Gravel Road Plays at Bath Bluegrass Jamboree
It all began just before Christmas in 2012. Musicians often meet each other through informal jam sessions, but in this case the group was ages nine through eleven years old. Two of them had known each other since preschool.
Jesse Wietzenfeld, father of guitar player and vocalist Nick, who is now fourteen, explained how Gravel Road became a band.
“Nick was invited to play some Christmas music at the Floyd Country Store, here in Floyd, sort of like an open mike, Christmas thing. And we felt like it would be better if he had some help, so we asked Lydia and Adam to play with him, and they had a lot of fun.”
In less than a few months Nick Weitzenfeld, guitar player and singer in the group, and Lydia Bowman who plays fiddle and sings, and Adam Bishop on banjo and harmonies had been joined by Addie Levy on mandolin and with her amazing vocals. Jared Houseman rounds out the band, on bass.
“They had their first practice together and everybody clicked. They sounded great. I think they walked out of that first practice with like 5 songs.”
Now Gravel Road is coming to Bath County High School to play in the Bluegrass Jamboree on Saturday April 11th.
“Some of them like the more traditional stuff. Some of them like the more modern stuff, so we tend to do a mix. So, whatever the kids are into, we find that keeps them more interested and excited about the music. And the kids are starting to write their own music. They’re currently performing two originals, which people will hear at the Bath County event.
We’re really excited about coming up there. We came up last year for the fair in Monterey, and really enjoyed it. I think several people camped up there. I’ve been all over Virginia, and I think that’s one of the most beautiful areas of Virginia, is up that way.”
Two things this band obviously depends on are supportive parents, and reliable vehicles. The five musicians, none old enough yet for a driver’s license, live in Floyd, Montgomery and Pulaski Counties.
When asked what could be more exciting than raising talented musicians who also play sports and dance, and are just being “normal kids”, Jesse replied.
“I guess the big exciting news for the band is that they’ve just released their first CD in about mid March. That was recorded at Hitching Post Records, which is in Hiwatchee Virginia.
A great opportunity to get familiar with Gravel Road before the Jamboree is to visit their website at www.gravelroadbluegrass.com . They also have a Facebook page, again, Gravel Road Bluegrass, and welcome followers and new fans.
But best of all, be sure to come see them live along with Goldwing Express, Southern Rail Express, and a special appearance of the Allegheny Mountain String Project. All of this excellent music is raising funds for your community radio station, Allegheny Mountain Radio. The Bath Bluegrass Jamboree, on Saturday, April 11th is guaranteed to be an exciting evening of music, laughter, and friendly faces. Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for students, and under age 12 is a dollar. Doors open at 5:00, and the show will begin at 6:00. If you have any questions, call the radio station at 839-5400, or visit www.alleghenymountainradio.org. Easiest of all, just show up at Bath County High School, and enjoy the whole evening.