IN THE OLD WAY (OFR)
They're the next big duo--The Hunger Mountain Boys. I liked the name, right off the bat, figured these guys might be my kind of old time music act. And sure enough, Teddy T. Weber and Kip Beacco play old time country music like North Carolina hillbillies and sing like the Louvin and Stanley Brothers. I dont believe anybody's plugging in here, they're just stepping a little closer to the one microphone when singing a lead or taking a solo. ("The way God intended it," some would say.)
There are both traditional and original tunes on the disc, and it's hard to tell the difference. Teddy's song "Nashville Don't Touch My Country Music" is just the kind of thing that will spread this duo like a brushfire. Teddy plays guitar and dobro, and sings tenor. Kip plays guitar, mandolin, and fiddle, he sings baritone. All the necessary elements of an old time country duo are in play, and the singing and playing is very sharp, right on the money. And the attitude here is very traditional, it has no jamband or jug band aspects, and modern music is not even mentioned, much less drawn upon. It's much more like the title of the record--old time country and bluegrass roots. There's even an a cappella song, Kip's "Over the Long Tiresome Hill." Though we're very busy here in NYC at the moment, I'm gonna try to get out to see the fellas on tour tonight, at The Parkside Lounge on Houston. (Up here they pronounce that howston...)
It was a mighty showing by The HMB at The Parkside, they thrilled the locals with a well-paced polished show that was humorous and musically impressive. A lot of the humor was spontaneous, playing off the crowd or whatever was going on at the moment, tuning or finagling the guitar strap, they're very good entertainers. And they're very likeable cats on and off stage--call me old fashioned, I happen to think that that goes a long way. If a performer is a pain in the butt as a person (and many of them are), bright lights don't tend to obscure those qualities.
We believe this act will continue to rise, and quickly. I think we'll see them stretch musically beyond the Stanley/Louvin paradigm in short order, once they've established themselves. We like it a lot, be sure to pick up a copy of Fashioned in the Old Way, and watch out for their imminent appearance in your area. Clips on the Listen page. FG