Terrapin Hill Family Reunion
5 p.m. June 25 and 12:30 p.m. June 26 at Terrapin Hill Farm, 3696 Mackville Rd., Harrodsburg. $40 at the gate. (859) 734-7207. www.terrapinhillfarm.com/festival.
Call it a weekend-long music preface to an even longer, more high-profile festival in the fall. Such is the summery intent of the Terrapin Hill Family Reunion.
Like its big-sister event, September's Terrapin Hill Harvest Festival, the family reunion serves up plenty of jam band-friendly grooves. But this weekend comes with a more bluegrass-rooted feel.
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That brings us to festival headliner Larry Keel and Natural Bridge. Keel, a Virginia native, and his guitar talents have won dual admiration from jam and bluegrass camps. The award-winning flat-picker took top honors at competitions at, among other locales, the Telluride Bluegrass Festival. Also, Keel's band, Magraw Gap, recorded with famed jam band stylist Keller Williams on his 1996 album Buzz.
Then came the Larry Keel Experience, collaborations with pioneering New Grass Revival dobro ace Curtis Burch, and music, beginning in 2005, with Natural Bridge.
Keel and his band, which includes wife Jenny Keel on bass, Mark Schimick on mandolin and Jason Flournoy on banjo, perform at the Family Reunion at 10 p.m. Saturday. Other festival artists include Kati Penn and Newtown, Arnett Hollow, MC Sparkplug and the Dry Valley Gamblers.
For a full schedule, go to www.terrapinhill.com/festival.
Where do you start when discussing the Virginia musical enterprise known as GWAR and its 25-year journey of bringing graphically animated, futuristic-themed and downright frightening metal-inspired music to the stage?
With band members sporting such stage names as Oderus Urungus, Beefcake the Mighty, Balzac the Jaws of Death, Sleazy Martini and a few more that probably would not make for ideal family viewing, GWAR onstage is like a cross between Transformers and Marilyn Manson.
The band members deck themselves out in the sort of bulky, extreme costuming that would make Optimus Prime proud. But things get really creepy and a bit bloody after that for concerts that are as much theater as rock 'n' roll.
But the GWAR boys take their work and music seriously. Take the band's recent performance at Bonnaroo, which prompted numerous Web sites and blogs to dub GWAR both the best and worst act of the festival.
"It took a bunch of tree-loving hippies to give GWAR their biggest and best gig to date in the U.S.," Urungus told the crowd. "And that's after years of killing them onstage. Thank you, hippies."
Friday night, GWAR takes its carnival act to Buster's Billiards & Backroom, 899 Manchester Street, with Dirge Within and Mobile Deathcamp as opening acts. (8:30 p.m. $18, $20. (859) 368-8871. www.bustersbb.com.)
One of the great near- casualties of pop music past, behind Brian Wilson and Peter Green, is Texas guitarist and song stylist Roky Erickson.
Onetime chieftain of the late-'60s Lone Star psychedelic outfit The 13th Floor Elevators, Erickson spent much of the band's succeeding years receiving treatment for paranoid schizophrenia, some of it involuntarily. Entangled in financial, legal and health problems for decades and only sporadically making new music in the process, Erickson edged back into performance mode at the Austin City Limits and Coachella festivals in 2005.
True Love Cast Out All Evil, his first album of new songs in nearly 15 years, a powerfully redemptive work cut with the Austin indie band Okkervil River titled, was issued in April. Now comes the most improbable part of the story. Erickson is on tour again and performing Friday at Headliners Music Hall, 1386 Lexington Road, Louisville. Phantom Family Halo, Montag and Bad Blood round out the bill. (8 p.m. $15. (502) 584-8088. www.headlinerslouisville.com.)