Travelin' McCourys, Larry Keel Experience Keep The Grateful Ball Rollin' at 35th Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival
The 35th Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival had many highlights, most notably the omnipresence of the hottest talent on the Bluegrass circuit, Billy Strings.
However, one of the main "subplots" that many wondered about was the status of "The Grateful Ball" given the recent, sudden and tragic passing of mandolin genius and original Grateful Ball participant, Jeff Austin.
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.
Now in its 35th year and in its 11th year at its current setting, Grey Fox has hosted virtually every notable luminary of the bluegrass, progressive string, and acoustic musical genres.
The WinterWonderGrass Festival had its first ever foray to the east in mid-December. It was a warm welcome to the beautiful Vermont Green Mountains at the Stratton Ski Resort. There’s a saying in New England, and it especially applies to Vermont this time of year. If you don’t like the weather, wait an hour. This adage proved true over all three days of the WinterWonderGrass Vermont festival. Opening day Friday started out mild, mid-40s a bit grey. Everything looked perfect for a fine festival kick-off.
The big news over the weekend at the 15th installment of Floydfest was the unfortunate hospitalization and subsequent cancellation of headliner Gregg Allman’s Saturday night set. But in true Floydfest fashion, the excellent talent evaluators of this year’s five-day festival, dubbed “Dreamweavin’,” had just the type of jam-band superheroes onsite to put together a dream replacement set.
Recently, Dylan Muhlberg of Grateful Web chatted with virtuosic flatpicker, singer/songwriter and bandleader Larry Keel. Two years after the heralded revival of The Larry Keel Experience, Keel and some esteemed collaborators are at it again with his new release Experienced. In a humbling conversation, Dylan and Larry dug deep into Larry’s musical past including his roots as a champion Telluride Bluegrass Award Winning Picker with his foundational band Magraw Gap, and of course all the beautiful music since.