August 29, 2008

2 Bands Cap Off Summer Concerts

By Amy Matzke [email protected] 381-1674

A show to bring the region together.

That's how Emily Brass, vocalist, saxophonist and namesake of Floyd-based Emily Brass Band, describes Sunday's show with the Northern Virginia-based Sol Creech Band.

Both bands play throughout the region, so Brass hopes the event will bring people together for one last outdoor concert before the end of summer. The concert will be at the outdoor pavilion at the Pine Tavern in Floyd.

The Emily Brass Band and Sol Creech Band are both known for fusing reggae, jazz, blues and hip-hop sounds, so it was a natural pairing, Brass said.

"I think both of us like a variety of styles, and it really shows in our performances," Sol Creech said.

The bands share a common link in Blacksburg drummer "King" George Penn, who plays with both bands.

"Me and Emily have been in conversation about doing a show together for quite awhile," Creech said. "We've been trying to work it for a couple of years, so I'm really looking forward to it."

Creech spends much of his time touring with the Music Maker Relief Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to helping musicians rooted in a Southern tradition who are 55 or older and have an annual income of less than $18,000.

Creech said his involvement with the Music Maker Relief Foundation influenced his sound with its emphasis on the blues.

The Sol Creech Band has been touring with Music Maker while setting up the show at Pine Tavern, Creech said, which means that this will not only be the first time the two bands have played together but also the first time Brass and Creech have met.

"I've talked to him on the phone, but it's my first time seeing him in person," Brass said of Creech. "I think it's going to be a really good relationship."

The concert at Pine Tavern will be only the second time the Emily Brass Band has performed since new members Mike Kirby on guitar and Lindsey Wright on flute and vocals joined original members Brass, Penn, guitarist Richie Ursomarso and bassist John Lindsey. The first performance was Blacksburg's Steppin' Out in early August.

Creech has played in Floyd before, including FloydFest, the Pine Tavern and shows with local musician Scott Perry.

"We keep Southwest Virginia on a steady rotation," Creech said. "We really enjoy the people there."

Brass said she thinks the music, paired with the outdoor space and food served by the Pine Tavern, gives the event a kind of festival atmosphere that will encourage people to relax and have fun.

"Floyd is a hugely music-loving place," Brass said. "No one is shy about getting up and dancing."

Want to go?

What: An all-ages show with the Emily Brass Band and Sol Creech Band

When: Sunday. Gates open and food will be available starting at 6 p.m.; music begins at 7 p.m.

Where: The Pine Tavern, 611 Floyd Highway N., Floyd

Cost: $10, advance; $12, day of

Contact: 754-4482; [email protected]

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