Black Twig Pickers - Ironto Special
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Ironto Special (Thrill Jockey, 2010)

Black Twig Pickers

Reviewed by Dr. Bobby Jones

We enter a new era. The Black Twig Pickers are as genuine old-time as Uncle Dave Macon and yet are available by digital download or limited edition LP via their Chicago-based record label. The Pickers, who play dances in Southwest Virginia and tour Europe, are old time fiddle, frailing banjo, jugs and washboards, jaws harps and spoons. They are square dances and moonshine and front porch sessions on log cabins in mountain hollers, yet accessible on the Internet.

Some of the tunes are familiar and some are new; all sound old. Just when you wonder if timeless art forms might be lost, modern technology allows them to solider on. The Black Twig Picker's sound is as old as the Appalachians, but will be new to many modern people. If you are of Scottish-Irish, African American, or any cultural heritage with roots in traditional music and you want to know where your music came from, these guys are worth the time to study.

The Pickers are old-fashioned, but technically proficient. They are authentic old-time, yet their sound is preserved with modern techniques in modern studios. They are new-fangled youthful contradiction, but as real as grandpa's music back home.

CDs by Black Twig Pickers

Ironto Special, 2010

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