BIG STONE GAP, Va. — The eighth annual “Gathering in the Gap” Music Festival at the Southwest Virginia Museum Historical State Park will offer a one-of-a-kind evening of performances by Grammy Award Winner Rodney Crowell, The Black Lillies and Dave Eggar & Deoro.
Gathering in the Gap, which will be held on May 17 on the park’s grounds, is a music festival celebrating the rich tradition of old-time, Americana and bluegrass music found in Southwest Virginia.
Crowell has played the part of the wiry and slender guitarist in Emmylou Harris’s first Hot Band, the young protégé of Guy Clark and Mickey Newbury, the icy cool country star and Grammy winner of the 1980s, the longtime professional partner and husband of Rosanne Cash, the Cherry Bombs bandmate of Vince Gill and Tony Brown, the comeback kid of the 2000s whose incisive, quasi-autobiographical album cycle secured him a Lifetime Achievement Award for Songwriting from the Americana Music Association, and a 2013 Grammy winner for his collaboration with Emmylou Harris, entitled Old Yellow Moon.
Crowell’s work and career sets a benchmark for commercial success and lifelong artistic ambition and integrity in country music. His compositions, including “Til I Gain Control Again,” “I Ain’t Livin’ Long Like This,” “Song For The Life” and “Ashes By Now” have been widely and successfully covered by legendary singers. But he led the way as a recording artist, achieving a dazzling run of radio hits in the 1980s, followed by a series of more personal albums in the 2000s that secured his place as much more than a chart topper. He’s had songs as an artist or writer in the top ten in every decade since the 1970s, including latter-day landmarks “Please Remember Me” and “Making Memories of Us.” With a new album titled Tarpaper Sky released in the Spring of 2014, Rodney Crowell is in full voice and fully engaged in his musical present and future.
The Black Lillies
Black Lillies front man Cruz Contreras knows a thing or two about the road. After co-founding Robinella and the CCstringband with his wife, he spent nearly a decade traveling the road and making music from coast to coast. When his marriage – and the band – dissolved in 2007, he returned to the road … this time, as the driver of a truck for a stone company. It was here, over a year spent rolling down the highways of East Tennessee, that the songs and sounds that would form the nexus of The Black Lillies were conceived.
Contreras and his bandmates – harmony vocalist Trisha Gene Brady, multi-instrumentalist Tom Pryor, bass player Robert Richards, and drummer Bowman Townsend – have grown from a few friends sitting around campfires and living rooms to a band that shows up in far-flung cities where folks to whom they’ve never played before already know the words to the songs. Eschewing record labels, they’ve still managed to conquer the Billboard Top 200 charts (Runaway Freeway Blues debuted at #43), put three tracks in Country Music Television’s top 12 requested videos, and film a nationally broadcast commercial for Twizzlers. They’ve been featured on numerous television specials and played festivals as widespread as Bonnaroo, Rochester Jazz Festival, MerleFest, and CMA Fan Fair. Despite trafficking in a richer, more authentic brand of country and Americana than what gets played on mainstream country radio, they’ve still been invited to perform at the Grand Ole Opry more than twenty-five times – a record for an independent act.
Dave Eggar & Deoro
Dave Eggar’s body of work is consistently greeted with superlatives and rave reviews. It’s a luxury not often enjoyed by an artist who records in diverse genres and performs live in multiple musical categories, seamlessly moving between each, be it Pop, Rock, Jazz, R&B, New Age, World, or Classical music. A musical prodigy as a child, Dave Eggar began playing the cello and piano at age three. By the age of seven, Dave had performed on Broadway and with the Metropolitan Opera. He debuted at Carnegie Hall at the age of 15. Dave is a graduate of Harvard University and the Julliard School’s Doctoral Program. Eggar has appeared worldwide as a solo cellist and pianist. A virtuoso of many musical styles, Dave has performed and recorded with artists in numerous genres including Evanescence, The Who, Michael Brecker, Josh Groban, Coldplay, Beyonce, Pearl Jam, Fall Out Boy, Dave Sanborn, Kathleen Battle, Ray Lamontagne, Roberta Flack, The Spin Doctors, Dianne Reeves, Brandy, Carly Simon, Phil Ramone, Phillip Phillips, A Great Big World, Duncan Sheik, Sinead O’Connor, Bon Jovi, Manhattan Transfer, Corinne Bailey Ray and many more.
In addition to the featured Main Stage performances, Gathering in the Gap will include an annual songwriting competition, workshops, musical competitions, jams, a children’s area and the “Stitch in Time” Quilt Show. Antique, food, and craft vendors will also be on hand.
For additional information and a full schedule of events, visit www.gatheringinthegapmusicfestival.com, like the festival page on Facebook or call the museum at 276-523-1322.