 at Gypsy Sally's in Washington DC; Saturday at the 8 x 10 in Baltimore MD for a Late night Charm City Bluegrass and Folk Festival show, and Sunday, April 26 at the Sherman Theatre in Stroudsburg, PA.  

 

Butler has been leading a rotating cast of accredited musicians through full-length shows that are entirely improvised, since 2001, after touring with the rock band Jambay. In 2012, Butler gathered particularly well-known musicians from bands like Phish, Moe., and others, and recorded Everyone Orchestra’s first studio album, Brooklyn Sessions [2012].

 

“The experience of playing with different musicians, improvising every night, and getting the crowd involved in ways that they can’t be at a regular show has provided an unparalleled live music experience,” said Butler.

 

The Everyone Orchestra conductor/founder Matt Butler has taken its participants, both on stage and off, on improvisational journeys with the most diverse of lineups at festivals, theaters and philanthropic events both nationally and internationally. A laundry list of hundreds of musicians, dancers, singers, guest conductors and community organizations have embraced the experience of EO in single shots of musical adrenaline to the soul. Tuning in to his energy, the band and audience utilize The Conductor as their pivot to the set mood of each passing jam as he communicates with the musicians using hand signs, whiteboard and assorted mime suggestions.

 

The list of Everyone Orchestra participants is an increasingly wide and intercontinental group including members of The Grateful Dead, Phish, Furthur,  Ratdog, Trey Anastasio Band, Gov’t Mule, String Cheese Incident, moe., members of Allman Brothers Band, Yonder Mountain String Band, The New Mastersounds, Big Gigantic, The Punch Brothers, Dumpstaphunk, Galactic, Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Railroad Earth, Thievery Corporation, Lettuce, Infamous Stringdusters, Leftover Salmon, The Flecktones, ALO, Tea Leaf Green, Tuvan throat singers, live painters, dancers, chanters, choirs, hula hoopers, fire spinners, jugglers, stilt walkers, storytellers, a presidential candidate and hundreds of others among a growing legion of other performers.

 

Marching clearly into uncharted territory, The Everyone Orchestra balances the challenges of live group improvisation with triumphant tension and release conduits of music which head deep into the soul. This unique collaborative of performance deeply encourages and requires audience interaction.  The edge of your seat enthusiasm for what is next is the fuel behind the continuous musical experiment of The Everyone Orchestra.

What is Everyone Orchestra → http://vimeo.com/36999515

Musicians Describe Everyone Orchestra → http://vimeo.com/33037192

Musicians from across a wide spectrum of styles and backgrounds describe their experiences with the Everyone Orchestra.

 

For more information, tour dates, videos, downloads & more, please visit www.everyoneorchestra.com,www.facebook.com/EveryoneOrchestra, & www.twitter.com/every1orchestra.

 

Everyone Orchestra On The Road:
APRIL

Thu 4/23 - Tally Ho Theatre - Leesburg, VA^!

Fri 4/24 - Gypsy Sally's - Washington DC^
Sat 4/25 - 8 x 10 - Baltimore MD ^ - Late night Charm City Bluegrass and Folk Festival show

Sun 4/26 - Sherman Theatre - Stroudsburg, PA^

^Conducted By Matt Butler, featuring Drew Emmitt (Leftover Salmon), Jason Hann (String Cheese Incident) [DC and Stroudsburg], Andrew Altman (Railroad Earth), Cris Jacobs (The Bridge), Jesse Harper (Love Canon), and Jay Starling (Love Canon).

! newly added Jason Hann (String Cheese Incident)

 

MAY

Fri 5/8 - Brooklyn Bowl - Brooklyn NY#

Sat 5/9 - Ardmore Music Hall - Ardmore, PA#

Sun 5/10 - Ridgefield Playhouse - Ridgefield, CT#

#Conducted By Matt Butler Featuring, Vernon Reid (Living Colour), Al Schnier (moe.), Vinnie Amico (moe.), Aron Magner (Disco Biscuits) {Brooklyn and Ardmore only}, Robert Mercurio (Galactic), Durga McBroom (Pink Floyd),Natalie Cressman (Trey Anastasio Band), Ivan Jackson (Mighty High Brass Band), and Todd Stoops (Kung Fu) [Ridgefield Only]

 

May 22nd - Juan de Fuca Festival of Arts - Port Angeles, WA - Announcing April 1st

May 24th - Summer Camp Music Festival - Announcing April 1st

 

JUNE

6/26-27 - Electric Forest - Rothbury, MI

6/30 - Fillmore - Denver, CO - No publicity on this show, Announced April 6th


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Apr
14
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Cabinet’s 3rd Annual Susquehanna Breakdown Music Festival

** Schedule Announced / Line Up Finalized **

Friday & Saturday, May 8th - 9th, 2015

The Pavilion at Montage Mountain – Scranton, PA


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Advance Tickets On Sale NOW

Tickets are available at The Pavilion Box Office, Ticketmaster or charge-by-phone 800-745-3000

 

Ticket pricing:

General Admission: $25 (Advance) / $40 (Day of Show)

VIP: $60 (Advance) / $75 (Day of Show)

VIP Upgrade: $35

*plus applicable fees.

 

Camping: $15 (Advance) / $20 (Day of Show)

RV: $100 (Advance Only, NO Day of Show)

**no additional fees

 

Tuesday, April 14, 2015 (Scranton, PA) – Today, Cabinet, in conjunction with Live Nation, announced the festival schedule for their 3rd annual music festival to play The Pavilion at Montage Mountain on Friday, May 8th - Saturday, May 9th.

In addition to the schedule, the festival line up has been finalized. A handful of new artists have been added to the event including Philadelphia based American Babies joining for the Friday night Campers Welcome Party, Cabinet member Todd Kopec’s kids stage band Rock the Babies, Jacob Cole and Jami Novak Kids percussion workshop, and an end of the day performance from the Breakdown Allstar Band (featuring members of the Breakdown lineup.)


Review the schedule below.

Fri. 5/8/15 CAMPERS WELCOME PARTY

5pm Gates Open

Breakdown Stage

7pm - 7:45pm Scott Law
8pm - 8:45pm American Babies
9:15pm - 10:15pm Cabinet #1
10:30pm - 11:30pm Cabinet #2

*GA or VIP ticket AND Camping / RV pass required for Friday entry.

 Sat. 5/9/15

10:30am Gates Open

Breakdown Stage

  • 11am - 11:30am Perk Up w/ Pappy
  • 12pm - 12:30pm Jay Noble
  • 1:15pm - 1:45pm Mountain Sky Orchestra
  • 2:30pm - 3pm Grand Ole’ Ditch
  • 3:45pm – 4:15pm Boiled Owls
  • 5:15pm – 5:45pm Still Hand String Band
  • 6:45pm – 7:15pm Tom Graham & Justin Mazer
  • 8:15pm - 8:45pm Tom Graham & Justin Mazer *WILCO Set!
  • 9:45pm - 10:15pm George Wesley
  • 12:30am - 2am Breakdown Allstar Band
  •  

Susquehanna Stage

  • 12:30pm - 1:15pm Coal Town Rounders
  • 3pm - 3:45pm Citizens Band Radio
  • 4:15pm - 5:15pm Hoots & Hellmouth
  • 5:45pm - 6:45pm Pigeons Playing Ping Pong
  • 7:15pm - 8:15pm Bill Evans’ Soul Grass
  • 8:45pm - 9:45pm Ryan Montbleau
  • 10:15pm - 11:15pm Cabinet
  • 11:30pm - 12:30am Cabinet Big Band Set 

 

 

 

 Scranton Made Kids Stage:

  • 12pm - 12:30pm Stone Groove Puppet Show
  • 12:45 - 1:15pm Pappy’s Kids Set
  • 1:45pm - 2:15pm Rock the Babies (Feat'g Todd & Otis Kopec)
  • 2:30pm - 3:15pm Damian the Magician
  • 3:30pm - 4pm Jami Novak & Jacob Cole Kids Drum Workshop
  •  

Backyard Ale House VIP Stage:

Coming soon!

*Schedule subject to change without notice.


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A family friendly gathering in a picturesque location, Susquehanna Breakdown, will present a variety of musical acts (local, regional & national), craft and food vending and much more to keep fans occupied all throughout the day.

Returning from 2014 will be RV Camping, Tent Camping on the Lawn (with Friday night entry & entertainment for Campers), the VIP area (On Deck, Stage Left), Vending Village, kids activity area and Grateful Gallery, the touring concert poster exhibition that also appeared at Mountain Jam ‘13 -‘14, Peach Festival ‘13 - ‘14 & Lockin’ ‘13 -‘14.

New to the festival this year is the addition of more VIP viewing areas (including an intimate backstage performance tent), Arts on the Mountain local artisans vending market and a late night pickers tent.

Celebrated sons of Northeast Pennsylvania, Cabinet has long outgrown the “local band” label while remaining loyal to their regional fans.  The six piece bluegrass / Americana outfit has been busy touring throughout the United States and working on their third studio album, Celebration, recently released in Spring 2015 as a free digital download. Susquehanna Breakdown will mark the band’s first return to the area since Christmas, when they sold out a two-night run at the F. M. Kirby Center’s Chandelier Lobby Series, and will be a highly anticipated homecoming to this local venue. Fans are expected from far and wide.

Cabinet is a band with roots firmly planted in the Appalachian tradition. They wear their influences like badges, honoring the canon of roots, bluegrass, country, and folk, weaving these sounds into a patchwork Americana quilt. But this music isn’t romanticizing or rehashing the past. Cabinet makes it mark on today. The steady aim of their harmonies soar straight onto target each time, the soaring vocals giving voice to the story of each song. Their music takes the long way home, treating its listeners like passengers on a ride through scenic back roads. Their live shows are inclusive, celebratory, and community building. Everyone will want to get on the wagon with Cabinet. Members Pappy Biondo (banjo, vocals), J.P. Biondo (mandolin, vocals), Mickey Coviello (acoustic guitar, vocals), Dylan Skursky (electric bass, double bass), Todd Kopec (fiddle, vocals), and Jami Novak (drums, percussion), all live and love music, and their polished sound belies their young age.

Advance tickets are on sale now and will be available at Ticketmaster.com, The Pavilion Box Office (1000 Montage Mountain Road, Scranton, Pa), Ticketmaster Outlets or by-phone at 800-745-3000. More information available at www.susquehannabreakdown.com.





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Apr
07
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Pigeons Playing Ping Pong & TAUK Co- Headline with Special Guests Big Something

Rams Head Live 

Baltimore MD 4/2/15

By Cliff Tyler


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Photo by Jane Barbacane


     Thursday April 2nd was a beautiful day in Baltimore. Ramshead Live, in the Power Plant entertainment district,  played host to a funk powerhouse sandwich featuring three of the regions finest groups. Oyster Bay, New York's own TAUK was the meat of the musical meal, bookended by Big Something and Charm City's own Pigeons Playing Ping Pong in the headlining slot.  


     Big Something is one of the best young groups out there. Folding elements of funk, groove,  hip hop, and rock into their sets, their latest album "Truth Serum" is a must have for any jam fan. Big Something's  stage time was well spent and was the perfect act to warm up the crowd that evening.    
   
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Photo by Jane Barbacane

      Perhaps the most impressive act on the bill, TAUK was the next band to take the stage. TAUK's music is very upbeat and enjoyable. It's completely instrumental and relies on melodies driven by killer lead guitar and organ/keys. Electric bass and drums round out the rhythm section and complete the lineup. Though guitar and organ are the main focus, the other two instruments play important roles as well. Resting comfortably in the "pocket", deep 5 string bass cornerstones their funk style. When a band does not utilize a lead vocalist, the audience is left to visually focus elsewhere. TAUK's drummer is just flat out fun to watch. This fellow brings so much energy and personality to his performance. Located front and center on this evening,  you could easily see how much fun he was having with each percussive beat. Offering exuberant facial expressions and a style that displays impressive dexterity,  this guy was, in this writer's opinion, the shining star of the whole evening. After about of hour of almost seamless jams,  the band moved into a familiar sounding cover. Again, without a vocalist, the organ "sings" the vocal melody.  With in a matter of seconds the entire crowd began to sing Nirvana's "In Bloom"  and collectively led the group through the 90's classic.   After the crowd participation sent audience members into a fervor, TAUK  artfully calmed us all back down with one final jam before leaving a fiery crowd to wait for their dose of Pigeons. Please make sure and check out www.taukband.com for more information on their music and tour schedule and make sure to catch them at a festival or venue near you this spring and summer! 

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Photo by Jane Barbacane

     Pigeons Playing Ping Pong was the last band to play. Never one to disappoint, PPPP rocked their home town crowd like the professionals they have quickly become. Watching this band grow and blossom has been quite the honor.  In the last couple years they have been touring a lot and creating a fan base that stretches far beyond the Baltimore market. You can find out how to see them for yourself at www.pigeonsplayingpingpong.com. You can also find out more information about Big Something  at www.bigsomething.net.

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Apr
03
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Gypsy Sally’s

Nora Jane Struthers & The Party Line,

And The Humming House Dual CD Release Party

March 26, 2015

 

Nashville Night in the District


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Last week at Gypsy Sally’s I had the chance to listen to two exciting new acts from Nashville, TN; Nora Jane Struthers & the Party Line and the Humming House.  Both bands were supporting new releases with CD release parties.

Humming House opened the evening up with an energetic set featuring songs from their fine new CD Revelries. While the band could be considered rooted in traditional bluegrass and folk but their music is anything but bluegrass.  The band performed a mix of genres ranging from country, to old-timey folk to modern swing and gospel.  The music is infectious and catchy, grabbing listener’s attention from the first note.  Opening song “Fly On” set the stage for the evening with its warm visual nostalgic colors and uplifting lyrics intertwined with beautiful harmonies.  The second song, “Nuts, Bolts and Screws”, had bits gospel elements with singer Leslie Rodriguez booming voice beckoning listeners to sing and dance along.   Throughout the evening the band shifted tempos from the calm Celtic–colored “The Love We’ve Made”, a sweet and beautiful love song; to the sing-along swing of “Gypsy Django”.  The highlight of the set may have been the bands unique interpretation of Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean”.  All in all, Humming House is a delightfully fun band, with danceable folky grooves and refreshing renditions of traditional sounds.   

Leaving a teaching career in New Jersey to pursue music, Nora Jane Struthers now makes her home in Nashville TN. Her musical style leans more towards traditional country reminiscent of country greats such as Emmylou Harris but with an updated modern feel.  Supporting her new album Carnival Nora the music is smart progressive roots-rock country, with well written lyrics and uniquely Americana country/folk.  Her very talented backing band The Party Line, includes Joe Overton (clawhammer banjo and harmony vocals), Drew Lawhorn (drums), Nick DiSebastian (upright bass and guitar), and Jack Devereux (fiddle).     Towards the end of the set, Nora and the Party Line took to the dance floor offering fans a truly intimate experience. 

Be sure to catch one of these bands the next time they roll into your town, you won’t be disappointed.


Photo Gallery


Humming House are: Justin Wade Tam (Guitar, vocals), Leslie Rodriguez (Vocals, snare drum), Bobby Chase (fiddle), Joshua Wolak (mandolin), and Ben Jones (bass)


Humming House Set:

Fly On

Nuts, Bolts and Screws

Run With Me – Rousing song reminiscent of Mumford and Sons

Stop Me Still

Burn

Cold

Tower

The Love We’ve Made

This Hell Where We belong

Billie Jean

Freight Train

I Am A Bird

Carry On

Great Divide

My Love (Justin Timberlake cover)

Gypsy Django

 

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