As I already wrote recently in my review of the new EP, 'A Fireproof House Of Sunshine', there is a totally new The Hackensaw Boys with only one founding member left, David Sickmen. On stage they were joined by Thomas Olivier, who is a bandmember when the band is in Europe since the 00s, who plays banjo, mandoline and guitar. Whatever a song takes. As there is no use crying over spilled milk, I will not compare with past line ups, except state that Jimmy Stelling is my absolute hero where banjo's are concerned and always will be.
What was easy to note was that this band was at ease on stage together. The energy that is captured in many songs of The Hackensaw Boys was released in combination with a certain reticence. No full abandon here. It brought out more subtle parts of the music, aimed just a little more at the head and a little less to the feet. That said, the speed of playing in some songs makes my arm hurt from just looking at it. And I'm a guitar player. The players were having fun obviously with bringing their music to an enthusiastic audience. Fiddle player Caleb Powers, who told me he really is a mandolin player -he could have fooled me!, brings the melodies into the songs and sings Ferd Moyse's songs. They are still played, where songs by older ex-members no longer come by. Beau Dodson sings great harmonies to great smiles and by mixing the charismo with a drum kit gives the music an extra oomph in the deep end of songs.
The new songs stood their ground, especially 'Factory Blues' and 'Late Night Kitchen' stood out. (Read my review here: https://wonomagazine.blogspot.com/2019/06/a-fireproof-house-of-sunshine-hackensaw.html.) A cover of a Blaze Foley song about Ronald Reagan could have been written recently as the lyrics totally apply. In short, a great evening well spent.
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