Pics and Clips
Nixon, Blevins & Gage continue to entertain audiences with their presentation of the emerging genre of the acoustic trio. Loosely based in bluegrass, they bring to the audience the finger-picking, early country music popularized by Doc Watson and Merle Travis. They are a pioneer and a part of the emerging genre of acoustic trios as originated by Doc Watson and continued by such groups as the Kruger Brothers and Blue Country. This music combines folk, traditional, religious and country in an audience orientated presentation. Selections range from modern songs adapted to the style to true-to-form preservations of older songs. Since first appearing in 1995, they have continued to evolve with appearances in clubs and festivals including Merlefest in 2006. To date they have released four CD’s. These releases have been critically acclaimed in Bluegrass Unlimited magazine and have received national airplay. Bluegrass Unlimited noted that in their first release, “Pick One For Me”, the guitar playing was “seamless”. Their second release, “Pick Another One, Son” was recommended by Bluegrass Unlimited to all aspiring pickers. Their most success (their “best seller”) has been experienced with “Picking on Christmas”, which was critically by the Raleigh News & Observer who noted that, “The juxtaposition of Nixon's finger-style playing with guitarist David Blevins' flat-picking results in an acoustic ambiance reminiscent of Doc Watson, Mississippi John Hurt and the late Etta Baker.”
This is a most apt description of their style.
They have just completed their latest CD “Picking with Friends” which will soon be released in stores.
Nixon, Blevins & Gage have performed in shows or opened shows with among others, Mike Cross, Del McCoury, Longview, Larry Stephenson Band, Grass Cats, Don Rigsby, Wayne Stephenson, Bill Leslie, Clyde Edgerton, and Carolina Road.
Nixon, Blevins & Gage have performed at many venues in the area including the North Carolina Museum of History, Six String Café, Tir Na Nog, Garner Historic Auditorium, Southend Brewery, Lighthouse Conference Center, Umstead Festival, Cary Fred Bond Park Amphitheater, Selma’s Rudy Theater and Merlefest in Wilkesboro. Larry Nixon has presented seminars at the NC Thumb and Fingerstyle Guitar Convention in Statesville, NC.
Larry Nixon is from Elkin, North Carolina in the heart of mountain and traditional music country, thirty miles south of Galax, Virginia, forty miles northeast of Deep Gap, home of Doc Watson, and twenty-five miles north of Union Grove, home of one of the oldest music and fiddler's convention in the country (and one of the first). When Larry was twelve, his grandfather gave him the banjo he had played around Surry County, North Carolina until 1929 when a finger injury ended his playing career. Since that time, Larry has been hooked on music, winning a talent show in the 8th grade. During his years in college, he played in “beach” music bands. Larry has enjoyed playing all types of music but has returned to his "roots" and first love, the re-creation and preservation of finger-picking styles of guitar that he first heard in the 1960's. Larry attended NC State University and is a consulting engineer in Raleigh, NC.
Larry is one of the original directors of PineCone, the Piedmont Council of Traditional Music, and is one of the hosts of the PineCone Bluegrass Show, which is broadcast from Raleigh on WQDR 94.7 at 6:00PM on Sunday nights.
David Blevins is from Winston-Salem, in western North Carolina. His cross-picking and flat-picking provides the smooth background and counterpoint to finger-picking that is vitally needed to present this style of music. During college, David played in the finals at Union Grove when that event was the largest festival of its type in the country. David has rediscovered his interest and ability on guitar more recently and has been accompanying Larry since 1994.
David graduated from Elon College and later attended NC State. He is a consulting engineer in Raleigh, NC.
Steven Gage is from Columbus, Ohio and ended up in North Carolina because of family trips to the beach which carried him through the state. Liking what he saw in North Carolina, Steve attended college at Duke University in Durham. Steven was a radio DJ while in college. He also played various types of music in high school and college but has become interested in acoustic and folk music and the strongly needed steady bass "bottom" needed to anchor the rhythm for this type of music. The Raleigh News and Observer describes his playing as “rock steady”.
Steven graduated from Duke University and is a psychotherapist in Raleigh, NC.