Saturday, April 5, 2014
Clawhammer I Think I Heard a Sound b/w Hell Wee Rock Records 2012
Well, this isn't really local, but I purchased it by error. I'm not really that mad about it, it's decent. The band is from Springfield, MO which is closer to St. Louis than it is Kansas City. The town has always had a substantial music scene centered around roots, country and bluegrass. Much of the bluegrass coming out of Springfield is damaged by the tourist driven, Branson, Missouri. Hillbilly garbage in which the band leaders are named "Uncle" and they sing about fishing and make cheesy family orientated jokes in between sets. Like Hee-Haw, but even dumber. That's a lot of what comes out of Springfield, MO. Not all of it, there are some solid band and artists, but there is a ton of crap to sift through.
Anyway, I had traded in some stuff at a local record store and had about $3 or $5 left in credit. I went to the local 45s to even out my order. This struck me for a couple of reason, first, it was in my budget. Second, a clawhammer is a type of banjo, I love bluegrass so I figured why not? Well, I got it home and realized this wasn't as local as I thought it was when I discovered it was from Springfield.
However, I put it on and was cool with it; it's a keeper. It's not bluegrass. It's got elements and does feature a banjo and traditional bluegrass instruments, but they're borrowing from the genre. If you research Clawhammer they've dubbed themselves something moronic like alternative, dub, influenced, bluegrass. That's absurd. But, they have a unique sound, the banjo plucks away and these young hipsters drop fuzz and experimentation all around it. The female vocals fit perfectly, she's kind of gruff, certainly not too sweet. It's a clever post-modern mixture, no one is pushing bluegrass but they should be...I mean, hipsters would totally be into artists like John Hartford if they'd get off the fucking Hall & Oates kick.
Facebook link to some Clawhammer jams