As with Kinfolk Celebrations of yore, several additional bands will be playing the main stage each afternoon as a spirited kickoff to the day's musical celebration. These are bands with close ties to Yonder Mountain – bands that Adam, Ben, Dave and Jeff will likely be enjoying in the crowd alongside the kinfolk (that is, if they're not joining in onstage).
Kinfolk Celebration Performers
At the start of the millenium,some of these guys met, then they met more guys. They thought Greensky was a clever name for a bluegrass band. Fast forward to 2011 when they recorded their fourth studio record, called Handguns. Among them, words like, "proud," "killer," and "damn right!" have been spoken in regards to the music of Handguns.
While they all may be accurate, we hope you'll find far more than you expected, hell - even more than we expected contained in this piece work that may well come to define one of 21st Century America's hardest working musical ensembles. [less...]
It’s not a nice anything.
It is jagged, leering, lurching and howling, and filled with unhappy endings both experienced and intimated: “It ain’t the despair that gets you, it’s the hope,” he sings in the album-closer, “Big Finish.” That Agnostic Hymns & Stoner Fables is also roaringly funny is tribute to Snider’s unique sensibilities, and to his standing as what Rolling Stone magazine calls “America’s sharpest musical storyteller.” Anguish without laughter is boring, like intensive care without morphine, and Snider has never been within 100 miles of boring. Also, he didn’t earn the attention, friendship and fandom of American musical giants like Kris Kristofferson and John Prine by writing mopey protest songs.
Anyway, these aren’t protest songs and they’re not meant to incite class warfare (though he knows they might anyway). They’re populated mostly by losers in the midst of losing, with a couple of spotlight appearances from the humbly anointed 1 percent. At album’s outset (“In The Beginning”), Snider credits the church with sustaining peace by noting that “We still need religion to keep the poor from killing the rich.” From there, it’s on to the certainty of warped karma (“Good things happen to bad people,” he sings in “New York Banker.”), to a remarkable reworking of “West Nashville Grand Ballroom Gown” (possibly the album’s most acerbic song, and from the pen of Jimmy Buffett... no, really), and a slew of stories inspired by the world at large, writ small and barbed, in a manner both penetrating and empathetic. There’s one happy love song, called “Brenda,” about Snider’s favorite couple, Keith Richards and Mick Jagger.
“I admire that relationship a lot,” Snider says. “What Mick and Keith have is real, and it can’t be touched and it can’t be beat. I’ve never met them, but I believe in the Rolling Stones. That’s who I think about at Christmas, anymore. They opened their hearts and gave us so much. And they tried to be true to each other.”
Musically, Snider and co-producer Eric McConnell sought a sound that mirrored the times and that didn’t replicate anything they’d done together on critically acclaimed works East Nashville Skyline, The Devil You Know or Peace Queer. With McConnell on bass and Snider playing guitar and harmonica, they gathered a core band of percussionist Paul Griffith, violinist/vocalist (and gifted songwriter) Amanda Shires, and keyboard player Chad Staehly, along with guest guitarist Jason Isbell and harmony vocalist Mick Utley, and offered up a sonic mission.
“I told them I wanted to make a mess,” Snider says. “That was the goal.”
And so a handful of accomplished musicians set about making a mess. And did so. Shires’ violin is the call-and-response heroine to Snider’s lyrics, filling the role Scarlett Rivera filled for Bob Dylan on Desire. Only messier. Meanwhile, Griffith makes like some off-kilter offspring of Keith Moon and Zigaboo Modeliste while Snider’s guitar plays lead switchblade.
The result is something disconcerting, cracked and wholly original. It’s something that stands apart from the music of Snider’s heroes, and from Snider’s own, much-celebrated past. Agnostic Hymns & Stoner Fables is Snider’s 12th album (14th, if we count a “best of” set and a collection of B-sides and demos), and it uses its predecessors not as a compass but as a trampoline. Snider found different song forms, different inspirations (from Alaska ne’er do well Digger Dave to Chicago Mayor, former White House Chief of Staff and friend..... no, really..... Rahm Emanuel) and different means of expression. He paints a world where begging turns to mugging, where investment turns to ruin, where babies grow into felons, where honesty is blunt trauma: “Wish I could show you how you hurt me in a way that wouldn’t hurt you, too,” he sings. And there’s no way. [less...]
The song for which the album is named, “I’ll Be Around,” serves as a tribute to the band’s fallen teammate Kirk Rundstrom, whose influence on the band and its path was great. Rundstrom’s legacy continues to live on in the new album and also the band itself as every live show is dedicated to his memory.
Split Lip Rayfield has carved out their own genre of music with their unique sound and instrumentation. Often described as a mix of bluegrass and country with an accent of metal, no other band delivers the experience of the homemade gas-tank bass played by Jeff Eaton, sets the mandolin strings on fire like Wayne Gottstine, or makes the banjo sing like Eric Mardis. Together, they burn up speakers and stages alike providing an unforgettable experience. This is one trio not to miss! [less...]
Joining the award-winning Flatpickin legend to make up Natural Bridge are the vastly talented Mark Schimick on mandolin and vocals, Larry’s life-long picker pal (and fishing phenom) Will Lee on soulful, blues-grass style 5-string banjo and penetrating lead vocals, and wife Jenny Keel with her impeccable timing and solid, yet imaginative bass lines as well as tenor vocal harmonies. Keel has a variety of formats swirling around the calendar each year; look out for Larry Keel solo, Keels duo, Keller and the Keels, the Keel Brothers, Keel with Danny Barnes and Drew Emmitt, Keel and Adam Aijala or Jeff Austin (YMSB), an occasional Keel trio, and many other special guests added to the mix.
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 powerhouse ensemble, 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. [less...]