Bookmark and Share Email this page Email Print this page Print Feed Feed

Oct 5, 2011 06:10 AM WV Sound

Keep a beat in the Mountain State.

The Healing Sounds of Option 22

Oct 5, 2011 - 06:10 AM
The Healing Sounds of Option 22

Princeton band Option 22 may have four core members, but up to five more musicians may join them onstage at any given gig. A banjo player or a fiddler who wants to improv is part of Option 22’s vision to encourage listeners to explore their own artistic talents and build a musical community. “We are a very free-flowing, improvisational band. People say our music inspires them to express their creativity. Every voice is important, and we really believe in the power of music and helping people find their voice,” says Lori McKinney, lead vocalist and drummer of Option 22.

Since 2004, Robert Blankenship (guitar, banjo), Albert Perrone (guitar), and Lori have been writing and playing Americana/World beat music together across the Mountain State. They recently added Brandon Dunn on bass. The band’s newest release, Choose The Music, is available on their website, and it was nominated by HomeGrown Music Network for 2010 Album of The Year. The songs are about inspiring positive change in your community, Lori says. “Option 22 is very focused on healing through music. Our music focuses a lot on changing the world around you. People say it inspires them, and the themes of our music have a feel-good quality.”

Option 22 is literally changing their community with music through the RiffRaff Arts Collective, which the band started in Princeton in 2006. Local artists and musicians share inspiration and work on their craft at the RiffRaff, which includes a live performance venue, recording studio, artist studios, music school, and fine art gallery.

Lori says the downtown was lacking something before the RiffRaff. “We’ve put all this color and positivity into the downtown with the RiffRaff, and people are kind of looking at it differently since 2006. A lot of people are behind us now,” she says.

Option 22 will record its next album, The Change, at the RiffRaff this winter.

Upcoming gigs

Friday, Oct. 7 – Bruno's in Charleston with The Ions at 9 p.m.

Saturday, Oct. 8 – ACLU annual dinner at the Charleston Woman's Club at 7 p.m.

Sunday, Oct. 9 – Tamarack in Beckley at 2 p.m.

Saturday, Oct. 15 – Mountain Music Festival at Pipestem at 7 p.m.

We encourage you to share your thoughts in the comments, but please be advised that any disparaging comments that come to our attention will be removed.

SEE MOREMore Music

The Mountains are Alive with Music

The Mountains are Alive with Music

Featuring a lineup of local and famous artists, listeners are bound to find something new to love on Mountain Stage.

Musician Soldier Gary Bonnett Gets Back to Writing

Musician Soldier Gary Bonnett Gets Back to Writing

Gary Bonnett first picked up the guitar as a teenager and spent many years finding his voice. The Rock Cave native, who recently returned home from a stint with the Air National Guard in Afghanistan, found he wanted to pursue an old-time, country music feel—the style he was brought up around.

Wild and Wonderful: The Music of West Virginia

Wild and Wonderful: The Music of West Virginia

The Mountain State’s thriving music scene offers surprising diversity.