Larry Keel Experience
Larry Keel is an award-winning innovative flat picking guitarist and singer/songwriter hailing from Appalachia. Raised in a musical family steeped in the mountain culture of the region, Keel began from an early age to forge a distinctive sound, taking traditional music and infusing it with modern light. With the acoustic guitar Keel has brought the flatpicking form to its highest level of sophistication and sonic power with his muscular, yet refined style of playing. As a composer and singer, Keel integrates raw honesty and charming grit to form a unique brand of music he calls ‘experimental folk’, songwriting that is filled with reality, imagination, imagery and mood. He has appeared on over 20 albums, 12of which he produced, and has written songs that have been recorded and performed by distinguished artists including Grammy-award winners Del McCoury and The Infamous Stringdusters. Keel has collaborated and continues to merge creative forces with some of the greatest artists in modern roots music such as Tyler Childers, Billy Strings, Al DiMeola, Tony Rice, Keller Williams and Sam Bush, to name a few.
His latest creation is a solo album titled American Dream, whose every component—from the writing and arranging, to the instrumental and vocal performances, to the recording and production—spring straight from the mind, soul, and hands of the Virginia-born artist. Each of the album’s 10 tracks were composed by Keel and serve as an autobiographical overview of his life and career, as well as the influences and episodes that have shaped his personal perspective along the way.
Larry Keel – Acoustic Guitar / Lead Vocals, Jenny Keel – Stand Up Bass / Harmony Vocals, Jared Pool – Mandolin / Harmony Vocal
John Inghram Band
Born and raised in Charleston, West Virginia, John Inghram was steeped in the historic music of the region. His mother’s side of the family were church musicians, and he was exposed to bluegrass, country, gospel, and old-time music as a kid. But for Inghram, it is neither the past nor the future that piques his interest. On his self-titled debut album, John Inghram, the accomplished bass player seizes the present moment to step into the spotlight as a frontman. With a collection of 60’s and 70’s psychedelic rock tunes, Inghram sets modern experiences to vintage sounds, allowing his listeners to feel time as circular in nature, hitting on the right now with both nostalgia and innovation.
Two Ton Twig
Veterans of DC’s thriving bluegrass scene, Two Ton Twig explores the fringes of traditional bluegrass and string band music with their eclectic blend of modern influences. The current lineup consists of Brandon Boling (banjo, vocals), Donnie Riggs (guitar, dobro, vocals), Alexandra Touzinsky (fiddle, piano, vocals), and Ryan Thomas (bass, mandolin, vocals).
The Cooley Gang
Songwriting cousins Ryan Cooley Gaujot and Jason Jaros swap mandolins, guitars, tunes, lyrical harmonies, ballads, improvisations, and rhythms to create a musical experience to get your feet moving Their songs tell of true life encounters, local history, and tall tales. With Chris Bern(bass), Greg “Shorty” Short (percussion), and Pat Sutton(drums), this WV based Appalachian rooted Americana band draws on the wide range of musical influences from blues, jazz, and reggae, to country, bluegrass, old time, and rock & roll.
The Fly Birds
The Fly Birds is a band made up of four ladies who describe themselves as free range mountain sirens. This award winning quartet embodies alternative Bluegrass and Appalachia. Elizabeth Baker (banjo), Mary Dunlap(bass), Sarah Twigg(guitar), and Crystal Shipley(fiddle) have been together for about seven years.
This unique band hails from the cozy hills of West Virginia. They play unique songs that blend the contemporary folk genre with a bluegrass spirit. Lindsey’s voice often carries her own lyrics which collects friendships, mountain scenery, thoughtful reminiscence and mixes them into a soothing energetic style while Ty backs up her sound with his beautiful melodic style of fiddle and vocal harmonies.
The Moon My Twin
West Virginia’s own – The Moon My Twin – is currently releasing their second album, recorded outside Nashville by producer Jared Corder of Repeat, Repeat. The first single, Tie Score, is streaming now – make sure to follow them so you can listen to the new songs first! EMay has performed at Cheat Fest several times and is also a vendor – go check out the Healthberry Farm honey stand in vendor row. And even if you’ve seen them, you’ve never seen them like this! With Charles Earl Richard on drums, Chris Quattro on Guitar, and for the first time Corey Bonasso on Bass, this is The Moon My Twin.
For more than three decades Bob Shank has been a benchmark for American banjo players. Not bluegrass or old-time, or classical or ragtime, but all that and more.
Megan Jean’s Secret Family
Megan Jean(lead/vocals/bass), Byrne Klay(guitar/vocals), Tommy Bailey(drums/keys/vocals), Young Bill (guitar/vocals).
Andrew Tuck (guitar/vocals), Vashon Page (drums), Corwin Hoban (bass), Danny Davis (percussion), Tudore (keys)
Haley and the Hard Way
A Big Thanks to the musicians who donate their time and talents – you are the HEART BEAT of the festival.