Band Line Up
This line up is for the 2019 Roots Music Fest located at The Reeves Theater
Thursday night, June 20th:
7:00 - 9:30 pm
Presley Barker and the Harris Brothers
Friday night, June 21st:
6:00 - 10:00 pm
The Big Blues Show
Blues Roots “Up Close and Personal”
Lathan Hill, Wanda Johnson, and Big Ron Hunter
The Boy from Kentucky Coty Robinett
The Fiddler Maker Bob Kogut
The Newbie Heaven Douglas
And the Wannabees
Join us for an evening of “BLUES WITH NO APOLOGIES”
Saturday night, June 22nd:
8:00 - 10:00 pm
The Larry Keel Experience
Food and Beverages, Beer & Wine are Available at the Theater
Larry Keel is described by music critics and 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 playing amplified, acoustic guitar and composing original music. He’s also got 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 surprise cover from any number of musical acts all over the map. The combination is pretty irresistible, and has earned Keel the highest respect and billing among the top acoustic and jam rock musicians alive, and some now gone: Tony Rice, Chris Thile, Steve Martin, Tim O’Brien, Vassar Clements, Sam Bush, Del McCoury, John Hartford, Bill Monroe, Peter Rowan, and Danny Barnes 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 blazing guitar power, the deep rumbling voice, his earthy and expansive song-writing, and his down-home-gritty-good-time charm. Keel convenes and collaborates with JamBand and Rock giants Greensky Bluegrass, Infamous Stringdusters, Yonder Mountain String Band, Keller Williams, Jorma Kaukonen, David Nelson, Little Feat, Railroad Earth, String Cheese Incident, Fruition and Leftover Salmon, amongst others.
For Keel the musical mission is always clear: to let natural ability, finely-honed 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. larrykeel.com
At age 14, Presley Barker has been playing acoustic guitar for six years. Living in the NC mountains and listening to Doc Watson on the radio inspired Presley to begin picking fiddle tunes and bluegrass music. He has been influenced and mentored by Steve Lewis, Wayne Henderson, and Bryan Sutton. He has quickly emerged as an astonishingly gifted flat-picker.
In the summers of 2015 and 2017, Presley won first place in the prestigious Adult Guitar Competition at the Annual Galax Old Fiddler's Convention in Virginia, and in the summer of 2016, he was named West Virginia State Flatpicking Guitar Champion. He has appeared on NBC Today Show with Al Roker as part of IBMA World of Bluegrass in Raleigh, NC, National Folk Festival, Richmond Folk Festival, Lowell Folk Festival, Masters of Steel String Guitar Event in Washington, D.C., PBS Song of the Mountains Show, Blue Ridge Music Center, Houstonfest, and Merlefest. Presley also appeared on NBC's "Little Big Shots" with Steve Harvey and "Wonderama" TV show in New York City. He had the honor of winning first place and a D-28 Wayne Henderson Guitar at the 2017 Wayne C. Henderson Guitar Competition at Grayson Highlands Park in Virginia.
Most recently, Presley was invited by Country Music Hall of Fame and Bluegrass Hall of Fame member Ricky Skaggs to play the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, TN. Presley released his first solo album entitled "JUST-TEN" in the fall of 2015 and was so honored to be on the Bluegrass Today Airplay. www.facebook.com/presleybarkermusic/
The Harris Brothers
Ryan Harris: Vocals, Bass
Reggie Harris: Vocals, Guitar, Suitcase Drum and Banjo
Reggie and Ryan Harris are a real brother duo born and raised in Western North Carolina where they were exposed to a wide variety of music from an early age. The Harris Brothers started playing string instruments and singing as small children and are part of a musical family that still gets together to play. They have been playing professionally as a duo for more than twenty years, showcasing their unique style.
The intuitive nature of their interaction, in regard to both playing and singing, can only be achieved via the relationship between brothers. Reggie sings and plays guitar, banjo, and a kick-drum suitcase for percussion; Ryan sings and plays the bass.
The Harris Brothers are music lovers! Their infinite live repertoire consists of any number of genres including traditional roots music, rock & roll, jazz, blues, Appalachian mountain music, to vintage country and bluegrass. A typical live show effortlessly shifts from original tunes to their own arrangements of songs from all sides of the Americana musical spectrum. theharrisbrothers.com
LATHAN "Pudgee" HILL: guitar and vocals
Lathan Hill has been involved with blues for the past 52 years....originally from Norfolk, Virginia, and playing all over the world...sharing the stage and entertaining audiences with John Lee Hooker, Candy Staton, Luther Allison, Phyllis Hyman, Albert King, Little Milton, Kenny Neal, Lucky Peterson, and others. Lathan has now made his home in the Southeastern Virginia area. Link to Lathan's facebook page.
Wanda Johnson Big Ron Hunter
Wanda Johnson Biography
Wanda Johnson is a natural-born singer who “was brought up singin’ in church” way before her professional musical career began in South Carolina’s Upstate Region in 1995. Since that time though, she has received national and international success.
Known for her sultry voice and clever songwriting, Wanda has taken her music to many well-known festivals, including the Chicago Blues Festival (Illinois-USA), Poconos Blues Festival (Pennsylvania-USA), Cognac Blues Festival (France) and the Eutin Blues Fest (Germany). Over the course of her musical career Wanda has shared the stage with many well-known artist including Nappy Brown, Beverly “Guitar” Watkins, Johnny Winter, Robert Cray, Tinsley Ellis, James Cotton, Drink Small (“The Blues Doctor”), Kip Anderson and the “Ambassador of the Blues” himself – the late, great Mr. BB King.
Wanda’s original music has been well received locally, nationally and internationally. Her song “The River”, a tribute to her father, has been used in Independent film. Curves, the international women’s fitness and weight loss chain, featured Wanda’s catchy tune “I’m Through With You” in one of their National Ad Campaigns, and her voice was even heard in a prime time television series (Army Wives).
Wanda has been the subject of many local, national and international interviewers and images of her have been seen from the pages of Vogue Magazine to the World Wide Web. She’s been featured in such long-running blues magazines as America’s “Living Blues” and France’s “Soul Bag”. She has also enjoyed cover stories in Poland’s “Twoj (ta-fooey) Blues” magazine.
Her fans have regularly compared her voice to the likes of Mahalia Jackson, Sarah Vaughn, Nina Simone and Etta James. They have come to know and love Wanda not only for her vocal abilities, but also for her uncanny ability to intimately connect with her audiences, both at home and abroad. When you meet her it’s clear to see that even with her many successful tours in Europe and Asia (including Italy, China, Poland, Germany, Austria and France just to name a few countries) and four CDs under her belt (the fourth, “Things Change” she produced as well) Wanda has remained well-grounded by her Faith, Family and as she puts it, “the gift of music”. Link to Wanda's facebook page.
Big Ron Hunter Biography
"Big Ron Hunter, a native of Winston-Salem, North Carolina, learned guitar from his father when he was a young boy; he also received tutelage from the late Guitar Gabriel. Virtually unknown outside his circle of family, friends and acquaintances, Hunter would seem to be representative of the prototypical blues (or folk) “discovery”- a workingman who has spent most of his life playing and singing primarily for his own satisfaction."
"Hunter plays and sings his own songs, combining a bluesy, yet sweet and melodic voice with his original brand of uplifting, hard-banging, acoustic blues." Link to Big Ron's facebook page.
Bob Kogut is a fiddler and a violin maker, residing in Lenoir, North Carolina. Bob plays a wide range of music, including blues, gypsy jazz, bluegrass, and contra dance music. His violins are being played all over the world and he is currently building his 225th violin. https://www.blueridgeheritage.com/artist/bob-kogut/
From the hollers of Kentucky to the dirty streets of Baltimore, Coty Robinett has a unique and eclectic guitar playing style. He has been influenced by a mixture of blues legends like Leadbelly, Stevie Ray, and Blind Lemon Jefferson to the soft melodic picking of Jim Croce. With that being said he's not afraid to get a little rough and rowdy, back to his punk rock roots like Cheetah Chrome, guitarist from the Dead Boys. Coty has toured the US and Canada playing guitar for acts like the Fishnet Stalkers and The Fast Boys, and is currently playing bass for horror punk legends, The Independents and rock and roll newcomers Warboys U.S. He is always writing and performing his solo project that is blues infused alternative melodies with a hint of classic country.
Copyright Elkin Roots MusicFest