Hillberry 2016 Preview – Day 4
It’s that time of year again! The leaves are turning, the air is cool and crisp, and the sound of bluegrass will once again fill the air in the Ozark Mountains! The fourth and final day of the Harvest Moon Festival is once again a lineup that is sure to deliver. Don’t forget you can purchase additional nights at the Farm if you decide to stay a little longer for just $12.50 per person, per night. For more details please visit the-farm-events.com
Sunday October 16, 2016 // Main Stage
1:00PM – 2:15PM // Crescent City Combo
Crescent City Combo is a Funk & Groove band from Fayetteville, AR. They are comprised of members Jeff Gray on trumpet, Matt Beach on trombone, Drew Packard on guitar, Isayah Warford on guitar, Jeremy Irving on bass, Anthony Ball on drums, Johnny Arredondo on drums, and Clare Starr on bass. They pack a mighty sound, influenced by the Jazz of New Orleans. Together since 2013 this is one combo of all stars you must check out!
2:50PM – 4:20PM // Ben Miller Band
The Ben Miller Band from Joplin, Missouri is comprised of members Ben Miller, Scott Leeper, Rachel Ammons, and Smilin’ Bob Lewis. This high energy band plays a style known as mudstomp that is sure to get you movin’ and groovin’ on the dance floor.
4:50PM – 6:10PM // Larry Keel
“Larry Keel is described by some 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 flatpicking the 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 tasty cover from any number of genres all over the map. The combination is pretty irresistible, and has earned Keel the highest respect and billing among the top acoustic musicians alive, and some now gone: Tony Rice, Chris Thile,Vassar Clements, Sam Bush, Del McCoury, John Hartford, Bill Monroe, Peter Rowan, and Darol Anger 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 deep rumbling voice, his earthy and imaginative song-writing, and his down-home-gritty-good-time charm. Keel regularly collaborates with JamBand and Rock giants Yonder Mountain String Band, Keller Williams, Jorma Kaukonen, David Nelson, Little Feat, Rebirth Brass Band, Dirty Dozen Brass, Railroad Earth, members of String Cheese Incident and Leftover Salmon, amongst others.
Keel has a variety of musical formats swirling around the calendar each year: look out for his core band, The Larry Keel Experience (featuring Jared Pool on Mandolin and Harmonies,penetrating vocals and exceptional song-writing contributions and Jenny Keel on upright bass, with impeccable timing, solid yet imaginative bass lines and vocal harmonies), Larry Does Jerry (Keel performing the music of Jerry Garcia), Keller Williams and The Keels, Jeff Austin and the Here and Now (featuring the Keels), Keel paired with artists such as Drew Emmitt, Danny Barnes, Peter Rowan, Sam Bush, and a multitude of guest spots in great bands on the tour circuit: Traveling McCourys, Steep Canyon Rangers, Infamous Stringdusters and Greensky Bluegrass, to name a few.
Throughout his career, Keel has released 14 albums and is featured on 10 others. The most recent release, March 2012, is CLASSIC, the 3rd album recorded by Keel and his powerhouseensemble, Natural Bridge. The project is filled with originals written variously by Keel, the band members or by musician/song-writer friends. Keel recently launched a new event concept and website, Fishin and Pickin, which combines 2 unique but thoroughly complementary pleasures: the satisfying thrill of sports fishing, and the energizing intensity of live music. The musician fisherman or even the fishin music-lover will find up-to-date, useful and amazingly entertaining music tips, tablature,show calendars and links to like-minded acts and artists, plus new music downloads. Larry’s also been involved in the development of Fishin N Pickn Workshops and Camps, hosted on live water properties, that teach pickin musicians how to advance their ‘chops’ on their instruments, and having the chance to catch some big fish in the process. Bass and Grass has been taking place in Georgia each year in the fall, always with a fantastic roster of musician-instructors, and outstanding bass fishing! Similarly, Keel hosts Trout and Tunes in May each year, featuring fishing styles and mountain-music study and entertainment all set in the misty mountains of West Virginia.
For Keel the musical mission is always clear: to let technical skill, honest emotion and fearlessness connect the playing and singing to audiences, to entertain and to thoroughly enjoy the experience of creating and sharing in music.”
6:50PM – 8:20PM // Infamous Stringdusters
Tradition and innovation provide the interlocking roots of bluegrass and its descendents, a lively dance of elements skipping comfortably from ancient jigs to radio ditties to spacious experimentation. The Infamous Stringdusters joyously embody and carry forward the spirit of Bill Monroe, John Hartford, Earl Scruggs, David Bromberg and other originators in their skilled embrace of this music’s twin gravitational pulls, moving dexterously between homespun legacy and creative expansion,a band firmly grounded in what has come before as they grow strong into tomorrow.
The Infamous Stringdusters are from Virginia and comprised of members Travis Book – bass, Andy Falco – guitar, Jeremy Garrett – fiddle, Andy Hall – dobro, and Chris Pandolfi – banjo.
9:00PM – 12:00AM // Railroad Earth
“There’s a great scene in The Last Waltz – the documentary about The Band’s final concert – where director Martin Scorsese is discussing music with drummer/singer/mandolin player Levon Helm. Helm says, “If it mixes with rhythm, and if it dances, then you’ve got a great combination of all those different kinds of music: country, bluegrass, blues music, show music…”
To which Scorsese, the inquisitive interviewer, asks, “What’s it called, then?”
“Rock & roll!”
Clearly looking for a more specific answer, but realizing that he isn’t going to get one, Marty laughs. “Rock & roll…”
Well, that’s the way it is sometimes: musicians play music, and don’t necessarily worry about where it gets filed. It’s the writers, record labels, managers, etc., who tend to fret about what “kind” of music it is.
And like The Band, the members of Railroad Earth aren’t losing sleep about what “kind” of music they play – they just play it. When they started out in 2001, they were a bunch of guys interested in playing acoustic instruments together. As Railroad Earth violin/vocalist Tim Carbone recalls, “All of us had been playing in various projects for years, and many of us had played together in different projects. But this time, we found ourselves all available at the same time.”
Songwriter/lead vocalist Todd Sheaffer continues, “When we started, we only loosely had the idea of getting together and playing some music. It started that informally; just getting together and doing some picking and playing. Over a couple of month period, we started working on some original songs, as well as playing some covers that we thought would be fun to play.” Shortly thereafter, they took five songs from their budding repertoire into a studio and knocked out a demo in just two days. Their soon-to-be manager sent that demo to a few festivals, and – to the band’s surprise – they were booked at the prestigious Telluride Bluegrass Festival before they’d even played their first gig. This prompted them to quickly go in and record five more songs; the ten combined tracks of which made up their debut album, “The Black Bear Sessions.”
That was the beginning of Railroad Earth’s journey: since those early days, they’ve gone on to release five more criticallyacclaimed studio albums and one hugely popular live one called, “Elko.” They’ve also amassed a huge and loyal fanbase who turn up to support them in every corner of the country, and often take advantage of the band’s liberal taping and photo policy. But Railroad Earth bristle at the notion of being lumped into any one “scene.” Not out of animosity for any other artists: it’s just that they don’t find the labels very useful. As Carbone points out, “We use unique acoustic instrumentation, but we’re definitely not a bluegrass or country band, which sometimes leaves music writers confused as to how to categorize us. We’re essentially playing rock on acoustic instruments.”
Ultimately, Railroad Earth’s music is driven by the remarkablesongs of front-man, Todd Sheaffer, and is delivered with seamless arrangements and superb musicianship courtesy of all six band members. As mandolin/bouzouki player John Skehan points out, “Our M.O. has always been that we can improvise all day long, but we only do it in service to the song. There are a lot of songs that, when we play them live, we adhere to the arrangement from the record. And other songs, in the nature and the spirit of the song, everyone knows we can kind of take flight on them.” Sheaffer continues: “The songs are our focus, our focal point; it all starts right there. Anything else just comments on the songs and gives them color. Some songs are more open than others. They ‘want’ to be approached that way – where we can explore and trade musical ideas and open them up to different territories. But sometimes it is what the song is about.”
So: they can jam with the best of them and they have some bluegrass influences, but they use drums and amplifiers(somewhat taboo in the bluegrass world). What kind of music is it then? Mandolin/vocalist John Skehan offers this semi-descriptive term: “I always describe it as a string band, but an amplified string band with drums.” Tim Carbone takes a swing: “We’re a Country & Eastern band! ” Todd Sheaffer offers “A souped-up string band? I don’t know. I’m not good at this.” Or, as a great drummer/singer/mandolin player with an appreciation for Americana once said: “Rock & roll!””
12:30AM – 1:30AM // Sad Daddy — Campfire Set
Sad Daddy is Brian Martin pickin’ guitar, Melissa Carper thumpin’ bass, Joe Sundell pluckin’ banjo, and Rebecca Patek sawin’ fiddle. They all write. They all Sing. A southern soul stew of original old time folk, jug band, and american roots music. This band from Eureka Springs, Arkansas is the perfect ending to your weekend at the Farm.