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Railroad Earth and JJ Grey & Mofro will be among those performing at events in the Roanoke and New River valleys.
Courtesy Tsunami Publicity
Courtesy Alligator Records
Drew Holcomb & The Neighbors
Thursday, August 8, 2013
A weekend of big musical events in the Roanoke and the New River valleys features some of the best bands in the Americana world and an old-time music tradition.
Here’s a breakdown:
This New Jersey-based jamgrass powerhouse has played at least seven FloydFests, including last month’s version. But for those who have seen the band before, fiddle player Tim Carbone says not to worry — no two shows are ever the same.
Not only does each band member have the ability to improvise over any song in the Railroad Earth repertoire, the band eschews playing the same set twice in a row. Its desire for variety goes even deeper than that, Carbone said.
“ We even go back like the last two years of a town that we went to, and we make sure we don’t even play that set list in the same town,” Carbone said. Fans know the songs, because they trade the live downloads the way Grateful Dead fans traded tapes, but “they’re never going to hear the song played the same way twice. It just doesn’t happen. And I think that’s one of the things that people like about the band.”
The band is headlining the third version of the J.J. Redick Foundation Kickoff Concert, held Friday at the Patrick Henry ballroom. It precedes former Cave Spring High School and Duke University star Redick’s charity golf tournament.
This year, the events benefit the nonprofits Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals of Southwest Virginia and CHIP of the Roanoke Valley.
Redick, who recently signed with the NBA’s Los Angeles Clippers, leaves the band-booking part of things to his brother, David Redick, who has been involved in the music business as a booking agent and manager since his college days.
J.J. Redick is a big fan of the headliner, opening act Drew Holcomb and The Neighbors and Bronze Radio Return, which will play Saturday’s post-tournament reception. He and David Redick listened to a lot of bands before picking the ones they felt would be good for the audience, the brothers said in a Facebook e-mail exchange.
“Railroad Earth was on my radar the entire time,” David Redick wrote.
He added that the band’s routing — Friday’s event falls between shows that the band is playing with Bruce Hornsby in Charlottesville and Atlanta — would work better than an expensive one-off show.
Go to blogs.roanoke.com/cutnscratch to hear a podcast with Railroad Earth’s fiddler/multi-instrumentalist Tim Carbone.
JJ Grey & Mofro
This is the second time that Jacksonville, Fla.-based Grey and his band of gritty soul-slinging players have headlined a summer festival at Chateau Morrisette. The act played there in August 2011, touring behind its outstanding live CD/DVD set, “Brighter Days,” a greatest hits collection of sorts.
This year, the band hits the Black Dog Wine & Music Festival stage on Saturday to support its recent release, “This River,” which has shown in repeated listenings to be the band’s best among its six studio albums.
Opening act Roscoe Bandana, from Gulfport, Miss ., was recently the first band to sign with Hard Rock Records, a label affiliated with Hard Rock cafes, hotels and casinos.
Old Fiddlers Convention
The 78th version of this Galax event is already in full swing, with the youth fiddling competitions held on Monday; old time fiddle, dobro and mandolin competitions on Tuesday; and bluegrass fiddle, dulcimer and banjo competitions on Wednesday.
Lots more instrumental and dancing contests are in the offing, but the real juice at this event happens after hours. Jams dot the grounds at Felts Park, with some of the best acoustic players on the planet joining in.
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