The Hackensaw Boys - Look Out!
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Look Out! (Nettwerk, 2007)

The Hackensaw Boys

Reviewed by Kevin Oliver

Not your father's kind of bluegrass band, this Charlottesville, Va. group has taken the music of Bill Monroe and Ralph Stanley and turned it inside out. Purists might say that their name indicates their playing methods - hacking and sawing their way through what they think of as traditional music - but even diehard grassers will respect the talent that fuels the furious tempos of songs like the opening track here, "Look Out Dog, Slow Down Train," or the spirited take on the gospel classic, "Gospel Plow."

Modest Mouse's Tom Peloso, a sometimes Hackensaw Boy, contributes to two songs, "Hobo" and the frenetic "Sweet Petunia," which are actually more traditional-leaning despite their author's indie-rock pedigree.

If it's true, classic sounding bluegrass you want, look elsewhere and leave preconceptions about genre restrictions behind because the Hackensaw Boys joyful, energetic style is closer to the punk-influenced sounds of the Bad Livers or The Mekons, two bands who also bent some rigid rules in their own time.

CDs by The Hackensaw Boys

A Fireproof House of Sunshine, 2019 Charismo, 2016 Look Out!, 2007 Love What You Do, 2005

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