Your chance to dabble with a bluegrass sensation arrives at 123 Pleasant Street tonight.
The Larry Keel experience takes listeners on an unforgettable soundscape of bluegrass hits, both uniquely written pieces of music and classic songs.
Growing up in Virginia, Keel began playing the guitar at a very young age. He was taught by his older brother and father, and shortly thereafter, he started playing local shows, which lasted throughout his youth. Keel got his first taste of real musical success with the offer to work for Disney Corporation at Disney’s Tokyo theme park at the tender age of 18.
Keel has now established himself as a well-known and successful musician. He travels around the country, performing at various music fests and individual shows alike.
"He’s recognized as one of the best flatpickers and guitarists performing today," said LJ Giuliani, owner of 123 Pleasant Street. "He’s an unbelievable talent, and as a result, he’s performed with a lot of other great acts, one being Kevin Williams."
Before venturing off to become the prosperous guitarist he is today, Keel was a part of two bands in the mid 90’s: Farmer’s Trust and Magraw Gap. Magraw Gap had the lengthiest run of the two bands with six years of music. Keel, Daniel Knicely, Will Lee and John Flower comprised Magraw Gap and during their tenure, the group released a studio album and traveled to play many shows together.
His next big move was teaming up with Natural Bridge in 2005. Mark Schimick and Will Lee joined Keel and his wife Jenny, who plays the bass. The merger proved to be a success as they went on to curate original bluegrass music, including their 2009 album release, "Backwoods."
Over the years, it’s evident Keel and his laundry list of collaborators have made names for themselves in the flatpicking bluegrass scene. Tonight, Larry Keel is accompanied by his wife, Jenny, and Will Lee in The Keel Experience.
Keel is somewhat of a regular to Morgantown. The majority of his performances have been at 123 Pleasant Street with a few other venues mixed in throughout the past 10+ years of making trips to Morgantown.
"It’s interesting just to see how much more recognized he is," Giuliani said. "He’s about the most down to earth guy that there is out there."
Unlike some musicians in certain genres, The Keel Experience doesn’t captivate just one age group or demographic. Giuliani said it’s a mixture of people who come to check out their classic bluegrass tunes.
"You’ll have as young as 18 years old and as old as 57 years old," Giuliani said. "It’s a broad spectrum."
The Keel Experience is sure to be an entertaining show for all ages.
After their show at 123 Pleasant Street, they’ll take on a schedule of tour dates spanning across the east coast.
Local acoustic band, 18 Strings, will open for The Keel Experience at 9 p.m. tonight at 123 Pleasant Street.
For more information, visit http://www.123pleasantstreet.com.