Music Trail Mix – Gathering in the Gap An up close and personal interview with Dave Eggar

2:43AM December 12, 2018
Written by Pam Vance
Con­tributed by Dave Stallard/Blue Ridge Out­doors
Dave Eggar embod­ies the most pow­er­ful com­bi­na­tion of bril­liance and eclec­ti­cism that I have ever wit­nessed in a musi­cian.  Over the last sev­er­al years, I have seen Eggar per­form live many times, from wed­dings to clubs to fes­ti­vals, and he is just as com­fort­able play­ing Bach on his cel­lo as he is play­ing Jimi Hen­drix, all the while accom­pa­nied by tap dancers, Irish dancers, break dancers, opera singers, or even mar­tial artists. Dis­so­nant choic­es, yes, but Eggar, who debuted on Broad­way at the age of sev­en, Carnegie Hall at fif­teen, and has record­ed, per­formed, or com­posed music with Evanes­cence, Tony Ben­nett, Cold­play, and The Who, among a host of oth­ers, makes it seem per­fect­ly natural.Eggar, a res­i­dent of New York City, makes a con­cert­ed effort to trav­el through South­west Vir­ginia when­ev­er he gets the chance. Such a rur­al, out of the way des­ti­na­tion might seem odd, in and of itself, as his tour­ing sched­ule reg­u­lar­ly includes more exot­ic locales, par­tic­u­lar­ly when he is on the road with Amer­i­can Idol win­ner Phillip Phillips, but for Eggar, it’s like com­ing home.So I con­sid­er it a dis­tinct hon­or, and such a tremen­dous reflec­tion on the region where I live, that Dave Eggar reg­u­lar­ly brings his amaz­ing tal­ents here, and I look for­ward to his per­for­mance this week­end at the annu­al Gath­er­ing In The Gap Music Fes­ti­val in Big Stone Gap, Vir­ginia.

I had the plea­sure of chat­ting with Dave about the fes­ti­val this week­end, play­ing blue­grass on the cel­lo, and where in the world he is going next.

BRO – You have become a reg­u­lar on the Gath­er­ing In The Gap bill. What is it that keeps bring­ing you back?

DE – I feel like Big Stone Gap is a sec­ond home for me. I have so many friends here and a deep love for the com­mu­ni­ty. I look to and love Gath­er­ing In The Gap each year, as it brings togeth­er his­to­ry and con­tem­po­rary artistry in such a pow­er­ful way, from the morn­ing com­pe­ti­tions to the song­writ­ing com­pe­ti­tion to the won­der­ful evening per­for­mances.

BRO – One thing you can get in Big Stone Gap that you can’t get in NYC?

DE – A true win­dow into the his­to­ry of Amer­i­cana music in its purest and most hon­est form. Also, Alan Maggard’s stu­dio, which has the real. authen­tic moun­tain music sound that I’ve nev­er heard in New York City. And, of course, the moun­tains them­selves!

BRO – How does a clas­si­cal­ly trained cel­list approach Appalachi­an string music?

DE – The bow tech­niques were the most com­pli­cat­ed for me. There are so many influ­ences in Appalachi­an music – Irish, Scot­tish, spir­i­tu­als, even gyp­sy music. It requires a very diverse and ath­let­ic use of the bow, so I prac­ticed that a lot. Also, just work­ing with so many old time musi­cians has been so pow­er­ful and excit­ing for me. It is those col­lab­o­ra­tions that influ­enced my style.

BRO – Along the same lines, what’s your favorite fid­dle tune to tack­le on the cel­lo?

DE – I love play­ing “Jerusalem Ridge,” and most of Clark Kessinger’s reper­toire.

BRO – You and your cel­lo don’t stay put for long. What projects are on your hori­zon after the fes­ti­val?

DE – Chuck Palmer and I just com­plet­ed a huge sym­phon­ic project with the band For­eign­er and the 21st Cen­tu­ry Orches­tra & Cho­rus, which we arranged and orches­trat­ed and will be com­ing out in the next year. In a cou­ple weeks, I’ll be hit­ting the road with Phillip Phillips. My band also has an excit­ing new show at the Barter The­atre on July 23rd, a col­lab­o­ra­tion with tap vir­tu­oso Andrew Nemr called Tap­palachia.

 

Also, a heart­felt thanks to our friends at Heart Of Appalachia for their sup­port of Trail Mix the last three months. Being a res­i­dent of the Appalachi­an Moun­tains of South­west Vir­ginia, it has been a plea­sure show­cas­ing many of the musi­cal out­lets in the region.

Make sure to take a lis­ten to this month’s Trail Mix, which fea­tures new tracks from the likes of Hum­ble Tripe, Joshua James, Head For The Hills, and The Mas­ter­sons.

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