The Aiken Bluegrass Festival: A Truly Special Tradition May 14, 2018 22:57
The Aiken Bluegrass Festival is located down in the Sandhills of South Carolina, nestled on the edge of Georgia. This is prime Equestrian country and home to some incredible music culture. What better way to kick off festival season? This was the 14th annual festival, but you would never even know it because of how well the loving members and volunteers have maintained the grassroots feel. Augusta's Friends With Benefits Productions would also play a hand in this year's festival, which seems like a recipe for continued growth.
It felt like a family reunion, with campground pickings, local vendors, and a variety of local food. This year's festival mainly benefited the SPCA Albrecht Center for Animal Welfare, and it was a pet-friendly occasion. Beautiful dogs large and small roamed the grounds all weekend. We've included a few of our favorite pups in the photo gallery below.
This year's Aiken Bluegrass Festival also added a new inside beer hall and stage on the grounds; where you could get out of the mid-day heat, grab a cold drink, and listen to some music. After every show outside, there was immediately a show inside, so you were never forced to miss any bands or be in the heat too long. With massive groups like Greensky Bluegrass, Leftover Salmon, The Larry Keel Experience, Jon Stickley Trio, Billy Strings, and many more playing the festival it still felt homey. While Bluegrass was the focus, many of these groups can't help but push the envelope on this genre. We heard classic rock, Dead tunes, and even 90's covers.
Friday night was headlined by Leftover Salmon while the late-night show on Friday involved Vince Herman's Leftover Jam where as many as 12 + members from both the Friday and Saturday shows joined Vince up on stage at one time until 1:30 in the morning. Saturday drew in some last minute heavy rainstorms, but nothing stopped the music or dancing. There were great tunes all day then Greensky managed to draw a massive crowd at night as they blew our minds with their "rock-n-roll" bluegrass mentality. Then late-night Billy Strings took us home with a 'Psychedelic Circus' that left many speechless.
To be completely honest, it was extremely difficult for me to pinpoint what made Aiken Bluegrass Festival so beautiful and special this weekend. I am not sure if it was the intimate shows with some of the biggest acts in bluegrass, the incredible layout and land, the home-grown volunteers and vendors, or all the beautiful dogs and people. All I know for sure is that I "Love ABF" and will be sure to never miss it again.
Watch a clip of Billy Strings' performance here:
Watch a clip of Love Canon performing "Solsbury Hill" here:
Suwannee Announces New 'Summer Clusterpluck' Bluegrass Festival April 11, 2017 22:51
The phase one line up includes innovative flatpicking guitarist Larry Keel and his wife Jenny Keel, the gypsy jazz/bluegrass stylings of Asheville’s Jon Stickley Trio, boundary breaking bluegrass outlaws Grandpa’s Cough Medicine, and solo multi-instrumentalist Albert Simpson. Each act will perform two times at Clusterpluck, and fans can expect plenty of sit-ins and jams throughout the entire weekend as family, friends and musicians come together to participate in this joyous celebration of bluegrass music. Clusterpluck encourages its musicians to create a raucous foot-stomping good time with plenty of collaborations and surprises! Additional artist announcements coming soon!
Weekend passes with primitive camping and single day tickets are on sale now at www.MusicLivesHere.com. To join the wait list for cabins, golf cart rentals and RV hook-ups, please contact SOSMP at (386) 364-1683. The park also offers guest comforts including a general store, a full-service restaurant, showers and water stations.
Suwannee Summer Clusterpluck Phase 1 Lineup:
Larry & Jenny Keel x2
Jon Stickley Trio x2
Grandpa’s Cough Medicine x2
Albert Simpson x2
…more coming soon!
More Information and Tickets:
Keller Williams Releases New Five-Song EP Benefitting Tim Bluhm June 28, 2016 09:59
Photo by Craig Baird: Live & Listen
Today, independent recording artist Keller Williams releases Bluhm, a five track EP benefitting fellow musician Tim Bluhm of The Mother Hips who, in the fall of 2015, was severely injured in a speed flying accident. Since his accident, Tim has undergone a number of surgeries incurring upwards of $50,000 in uninsured medical expenses. Keller has been a longtime fan of Tim Bluhm, whom he describes as “the epitome of a west coast songwriter.” Inspired by Tim’s plight, Keller wanted to support Tim and his music by releasing Bluhm and giving 100% of the net proceeds to Tim Bluhm’s medical fund.
For the Bluhm recording, Keller rallied an all-star west coast crew of musicians and some old time friends to collaborate on this five track EP. Bluhm features performances by Jackie Greene, Reed Mathis, Jason Crosby, and Larry and Jenny Keel. “I looked at it as a perfect excuse to record five of my favorite Tim Bluhm songs with all the proceeds going to help him get back on his foot,” says Williams. Bluhm is available for digital download through livedownloads.com and iTunes.
As always, Keller is a busy man this summer. In addition to recording Bluhm, he is travelling the country hitting many festivals with some of his fan-favorite projects and working on a new KWahtro record to be released in the coming months. You can catch Keller Williams at the shows listed below and stay tuned for a Fall Tour announcement coming in July!
Bluhm Track Listing:
Smoke (Jackie Greene, banjitar & vocals / Reed Mathis bass / Keller Williams, guitar & vocals)
Spotless As You (Reed Mathis, bass / Keller Williams, guitar & vocals)
Esmerelda (Jackie Greene, dobro & vocals / Reed Mathis, bass / Keller Williams, guitar & vocals)
Gold Plated (Reed Mathis, bass / Keller Williams, guitar & vocals)
Do it on the Strings (Larry Keel, guitar & vocals / Jenny Keel, bass & vocals / Jason Crosby, fiddle / Keller Williams, mandola & vocals)
Keller Williams Tour Dates:
6/30 Party in the Park | Rochester, NY | More Than A Little
7/01 Grateful Fest | Garrettsville, OH | More Than A Little
7/02 Paradise on the Point | Cincinnati, OH | Keller Williams Solo
7/03 Highberry Music Festival | Ozark, AR | Keller Williams Solo
7/09 Blissfest | Harbor Springs, MI | Keller Williams Solo
7/15 Terrapin Crossroads | San Rafael, CA | Keller Williams Solo
7/16-17 Northwest String Summit | North Plains, OR | More Than A Little & Keller Williams’ Grateful Gospel
7/21 Jerry Jam Music Festival | Bath, NY | Keller Williams Solo
7/22 Be Kind Gathering | Harrodsburg, KY | Keller Williams Solo
7/23 Live from the Underground | McMinnville, TN | Keller Williams Solo w/ special guest Zach Deputy
7/30-31 Floyd Fest | Floyd, VA | Keller Williams Solo, Keller & The Keels, More Than A Little
8/04 The Peace Center for the Performing Arts | Greenville, SC | Keller Williams Solo
8/05 Brooklyn Performing Arts Center | Wilmington, NC | Keller Williams Solo
8/06 Levon Helm Studios | Woodstock, NY | Keller Williams Solo
8/07 Jonathan Edwards Winery | North Stonington, CT | Keller Williams Solo 8/20 Camp Barefoot | Elkins, WV | Keller Williams Solo & Keller Loves Canon
8/27-28 LOCKN’ Festival | Arrington, VA | Keller Williams’ Grateful Grass & Keller Williams’ Grateful Gospel
9/02 Bell’s Brewery | Kalamazoo, WI | More Than A Little
9/02-04 Shoe Fest | Manteno, IL | More Than A Little
9/04 The Bootleg | St. Louis, MO | More Than A Little
9/08 Jackson Hole Center for the Arts | Jackson Hole, WY | Shut the Folk Up & Listen ft. Leo Kottke
9/09 The Mishawaka Amphitheatre | Bellvue, CO | Keller Williams Solo, Keller & his Compadres ft. Jeff Austin, Jay Starling, Bridget Law and Keith Moseley w/ special guest Trout Steak Revival
9/10 The Mishawaka Amphitheatre | Bellvue, CO | More Than A Little with special guest Andy Frasco
9/16-18 Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion | Bristol, TN | Keller Williams Solo
9/22-24 Resonance Music & Arts Festival | Thornville, OH | Keller Williams and special guests
9/23-25 Catskill Chill | Lakewood, PA | Keller Williams’ Grateful Grass
10/22 The Georgia Theatre | Athens, GA | KWahtro with special guest Zach Deputy
11/12 The Orange Peel | Asheville, NC | KWahtro with special guest TBA
12/09-13 Strings & Sol | Puerto Morelos, Mexico | Keller Williams’ Grateful Grass, Keller & the Keels
Win Two Weekend Passes to Aiken Bluegrass Festival 2016 April 19, 2016 18:51
Live & Listen and The Mischief Collective are offering you the chance to win two weekend passes to Aiken Bluegrass Festival. Fill out all areas below to enter. You may re-enter once per day, so keep coming back to increase your chances to win. We will select one lucky winner on May 4th!
Celebrating 12 years of The Aiken Bluegrass Festival
Friday, May 13th & Saturday, May 14th, 2016
WHAT MAKES A FESTIVAL SPECIAL? THAT’S A QUESTION WE HAVE ASKED OURSELVES MANY TIMES AT THE AIKEN BLUEGRASS FESTIVAL.
ULTIMATELY WE HAVE DECIDED THAT WHAT MAKES OUR FESTIVAL SPECIAL IS THE FOCUS WE HAVE AN OUR ARTISTS, ALWAYS TRYING TO BOOK BANDS THAT WE KNOW HAVE A HISTORY TOGETHER THUS ENSURING THAT WE PROVIDE OUR PATRONS WITH A ONE OF A KIND EXPERIENCE. THIS YEAR WE ARE TAKING THAT CONCEPT ONE STEP FURTHER. INSTEAD OF JUST BOOKING BANDS, WE HAVE WORKED WITH INDIVIDUAL ARTISTS, HAND PICKING MUSICIANS TO PLAY TOGETHER. AND WE WILL HAVE SOME BANDS TOO! THIS WAY WE CAN GUARANTEE YOU WILL HAVE A ONE OF A KIND EXPERIENCE AT THE 2016 AIKEN BLUEGRASS FESTIVAL WHERE YOU WILL FIND MANY OF THE FINEST NAMES IN NEW-GRASS AND BLUEGRASS ALL SHARING OUR STAGE. WE HOPE THAT YOU WILL SHARE IN OUR EXCITEMENT AND THAT YOU WILL JOIN US AT 13TH AND 14TH, 2016!
AIKEN BLUEGRASS FESTIVAL SCHEDULE & LINEUP
FRIDAY, MAY 13TH – GATES OPEN AT 4:00 PM
- Larry Keel Experience – 8:10pm
- Josh Daniel & Mark Schimick Project – 7:15pm
- Mountain Express Band (reunion show!) – 10:30am
- Doug and the Henrys – 6:00pm
- Blackwater Deep – 4:30pm
SATURDAY, MAY 14TH – GATES OPEN AT 11:00 AM
- Phoffman & Anders Beck Quartet – 8:00pm
- Paul Hoffman (Greensky Bluegrass)
- Anders Beck (Greensky Bluegrass)
- Travis Book
- Jay Cobb Anderson (Fruition)
- Keller (Williams) and the Keels – 4:00pm
- Larry Keel’s Aiken Experience / Super Jam – 6:00pm
- Larry & Jenny Keel
- Keller Williams
- Vince Herman (Leftover Salmon)
- Paul Hoffman (Greensky Bluegrass)
- Mimi Naja (Fruition)
- Fruition – 10:00pm
- Greg Burns and Friends – 2:30pm
- Gipsy Moon Band – 1:00pm