Todd Sheaffer’s musical journey has taken
him from N J to NY to Europe and back to NJ again; with stops in just about every
corner of the country. As the lead singer, guitar player and principal songwriter
for the venerable acoustic rock band Railroad Earth Todd is no stranger to the road.
Todd began his career in music while still in college
in New York City. Performing in downtown clubs, Todd was hired and began a three
year stint as lead guitarist/harmony singer for the Jack Hardy band - touring extensively
in Europe and recording two albums for the German label Entente.
Following this apprenticeship, and ripe with a growing
body of original work, Todd joined with two former high school bandmates and two
new friends and formed From Good Homes. From Good Homes developed into a substantial
touring and recording band. The band’s four acclaimed albums are as follows:
"Hick-Pop Comin’ at Ya’"(GRRrrr, 1993), "Open up the
Sky" (RCA, 1995), "Live at Waterloo" (RCA, 1997), and "From
Good Homes" (RCA,1998). In 1998, the band received an achievement award from
Billboard and Irving Plaza for the most consecutive sold-out performances ever (12)
at this respected NYC venue.
When From Good Homes deciding to park the wagons following
a tour in support of their third major label release, Todd took to the road for
some stripped-down, acoustic performances. These intimate shows are still a fan
favorites and give both performer and fan an opportunity to interact and share in
the magic of his work.
The spirit of these performances has been captured beautifully
on Todd's solo release: "Dream of Love" (Bag O' Seed, 2000). This
disc was recorded live at Centenary College in NJ on 11/20/99 and contains both
brand new gems and FGH favorites. Soon after its release, MTV's popular "Real
World" show licensed the entire recording for use in upcoming episodes.
Larry Keel is described by some 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 flatpicking the 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 tasty cover from any number
of genres all over the map. The combination is pretty irresistible, and has earned
Keel the highest respect and billing among the top acoustic musicians alive, and
some now gone: Tony Rice, Chris Thile,Vassar Clements, Sam Bush, Del McCoury,
John Hartford, Bill Monroe, Peter Rowan, and Darol Anger 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 deep rumbling
voice, his earthy and imaginative song-writing, and his down-home-gritty-good-time
charm. Keel regularly collaborates with JamBand and Rock giants Yonder Mountain
String Band, Keller Williams, Jorma Kaukonen, David Nelson, Little Feat, Rebirth
Brass Band, Dirty Dozen Brass, Railroad Earth, members of String Cheese Incident
and Leftover Salmon, amongst others.
Joining the award-winning Flatpickin legend to make up
Natural Bridge are the vastly talented Mark Schimick on mandolin
and vocals, Larry’s life-long picker pal (and fishing phenom) Will
Lee on soulful, blues-grass style 5-string banjo and penetrating lead vocals,
and wife Jenny Keel with her impeccable timing and solid, yet imaginative
bass lines as well as tenor vocal harmonies. Keel has a variety of formats swirling
around the calendar each year; look out for Larry Keel solo, Keels duo,
Keller and the Keels, the Keel Brothers, Keel with Danny Barnes and Drew Emmitt,
Keel and Adam Aijala or Jeff Austin (YMSB), an occasional Keel trio, and
many other special guests added to the mix.