Look through Larry Keel's discography and it's easy to see that the Virginia-based flat picking guitarist is fond of jamming with others.
He has made albums with several different groups, individual acts and his family.
Now, he's making music with banjoist Danny Barnes.
The duo, along with Keel's wife Jenny on bass, play at 9 p.m. Thursday at the Pisgah Brewing Company in Black Mountain, N.C.
“I love being able to present something new to the crowd,” Keel said. “Mixing it up keeps it fun for the crowd and for myself.”
He and Barnes met up several years ago at the Northwest String Summit Music Festival and have played together on several occasions.
Keel is a big fan of Barnes' music.
“I love a chance to play music with Danny Barnes, I tell ya. He's just the newest, greatest songwriter that I've heard,” Keel said.
“Danny is one of a kind, entirely. He's an amazing banjo player, and completely different from Bela Fleck or Tony Trischka or any of them. His song writing, I don't know, he's like the new John Hartford, I think.”
Their music, Keel said, comes from different sides but “we think it makes for a very interesting show.”
While they don't have a project together, they do have some songs worked up and ready to share. They'll send us other material, then get together a few days before gigs to work up the songs and work on other music.
Adding Keel's wife, Jenny, is a perfect accompaniment to Keel and Barnes.
“It rounds everything out really full and gives people something they can understand with the hard-driving bass beat up in there and a lot of harmony singing as well,” Keel said. “It rounds things out perfectly.”
Keel is one of the top acoustic flat pickers performing today. He'll pick up a banjo or mandolin on occasion, but loves playing his guitar.
It's not his only love, though. Keel is just as comfortable catching fish as he is snagging new fans.
“I fish for everything,” he said. “Every kind of trout. I do a lot of bass fishing on rivers and lakes. I get out to the salt waters as much as I can. I try to cover all the bases that way.
“Sometimes, depending upon where we are playing if there's a good lake or pond or river nearby and we have enough time, I'll try to get out and hit the water.”