Saturday, August 11, 2007

Hillbilly Hijinks and Hoodwinks

It's that time again. People are filling vacant apartments in Lexington by the hundreds, in preparation for the coming semester. There are even a few people moving into my house, which is great. I've been putting off some updates for far too long, so today brings some wonderful, mostly uncategorizable music. Ranging from true bluegrass, to Americana, to blues and Southern, these bands pull influences from all the great American genres.

The Hackensaw Boys

The Hackensaw Boys are a bluegrass band from Charlottesville, Virginia. Their name is a portmanteau of styles of playing the mandolin and fiddle("Hack" and "Saw"), which in itself is enough to earn them an A in my book. The world can always use more portmanteaus (or is it portmanteaux?). Regardless, the Boys have the old school bluegrass "twang" most newer bands lack. I picked up their most recent album, Look Out, from CD Central, and really couldn't be happier. Most of their music is up-tempo, and their cover of the traditional "Gospel Plow" has some ridiculously fast picking. They are getting ready to stage a European tour this winter, so bluegrass lovers across the way should keep their eyes peeled.

[mp3] The Hackensaw Boys - Jonah

Death By Banjo

Death By Banjo is a collective of learned musicians from Columbus, Ohio, that features prominently in the local scene. Harry over at ThaBombShelter tipped me onto these guys when he uploaded some videos of them playing ComFest '07. They haven't put out any albums or EPs, but they do provide some truly impressive mp3s at their website. Both the quality of the recordings as well as the skill evidenced on them has me eager to see/hear more from these guys. "White Freight Liner" has some great harmonica on it, and comes highly recommended.

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[mp3] Death By Banjo - White Freight Liner

Rev. Peyton's Big Damn Band

Dodge over at MOKB has once again unearthed a gem of the local Indianapolis music scene. In continuing the metaphor, Rev. Peyton's Big Damn Band would probably be considered "in the rough," but that's the way they should stay. Lo-fi and raw, RPBDB creates a truly unique brand of blues. Commanded by Rev. Peyton's powerful voice, they create a sound that should be impossible from a three piece (I honestly didn't believe there were only three of them). Slide guitar, washboards, and drums combine to create a truly big damn sound. The opening to "That Train Song" creates an almost tactile atmosphere. Of note is their live performance on MOKB's Blog Radio.

[mp3] Rev. Peyton's Big Damn Band - That Train Song

The Mountain Firework Company

I have alt-gramma, over at Speed of Dark, to thank for introducing me to The Mountain Firework Company (thanks alt-gramma!). In an ironic twist, these guys play music inspired by Appalachian music, which itself was inspired by the music from their native United Kingdom. You can hear the blending of Irish and Scottish accents on their recordings, and I have to say they fit quite well with a mandolin and banjo. I've got two mp3s of songs off of their CD, and if they were on cassette, they'd be worn out by now. I can't believe these guys haven't been signed yet, so best of luck to them. You can buy their CD at their website (mine should be here soon).

[mp3] The Mountain Firework Company - Down In Love

1 comment:

alt-gramma said...

These are good! I told my husband Mr. Folkie to check these out. He actually picks a little banjo himself.