Megan Jean and the KFB wins FloydFest Under the Radar Contest — Lizzy Ross Band finishes second, and Spirit Family Reunion takes third
Every year at FloydFest, show-goers vote for their favorite up-and-coming acts in the festival’s Under the Radar Contest for regional acts.
This year, the buzz around the fest was for Megan Jean and the KFB (Klay Family Band), a remarkable duo from Charleston, S.C. Though it is just two people — husband/wife team Megan Jean and Byrne Klay — the act puts up a mighty ruckus of sound with guitar, stompbox, washboard, upright bass and banjo, with Megan Jean Klay’s vocals and lyrics giving a ton of depth.
Not only did the KFB win this year’s Under the Radar Contest, its appearance at the festival led to a Sept. 6 booking at the Kennedy Center, according to publicist Malcolm J. Wilson. We predict big things ahead for this act, which is as much or more fun to watch as to hear. The Under the Radar first-place prize take is a main stage slot next year, $3,500 and a $3,600 microphone package from Floyd County-based Peluso Microphone Labs. The latter prize is the one that will keep on giving for years to come. Ask any sound engineer worth her ears.
Chapel Hill, N.C., act Lizzy Ross Band finished second ($1,000 cash money, plus $1,600 in Peloso microphones) — Ross has formidable vocal skills and stratospheric range. New York City group Spirit Family Reunion, which I missed that weekend, finished an “honorable mention” third.
That said, shouts to Grass Monkey, Another Roadside Attraction, The Floorboards and The Boatman — all from the Roanoke area or very nearby. All those bands did their thing well, but it’s hard to beat an act like the Klay’s and Ross. I hope to see all of them next year.