Michael Cleveland & Flamekeeper have announced the addition of Gaven Largent to the band, on both banjo and resonator guitar. He takes the spot recently vacated by Glenn Gibson who reported wanting to spend more time at home.
Just 18 years of age, Largent has been wowing audiences with his stellar playing this past few years, working in the northern Virginia area with both Bud’s Collective and Lonesome Highway. He’s also picked up numerous competition trophies, including the Maryland State Banjo competition in 2008, and multiple wins at the Old Fiddlers Convention in Galax.
A fine judge of talent, Cleveland sees the rare gift in his new young hire.
“Gaven is an incredible musician who plays way beyond his years. He has his own style on both banjo and dobro and he definitely has the flash to go along with it. He knows when to play and when not to, which is sometimes most important. You can tell that he listens to everyone around him and does his best to compliment and enhance the sound of the band. I’ve been fortunate enough to get to play with some really incredible musicians, but I’ve never heard someone so advanced for his age.”
For Gaven, this is his first foray into working as a musician full time, and he’ll get a quick dose of the road life working with Michael. He shared a sense of excitement mixed with gratitude at the prospect.
“I’m extremely honored and excited to be able to share the stage with such incredible musicians. They’re wonderful people to be on the road with, and the music is tight and I feel like the groove is some of the best on the circuit these days. I am so thankful to everyone who has helped to put me where I am now, and I look forward to doing this full time. It’s always been a dream for me to be a full time musician, and here I am. It’s a good place to be and I’ll see everyone down the road somewhere!”
I wasn’t able to find a good video of Largent on banjo, but here he is destroying the dobro on Fisher’s Hornpipe with his friend, Jack Dunlap.
He’s sure to add a spark to the already incendiary Flamekeeper show, and will be with the band this weekend at the SPBGMA convention in Nashville.