December 12, 2009

Chance McCoy and the Appalachian String Band

Some of the people I play music with have been raving about Chance McCoy for a while now. For whatever reason, I did not look into it sufficiently until now. I could struggle to write a review myself, but it wouldn't say anything different from what you can already see on his MySpace page.

Here are the essentials:
He's from eastern West Virginia, a major plus as far as I'm concerned, and has learned from many of the state's greats, including Dave Bing.

A recently recorded album with The Appalachian String Band includes Adam Hurt on the banjo, who I think is one of the best young banjo players around. I had bought Adam Hurt's solo album (Insight) a while ago and really enjoy that one as well.

If you've played much in West Virginia, the repertoire on the album will be familiar, including tunes like "Shelvin Rock," "Yew Piney Mountain," and "Jimmy Johnson."

In short, I highly recommend this, I think it's one of the best newer acts to come along in a while.

Here are some videos from what I believe is Chance McCoy's personal YouTube profile:

Dance All Night With A Bottle In Your Hand MP3

And Wild Horse of Stony Point, or just "Stony Point" as I've often heard it called:

December 10, 2009

Pokey LaFarge

Saw Pokey LaFarge and the South City Three last night based on a recommendation from my cousin-in-law (if that's a familial category). Even though I was slightly distracted by the Kentucky-UConn game that was simultaneously going on, I'm glad I went. They are a good time and have a really unique stage presence.

Not necessarily an old-time band the way I've been using it on here, but certainly rooted in music from the early 1900s. Makes me think of the music of traveling shows up and down the Mississippi River in its heyday.

Lots of music samples on the website, so definitely go check those out.

Here's a live recording:


December 05, 2009

Whiskey Bent Valley Boys

Now that the semester is over I finally have time to enjoy a guilt-free experience at Knoxville's Blue Plate Special, which is of course put on by local independent radio station WDVX.

The main reason I went yesterday was for the Fox Hunt. They were good as usual, all of them are very talented, and I had seen them in town here before.

In fact, the last time they were here was maybe May or so, whenever it was the weather was nicer and they played outside in our downtown commons kind of area called Market Square.

There it is pictured above. Just a real nice, pedestrians-only area of town. Musicians set up there for tips often, but they are not usually as talented as the Fox Hunt. WDVX overheard them playing on the square, got them in studio to go live, and later invited them for the Blue Plate...

But I started this post to talk about the Whiskey Bent Valley Boys. They were billed alongside Fox Hunt, and I didn't know what to expect. But they were actually really fun to watch and played really well. They do a lot of standards, like Old Joe Clark, and I like that about them.

Plus, like me they're from Kentucky. From what I gather, Oldham County to be precise.

The radio said they're from "backwoods Kentucky," I guess trying to play up that mythology. But if you know Kentucky, you know Oldham County has nothing to do with backwoods, it's a wealthy suburb of Louisville. But I guess it sounds better to say on the radio.

Anyway, they put on a good show. Here they are at a different Blue Plate Special.