Long admired for his flatpicking abilities, Larry Keel shines on his fifteenth self-released album, Experienced, due February 26th. The album features seven original tunes written by Keel and Will Lee that highlight keen songwriting and out of this world instrumental performances. Accompanied by Keel’s wife Jenny on upright bass and harmony vocals, Experienced was recorded at Wally Cleaver Studio with engineer (and guest drummer) Jeff Covert and mastered by Bill Wolf (Willie Nelson, Tony Rice, Doc Watson) and features an impressive list of guest musicians including Peter Rowan, Keller Williams, and Anders Beck (Greensky Bluegrass), among others.
Featuring the iconic Sam Bush, the let loose instrumental “Ripchord” opens the record in a raw and impassioned manner. That’s followed by the bluesy rocker “Lil Miss” where Keel’s gravelly, worn vocals take on certain modern day women. Things slow down (but not too much) on the affecting "Memories" which touchingly focuses on the emotions that certain reflections, whether experiences or people, bring forth while “Miles and Miles” reminds one of the importance of staying true to one’s heart.
The convivial "‘Fill ‘Em Up Again" features a trio of stellar guests: Del McCoury, Jason Carter (fiddle) and Mike Guggino (mandolin) while "The Warrior", loosely based on the Carlos Castaneda book The Teachings of Don Juan and the search for knowledge by an old Yaqui Indian brujo, adds weight and mysticism.
Experienced closes with the graceful "Another Summer Day." Anchored by Will Lee’s warm vocals and calming melody (featuring Anders Beck on dobro), it’s a song that immediately puts you at ease perfectly closing a collection that carries one on a ride through Keel’s experiences: rollicking and reflective, sensitive and sincere.
Enjoy the experience.