Multi-instrumentalist Jason Krekel started playing music in earnest in the early 1990s. In the college town of Boone, N.C., he immersed himself in an education of guitar, mandolin, bluegrass and old-time, and began performing with acts such as Snake Oil Medicine Show, CX-1 Blackhole Bluegrass Boys, and Larry Keel.
By the end of that decade, Krekel had established himself in the eclectic Asheville, N.C., music scene. Collaborators included Ami Worthen (Mad Tea Party, later known as Krekel and Whoa), Aaron “Woody” Wood (The Sufi Brothers), and Jay Sanders ( A.V.A.S). He also started The Screaming J’s and The Krektones, and joined forces with Seattle-based guitar legend Baby Gramps.
A visual artist, too, Krekel was inspired by the Alabama and Georgia outsider folk art scenes to craft the linocut prints, paintings, and toy re-creations.
Krekel’s father was musician and songwriter Tim Krekel with whom he had many musical interactions prior to Tim’s death in 2009: Krekel is on two of his father’s records, the two co- wrote a song on Tim’s last record, and around 2000 the Krekels recorded an album together.
Many of Krekel’s bandmates from his career, which spans four decades, remain creative associates to this day. “Everything I’ve done in my musical life has informed how I play now,” he says. “I’m still excited about music.”