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Rooster Walk 7 is going to be AMAZING!

May 17 | Posted by: Tad Dickens - The Roanoke Times |

Mountain Heart’s Josh Shilling, a Bassett native, will play a prominent role all weekend. Rooster Walk, following the tradition of such performers as “Festival King” Sam Bush, has hired Shilling as its artist-at-large. Buck made that announcement last month, when Shilling came in from his Nashville, Tennessee, home base to play a set with Brooklyn, New York-based alt-country/roots-rock act Yarn.

Buck had put Shilling and Yarn together for that show, after Yarn said it wanted to jam with a talented Hammond B3 organ player. Their performance to a sold-out room went better than Buck had hoped. The acts will reprise that performance at one of Yarn’s Rooster Walk sets.

Shilling will play B3 and sing with a young Martinsville band, Left Hip Pocket, for an Allman Brothers Band tribute on Friday (his version of “Whipping Post” is a tour de force on organ and vocals). He’ll play with his own Mountain Heart on Sunday. In between, he’ll be roving between stages, hopping up for various sit-ins.

“Josh is the perfect fit for a Rooster Walk artist-at-large,” Buck said. “He’s from the area. He’s an incredible singer, an incredible musician on keyboard and Hammond organ, and he plays a little guitar, too.

“When we realized he would be available to be at the festival all weekend, it was kind of a no-brainer for us.”

Shilling, at gigs with progressive bluegrassers Mountain Heart, has hosted artists-in-residence at such events as MerleFest.

“If you go to MerleFest, you’re always going to see Jerry Douglas and Cowan and Bush,” Shilling said. “Those guys are just floating around, playing with whoever. We’ve had Cowan and Bush come up and jam with us before, and Tony Rice.

“If you go out to Telluride, you’re going to see Sam Bush on stage with everybody, and Cowan, too.”

It’s a way to build audience enthusiasm for newer acts and to support the festival in general, he said.

“I think this is something that we feel is good for both of us,” Shilling said. “Being from there, I can represent the area, and I’ll get seen and maybe sell some product. Maybe I’ll get to jump-start a few of the local guys by sitting in.”

Shilling and his Mountain Heart mates recently bought the band from former leader Barry Abernathy. The act has recorded a new album, as yet untitled and due for release in the fall. Shilling said it was recorded live and naturally — no click track, no auto-tune — with a sound and song selection that will define the band going forward.

Read full article here:  http://www.roanoke.com/arts_and_entertainment/rooster-walk-launches-version-on-new-ground/article_717bdba5-6791-5113-a66e-d8caaaedb2e6.html

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