Bluegrass band features Roanoke College and community talent

by rcnewsblog on September 28, 2012

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The Flaky Biscuits are coming to Salem’s Mill Mountain Coffee & Tea, and they will surely satisfy your musical appetite.

Flaky Biscuits is a bluegrass band that performs on the first Monday of each month at Mill Mountain. The group’s next performance is Monday, Oct. 1.

While enjoying the show from 6:30 to 8:30 pm, look out for Mark Poore and Dr. Hannah Robbins, two Roanoke faculty and staff members who are part of this six-member band.

The Flaky Biscuits’ play wide variety of bluegrass. Some songs have an old time feel, and others have a classic bluegrass sound. The band also plays some bluegrass inspired Gospel and Celtic music.

Watch videos of some of the band’s performances here.

“We don’t have one set genre, because we just play whatever music we like at the time,” saidRobbins, an assistant math professor at Roanoke and a member of Flaky Biscuits. Robbins is the lead singer, and she plays the upright bass.

She said she enjoys bluegrass music, because its rich history has resulted in many versions of each song.

“Blue grass music changes in each region because people would teach their neighbors new songs, so there are different variations,” she said.

Poore, the director of Information Technology at Roanoke, said his love of music is what drove him to start a band. Poore and his friend and fellow band member, Jeff Phillips, who plays the acoustic guitar, began recruiting band members last fall.

Poore discovered Robbins’ musical interests at an Information Technology training session at Roanoke.

After Robbins joined the band, Luke Poore, Mark Poore’s son who plays the hammered dulcimer, jumped on the bandwagon as well.

Carolyn Day, Mark Poore’s neighbor and a mandolin player, and Amy Rockhill, who plays the fiddle, were the last two members to join Flaky Biscuits.

Mark Poore decided to start playing the clawhammer banjo to get in touch with his ancestral roots.

“The clawhammer banjo goes way back in my Appalachian heritage,” he said. “I wanted to learn to play it because my family has been in this area forever.”

In August, Flaky Biscuits had one of its first big gigs at Mill Mountain, which frequently hosts local bands. Band supporters and friends packed the Salem coffee shop, so Mill Mountain asked the band to return for shows once a month.

When they aren’t playing for a gig, Flaky Biscuits band members practice every Monday night.

“It’s really fun to get out of the office and do something really different and be silly,” Robbins said.

The group’s quirky nature inspired the band’s name.

“The name has a double meaning because everyone loves flaky biscuits, and we are all a bit flaky,” Mark Poore said. “That’s what makes it fun.”

The band’s goals are to perform at a festival next summer and eventually record an album.

“We just want to play together and have a good time,” Robbins said. “Twenty years from now, I would like for us to be doing exactly what we are doing now.”

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