Join us for The Floyd Radio Show on Saturday, October 6, 2018 at 7:30 pm. Guests include Amythyst Kiah, The Wildmans and ClayBank! Tickets are $12 in advance, $15 day of show.
A professed Southern Gothic songster based in Johnson City, TN, Amythyst Kiah’s commanding stage presence is only matched by her raw and powerful vocals—a deeply moving, hypnotic sound that stirs echoes of a distant and restless past. A graduate of East Tennessee State University, she studied old time music and music performance, and it proved to be a pivotal moment in her life as she transformed from a long-time closet musician into a well-rounded, captivating performer.
Accoutered interchangeably with banjo, acoustic guitar, or a full band (Her Chest of Glass), Amythyst’s toolbox is augmented by her scholarship of African-American roots music. Her eclectic influences span decades, drawing heavily on old time music (Mississippi Sheiks, Son House, Jimmie Rodgers, Olla Belle Reed, Carter Family), inspired by strong R&B and country music vocalists from the ’50s-’70s (Big Mama Thornton, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Mahalia Jackson, Dolly Parton, Patsy Cline, Loretta Lynn) and influenced by contemporary artists with powerful vocal integrity (Adele, Florence and the Machine, Megan Jean and the KFB, Janelle Monae).
Recent tours in Scotland and the U.K. have seen Amythyst performing for audiences at the Americana Music Association UK Showcase, the Southern Fried Festival, Cambridge Folk Festival, the Edinburgh Jazz Festival, and SummerTyne Americana Festival. She is a crowd favorite at Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion in the U.S., has performed at the John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts, and the Smithsonian Folk Life Festival.
Provocative and coolly fierce, Amythyst Kiah’s ability to cross the boundaries of blues and old-time through reinterpretation is groundbreaking and simply unforgettable.
The young acoustic string band, The Wildmans come from the hills of Floyd, Virginia, in the heart of the Appalachian mountain music tradition. From campsite jamming at festivals and fiddler’s conventions and classical music education comes the foundation for musical exploration that sets this group apart, taking the audience on a musical journey that reflects the growth and passion of these talented young musicians.
Tonight, the band features the talents of siblings Eli on mandolin and Aila on fiddle and vocals (both 2018 Galax winners), backed up by mom Deb Wildman on bass. Highly skilled instrumentals and soulful vocals applied to traditional tunes with a smattering of old time, bluegrass, blues, and jazz combine to create a fresh new sound – old tunes fueled by young spirit.
Their set combines fiddle tunes, ballads and folk songs of the Appalachian tradition with twentieth century classics, as well as original instrumental compositions by band members Eli and Victor.
The group has appeared on stages large and small, performing in festivals such as Red Wing Roots, Chantilly Farm’s Bluegrass and BBQ festival, RoosterWalk, Floyd Fest, and Floyd Yoga Jam. They also regularly represent young talent along the Crooked Road in regional fiddler’s conventions, and the Blue Ridge Music Center in Galax invited the group to open for the Steep Canyon Rangers in July 2017. Having shared the stage with talents such as Danny Knicely, Sammy Shelor, Sierra Hull, Billy Strings, Darol Anger and Joe K. Walsh, these young musicians are making their way in the American stringband scene.
ClayBank features 17-year old mandolin player Zack Arnold, 19-year old guitarist Jacob Greer, 25-year old banjo picker Tyler Thompson along with the veteran Gary Trivette on bass. This quartet of musicians showcases three lead singers accentuated by church-inspired harmony singing and top-notch musicianship.
In February of 2015, teenagers Arnold and Greer went to the Appalachian State University Old-Time Fiddler’s Convention held in Boone, NC, which is the long-time home of Trivette. At the festival, Trivette found himself in a jam room with the two young pickers and the musicians quickly clicked together. Trivette soon connected the dots and found out that his former band mate, Tyler Thompson, had known Arnold and Greer since they were little kids in church. That led to a weekly jam session in next door Ashe County, NC, that began to rapidly evolve and advance. “The more we jammed, the better it sounded, “says Trivette. “When you find something good that clicks musically, you have to stop and take a moment to realize what is going on. I had one of those moments and I went home and told my wife that I met some people that are really talented, and this could be something special.”
Within months of forming in early 2015, ClayBank began to enter regional band contests at music festivals along with playing at local music events and churches. In February 2016, ClayBank entered the prestigious Bluegrass Band Competition at the annual Society for the Preservation of Bluegrass Music of America (SPBGMA) convention in Nashville, TN and came in 3rd place. It was there that they met acclaimed artist manager and booking agent Andrea Roberts which lead to them being signed to the ARA roster for booking/management representation. In March 2016, ClayBank entered the band competition at RenoFest in Hartsville, SC where they came in 1st place. The win at this event coupled with the SPBGMA performance really brought the band into the bluegrass spotlight and gained them a lot of attention and new fans.
Later in 2016, the band released their debut album Playing Hard to Forget on Rural Rhythm Records. The first single from the project, “Up On ClayBank,” climbed to Number 2 on the Bluegrass Today Weekly Airplay Chart and reached the Top Ten on the Billboard Bluegrass Album chart.
ClayBank has recently completed recording their sophomore project to be released with Mountain Fever Records. Produced by Danny Roberts, the award-winning mandolin player for The Grascals, this new album will showcase a fresh slate of original songs, wonderful lead and harmony vocals backed by excellent musicianship. No Escape is poised to be ClayBank’s break out album in the bluegrass world!