Front Porch Fest Line Up

Perpetual Groove

Based in Athens, GA, Perpetual Groove is a long time well established touring act with an enthusiastic fan base and international critical acclaim. PGroove’s music has been described by their fans as anthemic arena rock. Their large catalog of original music offers something for everyone. The addition of an intense, retina burning, intelligent light show creates an atmosphere unlike any other, assuring fans they’ll get a highly polished, yet different show each night.
After a two year hiatus, Perpetual Groove is back.

Zach Deputy

In his early 20s, Deputy experienced a major turning point that would take his music in an entirely new direction. “I was playing in a band but I wasn’t inspired—music wasn’t bringing me the joy that it used to, and I felt like I might be done with it altogether,” he says. Along with quitting the band mid-tour, Deputy traded in his electric guitar and amp for a nylon-string acoustic and moved back home to work construction with his dad. “At work all day I’d have this music in my head, and as soon as I got home I’d go straight to the guitar,” he says. Serendipitously landing a solo gig by walking into a bar just after that night’s featured artist had bailed, Deputy soon introduced the world to the sound he’d eventually dub“island-infused, drum ‘n’ bass, gospel-ninja-soul.” By 2008 he’d released his debut album Out of the Water and—thanks to his ingenuity in looping—made his name as an unforgettable one-man-band live act.

In reflecting on his path as a musical artist, Deputy likens that creative awakening to the message at the heart of “Wash It in the Water.” “That song’s about cleansing yourself from all the nonsense of the world—starting fresh, a rebirth of sorts,” he says. And whether performing live or creating new music, Deputy aspires to guide listeners toward a renewal of their own. “I try to give people a little soul massage,” he says. “In music you get so raw and make yourself naked to the world, and hopefully people can find themselves in that and realize they’re not alone. For me touching someone’s life in a positive way is the best thing about making music, and that’s what’s kept me going with it for all these years.”

 

The Larry Keel Experience

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. And 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.

Keel has a variety of musical formats he presents throughout the year; look out for his core band The Larry Keel Experience (featuring award-winning and highly accomplished Jared Pool on mandolin and penetrating vocals, and wife Jenny Keel with her rock solid bass lines as well as tenor vocal harmonies), Larry Does Jerry (Keel performing the music for Jerry Garcia and the Grateful Dead), Larry and the Smokin’ J’s (featuring Jon Stickley, Jay Starling and Jared Pool), Keller Williams and the Keels, and steady swirl of pairings with Keel and Drew Emmitt, Andy Thorn, Danny Barnes, members of the Del McCoury Band, Steep Canyon Rangers, just to name a few. Of note for early 2017 is Keel’s top billing at New York’s Carnegie Hall, where he will headline along with Al Di Meola, Stefane Wrembel and Stochelo Rosenberg at the Django A Go-Go concert, celebrating Django Reinhardt’s influence on the world of guitar music.

Throughout his career, Keel has released 15 albums and is featured on 10 others. The most recent release, March 2016, is EXPERIENCED, an entirely original work that showcases Larry’s and banjo virtuoso Will Lee’s exceptional songwriting, singing and jaw-dropping instrumental performances, accompanied by Keel’s equally talented wife Jenny Keel on upright bass and harmony vocals. This Americana Radio charting album exemplifies the raw sophistication of Keel’s progressive acoustic style, and features musician-friends who appear as guests on various tracks of Experienced; the artists include Sam Bush, Del McCoury, Peter Rowan, Keller Williams, Jason Carter (Del McCoury Band), Mike Guggino (Steep Canyon Rangers) and Anders Beck (Greensky Bluegrass). Quotes about Keel and his music from these artists themselves capture the essence of what this album and Keel’s artistry represents:

“Larry Keel is a triple threat… songwriter, guitar player, entertainer. He can do it all.” — Del McCoury

“Larry is a true original, be it traditional, progressive, improv.. he does it all, and with such joy. I love jamming with Keel. Enjoy the music. Larry does.” — Sam Bush

“Larry is the yin and the yang.. he will break your heart with a waltz, but he can also scare the hell out of you in the next song. He plays on the edge.. no, strike that- he creates genius guitar solos while staring over the edge and laughing maniacally.” — Anders Beck, Greensky Bluegrass

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.

Big Daddy Love

As you can probably tell by their name, Big Daddy Love is no gentle string quartet. Their music has been described as “a blend of rock, bluegrass, southern soul, and psychedelic jams.” One reviewer characterized them as “a band with teeth” (fortunately in both a literal and metaphorical sense). Identifying a single genre for Big Daddy Love is nearly impossible; all six members are comfortable playing almost any type of American music. Collaboratively, the band produces a unique sound that they have long referred to as “Appalachian Rock.”

Big Daddy Love (BDL to many fans) has released four CDs, most recently Live at Ziggy’s and This Time Around. One reviewer wrote, “Big Daddy Love is a force. The festival scene has been eating them up. If you haven’t been able to check them out yet, then you are missing out. It’s a foot-stomping good time at every single show, and they are the nicest guys I have met in music.”

The sextet, based in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, has played close to a thousand shows in more than half the states of the union, and lead singer Scott Moss says his head is still swimming from the band’s success. “It’s a total life change. You go from having a full-time job and playing on weekends to jumping in a van one day and playing 200 shows a year throughout the country. You have to be pretty committed to want that.” The group is rounded out by Matteo “Joey” Recchio on electric guitar and vocals, Brian Paul Swenk on banjo, Ashley Sutton on bass guitar, Scotty Lewis on drums, and the newest member, Bill Stevens, on keys, organ, and harmony vocals.

Along the way, they have played venues of all sizes, from listening-room coffee houses to the 20,000 seat PNC Arena in Raleigh, NC. Their festival resume ranges from local favorites like The Big What to larger regional festivals such as Bristol Rhythm & Roots and the premier southeastern festival, FloydFest. In 2010, BDL won FloydFest’s  “Under the Radar” contest, which recognizes the best up-and-coming band of the festival.  As to the origin of their name, “It started as a joke,” says Moss, “but since solidifying this current lineup, I believe the significance is obvious to the attuned listener. We’re all about spreading love and joy everywhere we go. A lot of our songs are centered around love, respect, and family, and those are the underlying themes we wish to spread with our performances. We want everyone to feel like they’re at home with us and to be part of our story as we travel the country playing the music we love.”

The music is only one aspect of the BDL experience. A close-knit community of fans has developed into an extended BDL family, many of whom travel throughout the southeast for multiple shows and are a huge part of what makes Big Daddy Love successful. “We’re constantly amazed by how many people have jumped on board with us and do so much to help us in every way possible,” says banjoist Brian Paul Swenk. “Whether it’s Kickstarter donations, giving us a place to stay on the road, or even giving their CDs away to friends and coming back to buy another, we’ve learned that it takes hundreds of people to help a band find success in today’s music industry.”

Annabelle’s Curse

“Annabelle’s Curse is a five-piece alternative folk band hailing from Bristol TN/VA, and sort of like the town where they were born, their music sits on the border between two places. One place finds them unplugged, on a large front porch, reveling in the old folk songs that they were raised on while their nearest and dearest friends and family drink and sing along. The other place is plugged in, awash in neon lights and drunk on the rock and roll spirit that drives them to leave the porch, pile in a van, and play long into the night while the anonymous drinkers dance. Their music feels like these two different places at the same time, but like the city that they call home, it’s just two sides of one place and one sound – a sound that they can truly call their own.”
-Justin Green, Bear Kids Records

Dr. Bacon

Dr. Bacon is a genre blending “Appalachian Funk-Rock” band from Asheville, NC. Performing an infectiously danceable blend of funk, soul, jazz, rock, blues, folk, hip-hop and more. Featuring as diverse instrumentation as influencing styles including: guitars, resonator, harmonica, bass, tenor saxophone, baritone saxophone drums, trombone, violin, pedal steel, mandolin, kazoo and more. Dr. Bacon is sure to get you moving and grooving.

Urban Soil

Hailing from the streets of downtown Raleigh, North Carolina, Urban Soil weaves Americana, rock and soul into their explosive live shows and polished recordings.  Their studio albums display the uncompromising energy that Urban Soil is consistent in delivering live, and are a stimulating representation of the band’s skillful-yet–visceral sound: Urban Soil has the unique ability of capturing the energy of their live shows and translating it to their studio recordings, resulting in an electrifying experience with every listen.

Influenced by early roots elements, Urban Soil uniquely fuses those sounds with a fresh take, delivering a blend of raw, nostalgic sounds with a modern and glistening slant.

Front-woman Sarah Reinke brings her old-soul vocals to the stage and studio with passionate style. Rounding out her talents on guitar and washboard, Reinke pulls you in instantly. Guitarist and vocalist, Eric Chesson delivers forceful and driving components with every lick, and offers steadfast vocals. Greg Meckley’s skillful violin and mandolin playing blends tight layers and bright sounds that solidify the band smoothly against driving guitars. Holding down the rhythm section, Scott Lewis and David Connors provide a concrete foundation on drums and bass respectively.

 

Of Tomorrow

Led by the power trio of Geoff Browning on guitar, Nick Söderström on bass, and Jon Modell on drums, the band curates a rotating cast of musicians and an ever-evolving encyclopedia of music: funk, rock, reggae, samba, hip-hop, soul – the list goes on. Browning leads on vocals, shying away from no subject and belting a versatile range both from his voice and his axe. He’s an ideal host for guest singers and rappers, passing the proverbial and literal mic across the stage all night. Of Tomorrow’s ever-steady bass player (Söderström) is on a planet all his own, consistent yet versatile, jumping from sitting in the pocket to blazing fast solo runs, driving the tension and release of the groove. His rhythmic other half (Modell) builds a flawless percussive foundation on which any number of players can offer the beat they feel, yet he still shines as the nucleus of this living, breathing musical being. The three core members Of Tomorrow balance and challenge each other through an expressive musical journey that fans share with them as they go. The music may never be exactly the same, but the songs and musicianship are unyielding, noone is ever a stranger, and everyone is part of the experience Of Tomorrow.”

Kevin Maines & The Volts

Raised in North Florida, where gospel and soul music lay as thick as the hot, humid air, Kevin Maines brings a youthful vibrancy to the classic southern R&B/Soul legacy. Kevin’s debut album, American Hustle, received praise for its creative writing, playing, and production, as well as the strong musical maturity rarely seen in debuts. From deep and dirty Duane Allman-esque slide guitar rockers to sweet gospel-inspired falsetto singing, Kevin Maines doesn’t just play in the southern soul traditions, he consumes and then gives them back bursting with his own unique twist. From gritty to ethereal, this music speaks for itself.

Slick Jr. & the Reactors

Slick Jr. & the Reactors brings their unique perspective of the Blues drawing their influences from classic artists such as Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf and Buddy Guy. And infusing those with other influences such as The Allman Brothers, The Grateful Dead and R&B artists such as Sam Cooke and Marvin Gaye. They are a groovy little Blues boogie band from Southwest Virginia.Four of them are former members of the roots jam band Joe Washrag and have been playing together for 20 years. After Joe Washrag disbanded, Eric Riddle, Kevin Plaster, Tom Turner and Leland George Jr. kept making music with the addition of Will Tillery (Hotel DeVille) and Chris Owens (Celthix, Only on Sunday and Ombrew) as The Stone Saints. Taking a slight detour from that project Slick JR. & The Reactors decided not to pigeon-hole themselves into a certain genre, but also freely explore the world of electric blues. The members all bring different influences that come together to form an originality that shows in their songwriting and cover arrangements as well as free-form jams, which they all love to get involved with. Please help us welcome these musical all-stars back to the porch!!!

Waiting to Exhale

Waiting to Exhale Band is a fronted by two women vocalists, both daughters of hard working Appalachian families with roots deep and long in the mountains of Virginia. Their songs through their emotional renditions tell a tale of their mountain families struggles and joys while blending together a haunting tapestry of harmonies and interplay in their vocals. They take you the listener to another place that you don’t ever want to return from. The foundation of that journey is cemented in place by their passionate upright bass player and their creative journeyman guitarist and banjo player. The heart stops beating, the lungs grasp for breath, and while the song is in the air, you can only wait to exhale.

Albino Rhino

Albino Rhino is a 5-piece funk band based out of Arlington, VA who’s been performing around the DMV since late 2012. Playing throughout DC and Northern Virginia, Albino Rhino has become known for their raw energy and unforgettable funk. Mixing funk-infused rock and blues, with elements of jazz, and an affinity improvised grooves Albino Rhino takes their live audiences on an ever-evolving musical rollercoaster. A blend of DC rock musicians, and George Mason University’s music program students Albino Rhino delivers dance friendly original music as well a mix of popular songs from all genres of music. Our most recent EP “In Review” was released in May of 2016, and shows off a bit of our blues, funk, rock, and jazz playing. This year, in 2017, Albino Rhino has had the pleasure of playing places around the DMV including World of Beer-Ashburn, Velvet Lounge, GMU’s Plazapalooza, IOTA Club & Cafe, Tortoise & Hare, 7Locks Brewing, Rock n Roll Marathon – DC, Gypsy Sally’s, Taste of Bethesda, Gravity Hammer Festival, Walkabout Festival, and many others.

Good Trees River Band

Hailing from the South Shore of Boston MA, Good Trees River Band is a five-piece psychedelic rock band spreading contagious, experimental groups across the Northeastern United States. Formed in high school in 2014 by Sam (Guitar) Evan (drums) Stephen (guitar) and Gavin (vocals/aux percussion) GTRB developed their chops, and a foundation of a few original songs playing open mics, parties, and small gigs here and there. The summer of 2016 saw bassist Ned join, completing the current lineup and sparking motivation in the group and leading to a run of significant shows and powerful rehearsals. Which culminated the release of the bands debut self-titled demo in early 2017. Since then good trees have played approximately 100 shows in the past calendar year, developing a reputation as sizzling live act prone to wild improvisation. Blending heavy funk, fuzz rock, blues, jazz fusion, and even bluegrass influences into 1 instantly recognizable sound.

Suprise Attack

We come from the mountain to bring the funk.

Drawing inspiration from across the musical spectrum to create their unique “Mountain Funk” sound, Surprise Attack thrives on collaboration and improvisation. The group’s five members share a deep connection and a passion for uncompromising, progressive music that keeps listeners guessing and always lands somewhere unexpectedly familiar.

Firecracker Jam

Firecracker Jam might be one of the only “Jam Bands” you will ever hear without a guitar. But, once the Rock, Funk, Blues, Jazz, Swing and Bluegrass get thrown into a blender, put on high, you will be immersed into a world where Electric Mandolin, Bass and Drums can produce a big, high energy sound that is truly state of the art.

Firecracker Jam formed on July 4th 2013 with Billy Berger (Mandolin/Vocals) Mike Riley (Bass/Vocals) Kieth Keys (Keyboards/Vocals) and Dave Hanowitz (Drums/Vocals)  It became clear right away, that with everyone’s vast musical background, and unusual instrumentation, they had created a fresh new sound that is almost uncategorizable. To date they have played over 500 shows at venues and festivals in VA, NC, WV and D.C. including 2018 Rockn 2 Lockn winners, 7 appearances on local television and airplay on local radio!

“When talking genre, Firecracker Jam almost defies description!” (Suzanne Ramsey, Lynchburg Living Magazine)

Firecracker Jam seems to have found its niche in the music festival scene. With long improvised jams, positive lyrics and an upbeat groove, they are right at home on any festival stage.

“Our goal is to get people up dancing and moving to the music to create a symbiotic energy of positivity that sends everyone home feeling wonderful!” (Billy Berger, lead mandolin and vocals)

Ever heard a Mandolin sound like a Hammond Organ? With the use of live looping and an array of effects, Billy is able to create an infectious symphony of sound that satisfies all musical taste and age groups. Peppered with covers from groups such as Phish, Grateful Dead, Keller Williams, Jimi Hendrix, Pink Floyd (to name a few) and an array of Swing Jazz and Bluegrass standards, they are able to draw in just the right crowd to enjoy their dynamic originals.

 

Nah

Nah. is a Washington D.C. based female-fronted alternative rock band that infuses psychedelic improvisation with indie-style creativity. They possess a sonically expansive sound and visceral energy that is certain to captivate a crowd. The band’s motto, “Art is love; love is survival” transparently shines through their collective energy during each live performance.

The band began in 2015, founded by singer-songwriter, Brendan Ra Tyler. His style of songwriting is introspective and relatable with an enduring, honest message. He is accompanied by a talented crew of musicians including Austin-based poet, lyricist and singer, Emma Bleker; drummer Steve Rodriguez; guitarist Chris Smith; and synth/ keyboardist Zack Be. Nah. possesses a sonically expansive sound and visceral energy that is certain to captivate a crowd.

In 2017, Nah. worked extensively on recording an EP with acclaimed engineer, Don Zientara at Inner Ear Studios (Bad Brains, Fugazi, Minor Threat, John Frusciante, Foo Fighters and more). Their debut EP, Social Meteor, was released in August at The Black Cat, in Washington, D.C.  The EP is now available digitally via SpotifySoundcloud, Apple Music, YouTube, Bandcamp, and more.

The Atkinsons

The Atkinsons first set foot on Richmond, VA stages well over a decade ago. The Atkinsons meld roots, country, and rock music into their own style of rambling swing rock & roll. Heartfelt story-telling is at the core of The Atkinsons, and it is complemented with three-part harmonies layered over mandolin, fiddle, drums, bass and electric guitars. With influences ranging from Old 97’s to Green Day to Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers to Drive By Truckers, the sound ends up being quite a musical stew.

The first record “American Gothic” was basically a novel set to music. It followed the misfortunes of a troubled character from his early youth until his untimely death. The upbeat musical style balances out the dark undertone of the lyrics, and together makes for a record that’s easy to listen to yet hard to describe.

The Atkinsons followed up “American Gothic” with their second release “Mile Marker”, which takes the band on a journey through new territories of swampy roots and country swing to Texas Cajun and straight-up rock. Though cut from the same cloth, the new record doesn’t pick up where the first album left off. It follows its own path from the back roads to the highways that inevitably lead you back home. “Mile Marker” celebrates where the band has been and where it’s headed.

The Atkinsons have been performing regularly since its formation and have enjoyed a great following of “ATK” fans. Along with playing their originals, The Atkinsons aim to please by adding many fun, toe-tapping cover songs to their set list. Audiences love their versions of select songs from Old 97’s, Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers, AC/DC, Allman Brothers, Social Distortion, The Waterboys, The Band, and the Rolling Stones.

Riley Moore

Riley Moore is heavily influenced by Bob Dylan, John Prine, Jason Isbell and John Moreland. A songwriter’s songwriter, he walked an entire`1600 mile tour on foot as a member of The Walking Guys in 2015 and has opened for Arlo Guthrie, Lyle Lovett, Shakey Graves, Colony House, Greensky Bluegrass, Parker Milsap,  Town Mountain and others.

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