Critics have described Larry Keel as “the most powerful, innovative and all-out exhilarating acoustic guitarist performing today.” Steeped in the rich mountain heritage of Southwest Virginia, he grew up in a musical family that featured bluegrass on both sides. That solid musical grounding, along with generous natural-born talent, combined to create an incomparable guitarist, one who “can break your heart with a waltz, then scare the hell out of you with his very next song.” Soon the young musician was appearing with the likes of Vassar Clements, Tony Rice, Tim O’Brien, John Hartford and Bill Monroe.
Today, playing amplified acoustic guitar, Keel displays a fierce, high-spirited energy that appeals to young rockers and alt-country pickers alike. Fans are drawn to his blazing guitar power, deep rumbling voice, earthy and expansive song-writing, and down-home, gritty, good-time charm. His success can be gauged by the company he keeps. Keel’s 2016 album, Experienced; featured guest turns from Sam Bush, Del McCoury, Peter Rowan and Keller Williams. March 2017 saw him on stage at Carnegie Hall, celebrating Django Reinhardt alongside Al Di Meola, Stefane Wrembel and Stochelo Rosenberg. His core band, The Larry Keel Experience, features award-winning Jared Pool on mandolin and vocals, along with his wife, the outstanding Jenny Keel, on upright bass and harmony vocals.
But regardless of the stage or format, it’s Larry Keel’s finely-honed songwriting, fearless singing, and jaw-dropping instrumental performance that connect with the audience.