Eyes of the Elders (EOE) is a live hip hop band based out of Charlotte NC, founded by emcees Ricky Radar and Bearcat. EOE has played French Broad River Fest in Hot Springs, NC, another event that raises funds for American Whitewater. EOE's performances were incredibly well received at FBRF and we're stoked to have a great band with a unique sound join us at Gauley Fest. So more about EOE from their website:
“Two MCs trading verses is commonplace in hip-hop, but having a live band bringing the noise instead of a DJ isn’t quite as prevalent. Combine that with two distinct physical presences — one guy who looks like a homeless Jesus and the other an intimidating, 6-foot-8 dude with an afro — and people are bound to take notice…this is the sort of hip hop that you’d think the klingons would be bumping in a future century…a noise far ahead of it’s time.” -Mike Cooper “Ballerstatus.com”, “Creative Loafing”, “The Hip Hop Caucus”
Eyes of the Elders has performed at festivals such as Camp Bisco, Drumstrong, and Scribble Jam amongst many others and have supported and been billed with artists such as Big Boi (of Outkast), Skrillex, Atmosphere, Blackstar (Mos Def and Talib Kweli, Bassnectar, KRS 1, Rehab, Warren G. and many others. Able to both move a crowd’s feet and their mind, EOE remains an underground force that is gaining momentum by the day. Combining poignant song-writing and lyricism with a live band that is “just as likely to kick out a banjo riff as a big bass bumper, EOE’s backpack-’n’-a-sack wraps should be on more shoulders than Jansport right about now.” – Tim Davis, “Creative Loafing Magazine”
Johnson's Crossroad has been described by friends and fans as everything from Appalachian Soul” to “Hillbilly Metal.” The band blends blues, roots-rock, folk, bluegrass, and Appalachian Old Time for a sound that The Daily Times’ Steve Wildsmith calls “both mournful and jubilant, breezy and graveyard serious.” He goes on to comment that frontman Paul Johnson’s voice “barely rises above a growl, but he stretches that sound to encompass the experience of a train-hopping hobo and the wisdom of an old man recalling loves lost and wars fought from the porch of a backwoods cabin.”
Their 2011 album Mockingbird puts songwriter Paul Johnson in line with names like Guy Clark or Zac Brown and his powerful voice evokes memories of folk stars like Taj Mahal or Burl Ives. The Wilmington Star News describes, “It's gruff and easygoing, like a mix of Tom Waits and Ben Knox Miller of The Low Anthem.“ AmericanaUK exclaims, “With ‘Mockingbird’ Johnson’s Crossroad seem to have just proved themselves to be one of the finest Roots rockers around right now.” The album was voted the #7 Regional albums of 2012 by WNCW!
The sincerity of Johnson’s songs and simplicity of his lyrics make you want to pour a brew, put your feet up or head to the hills. Asheville’s Bold Life call the band a “treat to see live” and says that, “Paul Johnson has a knack for creating powerful visuals with straightforward lyrics.” Dobro, mandolin and fiddle back up Johnson’s clean lyrics on some, other times its simple finger picking to a folksong.