Greensky Bluegrass

Music Farm Productions & Jack Daniel's Present

Greensky Bluegrass

Larry Keel

Fri, March 10, 2017

Doors: 7:00 pm / Show: 8:00 pm

Music Farm Charleston

Charleston, SC

$20.00 - $25.00

This event is 16 and over

$3 Surcharge at the door for those under 21. Cash only.

Greensky Bluegrass
Greensky Bluegrass
Greensky Bluegrass is Anders Beck (dobro), Michael Arlen Bont (banjo), Dave Bruzza (guitar), Mike Devol (upright bass) and Paul Hoffman (mandolin).

For more than a decade and a half, the members of Greensky Bluegrass have created their own version of bluegrass music, mixing the acoustic stomp of a stringband with the rule-breaking spirit of rock & roll. They redefine that sound once again with their sixth album, Shouted, Written Down & Quoted.

Like the band's own name, Shouted, Written Down & Quoted is a collection of opposites, full of dark psychedelic swirls, bright bursts of acoustic guitar, soundscapes, solos, freethinking improvisation, and plenty of sharp, focused songwriting. It's wild and wide-ranging, showing off the diversity Greensky Bluegrass brings to every live show. At the same time, Shouted, Written Down & Quoted is unmistakably a studio album, recorded during two different sessions — one at Echo Mountain Studio in Asheville, North Carolina; the other at the Mountain House Recording Studio in Nedarland, Colorado — that comprise the band's longest block of recording time ever. The result is an 11-track album whose songs cast a wide net, mixing the full-throttle energy of a Greensky Bluegrass concert with the nuanced approach of a band that's still eager to explore.

"You can call us an acoustic ensemble, or a drum-less rock band, or a rock & roll bluegrass band," says mandolin player Paul Hoffman, who, along with guitarist Dave Bruzza, handles most of the album's writing duties. "All of that shifting identity has taught us to cover a lot of ground. There's a flow to this album, just like there's a flow to our setlists. There are some aggressive, rocking moments. Some bouncy, funky moments. An acoustic think piece or two. It's a balance of moods and textures that we create as a band, almost like a mix tape."

Formed in 2000 in Kalamazoo, Michigan, Greensky Bluegrass kicked off their career playing living rooms and open mic nights across the Midwest. By 2005, they were touring nationally, and by 2006, they were playing the first in a long series of appearances at the annual Telluride Bluegrass Festival. Bandmates Hoffman, Bruzza, dobro player Anders Beck, banjoist Michael Arlen Bont, and upright bassist Mike Devol spent most of the following decade on the road, fine-tuning a live show modeled not after the toned-down production of traditional bluegrass music, but the full-on spectacle of rock.

"We play two sets of music every night with a big light show, and really care about creating a large scale production," notes Bruzza, adding that, "the goal isn't just to play important music. We want to cultivate an experience, where people can escape from their everyday lives for a minute and put their worries aside."

Playing as many as 175 shows per year, Greensky Bluegrass have graduated to headlining status at some of the country's most iconic venues, selling out amphitheaters like Red Rocks and world-class auditoriums like the Ryman. They've become a regular name on the festival circuit, too, adding Bonnaroo, the New Orleans Jazz Festival, Austin City Limits, Forecastle, and Outside Lands to their touring schedule. Supported by a grassroots audience whose members often travel for hours to see the band, Greensky Bluegrass are still a proudly independent act, enjoying the success of a major-label act — including a Number One debut on the Billboard Bluegrass chart for their fifth album, 2014's If Sorrows Swim — without giving up complete control of their own business.

Released on the band's label, Big Blue Zoo, Shouted, Written Down & Quoted kicks off with "Miss September," a song that splits its focus between Hoffman's mid-tempo melodies and the band's instrumental solos. Most of the album's tracks strike a similar balance, showcasing a group whose vocal hooks and flat-picking skills share the spotlight equally. Meanwhile, the guys stretch their legs on "Living Over" — an improvised, seven-minute knockout that's already become a live staple — and show surprising restraint with "While Waiting," a slower song whose ebb-and-flow arrangement often finds no more than two bandmates playing at once. "Room Without a Roof" features some of the group's most layered production to date, with electric instruments adding some thick sonic padding, while "More of Me" cranks up the drama, with Hoffman singing about heartache over a bed of minor-key guitar arpeggios.

"We tend to have a darker sense to ours songs than most acoustic bands," Bruzza adds, "but we still have light moments, too. We're trying to explore the textures and sounds we can make, while still having the instrumentation of a bluegrass band. There aren't many rules. We'll run a dobro though an amp on a song like 'Past My Prime.' We can get pretty epic. This album is a crazy carnival one minute, and it's a psychedelic Pink Floyd jam the next."

Equal parts dark, driving, and dynamic, Shouted, Written Down & Quoted is Greensky Bluegrass at their best, fusing the fiery fretwork of their live shows with the focus of a true songwriting outfit.
Larry Keel
Larry Keel is described by reviewers as the most powerful, innovative and all-out exhilarating acoustic guitarist performing today. Keel has absorbed the best lessons from his Country and 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 disciplined musical grounding and natural-born talent with his own incomparable approach to playing 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: Sam Bush, Del McCoury, Oliver Wood (The Wood Brothers), Chance McCoy (Old Crow Medicine Show), Tony Rice, Chris Thile,Vassar Clements, 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 players 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 Americana giants Yonder Mountain String Band, Railroad Earth, Greensky Bluegrass, Infamous Stringdusters, Keller Williams, Steep Canyon Rangers (with Steve Martin), Jorma Kaukonen, David Nelson, Little Feat, Rebirth Brass Band, Dirty Dozen Brass, 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 Will Lee on soulful, blues-grass 5 string banjo, 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, Keel paired with artists such as Drew Emmitt, Danny Barnes, Peter Rowan, Sam Bush, and appearing as special guest with a multitude of major acts and artists on the tour circuit.
Throughout his career, Keel has released 15 albums and is featured on 10 others. The most recent release, "Experienced" is an entirely original work that showcases both Larry's and band-mate Will Lee's exceptional songwriting, singing and jaw-dropping instrumental performances, accompanied by Jenny Keel's upright bass-playing and harmony vocals. Added to the raw sophistication of Keel's progressive acoustic style are several guest musician-friends who appear on various tracks: Sam Bush, Del McCoury, Peter Rowan, Keller Williams, Jason Carter (Del McCoury Band), Mike Guggino (Steep Canyon Rangers) and Anders Beck (Greensky Bluegrass Band)

In addition to his performing and recording work, Keel also plays host to a special music event concept, 'Fishin and Pickin', which combines 2 unique but thoroughly complementary pleasures: the satisfying thrill of sports fishing, and the energizing intensity of live music, all conducted in all-inclusive style settings hosted on live water properties. There, experienced musicians teach every level of acoustic instrument players how to advance their musical 'chops' , while also having the chance to catch some big fish in the process. Bass and Grass takes place in Georgia each year in the fall, always with a fantastic roster of musician-instructors, and outstanding bass fishing! Similarly, there have been memorable events at Trout and Tunes featuring fly-fishing styles and mountain-music study and entertainment set in the misty mountains of West Virginia. More destinations on tap: The Salmon and Henry's Fork Rivers in Idaho and the Maury River in Rockbridge County VA. There's no end to the places Keel wants to play music in and fish, with like-minded folks!

For Keel the musical mission is always clear: to let technical skill and excellence, 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.
Venue Information:
Music Farm Charleston
32 Ann St.
Charleston, SC, 29403
http://www.musicfarm.com/