Published On: Fri, Oct 25th, 2013

Larry Keel and Natural Bridge to appear at the Opera House

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Opera-house The Pocahontas County Opera House will welcome Larry Keel and Natural Bridge to its stage on Saturday, November 2, at 7:30 p.m. 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 also has 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 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. 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, among others. Throughout his career, Keel has released 14 albums and is featured on 10 others. The most recent release, March 2012, is Classic, the third 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. Joining the award-winning flatpicking legend to make up Natural Bridge are the vastly talented Mark Schimick on mandolin and vocals, Keel’s life-long picker pal (and fishing phenom) Will Lee on soulful, blues-grass style five-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. Opera House doors open at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $8. Children 17 and under are admitted free of charge. Tickets are available in advance at pocahontasoperahouse.org and at the Fourth Avenue Gallery in Marlinton. The Pocahontas County Opera House is located at 818 Third Avenue in Marlinton. Performances at the Opera House are informal, family-friendly and open to all. The entrance and main seating are accessible to persons with disabilities. Persons with disabilities are encouraged to attend; special accommodations can be arranged upon request by calling 304-799-6645. The Opera House Performance Series is presented with financial assistance through a grant from the West Virginia Division of Culture and History and the National Endowment for the Arts, with approval from the West Virginia Commission on the Arts. Financial support is also provided by Pocahontas County Drama, Fairs and Festivals, Pendleton Community Bank, the National Radio Astronomy Observatory, Allegheny Mountain Radio and the Law Office of Roger D. Forman.

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- The Pocahontas Times can be contacted at 304-799-4973 or e-mail Jaynell Graham at jsgraham@pocahontastimes.com. For website questions please contact Chris Kincaid at chris@pocahontastimes.com