Flatpicking legend Larry Keel to perform at 123
Published: Friday, October 19, 2012
Updated: Friday, October 19, 2012 03:10
Flatpicking extraordinaire Larry Keel is bringing his band to 123 Pleasant Street tonight to showcase its award-winning bluegrass sound.
Larry Keel and Natural Bridge are a legendary act in the world of bluegrass, and for good reason.
Frequently called one of the most powerful and innovative flatpickers in the world, Keel’s talents are a sight and sound to behold, and few can match the intensity, skill and passion he brings to his instrument.
"I like to think my own music is totally unique, coming from all kinds of things that have influenced me my whole life," Keel said. "Of course (there are) the elements of mountain music and the flatpicking guitar style that I learned, since I was brought up around bluegrass musicians."
A Virginia native, Keel is intimately familiar with the activities and arts that make Appalachia unique. From fishing to flatpicking, Keel draws his musical inspiration from the land around him.
"I’m proud to be a Virginian, having grown up surrounded by the sights, sounds and vibes of a long heritage of mountain people on both sides of my family," Keel said. "It’s pretty obvious that my Virginia roots are an obvious part of my music."
Keel began playing guitar at the age of seven, and the journey since that first pluck has seen him release 14 albums and garner acclaim from critics and fans alike.
This success stems largely from advice he gained from a friend in the music business, and he still lives by his mantra.
"Just keep at it," Keel said. "Drew Emmitt told me that about 18 years ago – I asked him what the ‘secret’ to success was in the music ‘biz,’ and he said, ‘Just don’t stop; keep at it.’"
All the determination in the world, however, an incredible musician does not make, and Keel’s ability to shred an acoustic guitar like few others is a more direct component to his staying power in the musical scene.
His band, Natural Bridge, is comprised of similarly impressive musicians, with Mark Schmidt on mandolin and vocals, Keel’s lifelong friend Will Lee on five-string banjo and vocals and Keel’s wife Jenny on bass and harmony vocals.
Keel is excited to bring his talents to Morgantown tonight, and all in attendance are promised a show to remember.
"The folks of Morgantown love music, they’re savvy about the music scene and are surrounded by some of the most talented folks on the planet," Keel said. "And they know how to enjoy themselves. It makes for a guaranteed great experience for all."
The night’s entertainment will begin with Pennsylvania-based bluegrass group The Weedrags at 10 p.m.
Tickets to the show are available at www.showclix.com for $12, or at the door for $15.
Concertgoers must be 18 years old to attend.