|Photo: Karen van der Borght|
The Hackensaw Boys were not touring behind a new album, but played about half of the set new songs from an album scheduled for spring 2014. And if the songs prove anything, the band is ready for a new album. As divers as ever. From the upbeat fiddle songs of Ferd to the introverted songs of Ward Harrrison. There was even a real country & western song. It's this unique mix of styles that make listening to The Hackensaw Boys so much fun and interesting at the same time.
Despite all the new songs and the obvious quality of them, the highlights of the show were invariably the songs I know. 'Alabama shamrock', arguably the best Hackensaw Boys song, came early on in the show. The up-tempo 'We are many', 'End times coming', the song Ferd sings with the word banjo in the lyrics and for the rest can't catch anything and the superb 'Nashville' and 'Dance around' all came by, showing the machine this band is. The relentless tempo is tiring to look at. Strings and horse hair snapping. The violin duets are great to watch and fun to listen to.
If there's a difference between the previous incarnation of the band with the current line up, it is that with David Sickmen and Ward Harrison in the band there are more serious and reflective songs than the sometimes aloof subjects of Rob Bullington. The two songs sung by the two newer members also hint in that direction. It makes me quite curious to the record.
The show ended with six Hackensaw Boys and one player/tour manager in the middle of the audience. The most naughty song on the repertoire was played from 'Love what you do'. See if you can find out whether it's all about kissing toes. After this it was time to go home and wait for months till late spring, early summer 2014 for a new tour and a new album.
You can listen to 'Kiss you down there' in a live version here.