2013 Band Lineup
Looking back over the past 25 years of rootsy, string-based music, the impact of Leftover Salmon is impossible to deny. Formed in Boulder at the end of 1989, the Colorado slamgrass pioneers were one of the first bluegrass bands to add drums and tour rock & roll bars, helping Salmon become a pillar of the jam band scene and unwitting architects of the jam grass genre.
Though the lineup would change through the years, the foundation of Leftover Salmon was built on the relationship between co-founders Drew Emmitt (vocals, guitar, fiddle, mandolin), Vince Herman (vocals, guitar,washboard) and Mark Vann (electric banjo). Following a decade of constant growth and constant touring, on March 4, 2002, Mark Vann lost his battle with cancer. Vann insisted that the band carry on and Salmon did so for several years leading up to an indefinite hiatus in 2005.
If Leftover Salmon had never played another note after leaving the stage in 2005, the legacy would have been secure; the members’ names etched in the books of history. But today, more than two decades after Salmon first took shape, the band has a new album, Aquatic Hitchhiker, due May 22 on LoS Records, a new banjo phenom named Andy Thorn, and a new lease on an old agreement. Leftover Salmon is officially back.
The 29-year-old Thorn grew up a Salmon fan in North Carolina and says the band helped him realize “this is what I want to do with my life.” Ironically, it’s his presence in the group that has given Leftover Salmon new life. “Andy’s a real young guy with a lot of great energy who plays in a way that definitely relates to Mark’s [Vann] playing and he’s a lot of fun to be around, it’s led to a real revival that just clicks on some hard to describe level” says Herman. “We’ve played with some great banjo players over the past few years, and not to say anything about them being less than great musicians, but there’s just something intangible about playing with Andy that kind of makes Drew and I look at each other and grin. This is what we’ve been missing as far as that feeling between Drew, Mark and I that used to be there.” SATURDAY
Nearly a decade evolved from their debut at 2003′s New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, Dumpstaphunk offers fans an unforgettable live experience steeped in the “Big Easy” tradition of a good time. The all-star collective features Ivan Neville on keys, the unique double-bass attack of veterans Tony Hall and Nick Daniels, Ian Neville on guitar, and the monster addition of Nikki Glaspie on drums.
From annual performances at New Orleans’ Jazz Fest — “The colossal low end and filthy grooves they threw down from the Gentilly Stage must have set a Jazz Fest record for the baddest bass jams ever.” (Bass Player, 2012) — to an aggressive touring schedule with noteworthy appearances at Bonnaroo, Wakarusa, Hangout, All Good, High Sierra, VoodooExperience, Bear Creek, Gathering of the Vibes, Wanee and Jam Cruise to name a few, Dumpstaphunk continue to redefine their genre with a signature groove that dares listeners not to move.
New music from Dumpstaphunk’s forthcoming studio album Dirty Word (due May 2013) reflects the opinionated, vintage funk of their forefathers in The Meters, Sly & the Family Stone and Parliament/Funkadelic, with a modern edge, coupled with additional forays into New Orleans traditional, gospel, blues, and straight-up Rock n’ Roll! Dirty Word also boasts multiple guest appearances by Dumpsta’s friends and family including Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews, The Rebirth Brass Band, Art Neville, Ani Di Franco, Skerik, and Flea of the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
Dumpstaphunk’s musicians have shared the stage with many legendary figures. Ivan and Ian‚ the sons of Neville Brothers Aaron and Art Neville respectively‚ seem to play their instruments flawlessly, and the dirty funk resonates organically from their souls as the offspring and kin of the legendary New Orleans Neville Brothers family. SATURDAY
Brooklyn-based Americana/Alt-Country band Yarn’s sound owes as much to Gram Parsons and Earl Scruggs as to Jerry Garcia and Exile On Main Street-era Rolling Stones. Following in a fine tradition that includes forward thinking roots bands like The Flying Burrito Brothers and New Riders of The Purple Sage, Yarn weaves roots music idioms into a fresh sound that turns on hipsters and fans of country music alike, with technically impressive song-crafting and universal tales from the road of life. FRIDAY & SUNDAY
Proud to be firmly installed in the new-funk movement, KUNG FU is quickly popularizing their unique sonic contribution “NU-SION”, blurring the line between intense electro-fusion, and blistering dance arrangements. Making funk fusion music “cool” again, the band draws on influences such as early Headhunters, Weather Report & Mahavishnu Orchestra, merging those ideas with technical fireworks and a contemporary EDM-informed sensibility. The ensemble, a seasoned pedigree that reads like a late-night summer festival all-star jam, is currently touring in support of their eponymous debut album. The powerhouse quintet’s live show has been described by critics and fans of Galactic & Umphrey’s McGee alike as “lethal funk,” “explosive,” “jaw dropping” and “musically mesmerizing.” FRIDAY
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. He will perform with his wife, Jenny Keel on upright bass, and banjo legend Sammy Shelor. Shelor is the founder and leader of the Lonesome River Band. Incredibly, this will mark the first time this trio of Virginia residents has performed together publicly. FRIDAY
Sister Sparrow & The Dirty Birds is an eight-piece powerhouse that puts a modern spin on classic soul. The band is led by Arleigh Kincheloe (Sister Sparrow), whose astoundingly powerful voice and sly demeanor make for a spellbinding presence onstage. She is backed by the mighty force of The Dirty Birds, a flock of seven men who masterfully lay down thundering grooves and soaring melodies. While each of the Birds are capable of lighting up the stage with jaw-dropping displays of musicianship, it’s clear they’re focused on delivering the band’s infectious music as a single entity. Simply put, the band’s live show is explosive. SATURDAY
Five years and four albums into a career that’s found them drawing circles around the lower 48, building a burgeoning national fan base, Dangermuffin embodies a curious paradox. The themes found within their striking new collection, Olly Oxen Free, sum up that juxtaposition. This Folly Beach, S.C.-based trio are clearly at peace with themselves and their career, while keeping up a constant pursuit of truth. The seeds they’ve planted at major festivals around the nation grow as fast as the mileage on their odometer, yet they dream and sing of home with a yearning passion. Most strikingly, the band’s musical execution remains refreshingly simple, belying a staggering lyrical and thematic depth behind each individual song. SATURDAY
Rooster Walk’s official “roving minstrel,” Stephane Wrembel has been called “a revelation” by Rolling Stone. Woody Allen recruited him to score the theme for the smash-hit film Midnight in Paris, and he performed his irresistibly catchy original song “Bistro Fada” live during the 2012 Academy Awards. To say that French-born guitarist/composer Stephane Wrembel — who learned his craft among the Gypsies at campsites in the French countryside — has already had a remarkable career would be an understatement. But this guitar virtuoso, who is now Brooklyn-based, has truly just begun to make his mark as one of the most original guitar voices in contemporary music. SUNDAY & ROVING ALL WEEKEND.
Space Capone’s influences thrive off early 80’s funk/soul/R&B with a fresh 2013 twist. Still riding high off their sophomore debut “Volume II: Arrival, Arousal” and making their second consecutive appearance at Rooster Walk, they’ve already set an extremely strong precedent in the southeast as a band that respects their influences but knows how to party at the same time. Collaborating on new material with the likes of Jerry Hey (Quincy Jones, Michael Jackson, Earth Wind & Fire) and Jay Graydon (Airplay, Steel Dan), the live show is a tightly arranged powerhouse of feel good music. Aaron Winters (professionally known as ‘Space’) co‐produced the new material with Calvin Turner (Marc Broussard, Raphael Saadiq) and is swimming against the current of modern day ‘pop.’ It’s real, it’s incredible live, and it feels good. What more could you want. Space Capone has performed at Bonnaroo, CMJ, SXSW, The Hangout and countless other festivals across the southeast. SUNDAY
Josh Panda opens his mouth and it makes you say “what the f*#%!!!!” He’s a powerhouse of a singer and a frontman with a unique sensibility and a laid back vibe. Old school but hip as hell. His passionate stage presence and gospel-trained voice have led him to be a part of a vast array of performances. He has opened for national acts such as Tower of Power, Delbert McClinton, Alexi Murdoch, The Infamous Stringdusters, Martin Sexton, Bret Michaels of Poison and Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top. He has played privately with Page McConnell of Phish and Ryan Miller of Guster for the Slovakian Women’s Hockey Team. And he broke the Guinness Book of World Records alongside Jon Fishman of Phish for The Largest Cowbell Ensemble. Never a dull moment. SATURDAY
The boys of Sanctum Sully hail from Asheville, N.C., but their music comes from a different space: The beer-stained bar stools where blues, rock and bluegrass swap stories and trade tall-tale tunes. A polished five-piece acoustic unit that’s been voted one of Western North Carolina’s top three bluegrass bands for three years running, the members of Sanctum Sully grew up as fans of numerous genres before ultimately joining forces in 2008. With three-part harmonies, mandolin, guitar, banjo and bass, Sanctum Sully can certainly pull off a traditional bluegrass tune in style. But their blues-riffs, crowd-infecting energy and can’t-believe-it-covers make them something notably different and indisputably fun. They are a bluegrass band that rocks … hard. SATURDAY
Although The Steepwater Band got their start as devotees of delta blues, they have since been expanding on their influences taking on everything from psychedelia to Americana, and of course, rock and roll music. Formed in Chicago in 1998, the band’s signature sound is at once a nod to earlier rock n’ blues combined with a raw and gutsy musical approach. Founding band members Jeff Massey (vocals & guitar), Tod Bowers (bass) and Joe Winters (drums) have a synergy that comes from years of playing together. In early 2012 the long-time trio have been joined by Eric Saylors (guitar & bk vocal), from Indianapolis, IN. Mr. Saylors brings an added depth to the TSB LIVE sound, where the foundation laid by Bowers & Winters leaves the space for the guitars to soar and vocals to shine. Massey always performs with a passion that can belie his virtuosity, while being true to the song at hand. SATURDAY
The Kings of Belmont thrive off performing live and their shows have been described as “anything but predictable.” While the set lists and song arrangements vary from show to show, the one constant is the energy of the band. This energy is matched by their loyal fans that come to each show prepared to lay it all out. The dynamic is intense, infectious and will make you want more. FRIDAY
Chapel Hill’s Lizzy Ross Band delivers exuberant Soul/Americana. The last year has dealt them several accomplishments, including being voted the Carolinas’ Best Rock Female, being featured on NPR’s The State of Things, an Emerging Artist Award from the Durham Arts Council, and a new album, Read Me Out Loud. It’s easy to understand the attention. Ross’s voice delivers a charming trill one moment, only to erupt in rough, bluesy emotion the next. It’s a powerful instrument that’s earned her comparisons to artists like Grace Potter and Edie Brickell among others. FRIDAY
Mandolin Orange (Chapel Hill, N.C.) carries an understanding of tradition and shape it into a thing of beauty. They craft simple songs that go beyond chord progressions and vocal harmonies, leading somehow toward something pure. Using acoustic and electric guitars, mandolin and a hand-me-down fiddle, Andrew Marlin and Emily Frantz allure with a heart-worn sensibility. Last year’s Haste Make/ Hard Hearted Stanger combines bluegrass, rock and country for lullabies that swoon.” —Ashleigh Phillips, Independent Weekly. SATURDAY
The Stickley brothers are a classic brother duo. Two high-speed guitars played in perfect sync, two voices sung in the closest harmony, and material that traces their own unique musical upbringing. The brothers have been on their own separate musical journeys and are happy to “reunite” as a duo. Jon (Asheville, NC) has been touring the country with his band Jon Stickley Trio, while Jeff (Durham, NC) has been with Hammer No More The Fingers. The Stickley Brothers play their own original material, as well as songs by other classic brother duos including the Everlys, Stanleys and Meat Puppets. Hang on and enjoy the ride! SUNDAY
From Colorado to Nelson County, VA by way of Nashville, TN, Travis Book has always been drawn to the mountains and their music. As an upright bassist, Travis plays coast to coast in the genre bending bluegrass band, The Infamous Stringdusters, but recently he’s found inspiration in the guitar, writing songs and playing solo near his mountain home in Nelson County. High Country music from Virginia’s high country. FRIDAY
The Floorboards are an Appalachian Roots Rock Ensemble hailing from the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. The band marries rock & roll and country roots with the sights and sounds of southern mountain towns. In their first year as a band, The Floorboards quickly have become a staple in Southwest VA and are branching out with purpose. Having co-billed with bands such as Trampled by Turtles and performed at venues and festivals in the southeast along side Drive by Truckers, Jackson Brown, Matisyahu, Allison Krause and Union Station, and many others. FRIDAY
Mixing a healthy amount of musical chops, honest and creative songwriting, powerful stage presence and well sung four-part harmonies, L Shape Lot creates an original and dynamic Americana sound based in country, rock, bluegrass and roots/folk music. Their lively sound explores new ground, while still paying homage to their predecessors. L Shape Lot is from Wilmington, N.C. Audience members can expect to hear music ranging from solid originals to classic country, traditional bluegrass and unique blends of all genres. SUNDAY
After Jack may be a “new band with an old soul,” but they have already achieved a great deal since their debut in fall 2011. Mary Allison, Rachel Blankenship and Emily Rose Tucker combine to play 14 instruments, and they met while working as professional actor/musicians. Inspired by bluegrass, rock, gospel, blues, folk, country and everything in between, this Virginia based lady trio joined forces to create a sound driven by tight harmonies, eclectic musicianship and a certain je ne sais quoi, leading to a fusion of genres that provides a fresh take on the multifaceted music of the mountains. SUNDAY
Dave Eggar, Amber Rubarth & Deoro
Dave Eggar’s body of work is consistently greeted with superlatives and rave reviews. It’s a luxury not often enjoyed by an artist who records in diverse genres and performs live in multiple musical categories, seamlessly moving between each, be it Pop, Rock, Jazz, R&B, New Age, World or Classical music. His ability to effortlessly blur the lines between any musical style is truly unique. That’s the magic of Dave Eggar. Amber Rubarth has ”developed a unique gift of knocking down walls with songs so strong they sound like classics from another era,” according to Acoustic Guitar Magazine. SUNDAY
Colorful, bright, and spirited, Common Foundation is a young group of some really talented individuals. They play a blend of reggae, rocksteady and uptempo ska, all outfitted with a big band style horn section. They’ll move from soulful instrumentals with jazz influenced solos, to sing along melodies in three part harmony. Always enjoying their performance, and always bringing a smile, Common Foundation is an Asheville band that always puts on a crowd-pleasing show. SATURDAY
Coming at you from Roanoke, these guys are full of energy and love to take their live shows to that next level. Known for dropping in some crazy cover song selections, you’re bound to hear something that is familiar to your ears. Funk Punch also has established a great blend of many different styles in their original music. Each member’s differing musical influences has been a key element in their song writing. The result is infectious and bold rock-pop-electro-funk. VIP-THURSDAY, SATURDAY
Big Fat Gap is a back porch bluegrass band that has no plans to take Nashville by storm. Some of them even have day jobs. They just like to pick, they like each other, and it shows in their performances, which are known to be excellent for those who enjoy sweet three-part harmonies, smoking solos, and captivating stage dynamics. They are: Miles Andrews on lead vocals and bass, Jon Hill on mandolin and vocals, Chris Roszell on banjo, Bobby Britt and John Garris on fiddles, and Jamie Griggs on guitar. SUNDAY
Hotel de Ville
Who doesn’t love a Grateful Dead set? Hotel de Ville formed in the Martinsville area three years ago, and ever since they’ve been impressing fans with their spot-on recreations of the Dead. Their first-ever festival set occurred at Rooster Walk 2 in 2010, but they’ve played plenty of others since then. If you love the Dead, you’ll love Hotel de Ville! SATURDAY & SUNDAY
Inspired by the Blue Ridge Mountains and the rich musical traditions tied to them, Yankee Dixie plays “original Blue Ridge mountain folk.” Writing and singing most of her life, it wasn’t long before Tara picked up a guitar and taught herself how to express the melodies in her head through her songs and hauntingly beautiful lyrics. Influenced by bluegrass, old country, and traditional mountain folk, she creates an original sound that captures true human feeling and emotion. Together, Tara, John Howard and Turtle Zwadlo intertwine their styles, influence and harmonies to create a perfect balance of folk, bluegrass, and roots music birthing the unique and original sound that is Yankee Dixie. SATURDAY
Justin Johnson is one of the premier cigar box guitar performers playing today, highlighting the traditional American Roots instrument in a way that honors the history of the instrument while innovating new approaches by incorporating modern technology. Justin expertly builds layers of music to create a full-band show as a soloist, incorporating up to a dozen stringed instruments including one-string diddley bows, acoustic and electric 6-string guitars, 12-string guitar, cigar box guitars, resonators, mandolin, and percussion. Recently hailed by Guitar World Magazine as a must see act and dubbed “The Wizard” for his mastery of stringed instruments, Justin Johnson has earned many accolades including a 1st place win in the Slidestock International Slide Guitar Competition. SATURDAY
Steeped in the past and always looking to the future, Hot Twang brings together four top-notch musicians with well over a century of collective musical experience for a deeply inspired sound that is guaranteed to get you up and shakin’ it. Hot Twang draws from a broad range of influences – from late 1800′s classic banjo music to Thelonious Monk and John Coltrane – all the while staying true to the traditional music of their Blue Ridge Mountain home. SATURDAY
Boy Named Banjo is a Tennessee-based band with talent that belies its youth. Formed in 2010 by three high school classmates, BNB features Barton Davies (vocals/banjo/harmonica), William Reames (vocals, guitar, harmonica) and Will Logan (vocals, guitar, mandolin, percussion). Their music, influenced by bluegrass and Americana stylings, has met with immediate critical acclaim. These current college students (University of the South and the University of Tennessee) are making their Rooster Walk debut. FRIDAY
Emerging from Asheville, North Carolina, Empire Strikes Brass is a New Orleans style brass band that is determined to bring funk, rock, and a lot of energy to city streets and beyond. They’ve ushered dancing crowds from venue to venue at Asheville’s LAAFF Festival, and led people to the Orange Peel for the most recent Galactic concert. But, Empire Strikes Brass is not just a street band. They’ll amp up your wedding, pub crawl, funeral, or festival. ALL WEEKEND
A power trio, Levi’s Gene Pool, of Blacksburg, has been rocking together as long as they can remember. Those who have seen these siblings perform have watched them and their music grow. Phillip, on bass, Levi on guitar and Holly on drums have been creating original music for over four years and are honored to be returning to Rooster Walk. SUNDAY
Virginia All Steel Orchestra
This steel-drum band is made up of students from the Boys and Girls Club of the Blue Ridge, which serves the Martinsville area. Under the direction of steel-drum master Shawn Thwaites, students have been impressing audiences since the group was founded roughly three years ago. SATURDAY
Rob Cheatham formed Gunchux in 2008 after a wild time of pushing the quirky limits of former Charlottesville band, The Nice Jenkins. He is presently working on a formidably awesome amount of music with Gunchux that will likely melt your face sideways. He has been bringing honesty and intensity to every perfectly sculpted verse and chorus. Enjoy the show. VIP-THURSDAY
Bear Mountain Picnic
Bear Mountain Picnic is a young folkgrass band originally based in Martinsville. The band formed as seniors at Martinsville High School and currently consists of Seth Jarrett on mandolin and vocals, Nick Lawson on guitar and vocals, Brandon Ford on banjo, and Hayes Cummings on bass. SATURDAY & SUNDAY
The Patriot Players
The Patrick Henry Community College “Patriot Players,” directed by Jane Leizer, is a group of students who are interested in the performing arts. Formed in the spring 2013 semester, the Patriot Players is the beginning of a new program in performing arts at the college. They have performed in local city and county schools and will bring to Rooster Walk some 70′s, 80′s, a violin solo, Rhythm Mix, soul, blues, and a look into their new production schedule for July 27th, “FAME.” SUNDAY
The Broken Levees
“The Broken Levees” thrive on improvisation while performing. The band, made up of teenagers from Martinsville/Henry County, features Griffin Haley on guitar/vocals/bass, Mehar Verdi on bass/guitar/vocals, Will Campbell on drums/vocals and Atallah Hezbor on keys. The Broken Levees play a mix of 60s classic rock, old blues tunes and funk. The band plays “to have fun and keep the classics alive.” SUNDAY
Riggs Roberson is a three-time Rooster Walk veteran and a Martinsville local. He led the college favorite Mainstreet Moonshine from 2009 to 2012, and is currently writing and producing an album for release late this year. VIP-THURSDAY