May 20th, 2017
Larry Keel Experience
Opener: The Honey Dewdrops
Sponsor: Robert L. Faulkner and Son Inc.
Larry Keel is described by music critics and reviewers as the most powerful, innovative and all-out exhilarating acoustic flatpicking guitarist performing today. Keel has absorbed the best lessons from his 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 solid musical grounding and natural-born talent with his own incomparable approach to playing amplified, acoustic 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 surprise cover from any number of musical acts all over the map.
The combination is pretty irresistible, and has earned Keel the highest respect and billing among the top acoustic and jam rock musicians alive, and some now gone: Tony Rice, Chris Thile, Steve Martin, Tim O’Brien, Vassar Clements, Sam Bush, Del McCoury, John Hartford, Bill Monroe, Peter Rowan, and Danny Barnes to name a few. And his fierce, high-spirited energy also appeals to young rockers, jammers and alt-country pickers and fans who are equally drawn to Keel’s blazing guitar power, the deep rumbling voice, his earthy and expansive song-writing, and his down-home-gritty-good-time charm. Keel convenes and collaborates with JamBand and Rock giants Greensky Bluegrass, Infamous Stringdusters,Yonder Mountain String Band, Keller Williams, Jorma Kaukonen, David Nelson, Little Feat, Railroad Earth, String Cheese Incident, Fruition and Leftover Salmon, amongst others.
The Honey Dewdrops
In the summer of 2014, after a long stretch of living on the road, performing and writing across the U.S., Americana songwriters and Virginia natives Laura Wortman and Kagey Parrish, collectively known as The Honey Dewdrops, decided to settle down in Baltimore, MD. "Touring is like collecting images of landscapes, sounds of voices, contents of stories, moods of places and environments," says Wortman. "All of that can be useful. It tells you something about human nature, about how the world works, little by little.” And so the couple took their experiences on the road, and dug in to write and record their fourth album, Tangled Country, in their new home. It’s a beautiful and engaging take on modern American roots music and the first album of theirs entirely written, arranged, and recorded in one place; a testament to the power of home.
June 3rd, 2017
Will Lee, Danny Knicely & John Flower
with Rob Ickes and Trey Hensley
Sponsor: Kendal at Lexington
This unique show will consist of one set by Rob Ickes and Trey Hensley, one set by Will Lee, Danny Knicely & John Flower, and a very special third set featuring all five musicians.
Will (banjo, guitar), Danny (mandolin, guitar) and John (bass) navigate a deep and intuitive current of time, melody and harmony that will move you. They'll be performing music from a new project called "The Evening News". The Album includes originals, old favorites, a cappella numbers and hot instrumentals, and tight harmony singing takes a spotlight with Will's smooth lead and baritone, Danny's cutting tenor and John's soaring high-baritone.
Danny and John are both known for their work with David Via and Corn Tornado in the early 2000s, while Danny and Will released a well received duet album in 2006 called Murders Drownings and Lost Loves, but the three first performed together as part of the award winning Magraw Gap in the mid 1990s. Their over twenty years of experience making music together comes through in in a concert full of excitement and sentimentality. Come and be a part of this new show by old friends!
Rob Ickes and Trey Hensley
Some things you know are just meant to be—but even when you do, it’s nice to get some outside affirmation. So while Rob Ickes and Trey Hensley were sure that their musical partnership was the right move at the right time, it was still welcome news when their debut Compass Records project, Before The Sun Goes Down, earned a nomination for the Best Bluegrass Album Grammy just about the time that Ickes took leave of the band he’d been in for over 20 years to make the joint venture the centerpiece of his career. And with the release of their new project, The Country Blues on July 8th the pair build on the first one’s strengths to take their unique musical conversation to an even higher level.
June 16th, 2017
An Evening with Steep Canyon Rangers
Sponsor: Charles W. Barger and Son
The Steep Canyon Rangers started as a group of friends playing music together for fun, but after more than a dozen years together, they are instantly recognized as one of the most successful bluegrass bands touring today. Their recordings and dynamic live performances have earned them many accolades, including Grammy and IBMA Awards, but most important, is the devotion of their fans. The Steep Canyon Rangers are Woody Platt (guitar), Graham Sharp (banjo), Charles Humphrey (bass), Mike Guggino (mandolin), Nicky Sanders (fiddle) and Mike Ashworth (box kit).
The Steep Canyon Rangers play progressive bluegrass music firmly rooted in tradition, with smart, original songs. They are seasoned and dynamic, never failing to thrill their audience with instrumental dexterity and speed, tight harmonies, and the fun they obviously have on stage. Ever growing and evolving, the Steep Canyon Rangers keep things interesting by performing at an eclectic mix of venues ranging from NY’s Carnegie Hall to a stand up rock clubs; jam band festivals to traditional bluegrass festivals. They tour between 125 and 150 dates per year, typically splitting their schedule between their own shows and sharing the stage with actor/comedian and respected banjo player Steve Martin and, more recently, with Steve and Edie Brickell.
They are deeply committed to their close-knit communities of Brevard and Asheville in Western North Carolina, forming partnerships with local businesses and actively supporting local charities, including their annual Mountain Song Festival, which benefits the Boys and Girls Club of Transylvania County. Recently they went into the studio with legendary Jerry Douglas to record their next album for Rounder Records.
June 24th, 2017
with special guest Charley Crockett
Sponsor: J.F. Brown Real Estate Services
If Turnpike Troubadours are playing in your town, you’ll know it. A block or two from the venue, you’ll see the crowds lining up. Get closer and you’ll start to hear the music -- rockin’ hard, lashed by burnin’ fiddle and guitar, maybe a little rough on the edges but with a deep-rooted soul that's impossible to resist.
And if you make it through the door, you’ll witness one of the best shows you'll ever see.
Audiences in their home state of Oklahoma and down in Texas have known this for years. It's no longer news when they draw 5,000-plus at Billy Bob's in Fort Worth, sell out three nights in a row at Gruene Hall or turn several hundred away at the legendary Stubb's Bar-B-Q in Austin.
Word has spread, though: Their shows in Chicago, St. Louis and elsewhere have pulled in more than 1,000 fans. And they’ve drawn full houses at Joe’s Pub in New York and The Troubadour in L.A., among many other nightspots from coast to coast.
They were even picked by Playboy as one of three acts to watch in 2015 -- a distinction lead singer/guitarist/songwriter Evan Felker admits is “pretty bizarre” but impressive nonetheless.
Growing up with a single mother in San Benito, Texas, the hometown of Tejano star Freddy Fender was not easy for blues singer Charley Crockett. Hitchhiking across the country exposed Crockett to the street life at a young age, following in the footsteps of his relative, American folk hero Davy Crockett, who also lived a wild life on the American frontier. After train hopping across the country, singing on the streets for change in New Orleans’ French Quarter, busking in New York City and performing across Texas and Northern California, Crockett set off to travel the world and lived on the streets of Paris for nearly a year before searching for home in Spain, Morocco, and Northern Africa.
The blues artist returned home to Texas and released his debut solo album titled A Stolen Jewel in 2015, receiving critical acclaim in Dallas and ultimately landing him a Dallas Observer Music Award that year for “Best Blues Act”. A record “rich with Southern flavor, a musical gumbo of Delta blues, honky-tonk, gospel and Cajun jazz,” Jewel proved that Crockett, born into poverty in the Rio Grande, had come home to make his musical mark on the South. Crockett, who is self-described as elusive, rebellious and self-taught, has been compared to legends like Bill Withers, Merle Haggard, and Gary Clark Jr.
July 1st, 2017
An Evening with Love Canon
Opener: Courtney Hartman
Sweet Things Ice Cream Shoppe
The Jefferson Florist and Garden
Linda and Alec Wilder
Sprouting from the musical foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Charlottesville, Virginia’s LOVE CANON currently resides in full bloom. The musicians, led by guitarist Jesse Harper, are six seasoned virtuoso string players fused together by wood and wire to become LOVE CANON.
Love Canon doesn’t cover the music of the ’80s as much as kidnap it and take it on a bluegrass-tinged joyride.
With a passenger van and a trucker’s atlas, LOVE CANON has been touring the mid-Atlantic since 2010 bringing their own raucous blend of bluegrass to the masses. The band’s diehard fans are music lovers first and foremost, drawn to the beautiful high-lonesome stylings of Harper’s guitar and vox paired with banjo master Adam Larrabee, mandolin pickin’ by Andy Thacker with Darrell Muller holding down the low-end on standup bass. The band is augmented with the sweet sounds of resonator guitar king Jay Starling on the Beard MA-6.
LOVE CANON has previously shared the stage and studio with David Grisman, Ricky Skaggs, and Bruce Hornsby and as a band have toured with Josh Ritter and The Infamous Stringdusters. They have played big festivals around the country; including LOCK'N and GOTV, have played live on the BBC and RTE radio recently and are poised for continued success.
Singer, songwriter, and guitarist Courtney Hartman started playing guitar at the young age of eight, after having already spent several years on the fiddle and mandolin. Her early years were spent steeped in American Roots music, and today she has fused a diverse range of influences from Norman Blake to Bill Frisell, creating music that acknowledges and pays homage to her roots, while pushing beyond its defined boundaries.
Her recently released solo project Nothing We Say is flush with intimate ruminations on her life as a traveling musician and a deep curiosity about the world around her. The luminous EP delivers on the promise always apparent in her work as a guitarist and songwriter for Della Mae, the Grammy-nominated string band, along with her collaborations with Bryan Sutton, Jim Lauderdale, and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers’ Mike Campbell, among others. Acoustic Guitar Magazine lauds Courtney as a “distinctive guitar stylist… and a songwriter that delights and disturbs.”
July 13th, 2017
The Wood Brothers
Spencer & Taylor Attorneys at Law
In a career chock full of highlights, The Wood Brothers hold a special place in their hearts for their performances at Levon Helm's legendary Midnight Ramble. As repeat special guests at Helm's famed Woodstock barn, the trio—guitarist Oliver Wood, bassist Chris Wood, and drummer Jano Rix— developed a cherished friendship with the late icon that transcended simple musical collaboration and left an indelible mark on their songs and their lives. That shared history made it all the more emotional when The Wood Brothers returned to the barn on August 19, 2016, for their first Ramble since Helm's passing. Captured pristinely on their new album, Live At The Barn, the band's sold-out performance that night spanned their career and showcased the kind of singularly eclectic and electrifying performance style that's earned them devoted legions of fans around the world.
July 21st, 2017
An Evening with The Infamous Stringdusters
Sponsor: Spencer Home Center
Unlike rock 'n' roll, bluegrass music's boundaries are often defined in very narrow terms and that has caused some bands to carefully consider their place within the genre. But, in order to survive, everything must evolve... even bluegrass. Enter the Infamous Stringdusters, the very model of a major modern bluegrass band.
“At a certain point in our career, there was hesitation in calling us a bluegrass band,” guitarist Andy Falco admits. “These days, we’re much more comfortable with that label.” Banjo man Chris Pandolfi echoes the point: “We love bluegrass, but we have been influenced by other genres as much, if not more. When it comes to making music, we always try to be a blank slate and give new songs whatever they need to come to life. We just try to make something good, something that is true to who we are.”
On Laws of Gravity, that's exactly what the Infamous Stringdusters — Andy Hall (dobro), Jeremy Garrett (fiddle), and Travis Book (double bass), in addition to Falco and Pandolfi — have done. Their seventh studio set further proves that the band's collective whole is far greater than the sum of its individual parts, as the song selection and pitch-perfect performances weighs the Stringdusters' appeal to traditional fans against their musical quest to attract new listeners. It's a balance that comes naturally to the band.
August 26th, 2017
An Evening with Robin and Linda Williams
Including one set of songs from Stonewall Country
Carilion Stonewall Jackson Hospital
As live performers they are second to none. Their stirring concerts have earned them a huge body of fans over the years. But as gifted songwriters Robin and Linda have earned an even rarer honor, the devotion and deep respect of their musical peers. As The Washington Post put it, "The Williamses are able to sum up a life in a few details with moving completeness." The list of artists who have covered their original songs include some of the greats of country music, names like Emmylou Harris, Tom T. Hall, George Hamilton IV, Tim & Mollie O'Brien, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Kathy Mattea and The Seldom Scene.
Linda is a native of Anniston, Alabama and Robin (the son of a Presbyterian minister) was born in Charlotte, North Carolina. They met and fell for each other in 1971 on a visit to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina while Linda was teaching school and Robin was a full-time musician on a national coffeehouse circuit. It wasn't long before they discovered additional magic when they combined their voices in harmony.
Among contemporary country performers, Robin and Linda Williams shine like a diamond amid rhinestones ...