2009-02-28 / Daily Dose

Dam Show (July 24-25) books bluegrass legend

A top-notch national bluegrass band, Larry Keel and Natural Bridge, has been inked to perform at the seventh annual Dam Show, set for July 24-25 at the Austin Dam Memorial Park. The band is headquartered in Natural Bridge, Va., in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountain bluegrass country. It connects traditional songs of yesterday with its own original and inventive sounds of today. Born and raised in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, Larry Keel has won numerous guitar competitions and is considered world-class flatpicker. In recent performances, he has led bands involving such industry icons as Tony Rice, Mike Marshall, and Vassar Clements, while playing specialty sets with the likes of Sam Bush and Norman Blake. His wife Jenny has been the band’s stand-up bassist for more than 10 years, while adding tenor harmonies to the band’s vocal pieces. Mark Schimick is one of the most versatile and fiery mandolin pickers on the acoustic music scene. Moreover, he has a clear and powerful singing voice. Banjoist Jason Flournoy has been a solid force in the bluegrass circuit for quite some time, but is also a seasoned songwriter. Keel’s guiding principle as a performer and band leader is to nurture and preserve our American musical heritage while letting it inspire his own original writing and playing. Organizer Art Metzger and the Austin Dam Memorial Association will soon be announcing more details about this year’s show. It will once again feature two stages to allow for instant transition from on act to another. Civic organizations will be encouraged to set up booths and vendors will return. Also back for another year will be Groovin Lumens, the lighting specialist that creates an aurora of colorful graphics on the face of the Austin Dam ruins during the evening performances.  

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