Option 22 is an Worldbeat ensemble with a revolutionary vibe. Dubbed by one listener a “new age jam band,” their broad style spans from newgrass to space-folk to roots-rock world funk and points in between. They are channels for the music, allowing it to flow through them and deliver it to whomever is present along with messages of hope, love and healing. On the fly collaborative dynamics, rhythmic muscle and thematic inventions shower you with sound that is sure to lift your vibration and unlock the doors of your heart, allowing you to groove freely and transcend. This is more than just a good time band.
Based in Princeton, West Virginia, Lori McKinney (vocals, drums, djembe, spoken word) and Robert Blankenship (guitar, banjo, shamisen, hand-drums, didgeridoo) have been writing and playing music together since early 2004, forging songs from the creative blast furnace of the divine flow. Now infusing the mix are the intense, driving bass lines of Brandon Dunn (bass) and the intuitive, free form guitar stylings of Jordan Furrow (lead guitar, percussion).
Their work as healing artists and arts organizers (they founded and run Culturefest World Music & Arts Festival and The RiffRaff Arts Collective) is fueled by a strong desire to build and contribute to community. Their music reflects that passion. With backgrounds in theatre, performance, yoga/meditation, and visual arts, the group comes together with an artistic mind-set and a vision for a better world.
Their latest release, "Choose the Music," is now available. It was nominated by HomeGrown Music Network for 2010 Album of The Year. One of its tracks was featured on the CD Sampler of the March edition of Relix Magazine. Their newest album, "The Change," is now available.
Melissa McKinney is a highly praised vocalist who was based in the NC/SC region for several years and was a member of Charlotte Blues Society. Her career peaked with a performance at the famous Double Door Inn right before the West Virginia native returned home in fall 2008 to open her business, “Stages Music School,” a creative music performance school for children. Her business is now thriving and is part of a major arts movement which is revitalizing the downtown of Princeton. Melissa has been featured alongside blues legend Nat Reese several times in the past few years at the Blue Ridge Music Center, Floydfest Music & Arts Festival and more. She was crowned “Princeton Idol” in a 6 week long singing showdown sponsored by J104 and also won the Blues Portion of WV Finest vocal competition. She lights up the stage with her powerful and soulful voice. Melissa can be booked with a full band or with a small acoustic combo, depending on the event requirements, and will play a wide variety of blues, rock and jazz covers and original tunes. From Big Mama Thorton to Janis Joplin, Susan Tedeschi to Etta James, from Led Zepplin to Pink Floyd, she's got your event covered.
Click here to view her 2011 performance at Floydfest as a duo with Randy Gilky: http://youtu.be/-rJsLAK7nFs and here for a performance with a full band, Soul Mountain: http://youtu.be/ax4I4ys5YkM
This talented group of girl rockers is made up of Kayla McKinney age 11 (guitar, bass, drums, and vocals), Bethany Keesecker age 12 (guitar, bass, drums, keys, and vocals) and Ary'an Graham age 13(electric guitar, bass and drums). The girls are students of Stages School of Music in downtown Princeton, WV. Under the direction of Melissa McKinney, they have played over 200 shows in the past 3 years at fairs, festivals, schools, private parties, and charity events. During this time, they have enjoyed a significant amount of media attention. They were recently invited by the WV Music Hall of Fame to travel to local schools with the Hall of Fame’s Mobile Museum and opened up for Dierks Bently and Montgomery Gentry this summer. Look for great things from these young ladies!
Tim & Maggie
Tim and Maggie are an acoustic wind and strings duo performing a variety of music including:
*Early Music Before 1600- - Mideval and Renaissance tunes performed on viol da gamba, treble viol, recorders, and flutes. This music dates approximately from 1200 to 1600.
*Art Music After 1600- - a wide variety of art music composed between 1600 and 2010, including some of Tim's original compositions.
*Folk Music from early America / Appalachia, including tunes that came over from England, France, Ireland, and Scotland, as well as some of Tim's original compositions in that style.
*Wedding Music- includes, but is not limited to, classical pieces, folk tunes, songs from the 20's through the 50's, jazz standards, and contemporary pieces. *Requests are not a problem.
The most typical wedding scenario has classical music as prelude music, classical and/or requests for the processional, a mid-wedding piece, and the recessional, followed by folk music after the wedding as people are leaving and before the reception. Many people have a disk jockey during the reception, but some choose to have us play old songs and jazz standards instead.
Visit their website www.timandmaggie.net for extended biographies, music samples and more.