BIG STONE GAP, Va. — The 11th annual “Gathering in the Gap” Music Festival at the Southwest Virginia Museum Historical State Park offers a one-of-a-kind evening of performances by the Steep Canyon Rangers and Dave Eggar & Deoro. Gathering in the Gap, which will be held on May 27, on the park’s grounds, is a music festival celebrating the rich tradition of old-time, Americana and bluegrass music found in Southwest Virginia.
What does North Carolina sound like? In a state that’s also produced Doc Watson, James Taylor and the Avett Brothers, there’s hardly a more well-rounded answer than the Steep Canyon Rangers.
A bluegrass band at their core, the Steep Canyon Rangers effortlessly walk the line between festival favorite and sophisticated string orchestra. They’re as danceable as the most progressive, party-oriented string band, and equally comfortable translating their songs for accompaniment by a full symphony.
It’s that mix of serious chops and good-natured fun that earned the Steep Canyon Rangers the Grammy Award for Best Bluegrass Album in 2013 (for Nobody Knows You), and that drew celebrated comedian/banjoist Steve Martin to them when he needed a backing band. The Rangers are world-class musicians who are just as at home taking the stage at Carnegie Hall as they are knee-deep in a mountain brook, fly rod in hand.
Fifteen years and nine studio albums since forming in Chapel Hill, the sextet — who reside in the western North Carolina mountains of Brevard and Ashville — returned to their roots at Echo Mountain Recording for their staggering new collection, RADIO. Recorded over three four-day sessions as the deep, snowy winter of 2015 held fast in the Blue Ridge, the band took full advantage of producer Jerry Douglas, who contributes his distinctive dobro playing throughout the album.
Dave Eggar’s body of work is consistently greeted with superlatives and rave reviews. It’s a luxury not often employed 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 ay 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 Juilliard School’s Doctoral Program.
Dave 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, 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 the festival website at www.gatheringinthegapmusicfestival.com, like the festival page on Facebook or call the park at 276-523-1322.