Zen delivers folkie jam rock from the West Virginia Mountains. The groove-based sound holds a reverence to the best of various acoustic Americana traditions while fusing in elements of modern electric psychedelia. Members of the quintet span a range in age from early 20s to mid 50s, so the sound too reflects a harmonically peaceful bridge in the generation gap. Band-founding couple Mark and Bonnie Branciaroli toured around the region as an acoustic duo through the 60s and 70s, but eventually landed in Elkins, W.Va., where they became local scenesters and hooked up with guitarist Seth Maynard, bassist Cameron Tenney, and drummer Andy Willmoth. Since 2003 Zen has built a regional grassroots following through word-of-mouth praise and heavy touring behind ebb and flow guitar riffs, soaring vocals harmonies, and enlightening flower power themes. The band hosts its own two-day festival, the Highland Jam Off, on Labor Day weekend in the scenic hills of its Mountain State backyard.
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